DART Equipment


Regular Tournament Board
Wide Fives Board

Darts Brass Darts
Nickel/Silver Darts
Tungsten Darts
Shafts Plastic Shafts
Composite Shafts
Aluminium Shafts
Fights Soft Flights
Hard Flights
Nylon Flights
Dimplex, Ribtex
Spiral Flights
Flight Protectors


Tournament quality dartboards are made of natural rope fibre (sisal). These fibres are compressed under tons of pressure and banded with steel, then bonded to a non-warping backboard.

The surface is later sanded smooth and then screenprinted with the appropriate colors. Finally, the wires are stapled on and the number ring attached with clips, to allow easy rotation of worn areas.

The best dartboards are still made in England, home of the sport of Darts.

It is a common misconception that dartboards are made of hair or bristles from pigs, camels, or horses. No such boards have ever been made!


This is an unusual style dartboard called the "Wide Fives", for obvious reasons! Only numbers divisible by 5 are on the board. The board in the photo was originally manufactured by NODOR, but is no longer in production.

One game played on the board was 51-by-Fives, which has been adapted to play on a standard English Clockface Dartboard.

The game is fairly simple; the winner is the player to reach exactly 51 points first, starting from zero. BUT, the actual score thrown is divided by 5 to get the scoring amount. In other words, a thrown score of 20, divided by 5, would actually score 4 points on the chalkboard.

Old 5's dartboard

Play proceeds like this until 51 is reached. Like '01 games, it is possible to bust.. if you have a score of 50, for instance, and throw 20 points, your new score would be 54... a bust. Go back to 50 next turn!

When 51-by-Fives is played on an English Clockface Board, all 3 darts must score each turn, or none may count. This keeps someone from throwing-away the last dart to avoid a bust. Also, all 3 darts thrown must add up to a number divisible by 5, or none count that turn.


Brass Darts

This is the least expensive type:
Brass is a fairly dense (heavy) metal, is relatively inexpensive, and is easy to machine. Unfortunately, it is so soft that the machined "grip" may quickly dull and wear down, changing the "feel" of the dart. Also, since Brass Darts are commonly mass-produced, the quality and consistency of the machining may vary considerably. Brass darts are often used as "house darts" or due to low cost.

Nickel/Silver Darts

Like Brass, this is a fairly dense (heavy) metal, is relatively inexpensive, and is easy to machine. However, Nickel/Silver is harder and therefore more durable, which prevents the machined grip from wearing away as rapidly. Otherwise, similar to Brass Darts, and popular with budget-minded beginners. (Note: There is no actual Silver content; this Nickel and Tin alloy is often used for the moving parts of silver jewelry and for trophies.)

Tungsten Darts

There are 2 common types:

80% Tungsten
90% Tungsten - Expensive!

Both types are alloyed with Nickel and are referred to as "Nickel/Tungsten" Darts. They are more dense than Brass or Nickel/Silver Darts. This means smaller diameter barrels, better "feel", and tighter possible groups on the dart-board. Tungsten is also very durable, and the machined grip will not wear down as rapidly as on Brass or Nickel/Silver Darts.


SHAFTS - Plastic

Inexpensive, and available in many colors, but break fairly easily. Good shafts until you start throwing tight groups and breaking lots of shafts. Materials are usually polycarbonate or nylon, some have replaceable tops for greater longevity. Priced from $1 to $2.


Composite type shafts, like the Alamo or Quiver, have plastic bases that thread into the dart, combined with aluminum or other metal alloy tops that hold the flight. These are excellent shafts, quite durable, and will not vibrate loose as easily as solid aluminum shafts. Generally available with replaceable tops for economy and convenience. Most styles priced at $2.


More rigid and durable than Plastic or Composite Shafts, in many colorful styles, some with decorative engraved stripes, flutes, or spirals. May tend to vibrate loose, especially on heavy darts. Will normally bend instead of breaking when hit; just straighten for more use. Priced from $3 to $5.


FLIGHTS...What kind to use?

Flights are the fins or wings found at the back of a dart. They serve to stabilize the dart during flight and are made of various materials...

SOFT FLIGHTS are made of a flexible plastic sheet, preprinted with a variety of designs and then folded into shape. Adhesive (glue) holds the layers of plastic together. If the flight is torn during use, the layers can be pressed together with fingers and the adhesive will "heal" the tear. Another benefit of this type of flight is that a Soft Flight will often flex out of the way if another dart hits it. These flights are available in hundreds of bright, attractive designs. Also known as "Reseal Flights".

HARD FLIGHTS are made of a stiff polyester plastic that holds shape well. The layers are permanently sealed together by heat during manufacture. Because the plastic is harder, they don't tear as easily as Soft Flights... however if they do tear, they cannot be resealed and are ruined. Hard Flights do not flex like a Soft Flight when hit, but do "pop off" the shaft when hitting another dart. This is desirable as it reduces deflection and allows tight groups. Hard Flights were originally made of a clear plastic, which resulted in fairly dull colors in printed designs. During the last few years, Melinex, a type of opaque plastic, has been used for printing hundreds of brighter designs. Also known as "Poly Flights"

NYLON FLIGHTS, made of ripstop nylon fabric, ar by far the most durable type of flight. Although not resealable, they are very hard to tear. The stiffness varies according to the weight and type of fabric used by the manufacturer, but is roughly midway between Soft and Hard flights. The most common point of wear with this flight is at the front, where it is inserted into the shaft. Since ripstop nylon is a thicker material, it is important to pry open the slots on the shaft for a properly loose fit to avoid damage to the flight. Nylon Flights are available in solid colors or several dozen printed designs.

DIMPLEX, RIBTEX, and other similar styles are actually hard flights which have been embossed with a texture. The bumpy or ribbed surface tends to stiffen the flight, which some darters consider desirable. The extra surface area also adds a small amount of drag to the flight, which makes the dart slightly more stable in some cases.

SPIRAL FLIGHTS, and other similar styles are flights which have been twisted. The flights rotate during flight which is supposed to increase stability. However, the extra surface area when the dart lands in the board is more likely to cause subsequent darts to deflect off to the side even though the flights are meant to rotate out of the way. On balance these are novelty flights
and should not be used for serious darters

--- All types of flights tend to split at the back center, where the folds meet and are hit by dart points. FLIGHT PROTECTORS are small metal or plastic devices that fit over and protect this area. The life of a set of flights may be greatly extended by using Flight Protectors. They are also reusable and may outlast many sets of flights.

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The above borrowed from CyberDarts
Copyright 1997 R.C. Osgood.