Buying your first set of darts can seem to be a really simple task. You might just think of going to a nearby shop, buy the best set available there and that’s it. But in reality, it is not really that simple. Buying the first set of darts can be really daunting. There are a lot of things that will require consideration on your way buying the first set of darts. How to choose a dart is a real time question. Here is hence, a simple and quick guide that will help you to choose the right dart for you:
In the game of darts, there are mainly three types of tips that are available and you will require choosing one from amongst, the soft tip, the steel tip or the hard tip.
While the steel or hard tip dart is costly to replace but can be sharpened, the soft tip darts are those that are used in the modern times which are easily maintainable. But at the end of the day, the choice depends on the board that you will require playing on
The barrel is responsible for maintaining the grip of the dart. Therefore, while you buy a barrel for your dart ensure that it feels comfortable to hold and grip. This is the best way to buy a barrel. A barrel is made up of various kinds of material like copper, nickel, silver, etc., the tungsten seems to be the most favourite of renowned dart players. The barrels with tungsten alloys can have better strength and grip and leaves a better scoring chance. Although as a beginner, the brass barrel can be the best choice.
The shaft is responsible for maintaining a good distance between the flight and the barrel. Just like the barrel, shafts are also made of various material, with titanium being the best option.
The most important part of a dart is the colorful parts that you will find, the flights. They help in maintaining the stability of the fly of the dart. There are numerous options that you will find choose the one that best suits you, just remember, to use the same flights for all three shots.
What gram should I use for a perfect shot? If this is your question, then, remember, that a heavier dart is easier to throw. The shot taken by a heavier dart can be relaxed and more comfortable while, a lighter dart requires putting in more strength. Steel tip darts are hence, heavier and a better choice for beginners while the soft tip darts are better for more seasoned players.
Other than these, the balance of the dart, the grip, and many other things are there that can regulate your game but while you buy these are the most important things to consider.
Although choosing the shape of a dart light does not really affect the game and is generally based on the personal choice. While a standard shape flight is for someone who throws a curve shot, a slimmer shaped flight is for someone is can throw straighter. Here is a quick view at the different shapes of the flight available:
The flight can also be of different weights:
The different types of locks and rings:
You can also use a dart protector on the lights of the dart to give it a better and longer life. It keeps away the flight from quick wear and tear.
The weight of the dart depends on how you wish to throw a dart. While a heavier dart is easier and relaxing to throw, a lighter dart requires a more powerful throw. Darts generally weight between 12 to 50 grams. Although players using darts heavier than 30 grams is hard to find. Your throwing speed will determine the right choice of the dart weight for you. Another thing to remember is that, the position of the weight on the barrel will also affect a shot. While some are heavier at the front, others are heavier at the back. Try a few shots to know your level of comfort before you buy.
This is a question asked by a lot many people. While most of the professional games allow a dart to be of 50 grams of weight but a majority of the professional players, use an 18 to 23 grams weighted dart while playing with a brass dart. For players using a tungsten dart 23 to 26 grams is the most ranging weight.
Dart flights are mainly made of plastic. And most of the players use different shaped dart flights available for a smoother shot. Unlike dart shafts, dart flights are not really made of different types of material.
The 4 main parts of a dart:
All you need to play darts is a dartboard, a wall to hang it on, and a set of darts. It doesn’t take much equip.
ent to get started, and for under $100, you can pick up some top quality gear. This is all well and good, but if you want to get the most out of the game, you are going to have to shell out some extra bucks.
There is so much darting paraphernalia out there, you can get overwhelmed with the choices. So apart from the basic equipment, what else do you really need for a perfect home setup? Without further ado, here are my must-have items to get the best out of your home darts.
Let There be Light
I cannot stress enough how important good dartboard lighting is. There is nothing more distracting than shadows on the board cast by other darts. Good lighting makes it easier to see what you are aiming at, and will help improve your game. Plus, there is nothing worse than having to walk to the board to check where your dart landed after every shot.
One of the best ways to light your dartboard is with a track light with two adjustable spots. Mount the track light about four feet away from the board, with one spot shining in from the right, and the other coming in from the left. Adjust the spotlight heads to find the right angles that cover the board with light. This flood of light on the dartboard coming from different directions will help cancel out most of the worst shadows. If the room it already well lit, the ambient light along with the spots will reduce the number of shadows even further. Adding a third center spot will further improve visibility.
For an even better solution, use a fluorescent lamp in conjunction with the spotlights. Mount the fluorescent fixture directly above the dartboard. This will give a diffused light across the face of the board, and will help eliminate virtually all shadows.
If you have your dartboard out in the garage, this might be a moot point. But if you are bringing your dartboard indoors, you need to protect the wall where the board will be mounted.
The most attractive way to protect your wall is with a dartboard cabinet. The beauty of these is they not only conceal your dartboard, but usually have built-in chalkboards for score keeping, and a place to store your darts. Dartboard cabinets can add a finishing touch to your game room as they are available in all manner of finishes, from traditional pub signs to your favorite sports teams, and everything in between. When the cabinet is open, it offers great protection to the left and right of the dartboard, but it doesn’t offer as much protection for errant shots above or below the board.
One of the cheapest ways to protect your walls from stray missiles is with a simple dart backboard. These are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and tend to cover a greater area than a cabinet would. If you are the handy type, making your own with some plywood and a roll of felt shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
If you want to go for the match play look, a surround is a great option. This is a ring of dense foam that slips over your board and gives you about four or five inches of added protection around the board. It adds a more authentic match play feel to your darts setup, but it protects a relatively small area, so if you are just starting out, it would be better to avoid this.
