8 weirdest darts throws from Dennis Smith to Eric Bristow’s iconic pinkie flick
Darts might seem like a simple game, but it's a lot more complicated than it looks – especially when it comes to each player's throw.
Each player, whether that be Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen or current world champion Peter Wright, has a throwing style that is unique to them and them alone. While there's nothing particularly distinctive about the way the above trio release their arrows, the same can't be said for everyone.
The likes of Richie Burnett, Dennis Smith and the late Eric Bristow developed throwing actions through their careers that would horrify any darts coach – but worked for them. Daily Star Sport takes a look back at eight of the weirdest ever throws in darts, starting with the Crafty Cockney himself.
Eric Bristow is proof that there's nothing wrong with trying your own style. Bristow's technique – pinkie finger outstretched like he was sipping Earl Grey at an upmarket tea party – initially marked him out for jokes.
But those who scoffed were left laughing on the other side of their faces as the Crafty Cockney dominated the darts scene during the 1980s, winning five world titles in 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985 and 1986.
The cheeky Londoner's throw might not have been correct by conventional standards, but that didn't matter as he made the game his own with his unique way of throwing. Five world titles don't lie, after all.
Who do you think has the best throw in darts? Let us know in the comments section.
In his heyday, Mark Hylton reached the last-16 of the world championship and the quarter-finals of the UK Open and the World Grand Prix. But his throw marked him out as a little bit different from the rest.
Mile High, as he was known on account of his work as a cabin manager at Birmingham Airport, had so much movement in his arm and his lean that it was a miracle he managed to hit the target at all.
Paul Nicholson, writing for Sporting Life in 2020, said of Hylton: "It was distracting to watch – even though it wasn’t his intention to put you off – and he also walked away from the board after retrieving his darts faster than anyone I’ve ever seen!"
There's nothing wrong with Richie Burnett's throw itself. The Prince of Wales has a release as smooth as anyone. It's what happens to the rest of his body when he lets the dart goes that is of interest to us.
The 55-year-old, who won the 1995 BDO World Championship, retorts his entire body into a completely unnatural position following the release of each dart.
When he releases the stick of tungsten he curls his leg and arches his back, making for an extremely unusual throwing action. Darts fans have been seeing a lot more the Welshman's throw recently after his won his Tour Card back in January.
Alan Caves won't be a name familiar to too many darts fans. The Caveman (obviously) reached the PDC world championship on three occasions in the mid-2000s, memorably beating Wayne Mardle in 2007.
Mardle might have had an unconventional walk-on, but it was Caves who had an unconventional throw as he shunned the traditional way of doing things in favour of his own unique method.
It's difficult to describe the exactly how 56-year-old let go of his arrows, but it sorted of resembled a card flicking motion with the star somehow managing to throw across his body.
Nothing makes sense about the way Finnish star Petri Korte throws his darts. The 55-year-old came to prominence in 2012 when he faced James Wade in the first round at the Alexandra Palace, and no one could believe his throwing style.
Nicknamed Kalle, the Finn holds the dart he is about to throw in front of his face with one hand – nothing too odd about that. But he also places his left hand in front of his face in a stance that no one has ever seen anywhere else.
From the pub to the Premier League, all darts players position their non-throwing arm on the opposite side of their body to the arm they're throwing with. Not Korte, who swapped a three foot transition for a six inch one in one of most bizarre throws in history.
Dennis Smith was a regular presence at PDC events from the 1990s right through to the mid-2010s, twice reaching the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix and once making the last four at the world championship.
His throw, however, was very peculiar. Walking up to the oche, Smith initially used to position his dart in a similar way to Eric Bristow, with his pinkie out. But he then did something very odd indeed.
Instead of releasing the arrow, Smiffy then turned the dart back on itself, so the flight faced the board, before correcting his action and pinging it forward. Unusual and iconic.
Nicknamed The Matchstick because of his balding head and very thin appearance, Co Stompe became a firm fan favourite when he joined the PDC from the BDO in 2009. He held his own, too, twice reaching the quarter-finals at Ally Pally.
The Dutchman didn't have a particularly outrageous throw compared to some, but it was still unusual. Before releasing his darts, the former World Cup of Darts winner used to make two very pronounced practice throws, before finally letting go.
Another huge fan favourite, John Henderson should probably come out to Rockin' All Over the World by Status Quo, given his unique approach to throwing a dart.
The Scotsman, who reached the semi-final of the World Grand Prix in 2017, likes to rock back and forth before he throws, giving you the sense that he might end up on the board with his equipment.
It works for him, though, and his iconic walk-on means he's one of the most loved players on the circuit among fans.
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