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Darts - All You Need to Know

What is the best set up of darts case / wallet and darts flights?

There is no easy answer as to what is the best set up for darts, flights and wallets as it depends on how often and where you play darts.

There are several types of darts players; Regular home players, Pub team, Superleague, Competition (All levels)
Each dart player would have totally different requirements, so we’ll address what we think are the best set ups for each level of player.

Regular home players:
Pub Team Player:
Superleague Player:
Red Dragon Tri-Fold Wallet – Flights to suit game
Red Dragon Firestone 1 – Flights to suit game
Red Dragon Firestone 2 – Flights to suit game
Winmau Urban Pro Wallet – Flights to suit game

What is the best dartboard & why?
The Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core and Winmau Blade 5 Standard – By simply looking at product level reviews from all levels of play there is one clear winner in the Global dartboard category.
No other dartboard gets close to the sheer quality. Longevity and performance the Blade gives you at the price and is basically the dartboard everyone wishes was their own.
We recommend spending the extra few pounds to get the best Blade dartboard you can and we know you’ll never look back – if you don’t trust us ask any regular player.

What is the difference in dartboards?

There are huge differences in dartboards from different manufacturers as all makers use different raw materials when making the dartboard: Sisal, Metals, Number rings, inks etc. etc.
However, where all dartboards are broadly classified is on the wiring systems that they employ, either Roundwire, Triangular wire or Blade Wire.
Going back over 10 years ago roundwire dartboards were popular as they were cheaper and lasted a long long time – seen though they had lots more bounce outs.
However, over time the performance of Winmau’s high end Blade dartboards have surpassed the lifespan of ANY other dartboard making the difference in dartboards pretty redundant now.
We only recommend buying and playing on a Winmau Blade Dartboard as they cannot be bettered for price, quality and product guarantee.

What’s the best way to practice darts?
This question puzzles us so often as so many players invest in some really good dart gear and never truly learn how to use them to the best of their ability.
Practice is relative to your ambition as a dart player and can simply be covered by asking yourself:
How much so I want to improve and how quickly?
If you want to be the next Micheal Van Gerwen then you need to take the 12 week practice program for £39.90: Bespoke Darts Practice Pro
If you want to enjoy practicing in a more take or leave it fun sort of way then visit Winmau’s FREE darts practice zone:

Do different shaped dart flights affect the darts throw?
In a word YES – Massively.
Standard dart flights are universally the most used flights across the world with sales in this shape looking at about 70%.
However, there are even different types of standard shapes, made in several materials.
The basic rule of thumb is that the thicker and bigger the flight the more stable the dart is in the air.

Have you got any practice aids or help in teaching how to play darts?
We have several darts aid that have been developed to help players learn and improve at darts.
In our opinion the best two are SightRight and Practice Rings so we’ll address both.

SightRight 2
In a nutshell SightRight sets you up in the most perfect biomechanical position you could ever hope to achieve.
Your darts will be the straightest and most accurate you can ever hope to achieve as you’ll be throwing from your perfectly sighted position.
Rating 11 / 10

Practice Rings
Designed to make the brain forget the actual “value” of what your aiming at so your true rhythm comes out.
So when you decrease the ring size over the treble 20 you’ll forget it’s the treble 20 and learn the power scoring rhythm.

Key Darts Advice: Buy a SightRight Darts aid and use it every time you practice you’ll never look back

Why do the darts have different grips on them?
Darts are designed and made from a highly skilled process on CNC machines that looks something like:

Concept – Sketch – Tweak – Draw (CAD) – Program – Test – Analyse

The CNC machines have various Tool Heads that allows our dart designers to experiment in infinite ways, that create the thousands of grip available on the market today.
However, making a new darts grip for grips sake is not good enough until the grip proves that if offers a new dimension to the dart player.
The actual grip of a dart changes the electrical signals the hand sends to the brain which demonstrates why different dart players have such different tastes on darts grips.
So you need to learn what grip allows you the best way to get the same grip on the dart time and time again so that you can play your best.

Key Darts Advice: Try as many different grips as you can before settling for the best one as you may be shocked what actually suits you.

Does the different dart coatings make any difference?
Yes totally – different darts coating are made from bonding the coating to the Tungsten Barrels, and by their nature they all differ dramatically in hardness, feel and performance.
Coatings were designed predominantly for aesthetic quality with Gold Darts selling superbly well in the early 2000’s.
However, as our understanding of coating functionality improved and testing we found that all grips actually offer a totally different feel.
For example the Grey “Shot blast” finish offers a softer feel, whilst the black PVD variations are more crisp.
With so many different coatings on the market ranging from full Diamond to Black, Bronze, Blue and Gold you’ll need to have a tinker to see what suits you.

