Whether you’re playing by yourself or shooting a few games with your pals, a good game of darts can be fun, relaxing, and a great way to spend some time. Less fun, however, is the clean up afterward. Leaving the darts in the dartboard may seem like an easy way to store them, or maybe you’ve never given it much thought. But does it affect the dartboard or darts in a negative way to leave the darts stuck in it, or is it totally fine to leave the darts in the board?
Is it bad to leave darts in a dartboard?
Leaving your darts in the dartboard for a short amount of time is okay. However, by leaving your darts in your board you’re preventing the board from healing itself. Leaving your darts stuck in the dartboard also risks increasing the possibility of causing the holes to get bigger and worse much faster. Storing your darts in the dartboard may even cause drying or deformation of the fibers.
So, if you can’t leave your darts in the board, where do you leave them? Why exactly shouldn’t you leave them in? Is there a safe period of time you can leave them in for? If you have these questions, I have the answers for you!
Is it bad to leave darts in a dartboard?
A lot of us have probably been there: you have just got done playing a whole bunch of rounds of darts with your friends, it’s late, and you decide that you’re all much too tired to clean up the board afterward. What’s the harm in leaving the darts in, anyway? It’s not like they explicitly say not to do that, right? Well… Even though I personally have yet to see a dartboard come with a very clear warning not to leave or store your darts in the board itself, they really should. It’s actually bad if you do this too often or for too long.
Ask any professional darts player if it’s okay to leave your darts in after playing and, while you may get a few different answers scattered around here and there, the general consensus is no. They’ll likely tell you that leaving your darts in your dartboard, especially over long periods of time, just isn’t good for the overall health of the dartboard and may even damage the darts, too.
It’s usually recommended to remove the darts from the board as soon as you can. By storing the darts and the board properly, you’ll greatly increase the life of the whole set. Bonus? You’ll save yourself some frustration and money in the long run. Plus, do you really want a professional dart player to give you that disappointed look reserved only for the biggest of newbs?
I didn’t think so.
But why is it bad to leave darts in a dartboard?
So, the general consensus from pro darts players is that leaving your darts in your dartboard after a game does more harm than good. But why is that?
- Darts are heavy and large. Over time these heavy darts can leave even bigger holes, or even tear up the board more than normal play sessions might.
- Darts prevent sisal boards from healing. Sisal boards are among the most popular type of dartboards for one very good reason: they are made in a way so that after a dart is removed, the board can heal the holes that were made in it, thus improving the longevity of the board. However, if you decide to leave the darts in the board, the board cannot heal and the holes tend to remain for much longer. These holes can sometimes even stay in permanently, reducing the effectiveness of your board and really messing up your game.
- While leaving darts in electric boards isn’t as bad as other boards, it may still wear out the plastic. Akin to the sisal boards, leaving darts in an electric board can make the holes enlarge more than usual play can. Even though electric boards don’t need to heal since they are made of plastic and already have pre-made holes in them, leaving the darts in can stretch out these holes and wear out the plastic, making it fragile and more likely to shatter or snap.
- The holes caused by the darts can both dry out and introduce unwanted moisture deep inside the board. This moisture will inevitably destroy the board from the inside out, weakening the structure.
- It’s also bad for darts to stick out of a dartboard for an extended period of time. The weight of the dart’s body will be pulled down by gravity, slowly bending the tip. This will make it much harder for you to aim accurately, and it’ll eventually make it impossible for your darts to even stick in the board.
The quality of the board can also determine how bad of an effect leaving the darts in might have. For example: the lower quality board you have, the more problems and more damage will probably appear. But the higher the quality of board you have the less likely leaving your darts in will have a negative effect right away. This can apply to all types of boards; sisal, electric, paper, etc.
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How to properly store your darts
It may not seem too terribly important initially, but the proper storage of your darts can not only help to make it easier to find them all and keep track of them but may also help lengthen both their lifespan and your board’s. And a longer lifespan for both the board and darts means many more fun dart games further down the line and less expense for you! Since dart storage on the dartboard itself is highly discouraged, where is a safe place to keep them? Cupboards, shelves, and drawers are your friends! You can even go the extra mile and get a special box to store all of your darts in if you really wanted to be extra fancy with it. And since you’re concerned about how awesome your game cave looks and feels, I’m pretty sure you want to go the fancy route. I know I do!
Of these options though, the most convenient way would probably be storing them in a specially built dartboard cupboard. In this case, the darts would be safely tucked in right next to the board, all zipped up nice and sexy on the wall. However, any of these options are suitable for safe and convenient dart storage.
But what if you don’t have any space to store darts?
Not every game cave can be a super mega coliseum of wonder, so what about those times where space is limited or you otherwise cannot afford to have a special place to safely store your darts? Could there be a safe way to leave your darts on the board without harming the board or the darts?
Well, if push comes to shove and you have absolutely no more space to store your darts, but you still want to negate the damage you inflict to your board, you’re not out of luck. You can keep your darts on the board without causing too much damage by storing the darts on the part of the board you don’t play on. Typically, this would be the black outer rings.
What does that mean?
For the most part, most dartboards have the inner playing area and an outer area, which is usually black colored.
The actual play surface will have lines, colors, and other markings to designate it as the play space. The outer ring is generally undecorated. Basically, you’re looking for the part of the dartboard where you’d score no points and earn the laughter and ribbing of your friends if you hit it. Dartboards tend to be made of the same material all over. That means storing the darts on the outer black edges of the board instead of the inner play area can be decent in a pinch, all without harming the board or darts as much as just leaving them in the play area.
This will still cause the negatives I mentioned earlier: bigger holes, weaker surrounding area, and so on. But since we’re using the outer rings that aren’t typically used for games, we can save the inner play area from any undue harm. But you do still run the risk of damaging the darts over time.
Just remember: if you do decide to use this method, then always be sure to keep the darts as far away from the playing area as you can.
So, while you can technically leave your darts in your dartboard for a little while, it’s really for the best if you do this infrequently and not for too long of a time. Most, if not all, pro darts players recommend to never store your darts in your dartboard. Instead, they suggest you invest in a separate dart holder. This can be anything from a drawer, darts cabinet, or a special box. So long as you keep your darts nearby your dartboard and out of the board itself, you are taking the proper steps to care for your dartboard and increase its longevity and the enjoyment of your game.