Hit the Bull! Answers to all your dart questions
Darts is one of the most popular participation sports in the world. Here’s a guide to everything you ever wanted to know about darting. From hanging your board, to fine tuning your throw, get the tips that will have you throwing 180’s in no time.
How do I set up my dart board?
Choose an appropriate location in a low traffic area. You will need a space approximately 4 feet by 11 feet. Also consider your flooring. Hardwood and linoleum flooring will show holes, darts bounce out from time to time. A concrete, stone, or tile floor can break darts and dull them quickly. You might want to consider a “dart mat”. This roll out rubber mat serves several functions; it protects the floor, it protects the darts from breaking and dulling and marks the proper distance to the throw line.
Hanging the Board: The board needs to be hung exactly 5 foot 8 inches from the floor to the CENTER OF THE BULLSEYE.
Marking the Throw Line: The throw line, also known as the oche (pronounced “okkey”), or toe-line should be about 2-3 feet wide. It may be made of tape, a store bought throw-line sticker, a piece of wood or metal. It should be placed exactly 7 feet 9 and 1/4 inches from the FACE of the board for a standard steel-tipped setup. For soft-tipped darts, the line should be 8 feet from the FACE of the board. (NOTE: Some British pubs use an 8 foot or 8 foot 6 inch measurement for steel tip darts.)
7’ 9-1/4” from the board to the throw
line (or 9’ 7-3/8” when measured diagonally
from the bull’s eye to the throw line)
Preferably 2’ open on both sides of the board.
(Darts are sharp!)
The dartboard comes with a bracket for the wall or inside your dart cabinet and a screw that goes in the back, centre of the board that hangs in the bracket. The board should be mounted flush to the wall --not leaning-- with the number 20 directly at the top
What type of dart board is best for me?
Bristle dartboards are best for pub, club, home and tournament play. Bristle dart boards are constructed from millions of densely packed compressed sisal bristles. The sisal allows the dart to penetrate the board and the hole created by the dart to heal up after the dart is removed.
What is the difference between brass and tungsten?
Tungsten is twice as dense or heavy as brass. Barrels made with tungsten will therefore be half the size, resulting in closer grouping and higher scoring. Beginners normally start with brass or nickel/silver darts and then advance to more expensive tungsten darts once they have developed basic playing skills.
Why do darts come in different percentages of tungsten?
The higher the percentage, the slimmer the dart will be, resulting in increase scoring chances. 97% is the highest percentage tungsten that is commercially produced and 70% is the minimum. Anything made of lesser percentage than this is too bulky for the player who might as well continue with brass.
What weight of darts is best for me?
Generally men use darts weighing 22 to 25 grams while women enjoy sets that are slightly heavier averaging 24 to 26 grams. The best way to select a new set of darts is to try out a variety of styles and weights to find the ones best suited to you.
Tuning your darts
Dart tuning is meant to determine
a setup for your darts that fits your throw. By
setup we mean the flight/shaft system of the dart.
This system is responsible for the aerodynamic
behavior of your darts. The main parameter for
determining the correct flight/shaft system for
you is the angle at which the dart sticks in the
board. Ideally the dart should land in the board
at an up angle of approximately 20 degrees.
The dart should fly in a smooth arc and as players have different throwing styles it is sometimes necessary to change the length of the shaft and shape of the flight, to find the correct aerodynamic path.
The larger the flight or more wing surface area the more air resistance, which slows down a dart and cause it to have a greater angle. See the chart below for a comparison of flight sizes.
Shorter shafts have the same effect. Shafts come in either Medium, Short, Extra Short or Mini sizes. Moving down from a standard medium shaft to a shorter one will cause the dart to drop into the board with more of an angle.
Also note that shaft weight (or even flight weight!) also have an influence on this angle. The heavier the shaft or flight is, the smaller the angle will be. This is important when you decide whether you will use nylon or the heavier aluminum or titan shafts. The shaft rings can also influence this, as they make the shaft heavier.
Dart tuning needs work and patience. It should be done over a couple of days to eliminate possible daily variances in your throw. A good starting setup for dart tuning is medium length nylon shafts with "standard" size flights. From this initial setup you can continue adjusting, depending on whether your angle is too big or too small.