There’s a very cool local “online yard sale.” People post photos, descriptions and prices of things they’re selling. The items stay listed till sold or the seller deletes them. This new (unused), regulation 18″ size dart board with 6 darts for $10 caught my attention. Which is not to say I’m a darts aficionado. We had a toy board when I was a kid and somewhere along the way, I must have played a time or two as an adult. But never regularly and not in a very long time. I’m not sure why it suddenly appealed to me, except I want more fun damnit! Not to mention I am always on the lookout for exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. This would use arm muscles, right? Plus walking back & forth to retrieve darts.
Still, I’m a frugal sort and my spending philosophy of late is that I’d rather spend money on food treats – like pesto, artichoke spread, dates, and kalamata olives – than more stuff. Lucky for me, the seller dropped the price to a tidy $5 and I pounced. The way it works is buyer and seller arrange a meeting time at a public spot for the exchange. I was surprised by how heavy the board was. I had googled it and knew it was a low-end brand (another reason not to spend much). The way I’ve started to look at this sort of thing, i.e., purchases, is to buy an inexpensive or moderately priced whatever first; then if you love it and use it, upgrade later when you’re sure it’s worth it to you.
Did you know the regulation height for hanging a dart board is 5’8″ from the floor to the bullseye? Or that the distance to stand away is 7’9.5“? Yes indeedy. I’ve been practicing outdoors to start (I pictured any number of misfortunes indoors) and while my measurements aren’t exact, they are close enough. I looked at the instructions for a game and they seemed complicated and involved math, so since it’s just me learning how to throw for the time being, I made my own goal. Which is to get all 6 darts inside the interior red/green ring on one “turn.” Um, this is not easy. I did accomplish it the first time I set up the board, which is the picture above. (The many holes – this board was unused – show some idea how many tries it took me.)
I have, or have had a tendency to overwhelm myself with too much information when learning something new. (It was an exciting, new day in my world when I read only ONE online article on blogging when I started this one.) So I decided not to read anything and just start throwing darts. I think at first I was tossing too much like throwing a baseball (not that I can actually throw a baseball, mind you, but how I’ve seen other people do it), with too much overhead wind-up. Then I experimented with easy, light throws and harder, more aggressive ones (for some reason I was picturing Odd Job in the James Bond film as inspiration).
There is a real satisfaction in throwing darts. Who knew? I like it! The darts make a pleasing sound thwack when they sink into the board too. I had an idea I might have aptitude for this skill and I like competing against myself (that’s been true always; I recoil from the phrase team sports). Should I ever consistently get all 6 darts inside that interior red/green ring, I have other goals/ideas in mind, but for now there’s no threat of achieving the first one. I am improving, however. Here’s yesterday’s best throw:
I’m trying to get all six darts in tighter, closer to the bullseye. However, the closer the darts get to the center, the more likely they are to hit metal (or whatever the silver dividers are) and ricochet off and fall on the ground. I don’t know if that’s always an issue; I’ll have to look at higher-end boards to see. It hardly seems fair for the darts to ricochet off when you’re so close! It’s like a cruel booby-trap. Despite this, I’ve managed a total of 5 bullseyes
with deft marksmanship; yeah SURE. They were all accidents in dozens of throws. One other problematic issue is the tendency of the (cheap?) darts to unscrew and loosen during play. Maybe a little glue is in order…