On this page you will find out everything you need to know about getting started playing darts. From the components of a darts to how to care for your bristle dartboard. Everything is here....1. How did darts evolve?
2. What are the components of a dart?
3. How do I hold a dart?
4. Steel tip vs Soft tip darts?
5. Why are tungsten darts superior?
6. Why different flights
7. How do I care for my Bristle dartboard? .
8. How do I hang dartboard?/How to hang a dartboard for a Wheel chair player
9. How do I hang the new Bracket?
10. How do I hang the old style metal bracket?
11. What weight of dart should I buy?
12. How to use a dart sharpener
13. Why Cleaning your darts is important!
14. Wear and tear on Flights and Shafts
16. Long or Short shafts?
As shown in Diagram A, there are 4 basic parts to a dart: the point, the barrel, the shaft and the flight.
The point of the dart is either steel or plastic known as soft tip. Other than this basic distinction, the other components of the dart are essentially the same for both steel-tip and soft-tip darts.
The essential part of the dart is the barrel, because the shaft, flight and even the point can be changed. Therefore, the darter should pick his/her dart on the basis of the barrel design that is best for them.
Most dart barrels are made of brass, nickel/silver, or tungsten/nickel alloys. Beginning darters will typically use brass or nickel/silver darts because they are the least expensive. However, a major objective in darts is developing the ability to put all 3 darts close together in a tight grouping. The thickness of brass and nickel/silver barrels can crowd out following darts, preventing tight groupings and high scores.
Better players use tungsten darts because tungsten is roughly twice as dense as brass, which means that, for the darts of the same weight, a tungsten dart is almost twice as thin as a brass dart. Tungsten is alloyed with nickel to give it strength. The higher the percentage of tungsten in the barrel, the better the dart.
Darts can also be shaped differently to suit different throwing styles i.e. front weighted balanced or back weighted. Because shafts and flights wear out regularly during play, darts are designed to allow for replacement of these parts. As a result, there are hundreds of different flights and shafts available, which allows the darter to customise his/her dart set.
Beginners often ask, "What's the right way to hold a dart?" There is no 'right' way. This is a very personal thing, which cannot be dictated by someone else. You can hold a dart like a pen, with the first finger over the barrel and second finger under the barrel. You can hold it with the first two fingers over the barrel and the third finger steadying the point, or you can hold it with all four fingers on the dart. One thing is certain: it's the leverage of the thumb that transmits the throwing force to the dart. That force is accentuated by the rotation of your forearm swing of your hand over the wrist joint. Your fingers serve to hold the dart to the power source (your thumb) and coordinate the release. Your fingers do not provide the power but are responsible for the smooth launch of the dart. Remember, your thumb contributes the power; your fingers promote accuracy.
The two most popular versions of darts are:
This is due to the tungsten being a denser material and therefore heavier which allows a dart to be machined in a smaller diameter which means you can pack more darts into a small space like the bulls eye.
While many purists may still cling to the belief that the feather is the only suitable material to fit on the end of a dart, there are now many superior materials. The chromalux flights used by Puma are virtually weightless and perfectly matched. Their primary function is to stabilise the flying dart on its horizontal axis. Puma's modern flights do exactly that. They have such exact symmetry that the fins precisely divide the airflow and thus centralise the dart on its flight path. And they are so thin they offer no resistance to the airflow and do not slow the dart in its flight. PUMA flights come in four basic shapes:
Kite dart flights have a smaller area, thus giving the dart faster flying speed.
Teardrop dart flights allows maximum lift from a small flight and tends to keep the tail of the dart down.
Slim dart flights are designed for the fast-flying dart and allows the tail to stay low.
Lantern dart flights are similar to the kite shape, slight more back heavy trajectory.
With experimentation, you'll find the one that's for your game.
