dartbase.com - The Dart Thrower

FAQ - Grip

For grip you should also read The Mechanical Basics of Throwing Darts - Grip section.


I have a question regarding a darting grip 
which you have mentioned in your web page. 
I am a beginner darter and an athlete of other 
skill sports (track high jumping and billiards) 
and would like to perfect or at least improve my
technique. On one of your pages you have the 
"pencil grip", used by Phil Taylor. The grip that
I use, however is slightly different than I hold 
a pencil. I have my index and middle finger and
also thumb along the grip of the dart with the 
thumb spaced in between longitudinally, but all
three are in the same plane of the dart (if one would 
imagine a plane bisecting the dart). However, when I 
hold a pencil, the three fingers are more equal in the
longitudinal spacing (approximately equal distance from
the tip), and the pencil lies inside a hole made by the 
two fingers and thumb. Which is correct for throwing
the dart. I feel as if the grip that I now use causes 
the dart tip to come down during the throw because I 
have somewhat wobbly darts. This could be caused to the 
weight of darts that I use (I only have heavy ones that 
are rather long). What do you suggest? 

I would really appreciate your opinion on this matter. 
Thank you in advance.
Dear Brian,

if the grip you are using follows the general principles (most important: tip up in each throwing phase) given in the grip section, then it is okay. As it is mentioned there grip has the most possible variations.

It is not likely that the tip down symptom you described results from your heavy darts. Either do you just need more practice to improve your timing (every rookie's darts wobble), or your grip/throw doesn't meet the 'point up in each throwing phase' requirement. This can also result from too much, or badly timed wrist action. If the wrist bends too early then the tip of the dart comes down too early, the result is wobble.

i have promblems with the dart slipping through my fingers 
during my throw. i read your pages on grips but it still 
did not help.

As a first diagnosis I'd say this just needs practice, or you don't do follow-through.

For a more detailled answer you should supply more information on your throw, playing level and experience.

I always throw more accurately to the left side of the board. 
Someone suggested that I move slightly to the right so that 
I might feel more comfortable with the 20 wedge. When I do 
this, I notice that my forearm is not completely vertical to 
the board when I throw. It's about 5-10 degrees right of 
vertical. It feels uncomfortable when I keep it completely 

My question is, should I be concerned about the non-vertical 
forearm and keep working on it, or should I just accept it 
as a variation that I feel comfortable with.

Hi Dean,

5-10 degrees is quite acceptable, so I think you should just accept it as a slight variation to improve comfort. There is no direct necessity to work on a correction.

Anyway I doubt that throwing from the right is the perfect solution. You should determine why you throw better on the left half of the board. Such as, is it based psychologically? Also, do you always stand on one spot when going for, say D11 and D6? Or do you move with the targets, what seems to become a more common method in modern darts?

For instance, if you decided to throw further from the right side because your misses are mainly to the left side of the target, then this might not be the best solution. Like in bowling you should better 'move into the error', means going left when you miss left and vice versa. It must also be noted that right handers usually have more misses to the left than to the right, which is natural (a dart thrown by a human does not fly exactly straight, it flies in a curve -- right handers throw right curves, left handers left curves) and can only be made better by practicing.

My Question is this. Bad shots.I have noticed that my
bad shots mostly seem to land in the same place. When
scoring either in the triple 5 along side the wire or in
the 5 at the bottom rigt hand corner of the large five
segment. Watching other players they also have these
repetive bad shot areas.I have tried visualization and
this seems to work very well. I can Feel/see the dart 
leaving my hand and on my follow through my 
wrist instead of following through twists slightly
clockwise. The effect is more exaggarated when 
shooting for some doubles double 5 seems to be a
favourite when going for tops. Any thoughts would be
Darts thrown by right hand shots often land in the 5 segment, therefore it is a 'normal' problem. The reason is that the arm movement when throwing isn't exactly straight, it is a curve (right handers do right curves, left handers left curves). If the release point is not exact the dart slips to one side. Along the curve in the acceleration part of the throw the dart has more centrifugal powers, so it will effect the dart to leave your hand earlier more than later - therefore right handers miss more on the left, left handers more on the right. This different miss spray for lefties and righties is a fact, the physical basis of this is my speculation...(means my personal understanding of physics ;) )

Therefore you should concentrate on a straighter forward movement of your arm in the throw. It seems you are an experienced player, you have done a very good description of your problem, and how you write of your visualizing it seems you are taking it as serious as it has to be taken. So I suppose your throwing technique is already good developed, and a major change would do more damage than good. For instance, I myself have a considerable curve in my arm forward moving. This is sure not technically perfect, but I feel more comfortable with it. You could work on your clockwise move of the wrist, but I think you shouldn't do it 'technically', more by visualizing. This can lead to a slight improvement, also you wouldn't have to do 'noticable' changes in your technique, if you get what I mean. Please keep in your mind that I can be wrong here, because the clockwise move of your wrist can also be something you developed intuitively to reduce your right curve, and this is then a good thing. I'm encouraged to think this, because a bad clockwise movement should result in a right slip more than in a left slip.

Anyway, reducing your misses can most perfectly be achieved by - yes, I think you've already heard this once or twice - practicing. ;)

	Hi Karl,

  Please advice me on how to hold a steel tip dart. 

Thanks a million,

Here is a basic way to hold a dart properly: put a dart in your open hand, then roll it to your fingertips. Try to find the center of gravity of the dart, then place your thumb a bit behind (nearer to the flight end) this center of gravity. You should hold the dart now with the tip of your thumb and the next three fingers of your hand. Now close your hand and - throw.

This is a basic grip for both steel and soft, and you can alter it until it feels right to you. E.g. you can spread your small finger, put the dart from the fingertips nearer to the finger joints, etc.