Dartboards are significantly better these days thanks to advancements in manufacturing and dartboard design. For the most part, dartboards are of higher quality and will last longer. Even cheaper dartboards are of decent quality and will allow you to enjoy the game of darts in your own home.
With that said, dartboards still require regular maintenance in order to keep them in good condition, and rotating your dartboard regularly is one of the essential tasks needed to do that. If that’s the case, how often should you rotate a dartboard?
Depending on how frequently you practice, a dartboard should be rotated once per week or bi-weekly. For serious players who practice for 2-3 hours per day, most manufacturers recommend you should rotate your board every 2nd day.
The frequency for which you should rotate your dartboard is something that is often not covered much, yet it’s something that most players want to know in order to extend the lifespan of their board. If you’ve got a good quality board, chances are you want it to last as long as possible before you need to replace it.
Why Do You Need to Rotate a Dartboard
The main reason why you need to rotate a dartboard is that you are likely spending most of your time throwing at the same combination of numbers.
To improve at darts or even just play most of the practice games, you’ll likely be throwing at treble 20 (whilst hitting plenty of the 1 and 5 beds), treble 19, and your preferred checkouts which for most at the double 20/10 combo and the double 16/8 combo.
Throwing at the same numbers for hours and hours will cause damage to your board regardless of what the material it is made from, especially when the practice is specific and the same sections of the board are being hit repeatedly.
To get a better understanding of why you need to rotate your dartboard, it’s important to know what will cause damage in the first place.
The most common type of dartboard used for steel tip darts is a bristle dartboard, which is typically made from sisal fibers. Paper dartboards are also popular but the longevity of these boards is very short (<2-3 months depending on how frequently you play) so trying to maintain them is difficult and almost pointless.
A sisal dartboard is usually a favored board by dedicated dart players because the sisal fibers are self-healing and help to maintain a better quality of dartboard. When a dart hits a bristle dartboard, it separates the fibers and can leave holes (similar to what you’d see on a paper board).
A sisal fiber will, however, “bounce back” once the dart has been removed from the board meaning that it will take its normal shape and prevent holes from forming. Over time, even these impressive fibers will lose their ability to bounce back after repeated and continuous use, especially for accurate players that consistently hit the same spots on the board.
This is why rotation of the dartboard is needed, it will stop these fibers from being hammered so excessively in the same position and ensure the board stays compact, bump/lump free, and also free from holes.
** On that note, blunt, hooked, or grooved tips on your darts will also damage the fibers on impact and when removing them from the board so this is a further reason to rotate the board and ensure one spot is not being hit with too much frequency.
Some good quality boards that naturally have a longer lifespan include the Winmau Blade 5 and Winmau Pro SFB (which is the board I personally use) so I’d recommend purchasing one of these if you are looking for a longer-lasting bristle board.
How to Rotate Your Dartboard
Most dartboards are straightforward to rotate, they will come with a removable, numbered wire outer ring so to rotate your dartboard simply remove the outer ring and rotate the number to the next blank spot on the board.
Remember to ensure the colors still match up, if a number is red/black, ensure you rotate it to the next red/black spot on the dartboard. The number 20 should move to where the 18 is located.
Then when you rotate your board again move the 20 to the 18 spot again as this will ensure that over time, all segments of the board are rotated and used equally.
To rotate your board you also need to keep in mind that once you move the numbered ring, you’ll then need to remove your board and re-mount it so that the 20 is back in the 12 o’clock position on the board.
This may seem like a hassle for some people but a quick 1-minute job can improve the longevity of your board by months and even years depending on how frequently you play.
How Often Should You Rotate a Dartboard
The frequency with which you rotate your dartboard will depend on a few key factors which will be different for each individual, this means that how frequently you rotate your dartboard will also vary. Some of these factors include:
- How frequently you practice. Regular and continuous practice will need to be rotated more frequently than someone who plays a few games once per week.
- How accurate you are. Someone that plays to a high standard and consistently hits the treble 20 (or whatever they are throwing for) will need to rotate the board more frequently than someone who does not have the accuracy or consistency to hit the same spots on the board.
- How abrasive your darts are. Blunt, hooked, or grooved tips will be aggressive when entering and leaving the board which will result in damaged and removed fibers. Therefore you’d either need to rotate your board more frequently or spend more time maintaining your dart tips (which you probably should be doing anyway).
With these factors in mind, for an average player throwing a few times per week for maybe 15-30 minutes each session, a dartboard should be rotated once per week or bi-weekly. This will of course also need to factor in how accurate the player is.
For players that are accurate and play much more frequently (daily) for longer duration sessions (1-4 hours of continuous play), the manufacturer of these boards recommends that you rotate the dartboard every 2 days.
Once you get to a good enough level that you can group your darts consistently each throw, no board in existence can hold up against that sort of repetitive hitting. If you aim to be a top player, make sure you are rotating your board in line with that.
Dartboard maintenance can be a boring topic and it’s easy to forget to do some of the smaller tasks that will make your darts equipment and accessories last longer. Rotating your dartboard should not be one of the tasks that you neglect though.
Rotating your dartboard will ensure that the fibers can self-heal and revert back to their initial position to prevent holes and bumps in your board.
While the recommended frequency can vary, you should look to rotate your dartboard weekly or bi-weekly for a casual player and every other day for a more serious player that spends a few hours per day at the board. This simple task will ensure your board lasts for months or even years longer than someone who isn’t rotating their board.