Choosing dart flights is a very important factor in your dart set-up and care should be taken in choosing the correct shape and texture for your darts and throwing style.
Standard flights tend to guide the darts more efficiently because they have a larger surface area. They tend to be more forgiving of darts thrown at an angle to the board because the larger surface area catches the air and straightens them up.
This does not mean they would be the best choice for everyone though. If you are using very short stems for example, the size and shape of your dart flights becomes a big issue because the darts will not group as closely together without hitting each other causing bounce outs and wrecked flights!
This is when it may be better to choose a different size and/or shape of flight. Smaller flights tend to cut through the air quicker too which I feel enhances the effect of using shorter stems. I have found though, that your throw needs to be very controlled and balanced for this set-up to be effective.
Another factor with flights that I have noticed is that the smoother the texture of flight you use, the less drag effect they have so they will slice more quickly through the air.Also very important when choosing flights is the price and availability factors.
It is worth remembering that you need to be able to readily buy the same design of flights easily from any point of purchase. I also think that because flights get damaged so easily, it makes sense to find some that you like that aren’t too expensive.
So what does all this mean? If your darts tend to hit the board at an angle and you wish to correct this, or you want your darts to "lob" then try using bigger flights and longer stems. If you have no trouble with this and you want your darts to have a flatter trajectory to the board then use flights with a smaller surface area and shorter stems.
I definitely recommend trying all shapes of flight at least once and also various lengths of stems so that you can determine what’s best for you. You may even decide on flights with a smaller surface area and long or medium stems. This is perfectly alright if you are happy with how your darts flight.
It seems that there is always an exception to every rule. I know a very good dart player who plays in the local Whyalla Darts League by the name of Jim Warren. Now when you see his darts fly through the air you will think that he has the wrong flights or stems or even darts because they wobble all over the place before hitting their target.
The thing is though, that they do hit their target over and over and over again. The only thing that bothers Jim, if anything, is that people suggest that he should change his darts set-up when he is so good with his darts the way they are!
© Chris Elsby November 2008 All Rights Reserved.