When Target got in touch with us just after the World Matchplay, offering us a set of the Power-9Five Generation 4 26g darts to review, the exact same darts which Phil Taylor had just used to win the tournament in Blackpool for a record 16th time, we did not need a second invitation.
As someone who has only really used darts weighing between 19-22g, it did feel a bit daunting at first when the darts to review arrived at Love The Darts HQ. Just a few days had passed since Taylor was using these darts (well, not this exact set!) to win the World Matchplay, and here I was trying them out for myself on my board at home.
Let’s start at the top of the dart: the flight. The Generation 4 darts are equipped with a ghost flight, a unique flight created by Target, which uses a UV chevron grip for ‘the best possible flight hold.’
And they are not wrong in that respect. I’m used to the flights falling out of my darts when entering the board from time to time, but with the Generation 4 darts not once did one of the flights come out, or even appear to be loose, so that certainly gets my approval.
The flights themselves are not the most durable, though, and I did notice after a few hours of use some tears had appeared. From my experience this is not an issue solely for the ghost flight, as my regular size flights will also encounter some wear and tear over time through general usage.
Moving further down the dart, the Generation 4 darts are fitted with a G4 Titanium Power Shaft, which the packaging says have been designed to Taylor’s ‘exact specification’ and are ‘specifically balanced for the stacking style of play ‘The Power’ is known for.’
I may not have been able to replicate the 16-time world champion’s ‘stacking style of play’ when using the Generation 4 darts, but I did get glimpses of it in action while playing with them.
In terms of the flight of the dart through the air, whenever a dart landed in the treble 20, and on top of the bottom wire, it was a rewarding feeling, being able to, momentarily, repeat the desired outcome which Taylor has achieved with these darts on many occasions this year.
Now onto the grip and the barrel of the dart. The Generation 4 uses a textured matt grip, which has been sandblasted by hand using fine particles to create this texture.
The result is a successful one, as it gives you a better grip when holding the dart at the rear of the barrel, while lower down the barrel, for those who use a central grip, a mix of precision milled axial grooves and radial synergy grooves also provide the darter with an improved grip.
I must say this part of the dart is probably my favourite. When looking for a dart to use, the grip has to be one of the areas which is important to get right. Get it wrong and you will struggle with your action and ultimately releasing the dart.
I found the grip on the Generation 4 darts to be beneficial to my throw, and even found after a few hours of using them that it had improved it and made it more smoother.
The bottom of the barrel uses a Black Titanium Nitride Coating, which also helps to enhance the grip of the dart, while the Black Diamond Pro point features a laser diamond pattern for ‘extra grip in the board.’
Before beginning the trial with the darts, I must admit when I first picked them up in my hand I was worried if they were going to stick in the board or not. My throw at times can be quite forceful, but I thought I may have to use even more power to try and keep them in the board.
However, this proved to be far from the case. I can recall perhaps one or two bounce outs from the hours I spent overall using the darts, which is a quite impressive figure on its own.
Even after a bad release, when the dart appeared to be hanging on and with an awkward trajectory in the board, when I went to retrieve it after my throw I found that it was stable in the board and was not loose at all.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Generation 4 darts. The retail price (£84.95) is not cheap and would put off some, but to own what is essentially a piece of sporting history does not come cheap I suppose.
These are the darts that Taylor has been using during his final season on the professional circuit, and will be the darts he uses for his final tournament, the World Championship, at the end of the year. So I can see how the price has been negotiated to that figure, and I’ll also point out the extra work that has been put in to make these darts look as appealing as they are.
The Generation 4 is a quality dart and it is to be expected given the player they have been designed for. Taylor has mastered them and in the, albeit, limited success I found with them compared to him it is a rewarding experience when you do find the bottom of the treble 20 with your first dart with the same trajectory which ‘The Power’ has famously done.
The 26g makes them easily the heaviest dart I have ever thrown with, so it has been a challenge to adjust to the weight, but I would expect that regardless of which 26g set of darts I was using.
I intend to continue practicing with them and seeing how much progress I can make. For players used to throwing in the 26g region I would expect a smoother transition, the Generation 4 darts are a thing of beauty!
4.5 out of 5 stars