Choosing a set of darts when you’re a beginner is usually based upon how cool the flights are (They’re the colourful things on the back displaying the Australian flag, skulls or spiders). It won’t be until you’ve been playing darts for around 6 to 12 months or more, that you start to get a sense of what kind of dart complements your throwing style.
There’s no definitive answer to this, but if you understand the basics of dart construction, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for.
It can be overwhelming trying to choose between the enormous styles of darts available. Do you go for a wooden dart or silver? And what is Tungsten?
Tungsten steel is a hardy material and therefore can be manufactured with a thinner barrel (the part you hold). The thinner the barrel, the more likely you will be able to cluster your darts together without it knocking your other darts out of board. Crucial when you’re aim for those triples on 20 or inner bullseye. When you are looking at tungsten darts, opt for a dart with the highest percentage of tungsten. Of course, the more tungsten and the more your set of darts are going to cost. For example 90 per cent tungsten steel darts are a little more on the pricey side than the ones with 80 per cent.
For a cheaper dart, choose a silver or nickel based barrel. The only drawback is these are softer metals and they deteriorate faster. Even the natural oils in your skin can result in silver or nickel breaking down. However, they are still a good option for a beginner casual dart player.
Darts come in varying weights, but you wouldn’t really want to go much heavier than 30g. The lighter the dart, the more oomph and speed you have to put into throwing it. The position of the barrel can also effect on the speed and effort you put into throwing.
You may notice some darts have patterns or ridges in the barrel. This is called knurling. The more knurling on the dart, the more likely the dart may catch as it leaves your grip. This can have a profound effect on your throwing style and effect your precision.
The dart flights are not there just to look pretty. The dimensions and texture of your flights can have a bearing on your game. Dimpled dart flights are designed to stabilise you dart as it zooms towards the dartboard, but dimples will also slow it down, meaning you’ll have to eat some extra Weetbix for breakfast and throw it a bit harder.
If your dart seems to wobble through the air like its drunk, either you’ve had one too many beers or the shaft is too long. This can be rectified with be experimenting with different size shafts.
Only time and experience will give you a better idea of what kind of dart to purchase, but we suggest starting out with a cheaper dart set, buying a couple of different flights and shafts until you hit the bulleye (so to speak).