Types of Dart Flights – the Best (Starters) Guide

A dart flight is more than just a phony plastic feather on the back of your dart. Furthermore, the offer is so large that you may be unsure which one to purchase. The question then becomes, how can you tell the difference between the various types of dart flights so that you can make a choice and know which dart flight to buy?

The different types of dart flights are determined by the shape, size, materials used to make them, and texture of the dart flight. Each of these factors will affect how the darts fly when thrown. Knowing all of these features and combining them will help you in finding the best dart flight.

To give you clarity in the huge range of types of dart flights, I put together this simple and clear guide. By reading this guide, you will master the properties step by step and know what to look for when buying the best dart flight types for you.

P.S.My post, “Dart Equipment 101: A Quick-Start Comprehensive Guide,” is your roadmap to the world of dart gear. It offers insights on selection and care. If you’re passionate about darts, this is a must-read.

Types of Dart Flights - the Best (Starters) Guide - Thumbnail

What Is A Dart Flight?

Dart flights are fins that are placed on the dart shaft at the back of a dart for the purpose of providing stability to the dart when thrown. There are different types of dart flights, each of which has a different effect on your throw.

Shape, size, materials used, and texture all have a significant impact on how the dart will reach the dartboard and land where you want it.

There is a lot to tell about the dart flight and it is hard to find the perfect dart flight that suits you.
That is why it is important to read all of the information in this article so you will be able to understand dart flights and find the best dart fight for your game.

What Are The Differences In The Types Of Dart Flights

Dart Flight Size

In addition to the various types of dart flights that I will show you below in this article and from which you can choose the best dart flight types, you can divide flights into two groups: fast flights and slow flights.

Fast flights are typically longer and have a smaller surface area than slower flights. This will result in increased airspeed due to a more efficient aerodynamic profile. Fast flights, in other words, cut through the air more aggressively than slower flights.

Hard throwers prefer faster flights and perform best with shorter barrel models and shorter shaft lengths.

Slow flights have a larger surface area and are shorter overall. Slower flight speeds result in more open, curving trajectories, making slow flights ideal for players with more controlled throws.

There are numerous lengths, materials, shapes, and sizes available between these two opposing groups. I wrote this clarifying article to ensure that you can find the perfect escape for your throwing behavior from this wide range.
This gives you a good overview of all the different factors to consider when making the right decision.

Foldable vs molded dart flights

Darts flights can be produced in two ways: folded and molded. Each of them will have an impact on the game you’ll be playing, so I’ll go over them in more detail below.

Foldable dart fights

Foldable flights are distinguished by the fact that four sheets are glued together to form the four finned shapes of a flight. Because the flight is made up of four loose sheets, it is vulnerable to nicks with some force. One significant advantage of these flights is the ability to lie flat. This enables you to transport them in smaller suitcases or even your pocket. Another important feature is that they are simple to produce, allowing for a much broader range of designs and shapes.

Foldable flights work with any shaft with a 4-pin holder. You should also consider purchasing a flight protector. This is a small cap, usually made of nylon or aluminum, that is worn on the back of the flight (or top). By deflecting incoming darts while keeping them straight, it aids in the elimination of Robin Hooding in your flight.

Foldable darts flights are inexpensive due to the ease and speed of manufacture, as well as lower material costs.

Flight times will differ depending on your groupings. The material in the 75 microns may tear, whereas the material in the 180 microns may only have nicks. The most common folding flights are 100 microns thick, allowing for moderate flex while remaining stiff enough to be used.

Molded dart fights

Molded flights are cast into molds by the manufacturer and arrive in their final shape and remain in that shape. These types of darts flights are stiffer then foldable dart flights, where this stiffness helps ensure that your flights stay in constant shape. These are easier to mount on a shaft with a cone or socket-type orifice. By mounting them on this, you also reduce the chance of “robin hooding” your shaft.

