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Full Version: Soft tip board question & recommendations
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Hi, kindof darts newbie here. I've obviously played in pubs before but not had a board at home so thought I'd get one whilst I was working from home with all this going on!

As I have a small child and pets I was informed that I wasn't allowed steel tipped darts in case I maimed any of them! So opted for a super cheap soft tip board to test the waters and see whether I would actually play it much, the one I bought was the unicorn non electronic one.

This worked surprisingly well although the board does feel a little cheap and the darts that came with it were OK actually as it wasn't the usual plastic ones but they only weighed 10g. After a few weeks I decided to upgrade the darts to hopefully get a bit more consistency so went for some dark thunder v2 ones as saw some good reviews. Unfortunately they are obviously too heavy for my cheap board so was wondering what people would recommend?

I've seen the gran board 3s can handle 18g darts but it seems pretty expensive considering I've just started and I can only find it abroad currently, and not overly bothered about the online stuff atm although might be one day when I'm a bit better!

Are there any other soft tip boards that people would recommend that would handle 18g darts and not be too expensive or should I use a standard board, if so, which would people recommend? 

Thanks for any help!
In all honesty, I don't see why the board you chose can't handle a heavier dart. The reason soft tip boards require lighter darts (usually 20 gram is the heaviest recommendation) is due to the electronic components behind the segments. If your board is a NON-electric board, there should be no reason why you couldn't go upwards of 20-22 grams. Anything heavier than that may end up damaging the segments, depending on how well they're constructed, but I don't know how "cheaply" made those particular segments are. I wouldn't go as heavy as a 26 gram necessarily, but again, you don't have the electronics to worry about.

Of course, if you're drilling the darts in at 100mph, then I would go with a lighter dart. If you have a more moderate throw, then I don't see why a 20-22 gram dart will hurt it.

That being said, I had the Cricket Pro 450 and it held up very well. Those can be found in the $65-75 range. I have since moved onto a Nexus and I know I've thrown darts close to 22 grams at it with no known issues. Most of my soft tip darts are right at 20 grams due to the maximum weight allowed for soft tip leagues/tournaments in the US.
(04-25-2020, 05:40 PM)JAMSGOLF Wrote: [ -> ]In all honesty, I don't see why the board you chose can't handle a heavier dart. The reason soft tip boards require lighter darts (usually 20 gram is the heaviest recommendation) is due to the electronic components behind the segments. If your board is a NON-electric board, there should be no reason why you couldn't go upwards of 20-22 grams. Anything heavier than that may end up damaging the segments, depending on how well they're constructed, but I don't know how "cheaply" made those particular segments are. I wouldn't go as heavy as a 26 gram necessarily, but again, you don't have the electronics to worry about.

Of course, if you're drilling the darts in at 100mph, then I would go with a lighter dart. If you have a more moderate throw, then I don't see why a 20-22 gram dart will hurt it.

That being said, I had the Cricket Pro 450 and it held up very well. Those can be found in the $65-75 range. I have since moved onto a Nexus and I know I've thrown darts close to 22 grams at it with no known issues. Most of my soft tip darts are right at 20 grams due to the maximum weight allowed for soft tip leagues/tournaments in the US.

Thanks for the reply, I'm just having constant bounce outs with the new darts (like 9 out of 10 bounce outs) and I think I throw pretty slowly so don't think it's a speed issue, plus I've tried swapping out everything from the old darts with the new ones and I get the same results as soon as I use the heavier barrels so can't be tips/flights etc I don't think.

I'll have a look at those boards then thanks, although it seems like the choice in the UK isn't as good as other places for soft tip boards unfortunately!
It might not be the board...it might be your throw. I don't mean that meanly at all. If your darts aren't coming in with at least some modicum of being "straight" into the board, you may be getting what appears to be bounce outs, when in fact they're landing sideways(ish) onto the board. It could also be the types of tips you're using. They might be too short or too thin for than particular board...

No idea really, just throwing out ideas...
I did think about whether my throw was causing it, I'd say it's a slower more lofted throw, would that explain why the 10g darts work fine and these don't though? I would have thought the increased weight would help them stick in the board better but maybe not?

The segments are pretty loose in my board though and sometimes come out and I have to press them back in which does seem to be a bit cheap, unfortunately this is the only soft tip board I've ever used so I don't have anything else to go on, I have watched reviews on YouTube of better boards and they do seem much more substantial which is why I hoped a better board may work.
(04-25-2020, 06:24 PM)LandoGriffin Wrote: [ -> ]I did think about whether my throw was causing it, I'd say it's a slower more lofted throw, would that explain why the 10g darts work fine and these don't though? I would have thought the increased weight would help them stick in the board better but maybe not?

The segments are pretty loose in my board though and sometimes come out and I have to press them back in which does seem to be a bit cheap, unfortunately this is the only soft tip board I've ever used so I don't have anything else to go on, I have watched reviews on YouTube of better boards and they do seem much more substantial which is why I hoped a better board may work.

If the segments are actually "popping out," I would say you need to get a better board. I just did a quick search on UK's eBAy, and didn't see any Arachnid boards (they produce the one I mentioned earlier). There's a Ton Machine by Winmau that runs around 40 pounds, but I have no idea about it's durability. Not sure what you're budget is, but I would still recommend an Arachnid Cricket series (they have lower end models as well as more expensive) if some seller is willing to ship over the pond...
Ah cool, I'll take a look and see what I can find then, thanks so much for all your help and hopefully I can find something a bit better! 

It's a shame I didn't do this earlier when I could go and test some out somewhere but nevermind!
Try out different lengths of shafts and different shapes of flights. This can affect the angle of the dart when it reaches the board. Also experiment with different tips.
I recommend the DARTSLIVE 200s(online matches coming next week). I’ve had it for about 3 years and never had a problem. I also use my 24.3g darts on it.
I have the cheap Unicorn board & suffer multiple bounce outs, found different dart set ups helped, it's changed my throw (for the better I think) but have a Viper board on the way.
Ended up buying a blade 5 bristle board as got sick of the soft tip board and couldn't find a decent replacement for sale in the UK, best decision I could make I think, plus got some conversion points for my existing soft tip darts so all good now, just gotta work on my playing now!
(06-15-2020, 11:13 PM)LandoGriffin Wrote: [ -> ]Ended up buying a blade 5 bristle board as got sick of the soft tip board and couldn't find a decent replacement for sale in the UK, best decision I could make I think, plus got some conversion points for my existing soft tip darts so all good now, just gotta work on my playing now!

As I'm mainly a soft tip player, but do have a steel tip board, I'm glad I have the option to use conversion tips on all my sets - that way I essentially have "two" sets of darts in each of the sets I have...