When we throw darts, we’re not usually focused on how our stance will impact our game.
But how you stand is a vital part of your overall darts game.
If your stance is shaky, inconsistent or misaligned, the rest of your game suffer.
In this post, we’ll review 5 key tips to improving your dart throwing stance.
Nothing here is rocket science. Yet these are the elements that, if practiced, will help you develop a repeatable and effective throwing stance.
And your overall game will improve.
So, what are the magic ingredients for a better darts stance?
1. Line Up Centered with the Dartboard
Lining up is the first element in finding the right stance when you throw darts.
Try to line up so you are centered with the dartboard. Skilled players might choose a spot to the left or right. But this only happens after lots of practice.
The center spot may or may not be where the center of the toe line is. That’s because, in some bars, the toe line (“oche”) is not always correctly aligned with the center of the board.
For this reason, you’ll want to find the center by using the dartboard as your guide.
Find that spot on the floor that aligns with the board’s center and memorize or mark that spot so you line up there every time you throw.
As I’ll mention throughout this article, consistency is one of the key ingredients to a good dart throwing stance.
If you’re wondering how far to stand from the dartboard, the official distance to the throwing line is 7 feet 9 ¼ inches (2.37 meters) from the face of the dartboard.
2. Stand With Your Throwing Side First
Feet placement can be a little tricky at first.
Some players place both feet even on the toe line with their whole upper body facing forward towards the dartboard.
You may even see some skilled players using a full forward stance. And, if you’re new to darts, this might feel like a natural and stable throwing stance.
But, for most us, this type of forward stance will not do us any favors.
Instead, stand with your throwing side first.
So, if you’re right handed, you should stand with your right side towards the dartboard and your right foot up against toe line.
Your right knee should be locked. But a little bend is okay if it helps with accuracy or makes it more comfortable.
Your left foot would be behind the right foot, shoulder width apart or a little closer if it feels more natural.
This is a better stance because it helps keep your torso, shoulders, eyes and throwing arm in alignment.
It also limits any side-to-side arm movement.
These factors will improve your accuracy and consistency.
3. Stand at an Angle
Now that you’re standing with your throwing side first, you need to find a comfortable and effective angle for your stance.
Many experts say the best stance is completely sideways. This means that you’re standing at a roughly 90° angle with the face of the dartboard. Your feet would be almost parallel (see below for my attempt at an illustration of this).
But standing completely sideways might be a little extreme for most players. And you don’t want to struggle with maintaining this stance, because your shot will suffer.
Instead, stand with your torso and shoulders in alignment and at an angle somewhere between 45° – 90°. Your shoulders should stay level and parallel to the ground.
Your front foot can remain flat and at angle that feels comfortable at the toe line. Your rear foot can also be angled outwards and slightly elevated if that helps you maintain balance. But if elevating your rear foot does not add stability, just keep your feet flat.
Even slight adjustments in pivoting your front foot or turning your back foot can make a big difference to your accuracy and consistency.
Experiment with what works best and feels natural. Then try to stick with this stance for all of your throws.
The key is to find an angle that feels natural, stable, comfortable and balanced so you can maintain proper weight distribution.
Which leads us to the next tip . .
4. Balance Your Weight
Proper weight distribution may be the key ingredient to an effective dart throwing stance.
With your feet shoulder width apart, the flat front foot should carry more weight than your back foot.
The front foot is your base. The back foot is there to help you stay balanced. Again, if lifting off your toe with your back foot helps with balance, that’s okay.
It’s important to find the right balance between your feet to eliminate fatigue and improve your overall accuracy.
Many players find a comfortable and balanced weight distribution to be around 80% front foot, and 20% back foot.
Over time, as you tinker with this stance, the right weight distribution will develop naturally.
A Note About Leaning
With most of your weight focused on your front foot base and your knee locked, there is a tendency to lean forward when throwing.
A little leaning is natural. It also may improve your throws at times, as you are moving your body closer to the dartboard.
But too much leaning is not recommended. The farther you lean towards the board, the more weight you put on that front foot, and the more you will use and strain additional muscles when throwing, including your back.
Leaning too much will also decrease weight on your back foot and make you less stable.
Remember, you want to be comfortable and consistent with your throws. So, while a little bit of leaning is natural, too much leaning or lunging will hurt your game.
5. Calm Your Body
The final tip to improve your dart throwing stance is all about stillness.
One common mistake beginner dart players make is moving too much when they throw.
This is often a result of lunging forward or moving the upper arm and shoulder too much during the throwing motion.
Your shoulder should remain steady during the throw. And your spine should remain straight and still while your arm is loose and controlled.
Key Point: The throwing motion comes from above your elbow and should only involve your forearm, wrist and fingers.
Beyond this, even slight upper and lower body movements can destroy your accuracy.
This is especially true when a player lunges towards the board during the throw. If you catch yourself lunging, try to correct this as much as possible.
If lunging becomes routine, you will have a hard time repeating these movements exactly with each throw. So it will be harder to remain consistent with your stance and form.
Just watch the pros play.
You won’t see much, if any, excessive movement when they throw. They are solid and stable.
In summary, your stance is one of the most important aspects of your dart game.
The more you practice your stance, the closer you will come to having a throw that is balanced, comfortable and consistent.
Plus, you will land way more triples. And that’s the ultimate goal, right?
Top image credit:
By Sven Mandel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62447663