All Puma Darts and Shot! bristle boards made in New Zealand have been manufactured with high grade sisal to ensure the durability and longevity of the dartboard. However dartboards, like any product, need to have the wear evenly spaced across the entire surface of the board or the board will in fact become prematurely worn out through over-compaction of the sisal. All Puma darts boards are fitted with a moveable number ring, which should be rotated on a regular basis. A board that is regularly used should be rotated at least fortnightly by moving the '20' through to the next blank segment i.e., '20' would become '12'. The only area of the board, which cannot be protected by turning, is the bullseye area. It is essential that when you are practicing you do not continually practice your play on the bullseye, as this area of the board will wear out. Remember to spread your wear.
Follow diagram 1 to set up your dartboard in accordance with the accepted rules of the sport. It's recommended that you have a mat or a carpet strip (approximately 3 feet wide and extending 2'6" beyond the throwing line) to protect you floor or carpeting from wear and damage. The throwing distance 7'91/4" (2.37m) is called the throwing line or toe line. Be sure to measure from the face of the board; dropping a plumbline to the floor is one way. If that's not practical for you, just borrow a trick from Pythagoras. Stretch a tape from the centre of the bullseye to the floor. A distance of 9'73/8" on this diagonal is the correct location of your throwing line.
How to set up a dart board for a Wheelchair Player
Following an historic ruling in 2010 by Australia’s peak darting body “Darts Australia”, a second official board height has now been acknowledged as fair and equivalent for use by players throwing from a wheelchair. Please visit www.wheelchairdarts.com for full details of the ruling.
Set up instructions are below:
Either or both REAR wheels may be against, but not on or in front of the throwing line during the throw.
Either or both FRONT wheels may be in front of the throwing line during the throw.
Note: Both the wall bracket and flange have a centre hole
Note: On the Bandit Plus, the flange is already ready mounted on backing board
One screw in the centre of the back of the board, you should see a small dimple in the centre of the backing board, if not measure and mark the centre. Screw in to approx 3mm from the top of the head to the board. The two other screws and the metal bracket are fixed to the wall at the centre height as mentioned in the measurements (5ft 8in or 1.73m), the knotch facing upwards and the centre bump faces towards you.
weight for steel tip and 18gm for soft tip darts. If you throw with quite an arc you are often best with a lighter dart and if throw reasonably straight then you are more suited to a heavier dart.
You need a dart sharpener. Without sharpening the tips of darts, they get dull and don't stick in the board. No matter how perfect a player's aim is, in the end it won't matter if their darts don't stay in the board.
1.Rub the end of the dart on the stone. Hold the dart parallel to the sharpening stone and lightly rub the dart’s end across the stone’s surface. Make sure to rotate the dart to properly sharpen all sides evenly. Check the tip continuously to ensure that it is sharpening properly and adjust sharpening accordingly.
To greatly extend the useful life of your darts, clean them regularly. Any mild cleaner that can remove oil will do: moist towelletes (wipes) are great (alcohol based ones not the ones that contain hand lotion!) or hand soap.
By cleaning your darts you will not only make them last longer, but will also restore much of the grip by removing both the slippery feeling and the particles filling-in the hollows of the knurling.
Flights are the most vulnerable part of your dart so it pays to check them over regularly for wear and damage, so to shafts. If notice your darts wobble on throw may be a sign to check them. It always pays to carry a spare set of each. Some players like the dart protector on their flights to protect the central join against splitting when in play, these are an affordable accessory.
It is worth buying a throwline as are quite affordable with these you measure and put done once rather than measuring out all the time as they are quite deep 10cm they do not tend to creep as sometime tapes does.
Using different length shafts and dart flights will change the way the dart fly’s. There isn’t a best shaft or flight to use as this is personal preference. If you are a watcher of darts and new to the game you will notice all darters will have their own preference in shaft length and type, plastic, metal, aluminium and nylon.
As a guide Short shafts tend to move the centre of gravity of the dart towards the front end of the barrel. For good throwing most dart throwers hold their darts at this point so if you hold your darts at the front end of the barrel the short shafts might be best suited to your throw. Long shaft will effectively move the centre of gravity of the dart towards the back, so if you throw your darts holding them at the back of the dart a long shaft my suit you better than short shafts.
But really it is best to keep trialling different options to see which combination suits your personal throwing style.