Foldable Dart FlightMolded Dart Flight
Build4 sheets glued togetherMolded into one piece
PriceInexpensiveExpensive
Type of shaft4 pin holderShaft with a cone or socket-type orifice.
AdvantageLightFewer risks to “robin hooding”
Types of Dart Flights – Foldable vs molded dart flights

Dart Flight Shapes

Darts are offered in a wide variety of dart flight shapes, with different shapes coming and going by different manufacturers. In addition to all the forms listed below, there are undoubtedly flights that did not make it to our list, but with this list you do have an overview of the most used and popular flights. The shape will have a major influence on the surface and so usually go hand in hand with the previously discussed property, the dart shape size.

Standard flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Standard flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Standard flight

The largest flight provides the most lift and is the most stable in flight, but it travels at a slower speed.

Shape flight

Dart Flight Shapes - shape flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Shape flight

Slightly smaller in the front than Standard flight, making it faster with less lift while remaining just as stable.

Super shape

Dart Flight Shapes - Super shape
Dart Flight Shapes – Super shape

This flight, smaller than a shape but not as small as a slim, offers speed and about as much lift as a kite while being more stable than standard.

Pear flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Pear flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Pear flight

It has an oval shape and is faster than a kite but less stable. It provides more lift than a slim or fantail and is also more stable.

Slim flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Slim flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Slim flight

This is one of the smallest flights, providing a lot of speed with very little lift.

Kite flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Kite flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Kite flight

This flight is intended for a smooth medium speed thrower and provides great lift and stability with less resistance than a shape sized flight, so it is faster than the shape.

Super kite flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Super kite
Dart Flight Shapes – Super kite

Extremely fast, with little to no stability, but with more lift and the speed of a slim.

Astral flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Astral
Dart Flight ShapesAstral

Faster than a fantail, but also less stable. It provides more stability than a slim while maintaining the speed of a slim. Excellent for a faster thrower with little to no arch in their throw.

Fantail flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Fantail Flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Fantail Flight

The fantail is faster and less stable than a kite, but provides significantly more lift than a slim or astra. It is similar to a pear, but slightly faster.

Rocket flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Rocket flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Rocket flight

A shape-sized flight with a tapered end that allows it to come off the hand faster and smoother than a traditional shape, but also makes it less stable.

Bullet flight

Dart Flight Shapes - Bullet flight
Dart Flight Shapes – Bullet flight

More stability and lift than a super kite. The bullet has good speed and stability. It also provides more lift for a smoother throw at high speeds; due to the increase in lift and stability, it works better with heavier darts than a smaller flight would with a same weight dart.

w shape flight

Dart Flight Shapes - W-shape
Dart Flight Shapes – W-shape

Its shape is somewhere between a fantail and a pear, and it provides more lift than an astra while being nearly as fast.

Dart Flight Material

Modern dart flights are made of high-quality materials but are still reasonably priced, which is fantastic.

When it comes to the material used to make the Dart flights, you have three options. Dart flights are made from hard plastic polymers, soft plastic polymers, and nylon. The material used in your dart flight also has an effect on its trajectory. The dart flight material you choose affects not only the weight and thickness of the dart flight, but also the resistance and lift of your dart.

Hard plastic polymers

These flights are made by melting extremely thin layers of plastic polymers. These flights are typically rigid and long-lasting. When they are touched by other darts, they tear more easily, so throw them away right away. They do have the advantage of allowing for tight clustering because they can easily slide past each other.

Soft plastic polymers

These flights are made of flexible plastic layers that are similar to hard polymers but much less brittle. Soft plastic polymers are the least durable and are more easily torn or bent than harder versions. You can also use the soft plastic to smooth out or heal any minor dents or imperfections that may occur.

Nylon

Nylon flights are quite popular and for good reason. These flights are the most durable on this list. Nylon flights tend to be quite stiff due to the interwoven reinforcement fibers added to the fabric.

Hard plastic polymersSoft plastic polymersNylon
ConstructionThin layers of plasticFlexible plasticNylon with interwoven fibers
DurabilityMediumLowHigh
PriceMediumCheapExpensive
Types of Dart Flights – Dart flight material comparison chart

Dart Flight Textures

Close inspection of some dart flights reveals an intricate pattern of small dimples all over the surface. This style of dart flight has a few significant advantages.

