How to choose the right Dart
Many speculate that
the game of darts began in the Middle Ages when soldiers played with
shortened spears and arrows and threw these at a targets made of
tree trunks or barrel bottoms.
Eventually, the spears and the wooden stumps got smaller and finally,
someone had the bright idea of bringing the target indoors. Perhaps
if it weren’t for the fun atmosphere of the English pub, darts would
have probably been altogether lost to its medieval beginnings.
Fortunately, darts still keeps the popularity it has enjoyed
throughout the centuries. And with the help of new technology, the
game’s enjoyment can be passed on to generations after.
If you’re looking into the game as a hobby, it would do you well to
read up on dart equipment, particularly with the darts themselves.
But that is not to say that the second most important component of
the game should be overlooked – and that is the dartboard.
Present-day dartboards are made up of different materials. The most
popular of which are cork, sisal and some synthetic materials.
As far as measurement goes, a regulation size target area for a
dartboard is 15.5 inches. Most boards in the market have a diameter
of 18 inches.
Bristle Dart boards
Early dartboards were made out of coarse hog hairs called bristles
and the term still remains even if alternative materials have long
been used to replace it.
The most common material used for bristle boards are cork and sisal.
If you’re familiar with cork, you would know that the material
crumbles easily especially when it’s subjected to as much poking as
the average pub dartboard can attest to.
Fortunately, there is sisal. Sisal is a fibrous material commonly
used in making rope. When a dart punctures the material, the fibers
give way to the point so it nestles in between fibers. No actual
hole and damage is made, which means the board can last a whole lot
longer than cork.
New and experienced players alike have their shares of bounce outs.
Bounce outs happen when dart hits a section of a dartboard that’s
covered with wire or staple.
These wires and staples are called spiders and are usually found on
the surface of the board. Spiders form the demarcation lines for
scoring areas on the board. Since a dart’s point cannot penetrate
the spider, the dart bounces off the board – ergo, the bounce out.
Dart makers have addressed the problem from their end by making
retractable tip darts. When the tips of these darts hits a spider,
it moves back slightly into the body and allows the momentum of the
throw to push the tip right back into the board.
Dartboard makers on the other hand are providing the solution by
imbedding thin spiders inside the board. The demarcation lines are
still visible, but the problem of bounce outs is greatly reduced.
Electronic dart boards
Don’t you just love it when technology makes a good thing better?
Electronic dart boards provide the convenience of tallying a
player’s score during a game eliminating the need for the tedious
These dartboards work by with a set of sensors that detect the area
where a dart has landed. These areas have been pre-programmed with a
corresponding score. When a dart hits the board, a sensor goes off
and sends the information to a simple computer attached to the
dartboard. The computer in turn displays the score and tallies it
with the other previous hits.
Given their more sensitive nature, most electronic dart boards only
work with soft tip darts. Fortunately, some dartboard manufacturers
have been able to combine the robustness of a bristle board with the
convenience of an electronic one, allowing players to use steel tip
darts on this kind of electronic dartboard.
In professional competitions, you can imagine that the issue of
accuracy and precision in scoring is of great importance. And this
has led electronic dartboard makers to step up the quality of their
products. Even if you have no serious intentions of pursuing the
game to that level, these competition-grade boards are available to
you as well.
Other variations of the standard dartboard are available ranging
from those catered towards children to highly elaborate and
customized ones complete with a cabinet and backboard set.
Whatever your choice for a dart board, it’s still that coveted
bull’s eye that is the common goal of every dart player. A good part
of the game’s pleasure may ride on that goal, but a good part of it
also rests in the attempt as well.