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A Guide to Buying Dart Flights

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Buying dart flights is very important and this is a fact often unknown or overlooked by players resulting in bad scores. The shape, size, and material of a dart flight have a huge impact on how a dart flies. Dart flights come in many different variations with varying sizes, shapes, and materials. Just playing with any flight you got your hands on will likely result in bad throws and bad scores whereas if you use a set of dart flights that are right for you and your throwing style then your throw and your performance will improve.

Who Does This Guide Benefit the Most?

Although this guide is for everyone it is very beneficial to two types of players. The first type is the players who are new to the game. Beginner players might not know what type of flight is best for them due to their lack of experience. The second type of players that this guide will benefit the most are the amateur players who are trying to improve their game skills.

Given below is a guide to buying the right dart flights for yourself allowing you to perform better as a player. Let us start with an overview and discuss how flights have such a significant effect on your games.

Overview Of Buying Dart Flights

First-time darts players tend not to know the complexities and variables in darts that affect the game as a whole. A beginner’s darts kit usually suffices a new player. Veteran players on the other hand delve deep into these complexities and variables and make every decision regarding darts very carefully. Professional players immerse themselves in the game and thus distinguish themselves from a beginner.  They take into consideration every game-related detail such as how to flick one’s wrist when throwing a dart, how to place one’s feet relative to the oche, or when to breathe when throwing a dart. Veteran players also carefully analyze and evaluate every component of their darts to gain as much precision and accuracy as they can.

Let us look into the components that make up a dart to make the importance of the flight more apparent to you.

Components of a Dart

Generally, a dart consists of four components and you will find a multitude of options on the market for these four components. These components are the flight, the shaft, the barrel, and the tip. These components have their particular functions and each one of these components can potentially have a drastic impact on the dart’s flight through the air. These components can have a major impact on the skills of a player such as their accuracy, precision, and consistency. It is important to be aware of how each of these components affects the flight of your dart through the air if you want to become a better player. Many players tend to be oblivious to the importance of choosing the right tip and flight for themselves. One needs to understand that choosing the flights for your darts is a decision requiring much thought and evaluation.

The Importance of a Buying Dart Flight Correctly

The small fin at the back end of a dart is called the flight of the dart and it serves the purpose of providing stability to the dart. Dart flights tend to vary in terms of shape, size, and material and these factors can have different effects on your throw. Darts are very similar to arrows. As a matter of fact, the modern-day dart is a direct descendant of the traditional arrows. The flights of these arrows used to be made of three matched half feathers. The flights of darts serve the same function of providing aerodynamic stabilization as the flights of the traditional arrows. As the dart flight serves such an important function, any variation in its shape, size, or texture can significantly affect the consistency and accuracy of a throw.

We can divide dart flights into two broad categories. These categories are fast flights and slow flights.

  1. Fast flights

Fast flights are longer and have less surface area compared to slow flights. Fast flights allow a dart to be more aerodynamic and have a higher airspeed as they can cut through the air easily. Fast flights are usually used by players who have a hard throw. Shorter versions of barrels and shafts are often used in conjunction with fast flights.

  1. Slow flights
    Unlike fast flights, slow flights are shorter and have more surface area. Darts with slow flights allow for more open and arching trajectories which are made possible due to the slower speed of the darts thanks to the slow flights. Slow flights are preferred by players whose throws are more controlled.

It should be noted that hybrid dart flights also exist possessing the qualities of both slow flights and fast flights. You will find a multitude of options online when it comes to dart flights whether it be slow flights, fast flights, or even hybrid flights. You will find a lot of options with different combinations of shapes and sizes when you go to buy dart flights and this large variety can be quite perplexing to the buyer.

This guide has the sole purpose of helping you find dart flights that suit your needs and preferences perfectly. Now, we will discuss how each variable impacts the performance of a flight to help you find the right flight for you.

Characteristics of a Dart Flight

When you are choosing a dart flight there are four main characteristics of a dart flight you need to keep in mind.

  1. Size
  2. Shape
  3. Material
  4. Texture

These characteristics in conjunction with each other make a dart flight unique.

Size

The surface area of a dart flight and its size are directly related. The more surface area a flight has the more drag it will produce. This means that using a large flight will cause more drag during a throw slowing the dart down allowing for a more parabolic path and the opposite can be achieved with a smaller flight. You can also trim a flight’s surface to modify its surface area according to your preference although a mistake when trimming can result in the flight being ruined. Nowadays flights are made with materials that allow for precise modifications.

