Darts, what you should know.

Sep 3 17:15 2007 Steve Porter Print This Article

A brief description of darts equipment ,what materials they are made of, and what the advantages and disadvantages of the darts types and equipment.

The most common dart these days is the 80% tungsten dart. This is a great advance on the brass darts and the wooden darts that came before that. The main reason that darts are made of tungsten is that tungsten is a very heavy material and darts can be made much thinner than before by using it (perhaps we'll use platinum next,Guest Posting boy they would be expensive) What this means is that the darts can fit together much more closely in the dart board, giving rise to the greater possibility of higher scores. (which is what we all want , Right! )

Made from the ore wolframite tungsten has the highest melting point of any element on earth at 3000 degrees C and is incredibly hard. The reason you don't get 100% tungsten darts is because pure tungsten is a very brittle metal and is commonly mixed with nickel to make the dart less brittle and easier to manufacture. The highest percentage achieved so far is 90% tungsten darts, which are very expensive. It is not really worth paying the extra for 95% tungsten darts, if the pros are winning tournaments with 80% darts thats proof enough.

When it comes to the grip on the barrel of the dart there are many types to choose from diamond pattern knurled barrel to plain and now the new edge grip. Just get a design you are comfortable with, try out your mates darts to see what suits you.

The tip of the dart can be a fixed steel point, in which case it can only be used on bristle boards or the new Bristletech dart boards from Halex, or it can be a soft tip which is a plastic screw in tip that can be replaced. It is now common for darts to be convertible, with 2BA threads on either end of the barrel, which means you have the best of both worlds, both soft and steel tip options. Just bear in mind that the largest weight allowed in the electronic game is 20 grams. Thus if you shoot at both bristle and electronic boards, don't go heavier than 20 grams for your barrel.

Next comes the shaft to hold the flights, it should be light to keep the weight of the dart forward and are made from plastic, aluminium, steel wire or even titanium! The only thing to worry about with the shafts is that they are straight and undamaged so the flights are held in place properly. The newest shaft is a spinning shaft, which doesn't spin in flight like you might think, it simply moves the flight out of the way if another dart hits the flight in play. This seems a great idea to me, it helps to protect the flight as well.

That just leaves the flights, which come in loads of amazing designs and materials. The shapes include the classic "kite" design, which are relatively large to the pear drop and all stages in between. Ensure you use the same style of flight on all 3 darts and keep them spread so that there is a 90 degree angle between the four flight pieces to aid in consistency of your throw. Also use flight protectors, not only do they protect your flight; they will keep the flight at the optimum shape as a bonus.

So to sum up, get yourself some tungsten darts, the average weight is 18 – 20 grams. If you want to go heavier, remember the heaviest weight allowed on most electronic dart boards is 20 grams. (You can have up to 50-gram darts on Bristle boards) Nylon shafts are ok to use, spinner shafts are a good idea as well and use the kite style flight if a beginner and always use flight protectors. If you have steel tip darts keep the point sharp for easy entry into the dart board. A simple strip of grinding paper will do. For soft tip darts take along plenty of spares and your dart tool.

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Steve Porter
Steve Porter

This info on darts brought to you by Steve Porter, a keen darter. Despite frequent practice in many bars and pubs, never made professional status.

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