There are only about a million different ways you can throw a dart, which makes getting started as a newbie a little difficult.
Some people have “tried and true” squared up mechanics that deliver darts on target almost robotically. Others put a little more English into it, flicking darts and still draining bull’s-eyes left and right.
But the age-old question about throwing darts – especially as someone starting out – is should you spin a dart when you throw it?
There are two camps of thought when it comes to throwing darts with spin. Some pro dart players feel you should spin your darts, but most agree that it’s better (especially for new players) to cut down on spin as much as they can.
Professionals like Phil Taylor (a legend in darts) spins all of his dart throws. He feels you get more accuracy, more consistency, and a better release when you do.
Michael van Gerwen (current number one dart player in the world) tries to eliminate spin as much as possible from his throws. He feels spinning the darts makes it harder to “feel” where it’s going and causes accuracy problems. He also doesn’t like the flight pattern of spinning darts or how even a couple of extra (or fewer) rotations can move the dart so much.
To put it bluntly, whether you spin your darts or not comes down to how it feels for you personally. Most players trend towards Michael’s approach though, eliminating spin as often as they can.
Spin on Darts – Good or Bad?
A lot of moving parts go into throwing darts accurately.
Your height, the weight of the dart itself, the angle of your throw, the strength and power of your throw, your point of release…all of that is a huge piece of the puzzle.
What is not a big part of accurately throwing darts, though, is putting spin on your throws.
In fact, the last thing you want to do is “spin” your dart towards your target like you would a football or a curveball.
Some of the world’s top dart throwers (including champions like Michael Smith and Darrell Gurney) display mechanics that eliminates spin almost completely. They’ve been able to work on their mechanics to a point where spin is nonexistent (or almost so) – and you’d have a tough time finding anyone more accurate than these professionals.
The trouble with spin, of course, is that it introduces a lot of inconsistencies. And inconsistencies are the last thing you want when you’re trying to hit bull’s-eyes with any sort of repeatable accuracy.
Even just a couple of over rotations (or a couple of under rotations) when spinning darts can move that object left or right, or up or down, enough to throw you off target. It doesn’t take much to get a dart that weighs just a couple of ounces to over or under rotate, either.
No, you really want to eliminate that extra movement as much as you can. Below we share some tips and tricks to help you do exactly that, fundamentals that the professionals work on all the time to get better and better every day.
Eliminate Wobble and Spin Right Away
The overwhelming majority of dart instructors are going to tell you that spin is linked to your fingers firing out of sync more often than not.
If you end up putting any spin on your darts the chances are good that your thumb and your finger aren’t releasing at the exact same time. The thumb is almost always releasing first, forcing the dart to roll off of your fingers, and that’s where the spin starts to kick in.
Those noticing that their darts are moving sideways during flight are going to pick up on this timing issue faster than others. This sideways movement is always caused by extra rotation, rotation into your dart because your thumb is coming off too early in the rest of your fingers are forcing it to spiral.
Of course, you might also be dealing with spin issues if your fingers are on top of your darts rather than aligned alongside of it. An “over-the-top” grip is also going to cause your darts to spin like a football, pushing your dart down into the left if you are right-handed and down into the right if you are left-handed.
If you’re dealing with a lot of wobble and a lot of spin it’s important that you time finger release better and that you get your grip dialed in. Clear these two issues up and your spin and wobble issues disappear almost immediately.
Zero in on Your Mechanics
Of course, other parts of your mechanics play a part in you spinning your darts more often than not.
To be more accurate you’ll want to focus on a couple of key fundamentals with your mechanics, including (but not limited to):
- Target alignment
- Proper aiming
- Wrist movement
- Squaring your stance
- Eliminating extra body movement
- Getting your elbow locked into position
- Fixing your release timing (as mentioned above)
The beautiful thing about darts is that almost every throw you feel is “off-line” can be tracked back to a very specific mechanical issue.
For example, if your darts seemingly drift high out of nowhere the odds are good you’re dealing with a wrist flick issue. Most wrist flick issues are grip problems and can be remedied pretty quickly.
If your darts are diving low you’ve probably got and elbow issue. If your darts are “spraying” the target your release is inconsistent. Darts that move down and to the right or up into the left are elbow problems, and darts that move down and to the left or up and to the right are almost always spiraling or spinning issues.
By throwing darts over and over again and tracking hits you’ll be able to figure out pretty quickly what’s going on from a mechanical standpoint. You’ll be able to address the issues that are throwing you off based on these general patterns. From there fixing things is pretty simple and straightforward.
Work on Your Follow Through
Lastly, it’s critical that you work on continuing your throw into the follow-through if you’re going to eliminate spin as much as possible.
Far too many newbies to the world of darts end up “short throwing”, devastating your accuracy along the way. Truncating your follow-through is going to introduce a lot of spin and a lot of variation, basically eliminating any chance of consistency you might have had otherwise.
Just like in baseball, golf, basketball, football, or pretty much any other sport imaginable your follow-through plays a huge role in consistency of your results.
You want to snap your wrist without moving your elbow (especially not dropping your elbow) to keep your dart on target. As long as everything remains in the upright and locked position you’ll be able to throw that dart with very little spin – and it’s going to go where you aim more often than not.
As long as you focus in on the tips and tricks we highlight above you should be able to get rid of spin from most of your dart throws.
Of course, nothing’s going to make you a better dart player than practicing. Work on the fundamentals, work on getting that grip right and consistent, and avoid finger alignment issues and all of a sudden you’ll be throwing “dead eye darts” a lot more often than you were before.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of work to get the kinks out of your mechanics, but is going to take a little bit of time to wreak groove those movements until they feel automatic. Put in the time during practice sessions and you’ll be cleaning up in no time at all!