- The PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) uses a specialized dartboard called the “Bristle” board, specifically the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 model.
- Historically, dart boards were made of wood, but the 1930s saw the introduction of sisal dartboards by Nodor, offering increased durability.
- The current design and layout of the dart board, known today, was established in 1896 by Brian Gamlin.
- Choosing the right dartboard is crucial for durability, accurate play, safety, aesthetics, and cost efficiency.
Have you ever watched a professional darts game on TV and wondered about the board they’re using?
When I talk about the PDC, which stands for Professional Darts Corporation, they use a very specific dart board. Let’s find out what dart board is used in the PDC and learn more about it!
The PDC, which stands for Professional Darts Corporation, uses a special dartboard called the “Bristle” board. This board has thin wire and 20 sections. Pros like it because it’s durable and high-quality. If you watch PDC darts on TV, this is the board they throw at!
In this article, I will look into the following:
So, let’s get right into it –
Evolution of Dart Boards in the PDC
Dart boards, like many other things, have changed a lot over the years. This is especially true in the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), which is like the major league for darts!
In the past, dart boards were often made of wood, but they didn’t last very long and needed to be replaced often. Around the 1930s, Winmau Blade, a company known for its record-breaking deal with some major tournaments, started producing dartboards out of sisal, a plant that’s incredibly tough.
Then, around the 1930s, a company called Nodor started making dartboards out of sisal, a plant that’s really tough. It was like discovering a new, super strong material for building a superhero’s suit! These new sisal dartboards lasted a lot longer.
The design of the dart boards has also changed. The first dart boards had different colors and didn’t have the same number layout we see today. Then, in 1896, a guy named Brian Gamlin came up with the design we know now. He arranged the numbers in a special way to make the game more interesting and challenging.
Different brands have been used in the PDC throughout the years, including Winmau, Unicorn, and Nodor. Since 1997, Unicorn, one of the undisputed leaders in the darts industry, has been the official dartboard of the PDC. Many professional players like Joe Cullen and Daryl Gurney have shown the dartboard in action, displaying impeccable skill and rarely hitting any stray darts.
So, like how your favorite dynamic sports have changed and improved over time, so have dart boards in the PDC! With the superb team behind the scenes, including production staff and sponsors, they’ve become better and more fun to play with, thanks to changes in materials, design, and brands.
What Dart Board Is Used In The PDC?
The dart board that is used in the PDC, or Professional Darts Corporation, is the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2. This is a special type of dart board that is different from the ones you might see in a pub or at a friend’s house.
The Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 is a favorite for PDC tournaments because of its seamless playing surface. This provides a clear pathway for players to make their mark. Also, it has ultra-thin wire to mark the numbers and areas on the board.
Firstly, it is made from high-quality sisal, a kind of plant fiber, which makes the dart board strong and long-lasting. Also, it has ultra-thin wire to mark the numbers and areas on the board. This means there’s less chance of a dart bouncing out and more chance of scoring!
Another great thing about the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 is the visibility. It has a bright white color scheme that makes it easy to see, even from a distance. This is super important in a professional game, especially in tournaments like the Cazoo Premier League.
In short, the PDC uses the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 dart board because of its partnership as the official equipment provider. That’s why it’s a top choice for dart players around the world.
Phil Taylor, a legend in the darts world, once commented on the significance of the right dartboard, emphasizing its impact on the performance in professional tournaments. Also, for newcomers, the Development Tour and the Challenge Tour are great platforms to start and get a feel of the professional equipment.
Comparison with Other Popular Dart Boards
Dartboards come in various types and quality levels, catering to different preferences and uses. Below is a comparison of some popular types of dartboards:
Bristle Dartboard (Sisal)
- Material: Made from compressed sisal fibers. Sisal is a type of agave plant.
- Usage: Widely accepted for professional and tournament play. Used with steel-tipped darts.
- Advantages: Self-healing fibers close up when darts are removed, increasing longevity; professional feel; consistent performance.
- Brands: Winmau, Nodor, Unicorn.
- Material: Made of plastic with hundreds of tiny holes to accommodate soft-tipped darts.
- Usage: Perfect for casual play and some amateur leagues. Common in pubs and arcades.
- Advantages: Automated scoring; multiple game variants; sound effects; suitable for all ages.
- Brands: Arachnid, Viper, Gran Board.
- Material: Made of either natural cork or a composite material.
- Usage: More common for casual or beginner play.
- Advantages: Generally, less expensive; lighter weight; can be double-sided with different games.
- Drawbacks: Not as durable; can crumble or wear out quickly.
Coiled Paper Dartboard
- Material: Compressed and coiled paper.
- Usage: Mostly for children or very casual play.
