So, you love the game of darts, and you’re ready to start playing more of it.
You’ve been online, ordered yourself a dartboard, and even picked out a set of nice-looking darts from your local sports store. Surely, you’re ready to go, right?
The answer is “it depends.”
If you’re looking for a basic game of darts, and you don’t mind that you might destroy various parts of your home in the process, then yes, you’re good to go.
On the other hand, if you want to put your throwing skills to the test, but you don’t want to risk damaging your walls and floors in the meantime, then you might need to look into some dartboard accessories.
There are plenty of added extras that you can implement into your dart games to simultaneously enhance your game, and protect the room that you’re playing in.
After all, it only takes one poorly-aimed dart to leave a hole in your drywall, or a scrape across your new laminate flooring.
Here are just some of the most crucial dart board accessories you’ll need if you want to protect and enhance your darting space.
1. Dart Backboard or Dart Surround
Whether you’re an expert at darts, or you’re just getting started with the game, there are always going to be times when you simply miss the mark.
Anything from a flash of light, to a poorly timed throw, can send your dart into the wall, instead of into your dartboard.
If you want to protect both the tips on your darts and your décor from these wayward shots, then you need a dart backboard.
A backboard is basically a protective surface that you place between the dartboard and your wall.
The purpose of the board is to take the brunt of the force from your darts if you accidentally miss the target.
This reduces the risk that you’ll end up with a snapped dart, and it ensures that you don’t end up with countless holes in your walls.
Dart backboards are often seen as simpler alternatives to a dart cabinet, but it’s possible to use both in some cases.
While dartboard cabinets deliver a more “traditional” look for your home recreational room or bar, a backboard can be more modern.
Additionally, it’s often much cheaper to shell out for a backboard than a full cabinet.
The Viper Defender III is one of the most popular models on the market right now, with 1-inch thick high-density foam to protect your walls and an easy slot-together setup.
2. Laser Throwing Lines (Oches)
You don’t need to bother with a chalk line, strip of tape or piece of wood to make sure you’re throwing darts from the correct distance.
Many players prefer using a laser dart line as a cleaner and more precise option.
The laser line marks the exact distance to throw from and doesn’t require you to mark up or add unnecessary objects to the floor. The light can easily be mounted on the wall or ceiling, too.
To review, the correct distance with steel tip darts is 7 feet 9 ¼ inches from the throw line to the front of the dartboard.
You can easily set these measurements with a laser foot line.
For example, the Viper Laser Toe Line projects a visible and accurate line for both steel tip and soft tip throwing distances.
It takes seconds to attach this battery-operated light to your wall beneath your dartboard. No more adhesive residue on the floor or a raised wooden oches for your guests to trip over.
3. Broken Dart and Shaft Remover
Even with your dart surround or backboard to protect your wall, there’s a chance that your darts may end up somewhere they’re not supposed to be.
You may even hit your dartboard cabinet but end up getting the tip of your dart stuck in the wood.
If this happens, then you’re going to need a reliable way of getting the dart back, without breaking it, or the cabinet.
The good news is that there are tools out there that can help you to remove broken shafts and darts from walls, floors, and any other part of your games room.
The remover will not only protect your assets from further damage, but it could mean that you can repair your darts, rather than having to buy a new set.
The Viper broken dart and shaft remover is great for carefully extracting soft-tip and steel darts.
It helps to improve the life of your dart barrels, by pulling out broken tips so that they can be replaced.
When you’re not using it, simply hang it inside of your darts cabinet.
4. Dart Mat
A dart mat is one of the main dartboard accessories that anyone should consider investing in if they’re decking their game room out at home.
It prevents you from having to mark the floor with tape, and it can defend your wood or laminate from bouncing dart tips.
For people with concrete floors, or those setting up a darts space in their garage, a mat can also protect your darts and stop the tips from breaking too early.
After all, these metal points won’t last long when they’re constantly striking concrete.
The great thing about dart mats is that they’re cost-effective, easy-to-use and convenient.
If you’re not using them and they’d get in the way of the other games in your room, then you can simply roll your mat up and place it in a closet.
The only reason you might not need a dart mat is if you’re planning on playing in a room with a soft carpet.
If you don’t have a carpeted floor, check out the this Dart Mat from Dart World.
The anti-slip rubber is excellent for when you’re trying to get your footing right and, at 3 mm thick, will protect your floors if need be.
It also measures out three different throwing distances for any type of darts setup.
If you happened to buy a darts cabinet along with your bristle dartboard, then most of them come with a basic scoreboard built-in so you can track your points using a piece of chalk or marker.
However, if you’re just working with a standard dartboard and a dart surround, then you’re going to need something that can keep track of your performance for you.
Electronic dart scoreboards aren’t a mandatory part of a good game, but it’s fair to say that it’s a lot easier to have fun when you don’t have to worry about all the math that goes with adding things up with a piece of paper and a pencil.
Specifically, these digital scorekeepers can automate your scoring process for you so that you can enjoy a friendly tournament with your pals, without the stress.
This Arachnid LCD touchpad dart scorer is a simple add-on that easily calculates scores for up to 8 people at a time.
You can factor in player handicapping and even choose what kind of game you’re planning to make scoring more accurate, including Hi-Score, Count Up, and more.
6. Dartboard Stand
Say you want to be able to take your dartboard with you to your friend’s house or move it outside on a sunny day when you don’t want to be cooped up in the garage.
A portable dartboard stand is a fantastic solution – particularly if you choose one that’s durable enough to hold-up to the unpredictable weather outside.
Even if you don’t plan on moving around option, a dartboard stand can be a good choice in accessories if you don’t want to fix a board to your wall.
A simple stand should be portable, compact, and easy to carry with you wherever you go.
For example, the Winmau Dart Stand is a collapsible and adjustable mounting unit that will let you take your game on the road.
This stand features heavy duty black stainless steel and a locking height mechanism.
You can easily mount your dart surround and board to this unit for outdoor or indoor use. Winmau makes a compatible surround for their stand, available here.
Make the Most out of Your Games!
If you’re thinking of setting up a dartboard at home, or in your bar, make sure that you invest in the right accessories to make the most of your new investment.
The 6 options outlined above will give you everything you need for the ultimate recreation room.
Do you think we missed any essential dartboard accessories? Let us know in the comments below!
Further Reading: How to maintain your dartboard for the long haul.