Why Is My Dartboard Swelling?

Why Is My Dartboard Swelling

Key Takeaways

  • Wear and tear from usage is the number one cause of bulging in a dartboard.
  • Environmental factors such as extreme temperature swings causing the air to become too dry or moist are common reasons for dartboard swelling.
  • Rotating a dartboard, taking darts out correctly and climate control can prolong the effects causing a dartboard to bulge.
  • Sisal fiber dartboards are among the most durable and won’t bulge or swell as much as cork or paper boards.
  • Electronic boards are ideal for outdoor environments or damp rooms areas for a longer lifespan.

Common Causes of a Bulging or Swelling Dartboard

Wear and Tear

The number one cause of a dartboard swelling and bulging is wear and tear. 

  • The more usage a board receives, the quicker the fibers break down.
  • Darts landing in the board, stretches the fibers, and overtime can lose their ability to bounce back.
  • Overtime, when a number of these fibers are stretched around the same spot, they will stick out and start to bulge.
  • Dartboards, made of sisal, will generally not bulge as quick as cork or paper dartboards. 

However, despite the best dartboard maintenance imaginable, most dartboards will bulge overtime by just purely being playing on. 

Under heavy usage, despite being extremely resilient, even sisal fiber boards will eventually stop responding overtime.

It is then you will start to notice the raised segments in the board, however you can help slow the process, which I will get to further down.

Leaving Darts in the Dartboard 

Every time a dart lands in the board, the tip lodges between the fibers, which separates them.

On cheaper boards, the dart hole will still be evident when you remove your darts. However, on quality bristled ones, the sisal fibers close back in because they have ‘self-healing properties’.

If you leave darts in a dartboard, the fibers cannot bounce back into position, because they are effectively blocked from doing so.

  • Failure to remove darts from the board will leave them permanently damaged and unable to recover. 
  • Clusters of raised sisal fibers can develop and bulge out of the board, long before other areas.
  • Twist darts as you take them out, don’t pull them out. Twisting them has less damaging impact on the fibers.

Moisture Damage

Dartboards are extremely vulnerable to moisture damage, and the surrounding humidity can cause swelling. In general, dartboards don’t react well to changing temperatures, direct sunlight or damp. 

  • Water absorbed by a board also causes the sisal fibers to stretch, and lose the ability to recover.
  • If you keep your dartboard in a damp room, the increased moisture in the air will get absorbed by the board.
  • This causes the ends of the fibers to stick out and bulge. 
  • Extreme temperature swings from hot to cold can have the same effect

How to Fix a Bulging Dartboard?

Unfortunately, if your dartboard has swollen or bulged, there is not much you can do in terms of a fix. As I mention above, dartboards bulge unfortunately from being used.

There are things you can do that will help prevent a bulging board for longer, and prolong the lifespan.

How Can I Prevent Dartboard Swelling?

Some ways to prevent dartboard swelling include avoiding exposing your board to moisture, keeping it in a room with stable temperature, and turning it regularly to distribute dart impact.

It’s also recommended to remove darts from the board after use and store them separately.

Rotation of the Board

The 20 bed, is one of the most common areas on the board to swell as most players tend to aim for the treble 20. When it starts to bulge, it’s difficult to continue playing on it, unless you switch to the 19’s. 

To help prevent, or prolong, this kind of wear and tear is one of the primary reasons to rotate your dartboard. 

  • Turning it every 2 or 6 numbered segments, as means the 20 bed, as it stands, comes back around to the top every 10 rotations.
  • Rotate it either clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Keep the same rotational movement i.e. clockwise, weekly and 6 numbers. 

Repeating this regularly ensures that there is less likely to be bulging or swelling in any one single part of the board more than other parts from playing darts. 

Keeping it Dry

The environment you store your dartboard is so important for its longevity, particularly in terms of helping to prolong bulging.

  • One thing you should definitely be doing, is to keep it dry at all times and never soak your dartboard.
  • Equally, you should prevent it from drying out too much, or being in direct sunlight.
  • If it is set up near a window, cover the board, or place it in a cabinet, shielded from the sun. 
  • Basement or garages tend to suffer from damp, so you will need to take extra precautions. 
  • An all-in-one AC unit can do wonders for keeping a stable room temperature, and stops the room getting too wet or too dry.
  • Bring the board into your home, where the temperature is stable, when it is not being used. 
  • Likewise, if you like to play outside, don’t leave it out to face the elements, bring it back inside.
  • Cover the board to keep dirt, dust and water direct off the surface.

Choose a Quality Dartboard

As I have touched on, the quality of your dartboard also matters.

Bristled Dartboards

Provided bristled boards are kept in the right environment, and not exposed to moisture, they offer more resilience to bulging than cheaper paper or cork dartboards. 

Bristled dartboards from Winmau will always be my recommendation if you are looking for a quality board manufacture.

They have has been creating top-quality dartboards since 1945 and the Winmau Blade 5 in particular is one of the most popular among professionals and amateurs.

Plastic Dartboards

If you keep your board is going to be exposed to the elements, a plastic dartboard won’t swell and is great for:

  • Outdoor environments
  • Damp areas
  • Are easy to clean, 
  • Lightweight
  • Portable 

Though, electric boards can be tonnes of fun and enjoyed by the whole family, they won’t suit everyone. Particularly if you’re a traditionalist, who likes playing on a professional board.

Bear in mind if you are using an electronic board, you will need soft tip darts as hard tips will damage the plastic. Because they have manufactured holes, you won’t hit one of them every time, so you can expect more bounce outs. 

With that being said, Win.Max Electronic Dartboard is designed to reduce bounce-outs as it has ultra-thin dividers and comes with a set of soft tips.

All scores are recorded on the device’s digital scoreboard alongside several other features, including voice prompts, which helps keep a game moving quick.

FAQs About Why Is My Dartboard Swelling?

What Are the Causes of Dartboard Swelling?

The most common cause of dartboard swelling is the deterioration of sisal fibers or bristles which make up the board’s face. This happens when the fibers lose their spring and bounce-back ability. Moisture exposure and frequent temperature changes can also contribute to dartboard swelling.

What Are the Effects of Dartboard Swelling on Dart Performance?

Dartboard swelling can significantly affect the performance of your darts, making it difficult for them to stick in the board. This can cause frustration for players and lead to reduced accuracy and enjoyment of the game.

Can I Fix a Swollen Dartboard?

Unfortunately, once sisal fibers are stretched and won’t bounce back to their original shape, there’s no easy fix for a swollen dartboard. It’s recommended to replace the board with a new one.




Similar Posts