Darts keep falling out? Guide to scuffing your points
There can be multiple reasons why darts will not stick into a board initially or fall out a few seconds later.

-Bad board. Can be new with a defect or an old board with worn sisal/fibers. In some cases you can't do anything no matter how much you scuff your points. A very worn bullseye is almost impossible to work with.

-Your setup. If you have a light throw combined with a light dart, that's often the perfect combination for fall outs. I used to throw 14g Hankey's and my throw is a light lob...I had a lot of fall/bounce outs unless I scuffed my points.

-Your points are too smooth. Time to scuff.



Many players think using a sharpening stone or "scuffing your points" involves making the point sharper. It makes sense...the sharper the point = dart goes in deeper.

The problem isn't how deep the point is entering, it's the board gripping the dart after it enters the board. Remember, your dart is only stuck in with a small metal point with 99% of the dart weight pulling down the opposite end.

It's like sticking a needle into a pillow. If the needle is smooth/polished, it's going to slide out just as easy if put in 1/2" or an 1" So sharpening your point does nothing.

What you want do is scuff the first 1/2" of the point so it creates friction with the fibers on the board. Scuffing the points takes away the smoothness of the point and gives your points tiny little gritty edges that will snag on the board fibers.


I find so many people wanting to replace their points with some type of grip point, longer point, etc... because their darts won't stick. Almost every single time I've scuffed their points, it solves their issue immediately.

So here is a few ways to do it.



First of all. You don't want nice shiny points.

[Image: 106k302.jpg]





You have a couple of different methods.


1. Sandpaper (my favorite)
2. Sharpening stone





Sandpaper Method #1





First grab some sandpaper. I use 120-150 grit personally. If that's not doing the trick, try a lower grit.


I like to spread it over the edge of a table/work bench. Just makes it easier and gives your more room for you hand/barrel. Don't do this on a nice table...if the sandpaper slips/you scuff up the table, you won't be happy.

[Image: 2akcuaf.jpg]







Now you want to angle the dart on the sandpaper so only the first 1/2" or so is laying against the sandpaper. This is why I like to use the edge of a table...you can keep the barrel from being sanded too.


I marked the section that needs to be touching. It looks like my barrel is near the sandpaper but it's just the camera angle.


[Image: 50i6gi.jpg]







Now simply slide the dart back and forth along the sandpaper while spinning the dart in your fingers. You want to get the whole 1/2" section scuffed.


[Image: 9uyfb9.jpg]







This is what you want the point to look like. Remember, this is an up close picture using a bright flash...your point under normal lighting will just have a slight matte/non-shiny look.


[Image: 33ykthx.jpg]







Sandpaper Method #2


You can also use a small piece of sandpaper, pinch it together, and then spin the dart point inside the sandpaper. You may need to make a few new folds if you're using light grit paper....you'll quickly smooth out that sandpaper section.


I sometimes bring a small piece of sandpaper with me when playing leagues/tournaments. It works great in a pinch.


[Image: 2r7r7cx.jpg]



Sharpening Stone

You can also use a regular sharpening stone in two ways.


On the side like you use the sandpaper (holding the stone with the other hand of course....I couldn't do it because I was holding a camera). Just slide the point back and forth while rolling the barrel.


[Image: 2crtw5t.jpg]





Or spinning the dart along the inside edges like you're stirring paint. Again, use your other hand to hold the stone.


[Image: 2e5pbwl.jpg]



I prefer sandpaper.


Immediately after scuffing your points, you'll notice the darts are much harder to pull out of the board. That's good.


You will need to scuff your points often depending on much you play. At first the darts will really stick and you need a good pull to get them out of the board but they'll be easier after a few throws. I usually scuff my points every week or so.



Hope this helps...I've helped players scuff their points that have been throwing for years and they had no idea this is what you're supposed to do. So many people think they NEED barbed/board grip points (where the grip is on the point tip)...this should solve it.
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One of the reasons I made this thread is because of a situation a few weeks ago.

