A revolutionary take on a classic design; for me, these are my favourite set of darts made by Loxley to date. With three contrasting, and yet complimenting grip sections, each with their own unique style, the Loxley Scarlet’s can be used universally, with each grip section offering something unique to the player using them – ensuring you continue to have complete control over the dart from wherever you throw from.
The darts are after Will Scarlet, a prominent member of Robin Hood’s ‘Merry Men’. An experienced archer, Robin asked Will to join his band, triggering a fight between the two before Will agreed. With as many as eight variations of his name listed throughout folklore, this has been reflected in the multiple grip sections of the dart, with all sections sharing similar qualities, with minor tweaks – not too dissimilar from Will Scarlet’s name, as throughout the Robin Hood tales, he was also called Scarlock, Scathlocke and Shacklock (to name a few).
The Loxley Scarlet’s retail at £39.95, and so are one of the cheaper darts on the Loxley website. They come fully equipped right out of the packaging, supplying a set of medium black Loxley stems and Loxley standard shape flights so you can get straight to the oche. A subtle link to the inspiration behind the Scarlet’s, with the flights featuring Loxley’s feather-effect design, paying homage to Will Scarlet’s background as a hunter, and talented archer. The darts further come equipped with a set of 32mm standard silver points. While I usually find silver points grip the board poorly in comparison to their coated counterparts, I found I had next to no bounce/fall-outs using these – without roughing them up with sandpaper!
As of now, the Scarlet’s just come in 24g, however Loxley do sell the Loxley Sheriff’s in 22g, which are a black PVD coated version of the Scarlet’s, in a reduced weight. The Scarlet’s are exactly 50mm long, measuring in at 6.6mm at their widest point (around the centre grip). Due to the shape of the barrel, they have a very slight front weight, though I found this to not be noticeable while throwing – wherever I threw from.
The darts arrived in a stylish plastic outer package, with typical Loxley graphics on the front and back – including a serene look at the forests of Loxley. Inside the plastic casing is a hard-back black plastic wallet, perfect for storing the darts when out at matches. The darts come firmly fitted in the case, with room for additional flights and stems to ensure that you’re prepared for any situation mid-match. My only complaint with the packaging was that, where the middle dart had a flight assembled, the plastic casing caused the flight to become distorted, pushing the flight out of shape during transport. While this corrected itself in time, it did prove frustrating at first, and resulted in additional spin being added to the dart.
As a rear gripper, it was natural I would utilise that section of the dart more than any other. The rear grip is a standard ring grip, as seen on many popular darts, such as the famous Eric Bristow Cocked Finger darts, or the newer Target Rob across G1 darts. What makes the grip on the Scarlet’s so unique however, is that the rear grip adds in 6 lateral grooves, enhancing the level of grip to no end. For such a small change, the Loxley design team have revolutionised what is a classic style, creating a truly unique feel and one that has the potential to set a benchmark for future designs.
It was from this rear grip I hit my first 180 with these darts, using the additional grip to power through, using the poor first dart as a marker to smash home the other two!
The middle grip, much like the rear grip, is again a standard ring grip, this time without the lateral cuts. With a very similar feel to the rear grip on the Loxley Matthew Edgar darts, it allows the player using them to develop a consistent and fluent release, with no restrictions from the dart itself. While just a simple, unflattering grip, the grooves themselves appear to have been cut deeper than the aforementioned Loxley Matthew Edgar darts, resulting in a higher level of grip, with no risk of slipping or losing control of the dart mid-throw.
The front grip, around the taper of the dart, features an interesting micro-grip – something I’ve always been a personal fan of. The grip follows around the taper right to the point, acting as a secure point in which to feel for the front of the dart more effectively. For a player who holds the front of the dart, with a finger on the point, this could come in useful to ensure accurate finger placement, throw after throw, resulting in greater consistency at the oche.
I found these darts very easy to use, suiting whatever setup and throw style I attempted. The darts always flew consistently straight, with the odd dart going wayward due to human error. Thanks to the thicker barrel, I found I could use the first dart very effectively, resulting in plenty of 100’s and 140’s – something I didn’t expect, given that the darts are 3g heavier than what I’ve used for the last four years!
Appearance: 8/10 – Visually, the Scarlet’s are a very basic dart – but that’s not to say they’re not stunning to look at! With the Bristow-esque style, and Zachary Thornton’s (along with the rest of the Loxley design team) twist on the classic design, Loxley have created a dart that has the potential to go down as one of the most sought after darts on the market. With three unique grip sections, all moulding together into one dart, Loxley truly have a modern classic on their hands – and so could you, for under £40!
Balance: 10/10 – As I mentioned earlier, these darts have a very slight front weight, but this is something I personally didn’t realise until I checked mid-way through writing this review. To me, the darts felt perfect from every throwing position, feeling no resistance from the barrel. The dart stayed stable in my hand, allowing me greater control over my throw – faultless!
Grip: 9/10 – With three different grip sections, all offering their own unique style, there’s something for everyone with these darts. Need a sharper, more aggressive grip (like me)? The rear grip has you covered. Fancy a lighter, familiar grip, that allows for a consistent release? The central grip ticks the boxes. Or perhaps you prefer a smoother feel to the dart, but still need a fixed point in which to feel for as you set the dart? The front grip has that too, giving you unparalleled options and control over how you throw the dart.
Quality: 8/10 – Out of the box, these darts looked amazing, with no chips or damage to the barrels, not mis-cuts of the grooves. I was particularly interested to see how the front grip would hold up, and for me, I was slightly disappointed – yet I expected the results. After a few hours use, I could evidently see the grip beginning to chip away, which on one hand, isn’t good – obviously you want the grip to last. But on the other hand, with such a fine grip, small chips won’t affect the feel in the slightest, enhancing the grip if anything.
Value for Money: 10/10 – For under £35, you really cannot go wrong. Keeping in line with their other releases, Loxley have yet again created an affordable, entry-level dart, perfect for new and experienced players alike. For a dart with three unique styles of grip, as well as a barrel shape and design that has stood the test of time, these are a dart well worth investing in. Another great release from a company on the up!
Thank you again to Loxley for sending these out for me to review – it’s tough to call which have been my favourite set out of those I’ve reviewed, but I feel these may have just pipped the Loxley Matthew Edgar darts to first place. Such an easy dart to use, and an extremely comfortable feel to them… if they were 21g, I could definitely see myself giving these a go as match darts!
Author – Joe Reid