Saturday, February 6, 2016

Singaporeans Play Soft-Tip Darts, Stockpicker Picks Soft-Tip Darts Set

Forest 2 darts cafe located at Shenton House, opposite SGX Centre

The SGX Stockpicker started playing soft-tip darts recently - 3 times this year. The last I played darts was more than a decade ago, when I played steel-tip darts during my army times, after lunch. The first time I played soft-tip darts in 2016 was when I wandered into Wiser Sports Bar at Ah Rood Road after my Japanese lunch date. The second time, I was driven to Arena Bar at Serangoon Gardens after having dinner with my friend. The most recent darts games was a planned visit to Forest 2, some 4 minutes walk from my office.

The mechanics are generally the same but soft-tip darts is gaining popularity in Singapore because it is accessible. Unlike steel-tip darts, the soft-tip machine counts the score for you and you can choose to buy a card, that connects you with other users, and level up.

I bought my own darts set on the most recent visit (see the photo below) and it set me back SGD207 dollars. I originally planned to spend only SGD100 but ended spending more (!) and I will explain.

On the top left is the barrel of the darts, which costs SGD98. I originally though that this was darts as I know it. I was wrong. The barrel is where your fingers hold on to the darts and it can be a straight barrel or a front-loaded barrel. Mine is front-loaded and made of 95% tungsten and supposedly made in England. All these adds to the costs. 

On the bottom left is the shaft which I paid SGD42 for. This part connects the barrel with the flight. I got a no.4 spinner, which according to the sales lady, was good for a beginner like my self.

The flights - the ends of the darts - cost me a certain amount which I couldn't remember (SGD25?) but it helps to stabilise the flight when you throw.

The front/tips of the darts, the point, is really cheap because they break very easily. This can be seen from the fact that one of the darts has a white tips and the black tips are of uneven lengths.

On the bottom right is the container. Sensing that I was into black colour, she sold me the casing which probably costs SGD25. Finally, on the top right is the ID card that will allow to store you in-game data as well as participate in competitions by connecting with people online.

On hind-sight, if I were not rushing to play with my friends who were already there, I would have probably done a bit more homework and pay not more than SGD157 all-in. Areas that I would have cut down are the flights and the container. The rest of the parts are quite value-for-money. 

In terms of marginal costs, you pay about SGD1 for two games, which is cheap like a visit to the video arcade. The downside of playing darts in general is that you are compelled to buy a drink or eat fried bar food. Not only are you adding to the cost of the game, these adds calories to a "sport" that does not cause you to burn much calories. Unless you count walking to-and-fro the oche.

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