Which flights should I choose and what is the difference between all of them? These are questions you may be asking yourself if you’re new to darts, but there’s no need to worry.
What Is A Dart Flight?
If you pay close attention, you will notice that at the back of your dart’s shaft there is a little hole and to this, you can attach your dart flights. These dart flights act like the wings of an airplane, providing lift and drag. When you throw darts, it’s these flights that allow for stability thanks to the aerodynamic drag they provide.
Flights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, the most common ones for steel-tip darts are the slim and standard flights. Both of these dart flights provide sufficient lift and drag to ensure your darts fly smoothly, but they also come with their own unique characteristics.
Why Choosing The Right Dart Flights Is Important?
Firstly, it can affect how straight your darts fly through the air, which of course affects the path they’ll take to reach the board and ultimately where your darts will land on it! The design of a flight also determines how much air resistance there is against the dart due to its shape.
Every player has their own unique grip, throwing style, and release technique. Therefore, you need different flights if you want your darts to fly straight through the air. For example, a player who grips their dart with an open or cupped hand would benefit from using lightweight flights that are smaller in size as they reduce air resistance making the dart fly faster through the air.
On the other hand, if you have a tight grip that closes your hand then you should use heavier flights made of denser materials. These heavier dart flights will reduce dart trajectory by increasing air resistance helping you throw darts with more accuracy.
What Types Of Dart Flights Are Available?
The two main categories you will find are molded and foldable flights.
What is a foldable flight?
The foldable flight is designed to be used with any standard 4 prong holder, and the flights can fold flat for easy storage.
People often prefer foldable flights are they are fairly inexpensive and come in various shapes and sizes to easily pick the ones you like. Their main drawback is that they are made of lightweight materials and can be damaged easily.
The most popular models are those with a thickness of 100 microns, but you can easily find thinner (around 75 microns) and extra thick ones (from 120 to 180 microns).
The thickness reflects their durability, but I think most people will find them durable enough and fairly inexpensive to replace, so don’t go overboard if you are just starting out. After all, you will probably lose more from poor storing options than from impacts, so investing in a case is a no-brainer to keep them intact. While laying flat makes them ideal for storage, I think that you will be better served if you keep your darts assembled.
What is a molded flight?
These flights are made of a single pie issue that you may have with this type of plastic and can be very thin or thick depending on the manufacturer. They are also durable, much more than foldable models, which makes them ideal for travel. However, they are not cheap and you might need to buy a kit with 12 flights originally before moving up to one of these sets in the future.
They come in many shapes and colors, but I think their main drawback is that they take up more space in your dart case or bag. They are also very nice if you decide to create your own dart flights as they are easy to work with.
Molded flights are designed to keep their shape. They are more rigid and provide a better air seal against your darts if you have a really tight grip. They tend to be thicker, so they will require a slightly higher speed from the dart to travel through the air with similar or better results.
There is a vast variety of shapes and colors available so you can easily find the ones that suit your style. Most people will prefer smaller flights, but you can find some larger models for those rare games with fast and wide-open segments. Choose from the most popular standard and slim to pear, kite, and even more variations you can think of. Some brands also offer unique shapes for the flights, that without a doubt look very cool.
How To Choose A Dart Flight
The size of the dart flights you will use can make a huge difference in performance, but it is also more complex than the simple saying “bigger is better”. Longer flights are perfect when you have a good grip that does not close your hand completely. They will greatly reduce air resistance by getting pushed deeper into your hand. At the same time, they will decrease the dart’s speed and concentrate it in a smaller area. These darts will also fly straighter and be less affected by wind as the airflow all around the flight cancels out sideways movement.
The heavier your dart is, the lighter flights you should use to avoid decreasing its range and increasing air resistance. On the other hand, if your dart is too light for the flight, it will increase air resistance and your dart’s speed.
You may think that short flights are ideal to get a greater range of speeds from various darts, but this is not the case. The air cannot get under them and create a vacuum that can greatly affect their movement through the air. A longer flight will reduce the effects of this phenomenon and increase your range with a single dart.
There are many different shapes of flights. Some people will say that you should use a certain shape based on the type of dart game you play, but this is not always the case. You can find an excellent combination for any type of game by choosing darts based on their weight and size.
The general rule here is to use standard flights with long, slender darts and slim flights with short, fat darts. After you find the right combination for your game, try to keep that configuration since changing can decrease its range or speed by a large margin sometimes.
Each type of material has its own advantages and drawbacks. For example, plastic flights are lighter and have a better seal against the air while it is moving through them. However, they are not very durable and will break faster than other materials.
In short, you should consider these factors before picking a dart flight:
- Weight of your darts
- Shape and size of the flights you already have
- Style of play (aggressive or passive)
As a beginner, you will probably not notice much of a difference, so you can use shorter flights to start with. As your skills grow and you begin winning more games, you will realize that longer flights are better for accuracy and range when throwing darts at the board.
This is one of the most basic devices for this purpose. It simply prevents the flights from falling off by blocking their removal with a rubber band that fits around it.
It is especially useful if you play dart games that always require new flights since they protect them against breaking or deformation when bouncing around in your bag. They are also cheap, which is a great advantage for people who throw a lot and want to save their flights. However, they are not perfect for everyone.
They will not affect their accuracy as they only serve as an attachment point for other stems or stem replacements. Once you attach a stem to each flight, you will be able to switch them out with no effort whenever necessary. This concept is also great because it gives you a strong connection between the dart and flight.