If you are new to the game of darts or you’ve been playing for a while now, you’ll likely come across your dart flights occasionally popping out and becoming damaged. The reason I say occasionally is that throwing your darts close together and “grouping” them will usually be the biggest cause for flights falling out.
As you get better, you’ll undoubtedly notice your flights falling out more but being more accurate and having your darts make contact frequently is not the only reason for dart flights falling out. There are a few specific things that could be causing this.
How to keep dart flights from falling off? To keep dart flights from falling off you need to use a number of strategies and tools. Firstly, ensure you are using a good quality dart flight and ensure the stem is not bent or loose at the top. Next, look to use tools like shaft rings, flight protectors, and integrated flights to keep them locked in place.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the best strategies for keeping your flights from falling off and causing frustrating minutes as you struggle to insert them back into the stem and also some useful tools/products that you can use to help even further.
How To Keep Dart Flights From Falling Off
Unfortunately, there is not a single strategy that you can use to keep dart flights from falling out. There are numerous factors that could be causing it so I’ve put together the below list with tips and tools that will help keep your flights from falling out and also improve your accuracy and consistency when throwing.
1. Replace Dart Flights Regularly
As you get better at darts, your dart flights will become damaged as a result of closer grouping with each throw (especially if you’re regularly hitting the treble 20). Once the dart flights are damaged though, it will cause all sorts of issues.
Obviously, the big problem with damaged flights is that your dart will now soar through the air in a rather unpredictable manner. Damaged dart flights will also be more difficult to keep in the dart. They will no longer have that ‘grip’ and when they come into contact with another darts flight, it’s a regular occurrence to see them pop out.
Thankfully, even the best dart flights shouldn’t be that difficult to replace. Many regular players will often have a stack of their favorite flights to hand. It is always wise to have them there. You never know when your current flight will become too damaged to function properly.
2. Buy Quality Dart Flights
Quality dart flights are constructed a little bit better. Not only will they help to ensure that your darts fly a little bit straighter during a throw, but better quality dart flights tend to be less prone to falling out of the dart stem.
This is likely because they have been made from better quality materials and, as a result, they are a little bit stiffer. This means that the dart stem can hold them in place easily. If you look at a thin and cheaply made flight, it won’t be surprising to see these kinds of flights falling out on a regular basis.
Better dart flights are less prone to suffer from small micro-cracks and chips too. Both of these can lead to the dart flight falling out because the stem has less of a surface to grip onto.
Obviously, the main benefit of buying better flights is to help to improve your dart game, but we are confident that you will see a lot of benefits beyond this, particularly when it comes to ensuring that your dart flights are not falling out of the dart stem at every available opportunity.
3. Flight Protectors
If you are serious about your darts, then you will likely already have some dart flight protectors.
The job of these flight protectors is to ensure that your dart flight is spread out properly. This means that your flight will hold perfect 90-degree angles which is something that allows for a more consistent throw and trajectory for the dart.
Of course, dart flights have a secondary benefit. This is the fact that they are going to be locking that flight into place. This means that you do not have to worry about the flight falling out quite so much.
As with the dart flights, the protectors may become a little bit more worn down over time, so if you want to enjoy the benefits of flight protectors, then you will need to replace them regularly as well. Of course, you will also want to ensure that you purchase some quality flight protectors to begin with (I like the Winmau flight protectors which are more streamlined and reduce the chance of dart collisions).
4. Push Your Dart Flight Down into the Stem
Surprisingly, for many people, the issue isn’t so much that their dart flight is falling out randomly, it is more the fact that they didn’t put the dart flight into their dart properly to begin with.
When you are putting your dart flight into the dart stem, make sure that you push it all the way down. It needs to be tight inside of that dart. Of course, do not push it down so hard that you end up damaging the dart flight. Just make sure that it is seated securely.
Honestly, this is a tip that is probably going to fix the problems of about 50% of people that have just started to play darts for the first time. It’s worth also checking to make sure the top of the stem is not damaged as this will also lead to the flight not staying in the stem tightly and securely.
5. Stem Rings
Stem rings will also attach to your dart. However, unlike flight protectors, they have one job, and one job only. That is to hold your dart flights firmly in place, or at least stop them from wiggling about quite so much.
There are a few different types of stem rings on the market, and they all do pretty much the same job, although they function in different ways. They will act as a ‘clamp’ on the stem. It basically tightens up the stem a little bit more, which makes it easier for the stem to grip the dart flight (which is something I touched on in the previous section).
You should do a bit of research to find out which stem ring is best for your needs. Some will be a little bit easier for you to use than others. Some are also a bit more permanent than others too so I can’t really give a specific recommendation for these. If you just want a generic set though, you can check these out on Amazon.
6. Metal Stems
Metal stems tend to do a far better job of gripping onto flights than plastic stems. This is likely due to the fact that metal stems are harder to ‘wear down’ and thus there will be less of an opportunity for the flights to ‘bounce’ from side to side, eventually causing them to fall out.
Yes. Metal stems can be expensive. However, they are built to last an incredibly long time. If you are a darts player that isn’t playing the game more than a couple of times per week, some metal stems can easily last you for years. Well, as long as you treat your darts well.
It’s worth mentioning though that the pros tend to prefer a nylon stem. These break far more easily but as they are much lighter in weight they have become the preference for professional players.
7. Different Stem Types
Some people may like to experiment with different styles of dart stem.
Of course, the most common form of dart stem will have four slots on the end where the flight sits. However, with a stem like this, there will be four points of weakness, so you have four points where, if the stem isn’t gripping hard enough, could result in the dart’s flight popping out.
New styles of dart stem have started to ditch the idea of these four slots. Some have a single slot that you push the flight into. Once the dart flight is all the way in, it will ‘pop’ out into the traditional dart flight shape and you are ready to go. If you use a dart stem like this, then your dart flights will almost never fall out.
You can also check out this video below from Cuesoul showing how they are aiming to beat flights popping out with an innovative 2-in-1 flight and stem combo!
Look at some of the stems from the biggest darts manufacturers out there and you will quickly see the wealth of stems you can choose from.
Flights frequently popping out is not only a frustration for beginners but it’s one for most dart players in general. The time and effort to need to spend ‘fiddling’ with the flight to get it back into the stem causes players to lose focus, rhythm, and is just a frustrating and needless task while playing.
Therefore, If you’ve wondered how to keep dart flights from falling off then it could be as simple as pushing the flight firmly into the stem to ensure it’s secured in place or you might need to make use of stem locking rings or a different type of stem to reduce the chance of your flights coming out.
The above are most of the strategies you can put in place so look through the list and tick them off one by one. The more steps you put in place to stop your flights from falling out, the more time you’ll have for throwing and the less bending over you’ll need to do during practice and games!