Product: Darts (Steel Tip)
Brand: Red Dragon
Model Name: AmberJacks
Variation / Edition: 14 23g
AmberJacks are a Red Dragon legacy range of, cosmetically coordinated, steel tip darts. There are around a dozen variations, of barrel type, with a mix between ring grip and knurled designs. The colour scheme ( Orange/Black/Natural) and styling ensure that the range is distinct from their other value ranges. Often the models appear to be slightly modified versions of player or other models.
The Amberjack 14 is a fine example, the wide ring grip, and gently tapering shape, is strongly reminiscent of Daryl Fittons’ usual dart. The grip is both simply and effective. The Amberjack 14 will suit most players but especially those with a firm throw who throw in an exact way.
At over less than £20 they are a nice piece of design, production and performance for the lower-cost end of the non-player market.
In the Box: 3 x AmberJack (14) 23g Barrels, 3 x Nitro Stems (Medium) & 3 x Hardcore badged flights. Both are orange & black in theme.
“A simple, solid and nice-looking dart with a classic grip and nice feel”
“I love the shape, the front section is nicely shaped, but feels like deep/sharp old fashioned ring grip”
“….Great combination of style and performance, best value dart I have come across for a while”.
A.I.M used a couple of different players including one strong amateur and one youth player. We subjected the AJ14 to a variety of throw styles, conditions and setups. In total at least one hundred legs and close to two thousand darts were thrown. Our testers used the dart in a variety of circumstances including practice and competition.
In addition to the supplied set up, Nitro Stems & Hardcore flights players were asked to try their own or any other set up they felt might complement this type of dart.
- First Impressions: All three of our testers were very impressed with the general look of the AJ14 model. The ring cut grips were familiar and the colour scheme was deemed attractive. Our three players liked the initial feel of the dart in their hand. The words “smooth and comfortable” were used. Both players were keen to try the dart and thought the shape might be worth a try for them.
- Performance: Our youth player was most strongly positive about the AJ14. He was of the view that the dart performed very well and felt very comfortable in the hand. He felt his consistency level improved. He suspected that this was because he was having to concentrate on each dart and not assume anything. In addition, our more social player was less keen, the grip style did not seem to suit their very loose hold on the dart. But he liked the shape in general.
- Downsides: Our serious player was intrigued by AJ14 overall. As he uses a very strong grip, he liked the feel of the dart but felt the overall grip was not strong enough.
- The Tech Bit: For such a heavily engineered dart AJ14 come in at a slim 6.9mm wide. The subtle grip pattern combines to create the impression of an even slimmer dart. The 50.8mm length is the middle point in recent times and allows many different throw styles to feel comfortable. The ring cut grip is wider than some and more in line with ‘Bristow’ style darts than the more recent narrow cuts.
- Durability: Amberjacks (14) stood up very well over the 100+ legs. Our social player barely made a mark on them over a whole weekend. Our strong amateur caused the usual surface marks and our elite player maximised the contact between the arrows. Yet, due to the colour scheme and styling, no difference was noticed to the appearance of the dart in the board. In the hand, the darts felt very comfortable and slipped from hand to hand with ease. It should be noted that the tapered shape and smooth surface seem to decrease wear and tear on the flights.
Marks – 8/10: Both testers gave these the same marks. They were impressed by them and thought they were an exceptional value dart. But each had reservation due to grip and or shape.
A.I.M: This is an excellent dart for a highly competitive price. There are few better, that we have come across, for less than £20. The supplied set up is good quality and works well. Any similar set also seems to be effective.
Careful players, rather than rhythm styles, seem to like this dart very much. The tapered style seems to benefit the accuracy of those who throw individual darts. AJ14 were best used by those who held the rear section, close to the stem, or the midsection, near the widest point.
Shorter set ups failed and seemed less stable. Pear & kite flights also seem inadequate.