  • The dimples significantly increase the surface area, adding drag without increasing flight speed.
  • Dart flights of this type are typically stiffer.

When using lighter barrels or shafts, dimples will force you to throw harder because the dimples cause the dart to drop earlier. The dimples provide a stabilizing force and eliminate the characteristic wobble of slower trajectories, so heavy barrel users will likely benefit the most.

What Dart Flight To Buy?

You will notice that there is no one-sided answer to this question if you read the entire article. To choose the best dart flight, take into account all of these factors and choose a dart flight that is tailored to your throwing style. Finding the best combination and putting it to the test at your next dart training session will be the next step. Fortunately, darts fights are relatively cheap, so testing will not break the bank.

Want to become a darts expert? Join me in exploring “Understanding Darts and Their Parts: The Best Starting Guide” and unravel the mysteries of each piece.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of a dart flight?

A dart flight is placed on the back of a dart shaft to provide stability during the throw. It helps control the trajectory and landing of the dart on the dartboard.

How do different types of dart flights affect my throw?

Different types of dart flights, such as shape, size, materials used, and texture, can impact the flight characteristics of the dart. They affect factors like speed, lift, stability, and resistance, ultimately influencing how the dart performs when thrown.

What are fast flights and slow flights?

Dart flights can be categorized into fast flights and slow flights. Fast flights are generally longer with a smaller surface area, offering greater speed and less lift. Slow flights, on the other hand, are usually shorter with a larger surface area, providing more lift and stability.

What are foldable dart flights, and what are their advantages?

Foldable flights are made up of four loose sheets glued together, allowing them to lie flat for easy storage and transportation. They offer a broader range of designs and shapes and can work with any shaft with a 4-pin holder. Using a flight protector can help prevent damage to foldable flights.

What are the different materials used for dart flights, and how do they impact the dart’s performance?

Dart flights are commonly made of hard plastic polymers, soft plastic polymers, or nylon. Hard plastic flights are rigid and durable, while soft plastic flights are more flexible but less durable. Nylon flights are the most durable option. The material choice affects the weight, thickness, resistance, and lift of the dart flight.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the different types of dart flights is crucial for any dart player looking to improve their game. Dart flights play a significant role in the stability and trajectory of the dart when thrown, ultimately determining how accurately it will hit the target. By considering factors such as flight size, construction (foldable vs. molded), shape, material, and texture, players can find the perfect dart flight that suits their throwing style and preferences.

Fast flights, characterized by smaller surface areas and increased airspeed, are favored by hard throwers who prefer shorter barrel models and shaft lengths. On the other hand, slow flights with larger surface areas and curving trajectories are ideal for players with more controlled throws. Understanding the properties of different flight shapes, such as standard, shape, slim, kite, and more, allows players to fine-tune their dart’s performance.

Moreover, dart flight material and texture also contribute to the overall flight characteristics. Materials like hard plastic polymers, soft plastic polymers, and nylon offer varying degrees of durability, flexibility, and stability. Texture, such as the presence of dimples, affects surface area, drag, and dart stability.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to which dart flight is the best, considering all these factors and experimenting with different combinations will help players find their optimal setup. Testing various dart flights during practice sessions allows players to gauge their performance and make informed decisions based on their personal preferences and throwing style.

It is worth noting that dart flights are just one component of the dart setup, and players should also consider other factors such as dart shafts and barrels to achieve optimal results. By utilizing the information provided in this guide and exploring the comprehensive knowledge shared on Darterpoint, players can gain valuable insights to enhance their darts game and maximize their enjoyment of the sport.

Dart flights, however, are only one aspect of the dart. Other components influence how your dart flies and lands on the dartboard. So be sure to read my compiled article about dart parts here. In that article, you will learn everything there is to know about the dart, and after gathering all the information, you will be able to put together the perfect dart for you.