Report by Matthew Beard
Launch of Werner ‘s inventive Partnership with the Professional Darts Corporation and 16-time World Darts Champion, Phil Taylor.
On a chilly Thursday evening in November, we made the trip up from Sussex to increasingly glamorous Shoreditch, to attend the launch of ‘Gravity Darts’, an event hosted by Werner Ladders.
The chosen venue was the Beach Babylon Bar, a sexy, upmarket establishment superbly located along the Bethnal Green Road. While originally from the state of Pennsylvania, Werner’s British base is Belper, Derbyshire. They are a brand with big plans for the UK Market, as emphasised by the colourful display of various Ladders from Werner we were greeted with as we walked down the stairs.
Kicking off proceedings was WernerCo’s Vice President of Marketing, Chris Filardi, who spoke of their UK growth in 2014, along with their partnership with the Professional Darts Corporation, Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor, and PDC supremo Barry Hearn. The charismatic Hearn was next up to speak, and regaled us with the story of the rise of Darts in the UK, and the importance for the sport to continue to evolve, to innovate, but most importantly, to remain fun.
Soon after the speeches finished, we started to really get to grips with Gravity Darts, trying to understand the philosophy behind this new sport and by taking practice turns. Looking in from an outsider’s perspective, the premise of Gravity is pretty simple; you climb up a sturdy Werner Ladder before dropping three arrowed missiles down onto a dartboard, which is lying flat on the floor. However once up you are up on the resilient Ladder from Werner, it was slightly more testing. Despite showing promise from my early efforts, the more I attempted to perfect my Gravity Darts technique, the harder it became, leaving me concerned and unsure of myself with regards to the upcoming competition.
The group gathered in anticipation around the Dart Board and the Werner Ladder, and it was soon time for renowned Master of Ceremonies John MacDonald to get us underway, alongside Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor. The pair’s rapport allowed the competition to bobble along nicely, but that did not stop my nerves, which really had started to kick in. Different scenarios began playing on my mind. What if I missed the board? What if I was rubbish? What if I fell off the ladder? (The ladder wasn't particularly high off the ground, but would've been embarrassing none the less). Before long, John was reading out my name and it was time. I stepped up, grabbed the darts and clambered up the ladder and prepared to drop my first Dart. Luckily, due to the strength and fine craftsmanship of Werner’s products, this particular apparatus, aptly named the Podium Ladder, is the perfect platform to drop a dart. While I would not say my Gravity Darts début set the world on fire, it was a lot of fun and I can certainly see it playing a big part in the meteoric rise of the sport, with Werner certainly the go-to choice of ladder when playing, and indeed for any ladder related activity. Many thanks to WernerCo for an excellent evening, as well as making such a fantastic selection of ladders.