- Advantages: Very inexpensive.
- Drawbacks: Darts tend to fall out more easily; quickly shows wear and tear; not suitable for serious players.
- Material: Made from magnetic sheets or components.
- Usage: Safe for children or for areas where sharp darts might be a concern.
- Advantages: No risk of injury or wall damage; darts stick via magnetism.
- Drawbacks: Doesn’t offer the same experience as traditional dart games.
- Material: Made from wood, often Elm.
- Usage: Historical/Traditional. Used to be common before sisal became popular.
- Advantages: Classic look and feel.
- Drawbacks: Requires regular maintenance (like soaking to prevent cracking); darts can create permanent holes over time.
Factors To Consider When Selecting A Dartboard
- Purpose: Are you looking for professional practice, casual play, or a child-friendly option?
- Durability: How often will the board be used? Sisal boards are generally the most durable.
- Price: Paper and cork boards are usually more affordable but won’t last as long.
- Maintenance: Some boards, like wooden ones, require more care.
- Safety: For households with kids or pets, electronic or magnetic boards might be safer.
Top Dartboard Brands In The Market
Several dartboard brands were recognized for their quality, durability, and reputation among both casual players and professionals. Some of the top brands in the dartboard market:
- Winmau: One of the most well-known and respected brands in the darting world. They produce high-quality sisal bristle boards, and their Blade series (especially the Blade 5) is particularly popular among serious players.
- Nodor: Dartboards have been made by the long-standing firm Nodor for almost 90 years. They make excellent products that endure a long time and are known for inventing the “bristle” dartboard.
- Unicorn: Unicorn is a trusted name in the darts equipment market. Their Eclipse Pro dartboards are used in several high-level competitions.
- Harrows: One of the most well-known brands of darts and dartboards available today. Their boards are well-known for their longevity and dependability.
- Viper: From classic dartboards to cutting-edge computerized versions and beyond, Viper manufactures it all. Both newcomers and seasoned pros may find something of use in their offerings.
- Bull’s: These dartboards and their accessories are top-tier in the industry. One of their most popular products is the Bull’s Advantage dartboard.
- Dart World: Dart World is a famous store in North America that sells a variety of items, including the classic sisal dartboards.
Why Choosing The Right Dart Board Matters?
The installation of a dartboard in a public space, such as a bar or club, requires careful consideration whether you’re a casual player, a competitive darts addict, or both. The main reasons why the choice of dartboard matters:
Durability and Longevity
The construction and material of the dartboard play a significant role in how long it lasts. A quality board, such as one made from sisal or bristle, will last longer, stand up to regular play, and will heal better after darts are removed, ensuring the surface remains smooth and flat.
A good dartboard provides a consistent playing experience. The darts will stick reliably, the board’s surface will be even, and the segmentation wires (spiders) will be thin and flush to the board to minimize bounce-outs.
Accuracy And Fairness
Precision in scoring is vital for competitive play. Higher quality dartboards have clear and accurate segmentation, ensuring that each player’s score is correct. A board with poorly defined or misaligned segments can lead to disputes and frustrations.
Cheap or poorly-made dartboards might not hold darts properly, leading to them bouncing off more frequently. This poses a risk of injury, especially in areas with high foot traffic.
A well-made dartboard can be a centerpiece in a game room. It looks professional, neat, and can add to the overall atmosphere of the space.
Investing in a quality dartboard might cost more upfront, but in the long run, it’s likely to be more cost-effective. A cheaper board might need frequent replacements, thereby costing more over time.
Training And Skill Development
For those looking to improve their game, practicing on a board that’s of standard quality and dimensions is essential. It ensures that your practice sessions are as close as possible to real game conditions.
How Often Does The PDC Review Or Change The Official Dartboard?
The dartboard used in PDC tournaments typically adheres to the standard known as the “London” or “Clock” board. But, the PDC, backed by its superb team of officials, may occasionally change dartboard suppliers, ensuring a standardized playing field for all competitors.
Can Fans And Amateur Players Buy The Same Dart Board Used In PDC Tournaments?
Yes, fans and amateur players can buy the same dartboard used in PDC tournaments. This is likely the biggest deal for enthusiasts who want to practice on a professional board. As of my last update in January 2022, the PDC was using the “Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2” as their official dartboard.
Understanding how to read a dart board and the intricacies behind each game is essential. Whether you’re watching Michael van Gerwen face off against Raymond Van Barneveld or tracking the progress of emerging talents in the Development Tour, knowing about the equipment brings a deeper appreciation for the game.
Remember, every time a player steps up to the oche, they’re not just throwing darts; they’re showcasing years of dedication, practice, and passion.