Writing this stuff down on paper just doesn’t cut it. You need a proper dart scoreboard to mark down your current scores. Having the scoreboard mounted in plain view near the dartboard makes it easier for every player to change their mind after each bad throw. Chalkboards are the most common type of scoreboard, but you can also use a dry erase board. If you play a lot of cricket, look for a board with cricket numbers already marked on it. There are thousands of games you can play with darts, and very few of them require no scoring, so you need a scoreboard.
One thing well worth investing in is a heavy duty vinyl dart mat. Dart bounce-outs will happen, and a good quality dart mat will help protect your carpets or hardwood floors from these errant darts. All dart mats come marked with throw lines so you don’t have to mark one on your floors, and they can be rolled up and hidden away when not in use.
So there are what I consider the essential items you need for a good home dartboard setup. Not only will you get more out of your dart playing with these, they can also save you money on home renovations.
It’s an old mantra you hear time and time again—practice makes perfect, and the only way you are going to improve your darts scores is getting into a regular practice routine. Establishing a regular practice routine will help you improve your muscle memory, which will result in higher and more consistent scoring.
If you are serious about improving your darts, then it’s a must to have your own dartboard set up, or at least a dartboard you can access everyday. The key is to practice daily, and while this might scare some of you off, a short daily practice of ten minutes or so will produce better results than one weekly marathon session. Committing the time to practicing is one of the biggest hurdles you have to cross, but from small acorns grow mighty oaks.
The key to practice is to develop routines that work the board. If you just throw at triple 20s all the time, you might become good at them but you won’t be any good at finishing a game. You should take practice as seriously as a match. Ensure that your practice time is going to be free form interruptions so your mind is focused solely on your darts. It is also very important to record your scores every practice session so you can see how your averages improve over time.
How you pick your routines is going to be based on the time you can commit. I try to put in at least 30 minutes a day of practice, but it’s been two weeks since my last practice session thanks to the Christmas break. Hey, I’m only human!
First thing you always need to do is loosen up. I like to go around the board, hitting every number in sequence, a couple of times to get myself warmed up. This gives me time to relax and concentrate on my stance, grip, and throwing action.
What I do next generally depends on what kind of mood I’m in. There are a lot of routines I go through, but I rarely have time to work them all in one session. As I record all my practices and put them onto a spreadsheet, I can see which ones I’ve been neglecting and in what areas I need to practice more. Here are some of my regular routines.
I play at lot of ’01 games when I’m practicing, not just to improve my game, but also because I suck at the math! What I do when playing through ’01 games is to play against an imaginary partner, and I’ve got to take the game in a set number of darts. You can set the number of darts to finish the game in to suit your skill level, but it should still be a challenge.
For 501 games, if it’s taking you about 30 darts to play through a game of 501, then set your goal at 27 darts to finish for a win. Keep pushing yourself as you achieve your targets, and soon you’ll be throwing nine dart finishes for fun. Well, we can dream! Remember to record your dart averages, and the numbers of wins and losses.
301 games obviously take a lot fewer darts to finish, so I always play double-in to start. Like the 501 game, I keep a record of my darts averages and yes, every time I can’t hit that double to start I’m putting it down as a zero. This can get very frustrating when I’m having an off day!
To mix things up, I’ll occasionally throw some 701 and 1001 games just for extra practice on the 20s.
There are numerous other ’01 variations you can use to spice up your practice. Ones I like to add into the mix are doubles-in, triples-in, and bulls-in to start.
Round the board games contribute a lot to my practice sessions, and for good reason. They give you a chance to shoot at every number on the board. When going round the board, I will aim for singles of each number finishing with a bull, then I will go round again just going for doubles of each number, and then I’ll do a round going for the triples of each number. Each time I play through a round, I record how many darts it takes me to complete and try to beat it next time. Another way I like to play round the board is to throw three in a bed on each number. Another way to play is to “Shanghai” each number on the board. A Shanghai is when you hit the single, triple, and double of a number with three darts.
I do like to play cricket, so it makes sense to put some cricket routines into the mix. I usually like to start of with a few rounds of quick cricket. This is just throwing for the numbers and seeing how many darts it takes to close everything. Then I will also play against my imaginary friend, giving him the benefit of the doubt so he scores three singles each round, meaning I have to hit some doubles and triples on my way to imaginary glory.
Shanghai is a game I rarely play, but I do like like using it for practice sessions as it involves the whole board if you do a full twenty rounds. Like when doing cricket practice, I give my opponent three singles each round so I have a score to beat, but I’m looking to win each with a Shanghai. If you find this one too easy, you can also add a rule that your Shanghais are in an order like single first, double second, and triple on the third dart.
There’s nothing wrong with just shooting at common targets like the bull and triple twenty. Just don’t overdo it or that’s all you’ll ever be able to hit. As well as giving a little extra time to these areas, also work your magic doubles, especially that magic double 16. Speaking of the pesky 16, I like to practice just trying to get a single on that S.O.B. I don’t know why, but that’s a real bogey number for me. Whenever I’m throwing for 16s in cricket ,the dartitis always seems to strike and I’ve thrown many a game from my incompetence at this target. Identify any of your weak numbers and hammer the buggers till they are conquered. Scratch that—don’t obsess on them. Think positive, and you’ll soon reach darting nirvana.
So there are some tips for some practice routines you can do. They don’t have to be a chore. If you enjoy playing darts, you should enjoy practicing.
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