Establishing your own dart setup at home requires very little. In fact, all you really need is a space on a wall to fit a dartboard and some darts to throw.

However, it doesn’t take long before you realize that wayward darts can cause some serious damage to your walls and flooring. Not to mention that darts hitting the walls and hard floors can be damaged as well.

Thankfully, the answer to this problem is quite simple: get a dartboard surround.

Dartboard surrounds are a fantastic alternative to dartboard cabinets since they provide many of the same useful benefits while being cheaper and more portable. These protective devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their setup/installation is relatively easy and pain-free.

However, if you are thinking of buying a dart surround (and you totally should), then you might need some guidance because the market is flooded with different models. And that is precisely what this post is meant to do: guide you through the crowded dartboard surround market and point you in the right direction. Here are

The Best Dartboard Surrounds

Viper Defender Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Viper by GLD Products Defender Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Long-time readers of this blog will know that I love Viper by GLD products for their overall quality and affordability. So, it should come as no surprise that the first product on this list of the best dartboard surrounds is made by the folks at Viper by GLD.

One quick look at the Defender Dartboard Surround (on Amazon) will tell you everything you need to know. This is one of the most popular dartboard surrounds on the market today. This is due in part to its solid, professional build and the fact that it serves great bang for your buck.

The surround is made out of a highly-durable EVA foam with a 1-inch thickness to protect your walls from any potential damage while playing. Additionally, this Viper surround is completely reversible, with both sides sporting the same classy, solid jet-black design; which pretty much doubles the useful life of the product.

Set up and installation is very easy. The product comes disassembled in 3 parts that fit snuggly via jig-saw-type connections. No tools are needed, and once fully assembled, you get close to 3 feet of total protection around your dartboard.

Quick Review

  • Size: This surround measures 8.5 x 28.5 x 1 inch when fully assembled, and works perfectly with both 18” and 17.75” sisal dart boards.
  • Aesthetic: Classy and modern. White lettering on a matte black surface.
  • Thoughts: A solid product that provides great value.

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Viper by GLD Guardian Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

Viper by GLD Products Guardian Dartboard Surround Sisal/Bristle Steel-Tip Dartboard Wall Protector

The second dartboard surround on the list also comes by way of Viper by GLD products. (there is no bias here, they just happen to be a leader in the space)

This Guardian Dartboard Surround (from Amazon) is very similar to the Defender model above, but with a couple of important and noteworthy differences.

The build quality is similar in that the Guardian is made out of the same 1-inch EVA foam material. However, this model is reinforced with a poly shield micro foam, whose dense cell structure has been specially engineered to withstand heavy impacts over prolonged periods.

So, if you are a hardcore player who throws more than the average user, the Guardian surround is going to provide you with more value overall.

The surround fits tightly around most regulation-sized boards, except for 18-inch boards. And just like the Defender model above, the Guardian can be easily assembled and installed in very little time without the need for tools.

In terms of protection, the Guardian provides an impressive 5 inches of extra surface around the dartboard so you can play with confidence knowing that any wayward dart is going to be caught by the dartboard surround.

Quick Review

  • Size: Measuring 25 x 25 inches x 1.25, this dartboard surround provides 2.7 feet of protection. This is slightly smaller than the Defender, but since the Guardian is heavier and more durable, I don’t hold the slightly smaller profile against it.
  • Aesthetic: The Guardian comes in several bright colors such as blue, red, and even pink. Nevertheless, the design is quite subdued since all lettering and branding are the same color as the foam.
  • Thoughts: A great option for hardcore players and those with heavy hands who like to throw with plenty of force.

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Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround

GLD Products Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector

The third product on the list of best dartboard surrounds is yet another Viper by GLD product, and it is arguably the very best of the three: the fantastic Defender III (Amazon).

The Defender III is built out of the same heavy-duty, 1-inch thick EVA foam. This means that your walls and darts will be safeguarded from unnecessary wear and tear. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, GLD products knows the game very well and designs its products accordingly.

The Defender III is compatible with both 17.75 and 18-inch sisal dartboards. 

