Darts is as close to the perfect game as it is ever going to get. Anyone can enjoy darts, no matter his or her age and background.
For those looking for a fun and family-friendly game, Darts is the perfect place to start. At the same time, those looking for a game with a high skill ceiling and a complex competitive angle will find precisely what they need in Darts.
One of the factors to which the game of darts owes such a high degree of accessibility is the fact that you only really need two things to play; you need a set of darts and a proper dartboard.
With millions of people picking up the hobby and being introduced to the game every day, it is essential that we disseminate information about quality equipment so that newcomers and veterans alike can have the best experience possible when playing the fantastic game of darts.
After countless hours scrutinizing the market and pouring over amateur and professional testimonials, I can say with total confidence that I have found the best dartboard around. Let me tell you about the WINMAU BLADE 5 BRISTLE DARTBOARD (amazon.com).
|45 x 45 x 4 cm
|Sisal fiber and steel
|Black, White, Red, Green
|In The Box
|Dartboard, Rota-Lock mounts, Instruction book, Out card
The Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard is a professional grade dartboard, and with it you get:
- A beautiful and vibrant color finish.
- Increased surface area, leading to higher average scores.
- High tech wire lattice that is up to 14% thinner than previous models in the series for reduced bounce outs and with a 30% reduction in the cut angle for significantly reduced deflection.
- High-density core made with tough sisal fibers with incredible tensile strength for an ultra hard and durable surface
- A no fuss mount and lock system with multiple adjustable points for the most stable and secure mounting possible.
- A premium quality build with galvanized steel wiring that has been carbon diffused.
The Dartboard market is flooded with countless options, and the renowned Winmau (its pronounced Win More, by the way) brand has once again set the bar. If you have never owned a dartboard before you might not know that Winmau has been pumping out high-quality dartboards and other game equipment since the early 1940’s.
Winmau has consistently pushed the boundaries of dartboard technology and delivered, over and over, products that revolutionize the game. Each new generation of Winmau dartboards improves upon the last in a variety of ways, and this time is no exception.
The Winmau Blade 4 dartboard was already a fantastic product; top of the line in every way imaginable. Yet somehow, they have managed to up themselves. I did not think it was possible. Nevertheless, the ingenious team at Winmau has proved me wrong, and boy am I glad they did!
The Winmau Blade 5 offers the player a product with markedly improved performance and durability, as well as significantly higher scoring potential and an unprecedented reduced level of deflections. With this dartboard, you will experience the true meaning of the words “Game Changing.”
Let us take a look at what makes a good dartboard and explore how Winmau, and the Blades 5, checks all the boxes.
Table of Contents
Throughout history, dartboards have been made out of all manner of materials. In fact, the very first dartboards used for sport were merely the cross-sections of trees. With the gradual advancement of materials technology, new compositions began to be tested.
Over time, dartboards have been manufactured with different woods, fibers, and plastics. Elm, poplar, cork, and even plain paper have been used at one time or another. However, no material has gained as much traction in the world of darts as the sisal fiber. Sisal is a stiff fiber used for the manufacture of rope, twine, paper, and cloth.
The sisal fiber comes from the agave plant and is highly coveted in the manufacturing industries because of its strength and durability. Sisal is characterized by its ability to stretch, the ease with which it absorbs different dyes and its incredible resistance to corrosion caused by humidity.
Because of its nature, Sisal has proved exceptional in the fabrication of high-quality dartboards. There are plenty of dartboards that are still being made with cork and plastic; however, all quality dartboards are made of Sisal.
The Blade 5 uses the highest quality East African sisal which is densely packed. The better and tighter the sisal fibers the better the board is at healing itself, so the hole disappears when the dart is removed. This type of durability will provide you with years of use with little wear to the dartboard.
One of the most significant events in the history of the game of darts was the introduction of wiring to separate the various numbered sections of the board. Curiously though, few people realize the importance of quality wiring regarding darts play accuracy.
No other factor plays as important a role as wiring in a player’s ability to consistently achieve their scoring potential. When the wiring job is poor, as is usually the case with low-quality and low-cost dartboards, a player’s average scores diminishes over time.
Don’t believe me? Let us do some simple math. By reducing the total wire-lattice surface area by 14% (through the use of thinner wires you can effectively increase the overall scoring surface are by as much as 9mm2 in the doubles and 6mm2 in the triples!
Winmau has managed to reduce the total surface of the wiring lattice by 14% and thus increased the scoring area in the doubles section by 9mm2 as well as the coveted triples section by as much as 6mm2.
