Many people purchase darts with little or no thought – STOP! If you know exactly what you require then skip this section but if you are new to darts or unsure of what you require then read on.
At the risk of simplification there are probably three broad categories of dart:
- basic or entry level (typically brass or steel with relatively bulky barrels)
- improvers level (typically 70-80% tungsten with slimmer barrels)
- prestige or top of the range (typically 90%+ tungsten with the slimmest barrels and other special features)
Within these categories there are obviously other variables and differences although at the basic level there will be fewer meaningful differences as this type of product is usually purchased on the basis of price and cosmetics only. With improver and prestige darts, the choices become greater and this is where some basic knowledge is useful.
Most darts players consider some or all of the following factors when purchasing a new set of darts:
- Weight – heavier darts are easier to control for improving players but are harder to “group” in the treble areas of the board.
- Grip – some players find a roughened feel on the barrel is easier to grip while others prefer a smoother effect to stop the dart “sticking”.
- Length – often overlooked even by experienced players. Many players find that a shorter barrel gives better control.
- Shape – various types exist such as torpedo, bullet, parallel etc. The preferred type is often due to the way in which the player holds the dart.
A good way for the novice or improver to begin the process of selecting new darts is to visit your local pub/club. Most will have a selection of darts (unfortunately entry level usually) that you can borrow and try. You may also be able to have a few throws with a set borrowed from a more experienced player in the local team. By trying a few different sets you should be able to establish in broad terms what type of dart barrel most suits you. Alternatively, we have a practice board available in-store for use before you buy.
Once the barrel type has been selected, the final dart can be individually customised with the selection of specific shafts and flights. Shafts vary in terms of length, material, weight etc. Flights also vary in terms of material, weight and most importantly shape. Different combinations of shaft and flight will produce a variety of different flight patterns. It is recommended that all players experiment with these combinations until they find what suits them best. A useful site to visit in this regard is www.unicorn-darts.com. Go to the “Unilab” section and you will be guided to find the most suitable dart/stem/flight combination.
Of course, once the exact type of shaft and flight has been chosen, it is possible to customise your darts cosmetically as a huge selection of colours, patterns and designs exist….just pop in-store and take a look!