I came across a player using barbed points that were tearing up our new Unicorn HD pub boards that we just got. I asked him why he needed them and gave me the "I've been playing for 5 years, my darts never stick and these new points have saved me...etc..etc.."

After a quick chat I find out he's never heard of actually scuffing points...it was like voodoo to him.

Just angers me when I see people tearing up good pub boards for no reason....especially boards you play/practice on a lot and try to take care of.
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Great post Reg!!

It's surprising how much of a difference scuffing the points makes - sometimes you have to give them a good yank to get them out Big Grin
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Great advice Jeff and really nicely explained, cheers! +1 from me Smile
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Brilliant post. If it was posted 24 hrs earlier would have saved me starting a new thread (unless that's why you posted it!)
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Good stuff here. A few years ago I always had a piece of sandpaper with me at all times when playing darts. But since switching to Storm points (black & gold ones) 2 years ago, I haven't had to scuff them up yet. They seem to stick in the board really well. I remember when I was sent a set of 21 gram Hankey's that I was going to use for customizing. I played with the original points for about a week. They were smooth and shiny. I played with them on the first day I got them and had a few darts fall out of the board in slow motion just like what happened to Chizzy's darts. When I woke up in the morning I found all 3 darts on the floor under the dart board. LOL After that I went in the basement and found some sandpaper. Problem 100% fixed.

+1
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Good God man thats brilliant post plus 1 ( I mostly use method #2 )
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Hi Reg' et All

Great thread on a very important point (please excuse pun Big Grin).

Oh!...The matches I've lost due to not keeping the scuffing up on my dart points and the annoyance of a winning dart falling out of a double!!! Angry

I used to do pretty much exactly what you do until I bought my EZE-LAP tool to do the job. Obviously any abrasive medium will do the job and I find the finer the grooves the better the grip.

I trust you find this short video highlighting the method I use will serve to enhance both of our points. Big Grin







Cheers
Dorian
Son of Merlin

Caerleon - Wales

(Monster "Milkman" - 22.4Gm, Smooth Gold Points 36mm, Yellow Kite Shape Flights 100 micron & Solid Brass Stems)

[Image: 0mbrxgh.png]

My father Merlin, once told me that "You should end up pointing to what you were aiming at when you've released the Dart."




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Very cool. Thanks for posting.

When you mention the "finer grooves the better"...in your experience do you think that applies the same with sandpaper?

I personally like 120-150 grip range...it provides plenty of "suction" (that what is feels like when trying to pull a dart) for me.


Also...if you have a good friend that can take a joke. Scuff his points really really well when he's in the restroom at the pub. A lot of players will walk up the board after the throw and just grab their darts quickly with one hand.

Doing this can produce some hilarious results when they go snatching the darts out.
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(01-15-2015, 12:02 PM)Regulatori Wrote: Very cool. Thanks for posting.

When you mention the "finer grooves the better"...in your experience do you think that applies the same with sandpaper?

I personally like 120-150 grip range...it provides plenty of "suction" (that what is feels like when trying to pull a dart) for me.


Also...if you have a good friend that can take a joke. Scuff his points really really well when he's in the restroom at the pub. A lot of players will walk up the board after the throw and just grab their darts quickly with one hand.

Doing this can produce some hilarious results when they go snatching the darts out .

Hi Reg'

Because the fine diamond scores the surface whilst rotating and doesn't wear as easily as say abrasive paper, it quickly produces a more consistent series of ultra fine 'gramophone -like' lines / grooves.

Your methods work very well and I doubt there's a huge difference .... perhaps the main advantage would be the diamond will never really wear out (I've had mine for about 7 years or so).

Cheers and (+1) for bringing the topic up.
Dorian
Son of Merlin

Caerleon - Wales

(Monster "Milkman" - 22.4Gm, Smooth Gold Points 36mm, Yellow Kite Shape Flights 100 micron & Solid Brass Stems)

[Image: 0mbrxgh.png]

My father Merlin, once told me that "You should end up pointing to what you were aiming at when you've released the Dart."




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