This incredible feat is possible because, for the Blade 5, Winmau has manufactured dynamic sector wires (those that make up the concentric circles of the numbered section) that are 20% thinner and radial wires (meaning those leading out from the center of the board out to the edge of the board) that are 10% thinner than those that are found previous models.
The net effect of these improvements means that you are getting what is unquestionably the highest scoring potential in darts history. Just think about it, fewer wires mean more surface area, which means more space for your darts to land in.
Once you begin using this fantastic product, you will feel as if the dartboard were closer than it should, that is how much of a performance improvement you will experience.
As if this weren’t enough, the geniuses at Winmau have managed to include yet another technological advancement that will significantly improve your game. They have achieved a 30% reduction in the cut angle of the included wiring lattice. This optimized wire angle means that when a dart hits a wire, there is a much higher chance that the dart will be deflected inwards towards the board itself, as opposed to outwards towards the empty air.
Testimonials of amateurs and veterans alike uniformly confirmed that the Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard generated significantly fewer bounce outs and higher average scores across the board.
As we mentioned earlier, material quality goes a long way in improving your overall experience. Any product that is expected to see repeated usage needs to be manufactured with the highest grade materials available. Otherwise, the wear and tear of regular use will cause unnecessary wear.
There is a recent trend to mechanically alter the points of darts to enhance their ability to puncture the board. Although the classic smooth pointed darts are better for the health and longevity of the board, they are increasingly falling out of use. Blunt and hooked dart points are steadily becoming the norm, and although scores are also steadily rising, the service life of dartboards across the world is suffering.
How does Winmau attempt to solve this issue? By increasing the tensile strength of the wiring by an astonishing 20% over the Blade 4. This improved material strength, which is achieved through the use of carbon diffused wires, and an ultra-hard surface has a twofold effect.
First of all, it protects the dartboard from gradual deformation. Secondly, it encourages dart points to more easily glide past the wires and angled rings for improved player performance and dartboard durability.
A game of darts is quickly set up; you simply hang the board and begin firing away with your favorite darts. However, the practical act of setting up the dartboard correctly can often be more complicated than it needs to be.
Lower tier dartboards will sometimes include hangers in an attempt to facilitate the setup process. These hangers, however, are usually not of solid construction, and habitually give out at the most inopportune moments. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you factor in how you are going to mount your dartboard before making a hasty purchase.
The best dartboards will come with a well-designed mounting bracket. The elite dartboards, such as the Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard, do this and then some. Winmau have developed what they call the “Rota-Lock Advantage.” The Rota-Lock system is composed of a triple wheel lock and level kit that effectively creates perfect radial alignment and enables smooth rotation of the board.
You can adjust each of the radial-lock wheels individually for a perfectly balanced dartboard that allows stable mounting to uneven surfaces. The Rota-Lock system also provides mounting stability that is as good as they come. Your dartboard will not budge, flinch, or move an inch once you have locked the radial wheels in place.
Proper maintenance of a dartboard requires regular rotation of the board to prevent, as much as possible, the wear and tear of the sisal surface. With the Blade 5, you simply remove the number ring, rotate and place the number ring back without the hassle of having to remove and readjust the entire dartboard. This trademarked system makes set up a complete breeze.
Since its introduction in the late 1990s, the Blade series of dartboards has delivered on the Winmau promise to revolutionize the game of darts. Winmau relies on an ever-advancing tide of next-generation technologies and inexorable innovation to provide an experience that is above and beyond the one provided by the competition.
The Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard has taken the top spot in our eyes because of its incredible unrivaled quality.
Winmau has introduced, yet again, a game-changing board in the Blade 5. This best in class dartboard is World Darts Federation approved and British Darts Organization endorsed; no small feat considering it exists in a market that is flooded with competition. Additionally, this board is widely loved by amateurs of all ages and backgrounds as well as by professionals across the world.
If you are new to the world of darts, some people might recommend you start out with a more modest purchase, but why settle for anything less than the best. It would be an understatement on my part if I said that this board would get you off on the right foot. If you are a veteran and have been around the proverbial darting block, then you already know about the wonderful Winmau Blade Series, and I have been preaching to the choir.
I will not pretend this dartboard is without flaws, that would be virtually impossible, but the flaws it has are so minor as to be inconsequential. Winmau makes this dartboard after all; and Winmau is the title sponsor of the oldest darts tournament that is still ongoing, the hallowed Winmau World Masters.
Best of all, this fantastic product is so well priced that it belies its quality. Some of the competition costs twice, even three times as much as the Blade 5 and none of those products come close to providing the value and high-quality experience that Winmau has managed to offer here.
If darts is the perfect game, then the Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard is the ideal dartboard.