Chris White – Great White Shark
“Dart players are made, not born. I believe you can have a little bit of natural talent but after that it’s just hard work. ” Chris White
The History of Chris White
I grew up in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. I have always considered southern Ontario to have the strongest contingent of players in North America.
I got started in darts with my family. My grandfather was a really good player and played until he was in his mid-sixties. Everyone – my mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles all played darts. When I was about six years old, my family would have a little in-house dart league where they would meet with friends once a week to play. Because of that I found myself always watching. By the time I was eight, I was playing quite a bit. By age 10, I started playing in the youth dart league in my area. Ontario has a great youth dart organization.
I believe dart players are made, not born. I feel you can have a little bit of natural talent but after that it’s just hard work. Ages 14 through 16, I remember playing four hours a day. I came home for lunch, practiced for almost an hour and then back to school. After school I would be back on the practice board again as it was just what I wanted to do. You must be dedicated to practice. Practice until your arm falls off so to speak and you will see improvement. Some people are great out of the gate, like Eric Bristow, who was really good early in his career. For me, not that I was a poor player early on, but it wasn’t till about 30 I became the player that I am now. I believe I play better today than ever. I have learned how to play under pressure and things that used to bother me don’t anymore. I am a kind of a rhythm player. So when I’m playing against someone who has a similar style, I get into a sort of rhythm.
Young players have asked me – “What makes you better than other players?” They will say when they play really well against some, but against top players-not as well. Or they are focused and on point at home but all over the place at tournaments. I tell them-its just practice and experience. It took many quarter finals and finals events before I really started to feel comfortable there. I used to be nervous and would pace, now I’ve been in so many events I know how to handle it.
The Move to California
In the summer of 1998, my wife Kelly and I moved to Foster City, California. Our plan was to live here for five years or so and then move back to Toronto. Because of the love we had for the Bay Area, after our twins were born we decided to stay and have been here for 11 years. My other real passion is fishing. I own a bass boat and do a lot of bass fishing. When I’m not playing darts I try to fish at least once a week or on weekends.
I love the competition, the adrenaline rush of winning. Winning titles is the main goal. Certainly the money is getting bigger, but I never play for the money. Unless you are one of the top dart players in the world and can do the circuit in England, there isn’t enough money in darts in the US to make a living at it. I started playing soft tip in the US about six years ago and I’m currently playing in the Championship Darts Circuit for steel tip darts.
My nickname is ”Great White Shark”. I wasn’t tagged with that until I got to California. Maybe it’s because of the ocean or just because my last name is White. When I first moved here everybody was impressed with my game and they’d say “Have you seen this Chris White guy? He is great.” So Then, people started to call me the Great White which became the Great White Shark and the nickname stuck. Coming from Ontario, where darts are more popular, the skill set for players is fairly high. So when I first moved here, I was head and shoulders above everybody’s skill-level. However, the players have vastly improved since then. I am talking about my local league specifically- there were/still are plenty of great players in Northern California as a whole.
The hardest thing is traveling and leaving my family. When I was in England for two weeks it was tough to be gone for so long. Followed by tournaments at various cities on the weekends. Most big events are on the East coast or in England. So living on the West coast makes every flight a minimum six hours.
Kelly, my wife, is a big supporter of my darts and a fan of the sport. We’ve been together since I was 19. If it wasn’t for her support, I wouldn’t do as well in darts as I do. She isn’t a dart player but she has come to a lot of events to show support. My biggest sacrifice for my dart career is time with my family. There is definitely a lot of hours on the board in the garage practicing.
Chris White’s Wins
|DPLA Grand Champion||2019|
|Camellia Classic||2006, 2013, 2016, 2018|
|ADO Music City Classic||2018|
|ADO Tahoe-Biltmore Open||2018|
|ADO Buckeye Open||2016|
|ADO Yuba City Summer Classic||2016|
|ADO Gold Coast Shootout||2015|
|ADO San Diego Memorial||2015|
|ADO Wild West Shootout||2015|
|ADO Oregon Open||2014|
|ADO Sands Regency Open||2014|
|ADO Yuba-Sutter Summer Classic||2014|
|ADO Feather Falls Casino July Classic||2013|
|North American Pro Tour Sacramento||2013|
|MLD Battle of the Bay||2010|
|ADO Queen Mary Classic||2011, 2012, 2015|
|ADO Las Vegas Open||2007|