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All About Bristle Dartboards

A bristle dart board is manufactured out of sisal fibers; it's a tough, stiff fiber - perfect for dartboard constructing!

A bristle dart board is manufactured out of sisal fibers; it’s a tough, stiff fiber – perfect for dartboard constructing! This fiber is clumped together and compressed to a precise density; they’re then kept in place with steel bands and staples. The regulation size for a bristle dartboard is 1.5 inches thick and 18 inches in diameter. A dart board is separated into 20 wedged sections, numbered from 1 to 20, characteristically alternating in coloring from white to black or some variation thereof. The board has an outer ring worth double standard points, an inner ring worth triple the usual points, and a two-layer bulls-eye.

Caring for your darts & bristles 

First and foremost of all, don’t get your dartboard wet and make sure you use a few good darts, steel tipped of course! A blunt dart will crush and harden your dartboard whereas a sharp dart will slice and cut the fiber instead of evenly spreading them apart like it’s supposed too. Dart tips that are too sharp will also burr easily which is never good. To check for burrs you can simply slide your finger alone the dart tip. If you’re dart is burred you will feel little sharp hooks that when pulled out of the board will tear and rip fibers out.

Compression benefits 

The compression of the sisal fibers in the bristle dart board make it self-healing, which means that when darts are removed from the board the fibers go back into place, leaving the dart board intact. A dart that strikes the board temporarily splits the fibers apart as opposed to pressing them inward or creating holes in the fibers themselves. These fantastic qualities also keep the dart in place after contact, making sure proper scoring and a hassle-free game.

Metal grids and staples 

One of the foremost problems with bristle dartboards was the metal grid, and the metal staples used to keep the grid flush against the sisal fibers. They broke darts, they broke hearts. High quality boards today have totally eliminated the metal staples, and have made the bands of the grid much smaller and less obtrusive. This improves scoring on darts which land close to the boundaries of various point lines, and also minimizes bounce backs from darts actually impacting on the metal as opposed to the board.

Dartboard history

Nodor, a dart and dartboard manufacturing business were the first to have introduced the bristle dartboard made from sisal fibers. This was in the 1930s, and the company touts being “First and Still the Finest” as its official slogan. Nodor also led the pack with improvements upon the metal wiring and staples used in order to increase overall play, functionality and scoring. Nodor, along with Winmau and a handful of other firms manufacture and distribute high quality bristle dartboards today.

Bristle dartboard vs. other choices  

For an authentic game of darts, the bristle dart board remains the top option available. Electronic dart boards are commonly used and provide benefits such as automatic and instant score keeping, as well as a variety of included games. These are ideal for offices and work related places where a misplaced dart could have some bad consequences. The problem with them is that the darts used and the board itself limits the quality of play. Other materials may be used for classic dartboards, but bristle dartboards are generally the most durable and the highest quality.

In summary

  • Buy a bristle dartboard if you’re looking to have an authentic dart experience.
  • Buy an electronic dart board if you’re in a place where darts are a bad idea.
  • Make sure you care for your dartboard and your darts – remember to not get it wet.
  • A last tip, rotate the dart board often if you’re not keeping score – it will even out the wear and keep it looking like new for longer!

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