Key Darts Advice: Get the weight, length and grip type right first before worrying about what dart coating you want.

Does repointing your darts make any difference?
It really depends what points you are changing too.

There is a myth that sharp points avoid less bounce outs by missing the wire, however this is not strictly true as slightly more blunted points don’t “Dig in” and bounce back.

There are many very good players who don’t sharpen their point but they rough them up to “hold” the dart in the board – but if you’re playing a Winmau dartboard this is not needed.

The physics behind a dart point are that the shorter a dart point is the straighter it will fly, which is true.
However – if your points are too short it will close up the surface area of the treble when you are trying to group your darts.

Dart point lengths range from 22mm – 45mm but the most popular by far is 33mm in Black or Silver.
The other consideration that is over looked with dart points is how the effect the grip of a player in the hand.

If you look at all top TV Professional Dart Players that have some part of their fingers touching the point.
The reason for this is that where the barrel meets the dart point there is a natural point that you will always get your finger in the exact same place every time.

Key Darts Advice: If you don’t tough the point when throwing start doing it – then look to see if your darts fly straight, if they do don’t change them.

What are the most popular weight darts?
22g – No.1
24g – No.2
26g – No.3
All other Weights – No.4

Key Darts Advice: The better player you are head towards 22 gram. If your just starting head for 26 gram and drop the weight as your throw strengthens.

What is the Ideal weight dart?
It is very hard to tell anyone the ideal dart weight – but as you can see above the top 3 selling darts weights are 22g, 24g and 26 grams so our advice is start there first.

How will I know which dart is the correct weight for me?
Unless you’ve actually played darts several times you won’t know which darts are the right weight for you.

However, there are a few easy ways to selecting a set that is very close to being perfect.

The bestselling weights for darts falls between 22 grams and 26 grams.

The better a player is the more often they fall towards the lighter end of this scale with 22 grams being hugely popular on the Pro-Tours.

However, there are exceptions as Phil Taylor has moved up from 22grams to 26 grams to help him reach the treble twenty.

Key Darts Advice: The less experience you have start with something a bit heavier.

Ideal Beginners Darts: Red Dragon Hellfire Darts

How will I know how to position myself at the oche?
Where to stand on the oche for darts has been debated for years with most if not all advice being simply to stand where you feel comfortable.

However, this is the worst advice you could ever listen to as it does not take into account the natural human tendency to set up offline owing to an often stronger left / right arm that coincides with a left / right dominant eye.

Key Darts Advice: The top 4 players in the world all stand perfectly sighted in the centre of the oche and the best way to achieve this perfect set up position is to use a SightRight Darts aid.

At a cost of £14.90 it is a relatively small investment into making you the best player that you can be.
Sightright 2

Is it wrong to choose shafts and flights based purely on appearance?
In a word NO – as people often play better with a darts set up that they love the look off.

However, if your new awesome looking shafts and flights mean your darts are now struggling to reach the height of the treble or going offline then consider looking into the shaft length and shape, thickness of the flight and how its effecting your game.

Key Darts Advice: Find the right length of shaft, shape and thickness of flights for your game before choosing a fancy design.

What weight darts would you suggest for a beginner?
Darts is a game built on rhythm and momentum so slightly heavier darts are often better for beginner players.

We’d recommend looking at 26 grams to 30 grams for beginner darts players.

As you feel your throw is getting stronger from the muscles reacting and learning you will feel that you many need to lower the weight of your darts.

Key Darts Advice: Start with a set 26 grams or heavier

What length darts would you suggest for a beginner?
Choosing the length of dart that you want to start with is very tricky indeed as every single dart player in the world has a totally different grip, stance and release mechanism.

All darts from all manufacturers are made from Tungsten billets that range from 3.5cm’s in length to 5.4cms.

What is seemingly a very small range of dart lengths of 2 cm’s can actually have a dramatic effect on your throw and accuracy.

Strangely the effect of dart length gets more noticeable the better you get at the game.

Key Darts Advice: If in doubt look at darts similar to your body shape and height as its quite funny to see dart players on TV with a similar pattern.

Does the darts price influence the performance?
The darts price reflects several key criteria that are transformed into the selling price.

These are often based on: darts machining time, design features , finishing and coating, sponsorship and royalty rate, marketing costs, development costs etc. etc.

