Peter Wright concedes he’s running out of darts in his pursuit of perfection
Peter Wright has revelled in his role as darts’ ultimate tinkerer. The Scot has fulfilled his World Championship dream, won multiple major titles and currently sits second in the world, but he concedes that he is running out of equipment in his pursuit of perfection.
Throughout the last decade, Snakebite has become synonymous for his Mohican haircut and outlandish attire, but his penchant for changing darts is also part of the Peter Wright package.
The Scot – renowned for changing his arrows mid-match – secured his second Pro Tour title of 2021 at last week’s Super Series, but he told the Darts Show podcast that he is planning a drastic change in approach.
- Snakebite claims final day Super Series honours
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“I came back and I got rid of all my darts apart from the set I used, and I’ve just got to try and stick with them until at least after Blackpool. That is my target but it’s very hard. I’m already changing flights and stems,” Wright joked.
The 51-year-old continued to tinker at the Super Series but, following early exits on each of the opening two days, Wright avenged a quarter-final defeat by Rob Cross by defeating ‘Voltage’ 6-1 en route to the title the following day.
“The first two days I was trying out different darts, different throwing styles and different length of points on the World Championship darts, but obviously they didn’t work,” he admitted.
“I actually changed three times on the third day. I know it was 6-5 against Rob Cross but it was only the flight that made the difference because it was a little bit too wide, and the dart kicked to the right a lot when I played him.
“He played well the day before. I think he played roughly at his best and I wasn’t even on the tip of the iceberg of my game, so I knew if I ran into him the following day, I should win quite easily.”
It is testament to Wright’s extraordinary natural ability that he’s enjoyed the success he has while continuing to chop and change, although with next month’s World Matchplay his priority, continuity is his major objective.
“I’m trying to work on my throw at the moment to get it consistent all the time,” Wright continued.
“It is very difficult playing with the Diamond darts, which I love playing with and I hate playing with, because I just go through a stage where I hate picking them up.
Wright’s 2021 season…
Peter Wright’s seasonal average of 97.43 is the fourth best on the PDC circuit, bettered only by Jose De Sousa (99.35), Jonny Clayton (98.66) and Gerwyn Price (98.54).
“What I normally do when I’m fed up with them and start hitting 12s when going for 20s, I go and pick up another set of darts – completely different, throwing a different style as well, just to get it out of my head to keep all the negatives away and keep positive.”
Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld both freshened up their equipment on a regular basis in a bid to evolve and improve, but Snakebite takes the crown of tungsten tinkerer.
“There’s not much left out there that I haven’t tried!” he quipped. “There are certain darts that I want to use. I have tried using them in floor tournaments and they don’t work.
“I have tried using some of them on TV and it’s annoying because they work in the practice room and then they don’t transfer to the stage. It’s bringing them into games when it’s for money and rankings, then it matters when you are put under that amount of pressure.”
“It’s not done me too bad. I’ve got No 2 in the world and I’m only £280,000 off the No 1 spot.”
“Michael [van Gerwen] got away with that, because I mucked about on doubles, but I know I’ve got him in the pocket so that’s not a problem.”
Fighting talk from Snakebite…
Wright was riding the crest of a wave in early 2020. He followed up his world title triumph by lifting the Masters crown just a month later, although the coronavirus pandemic curtailed his chances of enjoying the world champion’s treatment.
The colourful Scot did add the European Championship title to his haul last October, but he’s failed to advance beyond the semi-finals in six televised events since then.
“It is horrible playing behind closed doors, but luckily enough the sport is still going ahead. I wasn’t nervous going out there, there weren’t any butterflies.
“You want to go out and impress people. Yes, you have got millions of viewers watching, but you forget that. You feel like you’re just playing in your own room. It was stale from my point of view.
“Big prize money was up for grabs and I just couldn’t get my head round it. Other players dealt with it well and I didn’t, but when fans came back, I beat the players who were in the [Premier League] top four.”
Snakebite’s Premier League record is underwhelming for a player of his calibre. He has only made the play-offs twice in eight appearances, but concerns over the health of his wife Jo were also a factor in his seventh place finish.
However, the colourful Scot was buoyed by his strong finish to the campaign which coincided with the return of fans, and he was typically bullish when discussing his aspirations for the remainder of 2021.
“Jonny [Clayton] who won it – he drew with me and then I beat him. I drew with Jose [De Sousa] and Michael [van Gerwen] got away with that, because I mucked about on doubles, but I know I’ve got him in the pocket so that’s not a problem.
“I was playing rubbish back then and I’ve gone up so many gears from then. Two years ago when I went to the Matchplay, I had 21 averages over 100 on the trot, so I will be looking to do the same sort of thing approaching the Matchplay.
“I am going to win the Worlds and the Matchplay this year, so get the double on. Put a pound on it, or 50p!”
Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens in July, with nine days of coverage from the iconic Winter Gardens and the World Matchplay – the action gets underway on Saturday July 17.
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