Today in the Darts Examiner, I want to talk about board rotation and the longevity of your home boards. We have all been to a friends home or to the corner bar only to find a dart board that has long outlived its usefulness that only a Celtic/Viking funeral pyre can cure.
Quality dart boards are made of natural rope fiber (sisal). These fibers are compressed under tons of pressure and banded with steel, then bonded to a non-warping backboard.
The surface is later sanded smooth and then screen printed with the appropriate colors. Finally, the wires are stapled on and the number ring attached with clips, to allow easy rotation of worn areas.
Most high-quality dartboards are still made in England, home of the sport of Darts. One company, Puma, makes a line of high quality boards in New Zealand.
Note: It is a common misconception that dartboards are made of hair or bristles from pigs, camels, or horses. This is a myth... No such animal fiber boards have ever been made!
In order to maintain long life of your board, you should lightly spray the surface of the board with water, (DO NOT SATURATE IT) the sisal rope fibers will swell keeping a tight surface and reduce bounce outs. Once a month (or sooner for tournament boards or those of heavy use) should be turned counter clockwise 20%. Move the "13" segment to the top, then remove and reset the number ring to its proper alignment.
I practice two or three hours per day and I'm still using the same board for the 2 years now. Boards have come a long way with newer technologies. Some of the best boards I've ever used are the Winmau Blade 3 or 4 with ultra thin wires and brilliant color markings.
Get practicing and we'll see you around town.