Whilst the origins of darts are not truly known, it is widely believed to originate from soldiers trying to pass the time by using shortened arrows to throw at cross sections of trees. When the wood became dry, the arrows would cause it to crack creating different segments on the board which were the beginnings of the score system we see today. It is believed that tavern owners caught on to the idea and started fashioning the bottom of their empty barrels into makeshift dartboards that we know today to try and entice more customers into their establishments.
As the sport became more popular, woodworkers would create more detailed boards in exchange for drinks from the taverns. This created regional differences in dartboards that we still see today in parts of England including boards which only have one inner bullseye and some which are missing the treble section. The staggered numbering system was introduced in the late 19th century in order to punish those who weren't accurate at throwing. Despite there being billions of different possible combinations of numbers it has become the world wide standard not just due to tradition but because the layout is extremely effective for amateurs and professionals alike.
Any professional darts player will tell you that throwing darts well is not just about your darts but also requires a good quality dartboard. If you are only an amateur this isn't a necessity and it is sometimes best to pick up a cheap board of any size to practice on. If you play a lot of darts you should consider getting yourself a higher quality dartboard as the cheaper ones are often made out of coiled paper and will not last very long. It is also a good idea to get yourself a backboard or you will end up with an awful lot of holes in your wall.
Regulation dartboards have to be 18 inches in diameter and are hung so that the bullseye is 5 feet 8 inches off the ground. Most high quality dartboards including tournament quality boards are made from sisal, a natural rope fibre. This is placed under immense pressure and then sanded down to create the perfect surface for the game. It is then painted into sections and overlaid with a wire frame to separate each section. This is often the bane of any darts player by causing the darts to bounce out of the board when hit, often when you desperately need a score.
In order to throw the highest score possible on a regular basis, you need to use the best darts catered to your needs. Darts come in all shapes, lengths, colours and weights but that is not just so you can choose the ones that you think look the best, it is so you can choose the ones that you can throw the best.
There are 3 main parts to a dart; the barrel, the shaft and the flight. Each one has its own characteristics and you need to make the right combination to suit your needs. The barrel is the part you grip and is the main weight of the dart, usually between 20 and 30 grams. It's usually best to choose a lighter weight if you've got a more delicate throw and a heavier weight for a stronger throw. The shaft of the dart also adds a little weight to the dart so be careful not to overload it. A long shaft is usually best with a shorter barrel and visa versa though this is not always the case. Flights should be picked not just for their size and shape but also dependant on how you want to convey yourself as a design on the flight can give the darts a sense of your personality. The most important thing to remember when choosing darts is that you should mix and match the best combination to suit you and the only way to do that it to try them all, whether light or heavy, short or long.
Dart flights are an integral part of the dart and choosing the right kind for you can make all the difference between being a good darts player and becoming great darts player. You could be mistaken for thinking that flights do not matter as much as the dart itself but choosing the right size and shape depending on your shafts and your style of throw will ensure the flight of the dart is tailored perfectly for you. This will then make it far easier for you to throw the dart exactly where you want it to be on the dartboard and ensures you get the highest scores possible.
Flights are often used not just as one of the darts player's tools but also as an extension of their personality. The shape and size of the flights may have a bearing on how well you can throw but the design on the side doesn't meaning you can add a little flair to your darts. The great world champions have always used flights to show off who they are by having their name written on the side or by having their nickname imprinted in picture form. Choosing the right design gives your darts that individual touch and never fails to give you that extra boost of pride which is often needed in a match.
When playing darts, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Your darts need to be individually tailored for your exact style, being the right length, width and weight for the perfect throw. Once you've chosen your shafts, it's possible to use what's known as a shaft ring which holds your flights in place but these aren't recommended as if your darts are hitting the dartboard close together they can cause the darts to bounce out rather than the flights coming off. This can be especially frustrating in an important match when it happens at an inopportune moment.
Shafts come in all shapes and sizes so it can take you quite a while to find some which you are comfortable with. The cheapest are the nylon shafts which are the lightest but they are also the weakest and the most prone to breaking at either end. Next you get the aluminium shafts which are a lot stronger than the nylons but they are also slightly heavier. Aluminium shafts can are also prone to bending which can make the darts line of flight off course and affect your game. The most expensive shafts are made of titanium which are also very strong giving you plenty of usage and have the benefit of being extremely hard to bend making them the stem of choice.
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Article Added on Monday, March 3, 2008
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