Because of its rapid increase in popularity over the years, there is a common thing everyone wants to know why do dartboards bulge. This is due to the rapid growth and improvement in product innovation and manufacturing.

Dartboards will swell or bulge for a few reasons. General wear and tear is the first reason. Even the best boards will eventually have their bristles damaged and bulge or fall out with continuous practice. Other reasons include dartboards that are too wet, too dry, or not rotated regularly.

Why Do Dartboards Bulge

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The deterioration of the sisal fibers (bristles) that make up the board face is the most common cause of a dartboard bulging. Your dartboard can start to bulge when it no longer springs back into the position.

When a dart strikes on a bristle dartboard, the tip of the dart pushes the bristles to the side and lodges between the fibers, which helps your darts 'stick' to the board's surface.


The sisal fibers are tightly wound under relatively high tension in a bristle board. This means when the dart is pulled out of the board, the fibers try to return to their normal position. This is why some bristle boards are known as 'self-healing,' because the dart holes seem to vanish when the darts are pulled out. Over time, these fibers become stretched due to constant dislodging when the darts strike and find it harder and harder for them to bounce back to their original position; this can cause a clump of sisal fibers to bunch up and begin to create a bulge in the board face.

My bulge does not seem to be caused by darts consistently striking the board. Is there anything else that can cause dirt boards to bulge?

They are being exposed to moisture or areas where the temperature changes frequently is another common cause of a bulging board.


When moisture causes sisal fibers to stretch, they lose their spring and stop them from returning to their original position when the dart strikes the board. This causes the same issue, with the sisal clumping together and bulging the board.


Alternatively, suppose the dartboard is in an area with temperature swings. In that case, if you keep your board outside or in an unheated garage, The heat and cold swings can then have the same impact on the sisal fibers and the glue that holds them together. We recommend keeping your bristle board inside, where it will maintain a consistent temperature.

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What Is A Bulging Dartboard

What Is A Bulging Dartboard

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The definition of a bulging dartboard, also known as a swelling dartboard, is self-explanatory. It occurs when some areas of the dartboard begin to form bumps/lumps that seem to be bulging or swelling. These bumps are usually noticeable, and you'll see them start to develop around the numbers you throw for frequently.


The bullseye, treble 20, and treble 19 are the most common areas where a dartboard swelling can be found. These are the areas where people tend to throw the most frequently, and while they are not the reason for a bulging board, they do affect, and it is usually in these areas that you will notice bulging first.


Before digging deeper into why dartboards bulge, it's important to understand how these modern dartboards are made. Bristle dartboards are typically made of sisal fiber, which is resilient, self-healing, and tightly compacted.


This means that when your dart hits the board, it will not be as damaged as a paper board, and it will also be able to bounce returns to their original form once the dart is removed (ensure that you don't leave darts in the board when you are not playing). These dartboards may be best at self-healing in the short term, but they will age and experience wear and tear over time, so keep it in mind when you first notice a bulging dartboard.

Why Do Dartboards Bulge?

Here is the list of 3 possible causes of bulges on the surface of your dartboard, as well as what you can do to fix the problem:

1. Wear and Tear

Overuse of your dartboard will cause the surface to deteriorate faster, just as it would with any other item, such as a vehicle or an electric device. If you don't invest in a good dartboard, you'll have to replace the board much faster.

Solid sisal bundles make premium dartboards stand out. However, getting a high-quality dartboard is not enough. Dartboards should be managed to maintain by rotating the board often to spread damage to the surface evenly. By rotating your board, you ensure that you are not throwing at the same area of the board on a regular basis. A bulge is likely to cause if you strike the same area repeatedly.

There is a common misconception that spritzing your dartboard with water can help it heal. While this may not be the permanent fix to recover the surface of your board, the moisture will remain on the bundles and will eventually destroy your board. Being able to wet your board came from when they were made of wood, mainly elmwood. Owners would spray the board with water every night to keep the board from fracturing. As the wood bloated in reaction to the water, spraying it would close up the holes.

2. Moisture

Sisal fibers are extremely moisture sensitive. If the board is not kept dry, the fibers can get engorged and dislocate from the backside of the board. You have to remember not to expose your board to elements such as rain or other moist substances. If you like throwing darts outside, maybe to avoid holes in your walls, or if you don't have that much space inside, remember to bring your dartboard back inside after you're done.

You should not use water on the surface of your dartboard, no matter how dusty or grubby it looks. This is dangerous for your board since it can seriously damage your board and cause bulging. The glue is water-soluble when exposed to moisture (it dissolves in water).

A bristle board has sisal fiber glued to a wooden backboard, which is most modern boards are made of. When the fibers are soaked swell, they absorb the moisture and carry it through to the glue, and it helps to fix the bristle bundles to the wooden backboard. When the glue begins to melt, the fiber separates from the backing, and the surface area starts to bubble as the bristles push out. Your dartboard will be wrecked, and you'll also see bunches of them are dropping to the surface.

3. Humidity

Consider the humidity of the area you live in, whether you're playing indoors or outdoors. Humid climates mean that the surrounding air contains a lot of moisture, which, as stated previously, can harm the sisal fibers in your board. Unfortunately, you can't do much about the environment, but keep this in mind when you're thinking about why your dartboard has to be replaced so often. Some dart-throwing players have used dehumidifiers to manage the temperature of their houses and protect their boards.