The installation process is, again, very easy and intuitive. The Defender III comes in 6 separate pieces that fit together seamlessly, jig–saw style. Each piece simply snaps into the others, for a large area of protection. And it is here that the Defender III truly stands out.

The Defender III offers an unrivaled level of protection by covering over 8 feet of wall with its protective foam. This means that the Defender III catches an impressive number of wayward darts when compared to its smaller siblings.

Quick Review

  • Size: The dartboard surround measures 45 x 32 x 1 inch, and provides more than 8 feet of total protecting coverage.
  • Aesthetic: The Defender III is a good-looking dartboard surround, but its rectangular build might be a bit distracting for some. I personally love the protection it offers.
  • Thoughts: With overwhelmingly positive feedback, the rectangular Defender III offers the most protection out of the entire Viper dartboard surround lineup. It is a surefire bet, and as safe of an investment as they come.

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Winmau Xtreme Dartboard Surround

Winmau Xtreme Dartboard Surround

As solidly built as any other Winmau product, the Xtreme Dartboard Surround is made out of a high-quality, impact-absorbing foam that retains wayward darts safely and consistently.

At 1.57 inches thick, this one is one of the thick dartboard surround options available on the market. But since Winmau is so used to delivering the very best products, the Xtreme dartboard surround is also surprisingly lightweight.

The Xtreme dartboard surround is delivered in a single piece, which means that it fits around your dartboard through compression. As a result, the fit is very snug and secure; yet easily removable when needed.

Something else that sets this dartboard apart from the competition is the fact that it appears to self-heal. I don’t know how Winmau does it, and I’m sure the company’s engineers will take their secrets to the grave.

Most dartboard surrounds will begin to show their age after repeated play, but the Xtreme dartboard looks pristine even after months of regular use.

Nothing is more beautiful than a Winmau surround around a shiny new Blade 6.

Quick Review

  • Size: This dartboard surround measures 27.56 x 27.56 x 1.57 inches.
  • Aesthetic: Winmau knows what dart players want, and as a result, you can find the Winmau Xtreme dartboard surround in a variety of colors. My favorite is the black and blue model with the “Welcome To The Man Cave” message.
  • Thoughts: The Winmau Xtreme Dartboard Surround is a quality product that makes no compromise.

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Dart-Stop 29-inch Professional Dartboard Backboard

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Dart-Stop is a relatively new company in the darts industry; however, they have quickly grown a reputation worthy of a more experienced outfit. And, their 29-inch professional dartboard surround is one of their best products.

This dartboard surround is built to the highest professional standards, with handcrafted quality. Engineered to perform at all levels of play, the Dart-Stop surround is made out of ¾-inch thick wood sheets, for a 1-inch total thickness. Thick, plush fabric covers the entire surface for added padding and dart retention. 

The truly impressive feature, however, is the beautiful and elegant octagonal shape.

This backboard surround has been designed with a recessed wobble-free bracket for the industry’s sturdiest setup. Dual mounting points provide even more stability to the surround and dartboard.

Installation is a little more involved than with the other dartboard surrounds on this list, but it is also the most secure and sturdy.

Quick Review

  • Size: This dartboard surround measures 29 x 29 x 1 inch. There is a 36-inch model for even more protection, though at a higher price.
  • Aesthetic: The octagonal shape and large size make quite an impression, regardless of the setting. This thing will look great at home and at the pub. The plush material gives it a premium air, and it is available in black, burgundy, and tan colors.
  • Thoughts: An expensive option for those looking to splurge. The Dart-Stop surround is of such quality, that it pays for itself in the long run.

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Final Word On Dartboard Surrounds

I love dartboard surrounds, and I would recommend them to just about anybody. But there are some people who shouldn’t consider getting a dartboard surround.

  • If you have an electronic board or you are playing with soft tip darts a surround becomes pretty much useless.
  • Those who already have a dart cabinet in their homes since most cabinets will not have enough space to properly fit a dart surround. Not to mention if you are just looking to protect your wall, you already have that in your cabinet.

Now that you have your walls protected from darts with a surround, it is time to give some consideration to your floors. Check out our picks for the best dart mats.