Choosing the right dart shafts is an essential part of playing the game. There are various different dart shaft types, all of which will have a slightly different impact on your performance. As with other dart accessories like flights, there is no one best type of dart shaft, it all depends on preference, throwing style and what just ‘feels’ right in your hand. If you’re an avid follower of professional darts, you’ll notice the big name players all have their own preferences when it comes to dart shaft length and type, and in most cases you’ll just need to experiment with these to find a style that suits your own game.
Dart shaft types
Perhaps the biggest distinguishing factor between dart shafts is their length. Typically available in three sizes - short, intermediate and medium (or short, medium and long), they have been designed that way to accommodate different throwing styles. Using a short shaft on your dart shifts the centre of gravity to the front of the dart, which favours those who tend to hold their darts towards the front. In contrast, longer shafts shift the centre of gravity to the rear of the dart, meaning you can get better results if you tend to hold the barrel near the back of the dart. Then you have interesting designs like these Unicorn twist stems (click on them to find out more);
A medium or intermediate dart stem length is considered a good choice for beginners as they help you to achieve maximum stability.
Another factor when considering dart shaft types is the material they are made from. Depending on the material you choose, you might find the dart is lighter or heavier overall, which will impact how the dart flies. The main materials used to make dart shafts given below, and these are some Target titanium darts stems;
- Plastic - cheap, available in many different colours but prone to breaking
- Aluminium - more durable, but can bend
- Nylon - designed to bend more easily and less prone to snapping
- Carbon fibre - lightweight and durable but more expensive (see picture below)
Slim or standard dart stems?
In addition to being available in different lengths, some dart stems are also available in a slim or standard design. The slim stems are easily recognisable by their tapered appearance, and whilst they deliver negligible differences in weight, the main deciding factor will be personal preference. It all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with at the toe line.
The diagram below shows shafts from the Harrows CLIC system which lock specific flights in with the darts. They are reputed to last longer than normal flights and stems and keep thier shape.
The leading brands are pushing the boundaries to the design from all angles. One of the stand out different looking stems are these from Harrows. They have a unique shaft profile that directs airflow around the dart when thrown, producing a more stabilised flight path than regular shafts (click on them to find out more);
Whatever advice you choose to follow, the most important tip we can give you is to enjoy the game. Experiment with your set up until you find the right combination of darts shaft and flights to complement your throwing style and give you the confidence to play at your best. Click here to shop from our range of dart shafts, available in various lengths, slim or standard designs and made from various materials.