You should also make sure that your board isn't too close to a heat source, such as hot water pipes in the wall or a lamp. This may also help to soften the bondage on your dartboard. Avoiding moisture means that your board is not exposed to direct sunlight since UV rays and heat can be harmful and weaken the fiber bundles.

TIPS: How To Clean Dartboard

How To Clean Dartboard

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A dazzling red, white, and backboard to show off to your family and friends when they come over to visit is always a pleasure. You've made investments in your dart-playing hobby by purchasing a high-quality board and doing everything you can to keep it in good condition. Here are a few tips to help you clean your board so that it looks as good as the day you bought it.


  • Remove the metal frame or "spider" from the board while cleaning to make cleaning much easier. You'll be able to get rid of the dirt and dust that has gathered under the frame. Remember that you may not be able to remove the frame from some older dartboards, so try your best.

  • Take a bristle brush or a vacuum and dust the board's surface. This will help in the removal of large dirt deposits that have gathered.

  • To remove any remaining dirt, wipe the face of the board with a dry cotton cloth. Cotton swabs can be used to get into hard-to-reach crannies and nooks. Remember, if you clean your board with a wet or damp cloth, you risk causing serious damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Fix A Bulging Dartboard?


Unfortunately, there is no easy solution.


It's the end of the journey for your dartboard when the sisal fibers become stretched and won't return to their original shape. If it starts in one area of your dartboard, it won't be long before other areas start to suffer the same effects.


That's why manufacturers recommend turning your board on a regular basis; it helps spread the impact areas of the dart throughout more of your board (unless you're a terrible shot!). This extends the board's life.


We would also suggest keeping your board inside, in a place with a fairly consistent temperature. This will keep your dartboard from being exposed to temperature swings, which will prevent the materials in the board from deteriorating.


Is it Wrong To Leave The Darts In A Dartboard?


The answer is "YES." It is not recommended to leave the darts on a board for an extended period. Darts left in a board can stretch and deform the fibers, causing a bulge in your board.


Steel-tipped darts force the fibers in a bristle board to the side; if the board is kept in for long periods, the sisal fibers that make up the board lose their spring and can't return to their original position, causing the dartboard to bulge and the damage to be permanent.


Soft tip darts, which are commonly used with plastic boards, may theoretically Stretch the plastic in the same way, causing the holes in the dartboard face to vary, which can maximize bounce rate or prevent darts from sticking into the surface. We haven't personally experienced this, but we have friends who claim that leaving their darts on the board has caused it to deteriorate.


We would also advise you not to leave soft tip darts on your plastic board. Instead, find a good ledge or case to keep them out of harm's way until your next match.


Should I Soak The Dartboard With Water?


People frequently ask, "Why can't I soak the dartboard in water - it seems to get the sisal fibers back into shape, so I don't have to get a new board?"


Soaking a board in water can seem to solve the problem at first. When sisal fibers get wet, they lose their spring and can be pushed back into position. What's not to like about that? Unfortunately, soaking the sisal can cause it to lose its spring permanently. So, while the board may look in good condition on the surface, each subsequent use damages the sisal further. It's best to replace your board before you reach this point.


How Often Should I Need To Clean My Dartboard?

You'll be pleased to know that you don't have to clean your board on a regular basis. Well-maintenance, especially if you're cleaning and checking the surface while rotating the dartboard. Try to maintain and clean at the same time to prevent grime from accumulating in difficult-to-reach areas for too long.


How Long Do Dartboards Last?

Recreational and professional darts players may expect a dartboard to last from 6 months to a year. Maybe more if you choose a high-quality board. A dartboard should last at least five years for casual recreational players. A high-quality dartboard will last more than an inexpensive one.


Can I Play With Bristle Board with Soft Tip Darts?

You must be eager to know about whether the soft tip darts can or cannot be used on a bristle board. Because soft tip darts and steel tip darts are pretty much identical – the only difference is that soft tip darts have plastic on their heads – they can be simply used on bristle or regular dartboards.


How Long Do Sisal Dartboards Last?

About 4–5 years. A board will typically last around two years if you take it seriously and play 45–60 minutes per day. We have friends, and their boards were nearly perfect after 12 months. 18 months later, some minor wear can sometimes cause darts to drop out, but this is quite unusual.

Final Words

If your board has signs of bulging and swelling, the harm has already been done, and there is nothing you can do about it. In this case, the best thing that you can do is figure out what caused the swelling and then apply more regular or particular maintenance to your next board to prevent it from happening again.


Other key lessons should be, do not let your board become wet, whether from being in a moist or washing or humid area. Finally, invest in a quality sisal fiber board from a reputable manufacturer, and take special care to rotate your board on a regular basis to minimize damage from repeated dart impact.

Why Do Dartboards Bulge
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Why Do Dartboards Bulge

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Because of its rapid increase in popularity over the years, there is a common thing everyone wants to know why do dartboards bulge. This is due to the rapid growth and improvement in product innovation and manufacturing.


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