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When playing darts, your goal is not only to have fun and improve your skills – you should also keep safety a top priority. The sharpness of a dart will be a problem if it hits walls or any other surrounding objects that you didn’t intend to hit!
That’s where a dartboard surround comes in handy. This special surround will catch darts that hit outside the target, so that they won’t bounce off the wall and hit anything else around you. If you’re wondering which dartboard surrounds to get, I have a couple of suggested picks below.
Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround
My top pick is the Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround, which accommodates most standard bristle dartboards from 17.75 to 18 inches. It has a total area of 8.2 square feet while it has a 1-inch thickness. As for the material, high-density V-foam is used to catch your missed darts.
Since it has a velvet surface, and even after catching many darts, the surface will remain clean and flat. Due to the simple design, this dartboard surround or protector doesn’t need bracing or mounting hardware – it’s designed for a compression fitting.
I like that this dartboard surround is fully reversible so it will last a long time. It has a 5-inch distance height between the top and the cutout portion for the dartboard.
All you need to do is to snap it together like a puzzle, so you won’t need many tools to install it. For extra protection and security, placing sticky foam around the dartboard area will help keep the dartboard surround in place and a snug fit, especially if it is a smaller board.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a velvet finish that makes it attractive and easily hides the signs of wear and tear. The dartboard surround is also fully reversible for more uses.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: You’ll need a couple of spacers for smaller dartboards for a more snug fit.
Viper Wall Defender III Dartboard Surround Cork
Fitting for 17.75-inch sisal boards, the Viper Wall Defender III Dartboard Surround Cork is my second pick. This Jigsaw-style dartboard surround cork has a 1-inch V-foam for its construction, which has just the right amount of density for most common darts.
With a total coverage area of 8.2 square feet, it has a more detailed connecting piece for each end to ensure better security for the entire surround cork. Moreover, this natural cork design will fit well into most home and office setups, blending in well with existing décor, especially if you also have a couple of office cork boards around.
As with most dartboard surrounds, it doesn’t need tools to assemble due to its puzzle design. It will also fit onto larger 18-inch sisal boards. Since it is reversible, you don’t have to buy another surround board often. Due to the cork lining, it provides the right amount of thickness without being too heavy to install.
Things I Like About This Product: It is lightweight and easy to install. The natural color will blend with most home and office décor, while the puzzle fitting design looks more secure due to the smaller connecting piece.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Since it isn’t black, you’ll easily see the wear and tear of the dartboard surround once it’s heavily damaged – something that won’t be quickly seen or noticed with a black dartboard surround (like my first pick above).
YF Craft EVA Foam Dartboard Surround
For my budget pick, I chose the YF Craft EVA Foam Dartboard Surround, which is a simple surround that will get the job done. It is made with EVA foam that has a high density so that it will properly catch your missed darts. Due to the dark gray color, it won’t easily show the wear and tear of the surrounding backboard.
What’s more, the design is quite simple and easy to connect without any tools – all you need to do is to put together the five pieces of splicing and you’re all set. It will fit most standard dartboards that have a diameter of 17.75 inches. I also like how the dartboard surround is quite solid, to catch darts easily without quickly deteriorating.
This dartboard surround has an outer diameter of 28 inches and a 1-inch thickness. When you don’t need it anymore, its circular shape makes disassembly easy. With four interlocking keys, it is simple to put the five pieces together surrounding the dartboard area.
Things I Like About This Product: The dartboard surround saves space in terms of storage and installation. This will work well for smaller homes or rooms. Moreover, the material is easy to cut to fit and conform without ruining the material.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It’s not ideal for you if you want a larger dartboard surround.
Target Darts Pro Tour Printed Surround
If you want a very firm and attractive dartboard surround, I’d like to suggest the Target Darts Pro Tour Printed Surround for professional use. This dartboard surround is made with durable material (Active Reflex Polymer) which reduces the appearance of penetration marks, making the surrounding board attractive even after a lot of use.
The finish is in a solid color (red) so it will look striking and uniform on any wall. Moreover, it has a universal fit so it will be easy to install on nearly any wall surface and you don’t need tools or mounting equipment for that. Due to the ribbed back design, it will be strong enough to withstand abuse and a lot of dart force thrown into it.
Regardless, the lightweight construction makes installation a breeze. If you have other accessories, such as a ring light, it has enough space for it to go between the dartboard and the surrounding board.
Things I Like About This Product: This dartboard surround is made for professional use – you won’t easily see penetration marks thanks to its unique Active Reflex Polymer material. This makes the dartboard not only durable and flexible, but also effective in keeping your darts safe from bouncing off the wall.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Despite the strength in holding missed darts, it doesn’t cover a large area, so it’s not that ideal for beginners who might hit the area outside of the dartboard.
Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Octagonal Dartboard Backboard
If you prefer a very large dartboard surrounding protector, the Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Octagonal Dartboard Backboard is for you. This durable backboard has a recessed mounting bracket for extra stability. The setup is not much of a problem since it only has a top and bottom mounting point, screws and anchors, and mounting instructions for you to follow.
With a black finish (although there are also burgundy and tan colors), it won’t easily show the penetration marks, so the dartboard surround will look like new even when it’s gone through some wear and tear. It has a 3/4-inch thickness for its wood backing with an overall 1-inch thickness.
