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Change your flights!

Do you think what flights you use doesn’t make much difference to your darts? You’re wrong!

I was playing darts down at the local football club one night recently with the darts spraying widely into the 5 and 1 with regularity. I was using some cheap flights that I had been given to try out. I thought enough was enough, so I changed to a decent set of Pentathlon flights (100 micron) and the difference was immediate. No change of stems, same darts but just a change of flights from one standard set to another. I didn’t just shoot straight into the 20’s but hit plenty of treble 20’s as well.

Now I’ve played this sport of darts for nearly 40 years and have never come across such a change in fortune with just one change of flights. Of course, the dart barrels and stems you use are also very important, but don’t forget the cheapest part of your set-up could be the most important part as well.

Here's why. Did you know that there are over two dozen dart flight shapes available on the market today? Each flight shape is designed to let your dart fly to the dartboard depending on what type of throw you have. So, a person that lobs their dart would typically prefer a more standard flight shape, or a shape that has more surface area to allow the dart to fly straighter. Someone that throws with more force and would likely use a heavier barrel should use a slim shaped flight or some sort of variant to that. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Also flights come in a range of thickness starting at 75 microns thick right through to 180 microns. Typically a thinner flight (75 microns) will be cheaper but will also be easier to tear or rip on the impact of following darts. The benefit of these though is that it will leave the end of your dart setup lighter and help the dart to stand up a little more, Both weight and shape will help the trajectory of the dart through the air and into the board. If your dart lands too steep, try changing to a slim or at least a pear-shaped flight which will help flatten out your dart and its landing.

A 180 micron flight is the thickest possible flight available on the market today and whilst considered more durable with just small nicks on the material likely after a darts session, it will also provide your dart setup with a shade more rear-end weight to help flatten the trajectory of your darts if required. But these flights are typically not suited to an alloy or alloy topped stem, because of their thickness.

Whilst folded flights are the most popular on the market today, many players are joining the molded flights push. These are easier to assemble onto the dart shaft with a cone or socket opening design and they certainly reduce the chance of a “robin hood”. The downside of these though is that they can be much more expensive than the normal folded flights and typically only come in the standard shape range.

Next time you are practising your darts at home in the garage, try some varieties of flights from shapes to micron thickness. For just a couple of dollars for a set of normal flights, it might end up being the best $2 you spend!

Paul Webber

Owner – Bullseye Darts


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