Darts originated in medieval England as a military pastime, when bored soldiers launched sharp objects, such as spearheads, from the trenches they sat in at the bottoms of overturned casks of wine. Not only was it a great way to pass the time, but it also turned out to be a highly effective way for soldiers to perfect their aiming and throwing abilities. As word about the novel activity spread throughout the rank and file, soldiers turned the activity into a competition as a way to affirm their mettle, the wine cask targets turned into tree trunks. As time moved forward, the popularity spread throughout all factions of society and the game continued to advance into the modern-day darts that we’re all familiar with.
Today, darts is one of the most popular games, played both recreationally and professionally. Whether you’ve just taken up the sport and you know that you want to compete one day or you’ve been playing for a while and you’ve decided that you want to go a step further and play professionally, setting yourself up for success is important. The good thing about darts is that minimal equipment is required; all you need is a dart board and a collection of darts to throw at the board. While the minimal amount of gear that’s needed is most definitely a good thing, there are so many different types of dart boards and darts, and of course, the options range from cheap to high-end.
Of the two types of gear that are needed to play the game of darts, the darts themselves are kind of important; after all, the entire premise of the game is aiming and throwing the darts at the dart board in an attempt to hit certain numbers or intended targets. Needless to say, because the darts themselves are so important, you want to make sure that you select options that will help to advance your game. When shopping for darts, a lot of people are surprised to learn that there are varied weights available, ranging from just south of 20 grams (lightweight) to slightly above 30 grams (heavyweight). While that weight range might not sound like a lot, in the world of darts, it is quite significant.
If you’re attempting to set yourself up to play professionally or you want to continue playing recreationally, but you want to up your game, you may be wondering what dart weight the pros use. Keep on reading to find out.
Why Dart Weight Matters
Before we explore what weight darts professionals play with, let’s first discuss the importance of dart weight. It’s important to know why dart weight matters so that you can decide what weight to use to achieve your goals. So, why does dart weight matter? Well, quite simply, it’s because the weight not only impacts how it will feel in your hand, but it will also affect how the dart will travel through the air.
Some players prefer using heavier darts, while others find that they’re more comfortable and that they perform better with lighter darts. Selecting the right weight for you is important, as the weight will allow you to increase your consistency and your success. When deciding which dart weight to use, you want to consider your throwing style and select a weight that complements that style. When you’re trying to decide which darts to use, it’s also important to know that changing certain aspects of a dart can impact its overall weight.
Factors That Affect Dart Weight
If you’ve played darts at the bar or a friend’s house, or if you’ve been shopping for darts before, there’s no doubt you’ve noticed a weight difference between different types of darts. A dart’s construction has a direct impact on its weight; for example, those that are constructed of steel are heavier, while those that are made of plastic are lighter. As mentioned above, while the difference in weight may be marginal and you probably wouldn’t notice such a slight difference if it were anything else, when it comes to darts, the difference of a few grams has a huge impact on a dart, and in turn, a huge impact on your performance and enjoyment.
Steel Tip Darts
When steel tip darts are measured, the flight and shaft are excluded. Most players who use steel tip darts use tips that are made of brass steel, which, on average, weighs between 18 and 23 grams. Steel tip darts that are made of tungsten steel, on the other hand, are a bit heavier, and range from 23 to 26 grams. It’s important to note that when playing professionally, the weight limit permitted for use among major organizations should not exceed 50 grams.
Soft Tip Darts
Unlike steel tip darts, which exclude the flight and shaft when measured, with soft tip darts, the entire dart is measured, including the flight, shaft, and barrel. The average weight is between 16 and 20 grams, so they’re slightly lighter than steel tip counterparts. It used to be that soft tip darts were a lot lighter than they are today; however, due to advances in technology, they have become noticeably heavier. At the time of writing, the increase in weight averaged from 12 grams to nearly 20 grams.
According to professional organizations, the weight of a soft tip dart cannot exceed 25 grams.
What Weight Darts Do Professionals Use?
Now that you have a basic understanding of dart weight and why it matters, let’s examine the initial question: What weight darts do professionals play with?
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer to that question, as there is no right or wrong weight. The fact is, dart weight is a highly personal decision. Some professional players prefer playing with lighter darts, while others find that they do better with heavyweight darts. Generally speaking, most novice players find heavier darts easier to throw than lighter darts, as the additional weight means that the dart doesn’t have to be thrown as hard to hit the board; however, aiming heavier darts tends to be harder than aiming lighter weight darts.
What Dart Weight Should You Choose?
It really depends. In order to decide which weight dart will best suit your needs, your best bet is to try out a few different options to see what you’re most comfortable handling and what you perform best with.