One of the most frustrating parts of darts is when you throw your dart meticulously, only to have it end up on the floor after bouncing off the dartboard.
This is the bane of many players, though the unfortunate thing is that there is no sure answer to the problem. After all, at the end of the day you are at the mercy of the elements.
However, there are some tips you can follow when playing the game to reduce the chances of bounce outs. The most important of these is your throwing technique, as we will outline in this article.
Why darts don’t stick to the board
- Bad throws – particularly for beginners in the game, poor positioning and throwing techniques result in poor throws. It is essential that you learn good posture, and this allows you to focus on your grip.
- Low quality dartboards – this may affect old boards or possible defects. Because dartboards are from different materials, consider one carefully before getting it.
Some posture tips to help with throws
The aim of your grip is keeping the end of the dart pointing upwards in every stage of throwing, not directly at the board. The grip should also be stable, but should not leave you with strain in your fingers.
Remember that darts is not a game of force, but touch. To maintain this, make sure your grip is sufficiently tight that the dart does not slip, but allows you to keep control for throws.
Use three fingers at the least. This will allow for more control and regulating the dart as it increases speed, instead of making the process difficult as you coordinate more fingers.
Do not fold your fingers into a fist. Fists usually strain the muscles of the fingers and results in poor throws. The fingers that you are not using in your grip should instead space out comfortably from included fingers.
Weight distribution – your weight should ideally lean towards the front foot while the rear foot balances out the posture. Whatever pose you want to use, ensure it is steady, and the forward foot should always stay on the floor.
Right foot forward – when dart players throw, they keep the arm movements in two-dimensional planes constantly to remove sideways movement of the arm and therefore decrease margins of error.
Lean slightly forward to get closer to the board. Avoid leaning backwards; it simply results in your throw becoming unbalanced and physically strenuous. Do not lean forward in extreme angles either – it only gives you back strain.
Avoid lifting your feet when you throw the dart. Stability of posture is essential to good throws, so keep your feet firmly on the floor. In light of this, your upper body must also stay still when you throw darts otherwise, you risk straining some muscles such as the shoulders.
Tips to stop dart bouncing
Pick your dart carefully
Darts come in various sizes and shapes. Because of this, ensure you choose your dart with care, and one that fits your needs. Keep in mind that different darts have different weights, and this can change your throw significantly.
For example, if the dart is light (18 to 21 grams) and you are throwing it from long distances, the probability of bounce out increases significantly, so consider changing to a heavier dart. However, you should not change your dart weight constantly because it may take some time to be competent with it.
Use darts that have moveable tips
Not all darts have this, but is a type that comes with tips filled with spring loads. These tips assist to keep the dart in forward motion when you throw it. Other darts have fixed tips, so they will not give you this advantage. For beginners especially, consider spring darts when choosing the best ones for your play.
The drawback with movable tips is the higher chances of becoming loose as you throw them, and their price – they tend to be more costly than fixed darts.
Make sure you shoot the dart correctly
A very important factor, you need to know your throwing technique as you shoot the dart. Dart bounces happen mostly because the player places the focus as hitting the correct spot instead of throwing the dart. This focus shift will prevent the player from concentrating on the right force amount that they should apply, resulting in poor throws.
Attitude is key
When you begin playing the game of darts, do not succumb to discouragement so quickly. Dart bounce outs are a frustrating experience of the game, but do not let them annoy you and cause you to give up. In fact, even the best throwers in the world experience them sometimes.
Hold the dart correctly
You should hold the dart at level positions, and the elbow should stay at a straight angle at all times. In addition, the dart should not be at an angle – keep its sharp end towards the board. Do not focus so much on hitting the centre; make your focus to be correct posture.
Keep in mind that you are also aiming to place the dart on the board, so do not throw it as you may throw other objects. Throwing the dart too hard is a no-no, and a good way to indicate this is examining how far the dart has entered the dartboard. A general rule is never allowing the front of the dart panel to touch the dartboard. If it is, you are using too much force when throwing.
Another tip is avoiding spins on the dart as you throw. Your fingers and thumb should let go of the dart at the same time. This is because when the thumb lets go first, the dart rolls off the fingers and makes it spin, resulting in poor throws. Ensure your thumb and fingers are pointing towards the board, and this will prevent the fingers meeting the flight.
Darts is an enjoyable game with many skills to acquire. However, the bad techniques of many players hold them back from enjoying the game and most of all, making the darts stick to the board. These tips will help you in your mission to prevent bounce outs and grow your skill level in darts.