It may start with just a dartboard hanging on your wall, but soon you might be taking it one step further to earn the title of “dart player”. Many people play darts out of ennui. They have been playing for years without any thought about how they would improve their skills. I am here to give you the tools to be the best player you can be.
Where To Stand
Distance is key when playing darts. You need to set up the oche are the right distance in order to practice based on darts regulations. The height of the dartboard is 5ft 8in, the distance from the floor to the center of the bullseye is 7ft 9-1/4 in. Once you set them up correctly you are ready to start practicing.
How To Stand
You have to experiment a little in order to find the right position, but the most important thing is that you should be able to replicate it every time you throw a dart.
A lot of people start throwing darts facing the board straight. This is less than ideal since you want to utilize your dominant eye to aim and have a stance that will allow you to minimize movement.
When you are throwing darts it is better to be more sideways than facing the board straight. Some people prefer staying diagonally to the board, I personally prefer standing completely sideways. It is important to feel comfortable and distribute your weight evenly between your feet.
Weight Of The Dart
Next, you have to pick your favorite dart. There is a vast collection of darts out there. To start pick a dart that feels right to your hand and has enough weight for you to throw it easily without choking up on the barrel as this will impact your accuracy.
A great starting weight is around 20-25gr, a dart too light would be hard to control and a dart too heavy would take away from your momentum which will make it harder to score. If you decide to change darts, do so in small increments, like 1-2gr up or down, nothing drastic.
Before you throw a dart, you need to get comfortable. Take the dart and hold it by the barrel with your thumb on top of the barrel and index finger on the bottom of it. Some people like to put their second and third fingers on the middle of the dart while some prefer putting their pinky finger underneath for added stability.
It will take some practice to decide the number of fingers you want to use. I suggest going for at least three fingers, your thumb, index, and the supporting finger of your choice. Some people want to try placing four-finger or even using all five, so you can’t know what works for you unless you try. I find three fingers ideal since they provide control, smooth release and they are more than enough to keep your darts in place.
How To Aim Darts
You may want to try to find your dominant eye first. Take your darts and hold them in front of you so the barrel is in line with your eye. Look down the barrel to see which one looks clearer through it, this will be your dominant eye. If this isn’t clear for you, try focusing on an object far away, a using your hands as a frame to find which eye open allows for better focus.
You should aim with the tip of the dart facing upwards. Even though darts might seem like flying straight, they follow a curved path, so keep this in mind. You have to practice a lot with your sights set to find out which direction you need to aim in order for the dart to hit where it should. It will take a lot of time and patience in order for this technique to become muscle memory.
How To Throw Darts
The first thing to remember is that you don’t need to throw hard. You have to throw the dart with a smooth motion, not too fast but also not too slow.
Additionally, you need to follow the motion of your throwing hand and release the dart. In fact, we don’t use our fingers to throw, we just instinctively release the darts.
It will take some time to perfect this. Don’t force your dart to go straight, you need to aim it gradually and smoothly, slowly releasing the tip of the dart until it reaches the target.
Don’t think about throwing hard, instead focus on your throwing hand’s motion. It should be like a hammer hitting a nail. Your wrist should follow all the way through.
Things You Need To Practice
Minimize Your Movement. When you throw darts it is better to be more sideways than facing the board straight. Lock your hips and elbows trying to keep them in line with the board. Since you are moving less it will be easier to follow through, reducing your chances of throwing off-center darts.
Stay Consistent on the Release. Even if you are following your throwing hand’s motion trying to keep your wrist stable, you will notice that it shakes a little bit after the release. You need to time this shake so all darts are released in the same spot at the same point. If you shake too early, the dart will be released high. If you’re not following through after releasing it, your shot can be an inch to the left or right.
Don’t Throw Too Fast. This seems like a basic mistake but many people do it trying to speed up the process and get better at darts faster, this will result in poor shots no matter how good your aim or release is. You need to start slow and get your form right. If you feel that darts are flying off-center, then come back to this point.