Shape

Dart flights come in many shapes. The shape of the dart flight is an important factor to consider as there are many different flight shapes available on the market. Although some shapes are more popular than others you should find the right shape for yourself. Given below are some of the more popular dart flight shapes:

  1. Standard Dart Flights
    The Standard dart flights are a good choice at all levels as they provide a good balance of lift and stability while still maintaining a long flight time and a good parabolic trajectory. This type of dart flight works very well with heavier darts although it is still good to use with other types of darts. The number 6 shape is a version of the Standard dart flight but it is smaller and allows for higher speed.
  2. Slim Dart Flights
    The Slim dart flights are commonly used. The Slim dart flights have a more elongated shape compared to the Standard dart flights and there is a sharp taper towards the base of the shaft. This type of dart flight is usually used with lighter darts and is generally used by the players who throw hard and prefer precision over accuracy. The Slim dart flights also provide a bit more protection against wear over time caused by friction from tight groupings.
  3. Kite Dart Flights
    The Kite dart flights are shaped like a spearhead which allows them to have a large surface area while still being short in terms of length. The Kite dart flights are for those players who want a bit more lift while still retaining a high amount of control.
  4. Pear Dart Flights
    The Pear dart flights are a variation of the Kite dart flights. The Pear dart flights have a rounded edge instead of the deep angles the Kite dart flights have. The Pear dart flights provide good speed and a decent parabola during a throw.
  5. Fantail Dart Flights
    The Fantail dart flights also called the Lantern dart flights are an elongated variant of the Kite dart flights. The Fantail dart flights retain the same type of profile during a throw as the Kite dart flights thanks to their sharp angles. Although the Fantail dart flights are a bit faster as they have a smaller surface area.
  6. Vortex Dart Flights
    The Vortex dart flights are shaped like a teardrop and have a wedge cut out. The Vortex dart flight boasts a significant surface area ratio making them a good choice for players who want their throws to be slow and controlled. Incidentally, the Vortex dart flights resemble a traditional arrow fletching the most.
  7. Combat Dart Flights
    These crystal-shaped dart flights have a small surface area and sharp angles. This type of dart flight can be used with both steel-tip darts and soft-tip darts and allow for very high precision.

These were some of the commonly used dart flight shapes although many other exotic shaped dart flights also exist such as the Heart shape flight, the Vector flight, the Max Air flight which is quite huge, the V-Wing flight, and the Axis flight. All of these flight shapes have their own perks with varying precision, flight time, and speed.

Generally, if you are looking to increase your accuracy then you should use a slow dart flight with a large surface area and if you are seeking increased precision then smaller flights with sharp angles are the way to go.

Material

Dart flights made nowadays no matter how cheap tend to be manufactured out of high-grade material. Now let us discuss what materials are used to make dart flights. The material from which your dart flights are manufactured will have an impact on the drag and lift of the dart. Thus, the weight and the thickness of the material used to make a dart’s flight have quite an impact on your throws. The most common materials used to manufacture dart flights are hard plastic polymers, soft plastic polymers, nylon, and hard foil.

Nylon Flights

Nylon flights are quite common as dart flights made of nylon especially Ripstop nylon tend to be very durable. Although the interwoven reinforcement fibers added to the nylon flights make them a bit stiff.

Hard Plastic Polymer Flights

Hard plastic polymer flights are decently durable dart flights made by heat sealing very thin layers of plastic polymers. This results in stiff flights. Although hard plastic polymer flights are durable, they can still get damaged and are very hard to repair. This type of dart flight enables you to tightly cluster your darts together because they easily slide past each other.

Soft Plastic Polymer Flights

Soft plastic polymer flights are manufactured using flexible plastic layers allowing the flights to be more durable and less brittle compared to hard plastic polymer flights. These dart flights are very hard to bend or tear and any indentation or bending can be easily repaired.

Texture

You can find a dimple pattern on the surface of many dart flights. The dimple pattern makes the dart flights stiffer and increases drag by increasing the surface area of the flight. It is most beneficial to use dimple pattern flights with heavy barrel darts as it will make the dart more stable during the throw and reduce wobbling. Using dimple pattern flights with light barrel darts will result in additional force being required to throw the dart as the dimpling will likely cause the dart to drop earlier.

Artwork

The artwork on the dart flights only serves aesthetical purposes. Dart flights come in many colors, designs, and other artwork on them allowing you to show your personality through your darts. There is a multitude of varying dart flight artwork available online which you can use to show your personality and decorate your darts. You can even design your own artwork for your dart flights. In the end, the artwork is for your personal preferences.

Dart Flights Protectors

When throwing your darts, you can end up damaging your dart flights by hitting the flight of a dart already on the dartboard with another dart’s tip. A dart’s steel tip can cause wear and tear to the flight of a dart over time. This will force you to get new flights.

You can safeguard your dart flights against this threat using a flight protector. A flight protector is a metal cap that you can attach to the back of your darts in order to protect them from sustaining any damage. The flight protector usually safeguards the flights of a dart by allowing incoming darts to slide past. The flight protector also serves the purpose of keeping the flights perfectly straight thanks to the slots on the protector being in a perfect cross shape.

Conclusion

The flights of your darts can have a huge impact on your throws and it can be very hard to pick the right dart flights for yourself from amongst the many options available on the market. But we hope that this guide would have helped you be more educated about different variables to look out for when buying dart flights. If you are new to darts then it is recommended to try out different types of flights to find the right one for you through trial and error. It is important to know that the correct flight can help you become a good player whereases the wrong flight will make your throws inaccurate and imprecise. So, think carefully before choosing dart flights for yourself. Hopefully, this guide will help you make the right choice and increase your knowledge regarding darts and the sport itself.

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