The darts in the "game of darts" are expertly designed and comes in various weights, sizes, shapes, materials and prices
You can understand and know everything about darts, but once you stand in front of the dartboard, it is all up to "you and your darts".Having the "right darts" can make a huge difference to your confidence and your accuracy.
A good set of darts will not make you throw good if you are still new to the game. Good throwing comes with a lot of practice and learning the right techniques, but once your accuracy improves, having a good set of darts with the right balance will surely help you improve your game much faster.
Anatomy of The Dart
All darts consist of 4 different parts.
- A Point
- A Barrel
- A Shaft
- A Flight
The Point is the sharp end at the front of the dart. There are two types of points:
- Steeltip points and
- Softip points
Both steeltip and softip darts can be used on bristle dartboards, but with electronic dartboards softip darts are the norm. Softip darts prevents electronic dartboards from being damaged. With some of the newer electronic dartboards you are now able to use steeltip darts if the darts weight does not exceed 20 grams.
Both steeltip and softip darts also comes in removable and un-removable dart points. The reason for this is if you damage your dart point you only have to replace the point and not the whole barrel. Another great advantage nowadays is that if you regularly play darts on bristle dartboards and sometimes need to play on an electronic dartboard, or vice versa, you can now still use your favorite darts by only changing your steeltip dart point to a softip dart point.
It is not the norm for dart points to get damaged in such a way that you have to replace them regularly. This will mainly happen if you play on tile or cement surfaces where there is no carpet or some other type of protection like a dart mat below the dartboard.
The Barrel is the part of the dart that you hold onto when you throw. It is also known as the "handle" or the "grip". The barrel is the main body and essence of the dart and comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes and materials. The barrel has certain variables that can impact your ability to consistently repeat your trajectories. Those variables are:
- The Material
- The Weight
- The Style
Types of Barrel Materials
Barrels comes in various types of materials. Older types of materials used, were wood and plastic, but today the most popular types of materials are:
- Nickel Silver
Brass barrels are very economical and perfect for beginners. What makes brass such a favorite is the consistency of the material, which means that each dart barrel’s weight and balance is the same.
Nickel Silver which has a silvery, corrosion resistant finish, is similar to brass but harder and stronger. The only problem with brass and nickel silver barrels are that it’s big. In darts big is not necessary better. So, why is thinner darts better?
Thinner darts has less air resistance, which means you don’t have to throw hard which means you are more accurate. It’s also easier for thin darts to group together in a small space like the doubles and trebles. The only negative of thin darts is, if they are too light it might be very difficult to throw accurately.
The best dart material type is Tungsten. Tungsten has a higher density than brass or nickel silver which allows for darts to be heavy without being bulky. They give you the stabilizing weight of a heavier dart, but the tighter groupings that is only possible with a slim dart.
Tungsten are also more costly than brass or nickel silver. The best darts available today are high quality tungsten darts. These darts are made to the highest specifications and have the best balance to weight ratio of any other darts.
Barrels come in a range of weights of which 16 to 40 grams are the most common, but some darts will go as high as 50 grams. The trick is to get the weight that suits you best and fits your throwing style.
Heavier darts overcome air resistance more efficiently than lighter darts and provides greater control because it’s less susceptible to minor variations in your throwing release. The drawback of heavier darts is that it is greater in diameter, and the greater the diameter the more space it occupies. The art is to find the right balance between a dart’s weight and its diameter.
Dart styles are created by combining grip elements and weight with shape and materials. Other things that make up dart styles are contours, grooves, knurls, diameters, lengths and colors. Always remember, quality of workmanship is always an indicator of what can be expected when it comes down to performance.
The Shaft is the piece or part of the dart, just behind the barrel on which the flight is attached. Shaft comes in different lengths and is a big contributing factor towards making a dart unstable. It depends on which flights are used with which shafts. Shafts comes in different compositions for example: plastic, aluminium.
The Flight is the part right at the back or end of the dart. Flight comes is different sizes and shapes and together with the shaft can make a dart completely unstable. If the combination between shaft and flight is not correct it will worsen the drag. Smaller flights give less air resistance than the larger flights. The lighter the dart, the smaller the flight need to be to stabilize it.
Darts can be classified in various weight classes, for example:
|1.||Light Darts||16 – 23 grams|
|2.||Medium Darts||24 – 26 grams|
|3.||Heavy Darts||27 grams and higher|
Slim flights are typically used on light darts(16-23 grams) darts. Standard flights are typically used on medium (24-26 grams) and heavy darts(27 grams and higher) darts. Try different flight and shaft combinations with your darts to see which works best for you.