Last updated on September 17, 2017
Learning how to properly throw darts is a must. Once you learn to do that, squaring up your aim will come to you as naturally as walking. (But, of course, you should still think about investing in a dartboard wall protector just in case, since Rome wasn’t built in a day.)
How to grip a dart
The part of the dart you want to grip is the barrel of the dart, which is the main part of the dart, the area in between the tip and the tail. Note how there will actually be a grooved surface there; that’s to improve your grip. (Which is why it’s important to learn how to clean darts because if this area gets grimy, your grip goes to pot.)
You can technically grip a dart anywhere on the barrel; you can grip the front portion of the barrel or the back. Famous players, including world champions, have used both grip styles very effectively. Many long-time players will tell you to choose the grip you had when you first picked up and threw a dart, before you learned the finer points. Logically, this is the grip that you’re inclined to, and it will simply feel more natural. It’s more important to go with the grip that feels most comfortable, because gripping the dart is only one aspect of properly throwing one.
How to throw darts
Once you’ve found a grip you feel comfortable with, it’s time to get into a good dart throwing stance. This, too, can vary. As long as you’re not over the throw line, you do have some leeway here. But the general rule of thumb is you want to stand on the side of the oche that is diagonal from your throwing arm. So, if you’re left-handed, you’d stand on the right side of the oche and vice versa. This puts the tip of your dart squarely on your target, while allowing your shoulder and elbow more flexibility in the process.
When you’re aiming the dart, most pros will suggest you hold the dart eye level and your elbow at a ninety-degree angle, and this is a good rule of thumb. When you hold the dart like this, you can sometimes use the grooves on the tail as a sight to help line up your aim. Also, with your elbow in the ninety-degree position, you have more room to properly follow through with the movement when you’re actually throwing the dart.
There is an exception to this general rule of thumb, however. If holding your elbow at a ninety-degree angle is unnatural, uncomfortable and feels like it’s throwing you off your game, try dropping it a bit. This is not a good suggestion for most people. But darts is a game of skill and intuition. Sometimes, you do need to listen to your body and modify a technique here or there to best suit your needs and style. Indeed, there are a lot of pro level players who drop their elbow. For most people, this causes the arm to work harder; however, if it feels more natural to you, and the results you get are good, it’s worth trying out.
When you throw the dart, you want to follow through the movement. This means that you make a long, fluid movement instead of a short, jerky one, which will ultimately throw off your aim. If you’ve ever played baseball or cricket, it’s similar in principle to that. When you throw a ball, you have to follow through to keep it from going too high or too low, and it’s the same in darts. This will keep your aim on point every time.