This year, you’ve got a game enthusiast on your list, and after visiting them at their home and browsing through their game room, you have decided that they could use a dartboard. They appear to have almost every kind of game imaginable in their game room from billiards to air hockey to ping pong to poker, but no dartboard. So off to the store you go to do some shopping. Here are some pointers to ensure you pick out the right board.

You will find all types of dartboards. The best dartboards are made of sisal, which is compressed, banded with steel and attached to the backboard. The number ring is attached to the backboard with clips so the board can be rotated easily from time to time to even out wear. Whatever dartboard you buy, make sure the metal is embedded to prevent darts from striking it and bouncing off.

In addition to a dartboard, you will need some darts for the recipient, preferably three or four sets. Darts are made of a variety of materials. Brass is the least expensive, but because it is soft, it will wear down quickly. Nickel/silver is a little more expensive than brass but more durable. Tungsten is extremely durable. However, it is also the most expensive.

When purchasing darts, you need to pay attention to the quality of the shafts as well. Darts with plastic shafts cost less but break easily. Darts with composite shafts are much more durable. Darts with solid aluminum shafts are the most expensive but last the longest.

Along with the shafts, you should check out the flights of the darts, the fins or wings at the back that stabilize the darts during flight. Made from flexible plastic, soft flights often tear but can be mended easily, unlike hard flights, which are made from polyester plastic and must be replaced when torn. Hard flights are more durable than soft, as are nylon flights, which are made of ripstop nylon fabric.

When shopping, don’t hesitate to ask for help in selecting the right dartboard and darts, and do keep in mind that even if the recipient knows how to play darts, their guests may not. Don’t break the bank buying the best. Set a budget and stick to it. You might also want to include a book on darts in your gift.

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