As consumers we associate price with quality like Ferrari cars and Piper Heidsack Champagne – however, as is often the case the highest price employs the absolute best technology, finish, specification etc. However darts are unlike cars and golf clubs as performance is by far more effected by the actual person using them.

As an example a 60 year driving a Ferrari round a track compared to a Ford Focus would be quicker with no increase in skill. However, Peter Wright could average over 100 with a set of darts that cost £10.00 or £100.00 per set.

This is where the psychological advantage now comes in, as a player like Peter demands the best of the best and so that does help him play better.

Key Darts Advice: Work out if your actually good enough to start spending more on your darts set

What difference does it make with higher percentage tungsten darts?
Higher Percentage Tungsten Darts have a greater weight to volume ratio so they are thinner at the very same weight as a lower % Tungsten dart. By example:

24 gram 80% Tungsten Dart could be 7.20mm at its largest diameter.
24 gram 90% Tungsten Dart could be 6.35mm at its largest diameter.

The actual material properties do differ as the 90% has more Tungsten so the actual quality of the dart is better and more expensive.

However, the most important point to any dart player is the feel of the dart in your hand.
Thinner darts can be more accurate as the can get closer together like when trying to score 180’s.

Key Darts Advice: Only look to move towards higher % Tungsten Darts as your game improves

What warrants the difference in price with the dartboards?
Dartboards range from £20.00 for a cheap Chinese dartboard upto about £45.00 for one of the world’s most expensive dartboards (Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core featuring Rota Lock).

The Winmau Dual Core dartboard features products that have three patents, unique technology and the finest raw materials that money can buy for making a dartboard.

Cheaper dartboards as you’d expect use lesser quality wire, sisal and manufacturing techniques to hit the cheaper price points.

As you’d expect the Winmau Dual Core Dartboard out performs the Chinese made dartboard in every area by a country mile.

Key Darts Advice: Look what boards pubs have up as they always use the best hard wearing ones and we usually find it’s a Winmau Dartboard.

Why are there different shape darts flights?
When darts first started getting popular players used to hand cut their own flights from paper, and it didn’t take long for companies to start making the most popular shapes.

Going back over 30 years there were over 20 flight different “mainstream” shapes in production.

As players grew in volume the shapes that they used narrowed dramatically to the 5 /6 main ones we see today.

The flight shape that you sue depends on the style of darts you play.

Today’s most popular flight in the World by miles is a 100 micron thick standard shape flight:

Key Darts Advice: Start with this and see if you like them.
Hardcore Black Dart Flights

What difference does it make with the thickness of flights?
Thicker dart flights of 100 microns were designed in the 1980’s under the Pentathlon Darts Flights brand so that they actually lasted longer than the standard 75 micron flights that dominated the darts market. This stroke of genius by House of Darts founder Eddie Norman saw production and sales of Pentathlon Darts Flights rocket into the millions.

Fast forward 36 years and 100 micron flights now compete with the growth in 150 Micron Super Thick Darts flights.

However, there is a subtle effect of the dart in flight as 100 micron flights are heavier than 75 micron flights, with 150 micron thick flights significantly heavier.

Darts fly through the air towards their target and the flight has a massive effect on the path of this projectile.

Heavier flights with more surface area create more drag on the dart but more stability.

Key Darts Advice: Look at getting a darts tune up kit and experiment with every flights as you’ll be pleasantly shocked by the difference in the flight of your darts.
Custom Fit Pack

What’s better aluminium or nylon darts shafts?
Aluminium shafts are “stiffer” and heavier than the same length Nylon shafts so they feel totally different in flight than the more flexible nylon material.

Nylon shafts outsell aluminium shafts by something like 1000 sets to 1 as steeltip players far prefer the flight and feel of them.

Aluminium shafts are favoured more in softip markets as its adds a little more weight to the dart.

Key Darts Advice: If in doubt try Nylon dart shafts first

Why are there different length darts shafts?
The length of the darts shaft effects the flight of the dart through the air by reacting to how w each individual player releases that dart and shaft length.

Often harder more direct throwers will use a very short shaft and longer more rhythm based throws will favour medium length.

Key Darts Advice: Work out what suits your throw by starting with medium length Nylon Shafts and work from there.

How do you fit a dartboard to the wall?

That’s very simple – Click this link.

Which darts are the best?
Naturally any made by Red Dragon!

There are millions of different darts designs being sold all over the world today.

However, they are all variations around standard models that sell the best.

These are:
Parallel Shaped darts: Swingfire Darts
Torpedo Shaped darts: Matra Darts
Front loaded darts: Double Elite Darts
Rear Loaded darts: Peter Wright Darts