How to distinguish a quality dart board from a cheap dart board

If you’ve ever been shopping for bristle dart boards online, you’ve probably found more options than Lady Gaga has in costumes. What Makes One Bristle Dart Board Better Than Another? Well, for starters, don’t buy a dart board made from bristle or pig hair. That practice was abandoned long ago in favor of a new material, sisal fiber, a plant grown in hot climates. The advantage of using sisal fiber is that it has self-healing properties that close the hole after the dart is drawn. This greatly prolongs the life of the board. Most of the traditional dart boards made today are made from sisal fiber. You might find some cheap boards made from rolled paper, but since sisal has become so popular and affordable, there’s no reason to go for inferior materials like rolled paper just to save a few dollars. So make sure it is made from sisal fiber.

The next big difference is the spider, which are the strips that divide each section. Again you will find some cheap boards with a plastic spider. Stay away from those. Most of today’s traditional boards have a metal spider and the little more money it costs is well worth it. Now regarding the spider, the thinner the dividers and the fewer staples to hold them, the better. This way your dart is less likely to hit the divider or a staple and bounce. At the bottom of the line we have spiders made of rounded wire and many staples that hold them to the board. An improvement to this is the use of triangular or diamond-shaped wire that helps deflect the dart towards the dart board, thus reducing the number of bounces. The best examples, like the Viper Razorback, use a thin wire like a knife blade embedded directly into the surface, completely eliminating the use of staples that sometimes get in the way. Also look for a staple-free bullseye, a feature that is no longer limited to top-of-the-line models, but found on mid-tier models as well. Nodor was the first company to offer a staple-free target, which Nodor calls the Supabull, and the Nodor Supamatch bristle dart board comes with the latest version of this innovation, Supabull II, which features slanted edges to guide the dart towards the target for increased scores.

A very important feature for longevity is the movable number ring. Have you heard of rotating the tires on your car for more even wear? The mobile number ring works on the same principle. On budget models, you will find all the numbers printed directly on the dart board, which in itself is not a bad thing. The problem is that some dart games use only certain sections of the playing surface, not the entire board. For example, Cricket uses only the numbers 15-20. So if you play Cricket a lot, you’ll find that over time sections 15-20 will start to look a bit rough, even with boards made from self-healing sisal fiber. Eventually those sections will wear out completely, while the rest of the playing surface will look practically new. If only there was a way to reassign the numbers 15-20 to those unused portions. It would be like having a new dart board again. The solution was the ring of mobile numbers. This would allow the owner to rotate the board on a regular basis, say once a month, and still keep the 20 on top. Each number has now been reassigned a new section of the playing surface, giving players a cleaner and less used area to play. This bright feature allows for much more uniform wear and helps extend the life of the plate much longer than one without a moving number ring.

To summarize, be sure to choose a board made from sisal fiber because they last longer under heavy play. Look for a dart board with the thinnest metal spider and the fewest staples for the fewest bounces. And to get the most out of the life of your dart board, look for a moving metal number ring so you can rotate the board regularly for more even wear.

There you go. Keep these key factors in mind when shopping for a new bristle dart board and it is sure to be a winner!

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