You get a maximum of 3 minutes to throw 3 darts. But generally, a turn takes less than 1 minute and professional dart players mostly finish it within 20 seconds. So, anyone trying to learn dart throwing just from watching a good player is a bit difficult.
To make that easier, this article provides a step-by-step guide on how to throw a dart. It starts from the moment you go behind the throw line to finishing the throw with follow-through. This guide is to help you start from the very basics. We have also added a few tips for making your practice sessions more effective. Let’s get started.
How to Throw a Dart: Step-by-Step Guide
We broke down the steps of throwing darts into 2 main parts. First part starts from stance and ends when you correct the dart tip angle for going in throwing motion. While the second part breaks down the throwing motion into 5 steps from pulling back hand to extending it for the follow-through. Both are essential for a successful throw.
Steps before the dart-throwing motion
Steps of throwing a dart start with getting into a throwing stance. You need to choose proper grip, arm position, aim, and tip angle after that. All these combined take you into throwing motion. Following these steps properly is vital for improving your dart-throwing motion, increasing accuracy, and becoming a better player overall. Let’s start.
1.Get in comfortable throwing stance
Choose your stance carefully, as it can affect your accuracy and balance. You must feel comfortable and in control while using a specific stance. There are many different stances. The most common 3 stances are the side stance, forward stance, and angled stance. Practice each stance and see which one feels most comfortable. You might also find a different combination that works the best for you.
2. Choose a dart grip
Just like the throwing stance, the best grip is the one that feels easy to control and release to you. Don’t force yourself to use a grip that makes it hard to control or release the dart. Experiment with different grips to find one that feels most natural for you.
If you ask about the most common grips, the 3-finger dart grip comes first. It is recommended by most players. This grip balances ease of release, stability and control over the dart. Follow these steps below for the 3-finger grip:
- Put your thumb a bit behind the dart’s center of gravity.
- Place your index and middle finger on the dart barrel, with the index being just above the thumb.
- Keep other fingers open and relaxed.
- Avoid gripping the dart too tightly.
3. Proper arm positioning
Your shoulder, upper arm, elbow, and wrist affect the accuracy. It is essential that they are in the proper position. The technique below helps you ensure smooth and consistent throws:
- Make the upper arm parallel to the ground.
- Align your wrist, elbow, and shoulder at 90° angle.
- The elbow should be slightly up.
4. Select your aim strategically
After correcting your stance, arm position, and grip, you aim the darts. Choose a specific target on the board, such as a particular number or section. Don’t just go for the bullseye or highest-scoring area. Consider the areas beside that in case you miss. Follow the instructions below to aim a dart-
- Pick a target depending on your skill level and scoring system. Have a strategy for targets before your turn comes.
- Determine your dominant eye.
- Use a sight line, a straight line from your dominant eye to the target and focus on it to ensure accurate aim.
5. Keep the tip upward
Keep the dart tip slightly up during the throw to create a parabolic curve toward the target. This helps to reduce bounce-outs and increase accuracy by ensuring that the dart hits the board at the correct angle.
Step-by-Step guide to dart-throwing motion
Throwing motion starts when you start moving your hands to release the dart toward the board. You can’t get it right without correcting the steps of proper stance, grip, arm position, aim, and tip angle. So, it’s better to correct them first. Then, follow the instructions below for better throwing motion.
1. Pulling backward
Pulling back helps to create force for the throw. Avoid unnecessary body movements as that might cause inconsistent throws. Just pull back your hand starting from the elbow. The palm should be facing up naturally when you bend the elbow. As for how much to bend, there isn’t a right answer for all. Experiment to find the best position for you. Additionally, try to keep your upper arm and shoulder relaxed for support as you throw.
2. Speed up
Use your hand, wrist, and elbow to speed up. Put the force on the forearm. Let your forearm go in forward motion to release the dart. Here your arm movement determines the speed and direction of the dart. Don’t go overboard with the acceleration. The dartboard is just 7-8 feet away.
3. Release at once
You need to release the dart from all your fingers at once. Delayed release from any of the fingers affects the darts’ trajectory. It harms the accuracy and consistency of the throw. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a grip that is easier to release and involves fewer fingers. It’s the very reason why 4-finger and 5-finger dart grips aren’t quite common among many players.
And if you ask about the release point, there is no right answer. Pick out a point that feels natural and gets the work done. For example, releasing the dart when it reaches the point where you pulled it back from is a good idea. Or you might also release it when the arm starts going in forward motion.
4. Snapping wrist forward
Snap your wrist as you release the dart. Let it snap forward. This will help you to generate additional power and accuracy for the throw. You need to be very careful while controlling the direction of the wrist snap. Avoid snapping downward. That will make the dart go below the target.
5. Follow through
Follow-through is vital for building a consistent throwing form. It’s better not to overlook it. Instead, make a full follow-through after each throw. Simply let your hand extend all the way naturally forward, facing the target. Don’t let your hand go sideways. Make sure to not put too much pressure on the elbow.
You might watch the video below to understand the dart throwing motion better.
Tips to Make Your Dart-throwing Practice More Effective
Practice is key to mastering dart throwing. However, simply throwing darts at a board without any strategy or guidance can be a waste of time and effort. Let’s explore some effective ways to make your dart-throwing practice more productive, so you can make the most of your practice and perform at your best.
1. Be conscious of every step
One of the most important things you need to do when practicing darts is to be conscious of every step in your throwing technique. This means analyzing every single detail of your position and movement. You can use your smartphone or a camera to record your throw from different angles and slow the footage down to get a better view of your technique.
You may ask for the opinion of an experienced player or your fellow dart player. This will aid in identifying areas where you may be making mistakes or need to improve. It also helps to build muscle memory. This improves your overall technique by aiding in repeating the correct steps. Eventually this will make you better at playing darts.
2. Limit movement while throwing
The less movement you have in your grip, stance, and throwing motion, the more accurate and consistent your throws will be. So, minimize any unnecessary movement in your stance and throwing motion. This helps to develop muscle memory too.
3. Try different types of darts
There are different types of darts available, each with a different weight, shape, and center of gravity. Trying them is an effective way to improve your dart throwing. It helps you identify where the center of gravity is. That’s essential for your dart grip’s finger placement. Additionally, you will start to better understand the amount of pressure you need to put on different darts while throwing.
Where do you throw the darts from?
The standard throwing distance is 7 feet 9 and 1/4 inches or 2.37 meters for a steel-tip dartboard. And it’s 8 feet or 2.4384 meters for soft tip or electronic dartboards from the front of the dartboard to the toe line. That’s where you should stand while throwing your darts.
The toe line is a marked line on the floor that points out where you should stand. It is also called oche or throw line. Both feet must be behind the toe line till the last throw.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit the target right away. It takes time to build hand-eye coordination and the muscle memory necessary for consistent throws. Try out different techniques and keep practicing until the correct steps of throwing a dart becomes natural for you.
But most importantly, have fun! Enjoying the practice itself helps you to progress earlier. So gather your friends, set up a dartboard, and let the good times roll.