Are you new to the darts game and confused by the huge variety of shapes, sizes and textures of darts flights? Having trouble finding flights that will help you improve your game? The following article is for you! All variations in flight style serve a purpose, and choosing the right one can really help you improve your score!
So why the different styles of darts? Generally speaking, smaller and smoother flights will allow arrows to cross the air faster with less drag, but will still be less forgiving of variations in angle of attack. Conversely, larger and more textured flights will cause arrows to fly slower in the air with greater drag, and they will more often forgive variations in angle.
Let's look at the two most common forms of flight, standard and thin …
Probably the most common form, and also one of the largest. Standard flights should be used if you are throwing less power or want to "lobby" your arrows on board. You may also want to use standard steel boom flights if the booms are heavier or have longer shafts. Heavier arrows require less force to ram into the arrow board, and larger flights will help retain longer arrows with easier throwing.
Standard flights can also help to straighten and stabilize the path of an arrow in the air. If your arrows are constantly sticking to the board with the angles to the floor, you may want to increase your size. The added drag of larger shapes will push the boom shaft upwards, helping to adjust the downward angle. Ideally, you want your arrows to hit the board at a perfectly even angle or with the fields slightly upwards, no more than 5-10 degrees. In addition, since longer shafts can tend to "fish tail" in the air, arrows with longer shafts can benefit from the stabilizing effect of larger arrows.
Less than standard, thin flights are good if you like to throw harder, you want to avoid lobbying your arrows if you use lighter arrows or short shafts. Soft tip darters can benefit from the use of thin flights, as soft tip darts are usually lighter, thus requiring harder throwing to stick on the board. In addition, if your darts stick to the board at a high angle upwards (greater than 10 degrees), you may want to switch to thin flights. Smaller flights will help reduce drag in the air, allowing the end of the boom to fall slightly when thrown. Finally, thin flights will help you reduce the chances of dropping and damaged flights from tight groups, especially if your arrows have short shafts.
Beyond the common standard and thin shapes, there is a wide variety of other shapes, including pear, butterfly, vortex, fan tail, and more. These shapes range from larger than standard to smaller than thin.
When choosing from less common flight styles, remember –
Larger flights are better for:
- softer throws or "foreheads"
- heavier darts
- longer shafts
- steel tip darts
Smaller flights are better for:
- harder or harder throws
- lighter darts
- shorter shafts
- soft-top darts
Smooth Vs. Textured flights
Smooth flights will drag less into the air, while textured flights will drag more into the air. If you find that your darts are flying just slightly different from what you want, you may want to try changing a coarser or smoother texture while remaining in the same shape. The texture of the flight can help serve as a "fine-tuning" to really dial in your game.
Distribution of your flights
Remember to spread your flights properly before throwing darts. You want the fins of all your flights to stand exactly 90 degrees to each other, otherwise you will not enjoy the full benefits of the flight!
One of the best ways to maintain your flight perfectly is to use aluminum flight protectors. They will also help you prevent damage to your flights and you should not have to spread your flights before each roll, allowing you to focus more fully on your game.
Please note that you do not have to follow these instructions! Very advanced, talented darts play with a combination of light barrels, short shafts and standard flights. If you're trying to find the best configuration for your style of play, try several combinations of flights, weights and shaft lengths. Experimentation will help you find the perfect set of darts for your style!