Buying a dartboard
In my previous blog I discussed the possibilities when buying darts. Now I will go into the Dartboard. This blog will contain all differences and similarities of the different available boards, which will help you find the dartboard of your choosing.
Bull’s Advantage 501 Unicorn Eclipse HD2 Winmau Blade 5 Shot! Bandit Plus
All professional dartboards have one thing in common, they are manufactured using Sisal. This Sisal is known for its firmness. The sisal will be made into a sturdy plate, under high pressure. After this the different colours black, red and green will be serigraphed on the sisal plate.
Sisal comes from the sisal plant and is available in different qualities. The best sisal is from Africa (used in Bull’s Advantage). The second best is Brazilian sisal and the sisal from China is lowest in quality. This Chinese sisal is therefore mainly used in toy-like dartboards. Sisal dartboards should never get wet, this will attract funghi in no-time.
The sisal fibres in the dartboard are all directed upwards, which makes a dart go in easily. A dart gets between the sisal fibres, leave a tiny hole in the board. This hole will close after a while, because the sisal fibres will be moved by other throws.
Some players choose to play with special dart points, called grip points, because of two reasons. One is that it is an addition to the grip on their barrel and the other is that grip points will ‘grip’ the sisal fibres, which reduces the chance of the dart falling out of the board. However, these grip points will have a far more damaging effect on the sisal fibres than smooth points do, which will surely shorten the lifetime of your dartboard.
After colouring, the so called spider is placed on the sisal, creating the different beds for scoring. The wiring is not equal for every board. The cheaper boards, for example the Bull’s Classic, have slightly thick, round wires and the spider is clinched to the board. This results in a higher chance of bouncers, because there is more material on the board that the dart can bounce of from.
For the professional players, Darts Warehouse of course offers professional dartboards. The Unicorn Eclipse HD2 Pro is the board used on TV in every PDC event, the Winmau Blade is used by the BDO (for example on Lakeside) and the Bull’s Advantage is used by the WDF.
In these professional boards, the spider is not on the sisal, but pressed in the sisal. The wiring is less thick than the round wire in the recreational boards. Furthermore, stapling the spider is no longer needed. These things greatly decrease the material on the board that your dart can bounce off from. In for example the Bull’s Advantage bounce-offs have become almost impossible. A cheaper variant with the same features is the Bull’s Shark Pro dartboard.
A common discomfort while playing darts at home is the loud ‘tok’ you can hear while playing. This is caused by the wooden plate on which the sisal is pressed. A good solution is using a plastic plate instead, as seen in the Shot! Bandit Plus Board. This board has all the advantages of a professional dartboard and is produced using the very best African Sisal. This board is easily rotatable and makes less noise while playing and is therefore the perfect board in your personal dart room at home.
Rotate your Board
To extend the lifespan of your dartboard, every manufacturer advices to rotate your dartboard every once in a while. While the sisal is produced and treated very carefully, it will still be damaged when people start throwing metal tips at it! To divide the damage over the board, rotation is key. The ring with the numbers is rotatable for every dartboard and also every Bracket system is suitable for rotation. You will enjoy your board much longer. Please note that the ‘20’ should always have black and red beds!
Various bracket systems are available to put your board steady up on the wall. I will discuss two of them; the Rotate Fixing Bracket and the Click Fix Bracket, used in respectively the Bull’s Shark Pro and the Bull’s Advantage 501 dartboards.
The Rotate fix bracket consists of a bracket that should be put up on the wal land a round part, that fits in the bracket and should be screwed on the dartboard. Please make sure that the bracket is put on the correct height and that the round part is placed exactly in the middle of the dartboard. When everything is fixed, you can enjoy playing darts! This bracket system allows you to hang other boards as well, as long as they have a round part attached. Furthermore, rotating this board is very easy, because the round part can easily rotate in the bracket.
The Click Fix Bracket is like the Rotate Fix Bracket 2.0, the improved version. The bracket contains a built-in spirit level, to fix your bracket on the wall correctly. Furthermore, the round part has a few notches, which makes the round part click in the bracket. This way, your board will be thighter and righter than ever.
Of course, other brackets are also available. The Bristle Board Bracket is the standard bracket, provided with almost every board. Furthermore, you can find more extended Brackets like the Bull’s DartBoard Fix and the Unicorn Wall Clamp.