I was thinking back the other day to when i picked my first set of darts up and what i did to get myself submerged into the world of darts.
It was whilst watching the 2007 Grand Slam of Darts on TV that i caught the bug for the game of darts, the week after i went out and brought a set of darts from ASDA yes a supermarket was where my first set come from. They were just a steel set of darts which were probably about 26 or 28g in weight they were a real heavy dart i recall. I then brought a board and im not ashamed to say the board i got was a cheap double sided board with more staples than a normal office stapler can hold.
Yes this above is similar to my first ever dart board, i recall setting it up in my front room much to my wifes dismay i think. The darts i had brought would make such a noise when they hit this board and leave such a hole it was terrible but it was my starting point in the game.
At night after work i would walk across my local pub The Albert Inn where i would use the board they had up the corner of the pub which to be honest was worse than my cheap board but it felt good just trying to play darts. After a few weeks playing on my paper board i went out and for some reason i brought a cheap electric soft tip board, well i say for some reason the main reason was because of all the holes in the wall. The soft tip board was nothing special like we have on the market today (i.e. The Target Nexus), you could only play 501 and just by yourself there was no playing the computer or a 2 player game just 1 mode of 501, however the darts were really light and it didnt feel fun to play and again the e noise was terrible.
I then had to make the decision did i enjoy playing darts, Yes i did so that meant one thing and one thing only create a proper set up in the living room and play properly. Bare in mind at this time i was only playing at home also not for a team or anything like that i just enjoyed playing darts, when i got in from work it was a good way to unwind and also allowed me space from having to watch the normal TV shows that are always on.
So as you can now see from the picture above i had mounted the board to a piece of wood which i had felted brought a surround and to the left was also a white board. My computer was to the right which i also used still for scores using no1 scoring software ( link on the website - https://www.dartsinstoke.co.uk/darts-training) this set up really helped me out it was not as loud as we felt it was but im sure our old neighbors would not agree with me. This set up then allowed me to practice on a regular basis and eventually give me the confidence to approach my local pub and ask them if they had a space in the darts team, the week later after i asked i was signed and won my first ever game in the league and the rest is well history and lead to where im at today.
So i have gone from the days of using a paper dart board with heavy darts to a pro set up for a non pub player to where i'm at now where when i moved into my new house i selected the wall that used to be our old outhouse to be my throw, and because im now better than i was 10 years ago (or at least i think i am), as you will see below i dont bother with the surround anymore and the throw i have created is a very nice throw.
The tablet next to my board allows me to practice against a computer algorithm using the MyDartsTraining app (again a link on DartsInStoke) as in the old house i have 3 spot lights that shine just onto the board and no where else in the house which allows for the best lighting option on the board. I have a drop in oche in the kitchen floor and im not sure if the wife even knows where the holes are for the oche, but if she ever does wear high heels in the kitchen i could be in alot of trouble.
Darts can consume your life, i use to play 4 nights a week and attend knockouts with friends at the weekends but now im at just 1 night a week where i want to still play 2 or 3 nights but the money tree at the end of the yard does not keep producing purple vouchers for me to go out 3 nights a week. However when i have a bad day or just want to escape the daily grind i can shut my kitchen door drop in the oche and practice and play as many legs of darts that i wish too.
So thats how i started out and how i got to where im at today, let me know in the comments how you started and what was your first board and set of darts.
Till we chat again, enjoy your darts and mind that oche folks.
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