Measuring 36 x 36 inches, this dartboard surround will fit into most standard dartboard sizes. There’s also a way to fit the dartboard using the recessed dartboard bracket in the middle. This ensures that the dartboard won’t wobble while also allowing you to rotate it easily when needed. I like that the mounting points are made of reinforced steel for durability.
Among the wall types or materials that this dartboard surround backboard can be attached to include drywall, concrete, masonry, stucco, wood, and plaster.
Things I Like About This Product: It comes with a fabric finish that won’t easily show penetration holes after much usage. It also has a large coverage area that will catch even far-away missed darts.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: You do need to mount it for installation although this enhances its stability.
Viper Wall Defender Dartboard Surround Cork
A good dartboard surround for most players is the Viper Wall Defender Dartboard Surround Cork, which has 2.8 square feet of coverage area. It has a V-foam construction to keep your missed darts away from walls. Any 18-inch sisal dartboard will fit well into this dartboard surround.
Due to its carefully-engineered design, it will fit snugly into the dartboard. Moreover, it has connecting pieces with small ends that keep the 5-piece dartboard surround tightly assembled when you play darts. The natural cork finish makes it applicable in most home and office settings.
The cork-lined foam is lightweight for easy installation yet durable for catching missed darts. You don’t need tools to assemble this dartboard surround/backboard since it fits together like a bunch of puzzle pieces. Like most cork-based dartboard surrounds that I’ve mentioned above, this setup is entirely reversible.
Any sisal or bristle dartboard that is 17.75 inches (regulation size) will fit perfectly into this dartboard surround. Moreover, the stylish rounded design will present an attractive and clean aesthetic to most rooms.
Things I Like About This Product: This dartboard surround will fit both sisal and bristle dartboards and it has an easy-install method without the need for brackets or tools. The cork texture will go nicely with most office equipment.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Although I like the natural cork finish, this kind of surface will easily show penetration marks from the darts that landed on them, as compared to black or fabric-type finishes.
Viper Defender Black Dartboard Surround
Applicable for any 17.75-inch bristle dartboard, the Viper Defender Black Dartboard Surround is a simple yet effective dartboard protector that’s made with a high-density V-foam with a 1-inch thickness. With a circular design, it will fit snugly into most dartboards and is relatively easy to install.
Due to the velvet surface, you won’t easily see the dart marks even after rigorous play. With a radius of 5 inches from the dartboard area to the outside edge, it provides ample protection for rogue darts.
You don’t need bracing or mounting to install this dartboard surround, making it convenient for a DIY installation at home or in an office. It only requires a few seconds of your time – all you need is to connect the pieces to form a circular board that fits snugly into your dartboard.
Thanks to the flock layer of the dartboard surround material, this layer will keep the puncture diameter small as your darts penetrate it. Therefore, this keeps the entire material durable and maintains the durability of the V-foam.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a flat surface and a flock layer so that dart marks aren’t easily seen, maintaining a clean look.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The surrounding area isn’t as large as compared to most dartboard surrounds and backboards due to its circular design.
YF Craft Red PU Dartboard Surround
Yet another product with a flat red finish on my list is the YF Craft Red PU Dartboard Surround. This will fit any standard-sized dartboard at 17.75 inches. I like that it has a slightly thicker material at 1.5 inches. With a diameter of 27.5 inches, it is made with polyurethane and is relatively easy to install.
If you don’t like a lot of steps in setting up a dartboard surround, this is a great pick for you since it is just one piece. It also has a useful self-healing capability so it won’t show penetration marks that much, resulting in a cleaner look after each play.
Since it doesn’t have annoying markers, it sports a clean look and covers the surrounding area of the dartboard well. This dartboard surround will work best with bristle dartboards with a snug fit. This is also a good alternative to name-brand dartboard surrounds while having a thick surface.
Things I Like About This Product: I like that it has a significantly thicker surface of 1.5 inches – thicker than most 3/4 to 1-inch dartboard surrounds. Since it has a clean design and a one-piece construction with no puzzle pieces to fit, it will look smooth along with its fast self-healing capability.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: If you have Winmau-brand dartboards, you’ll have slight difficulty fitting them into the dartboard surround.
Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Round Dartboard Backboard
If you are looking for a backboard with a bigger protection radius, the Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Round Dartboard Backboard is a great choice for you. It has three color choices: black, burgundy, and tan – all made with flat finishes to minimize the visibility of dart marks after usage.
Since this item is mountable, it adds a layer of stability to the dartboard surround using its steel-reinforced points. And because it has screws and anchors included, installation won’t be much of a problem (instructions are included as well). Attaching the dartboard to the center is also convenient due to the recessed bracket.
With a 1-inch thickness (including a 3/4-inch wood backing for stability), it measures 36 x 36 inches and will fit most standard-sized dartboards. The design of the fabric finish keeps the dart holes to a minimum for a smooth look after rugged play.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a wide coverage area that’s ideal for beginners. There are different color choices and it has good stability thanks to the mounting method.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: You do need extra setup steps due to the mounting installation method.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Dartboard Surrounds Featured Above
When choosing your dartboard surround, here are some criteria (that I used) to help you out with your decision:
1. Coverage Area
Darts tend to bounce back when hitting a solid surface, which is why you’ll need a wide enough surround to keep the playing area safe. A dartboard surround will usually be around 26 to 36 inches in diameter – with a wider area being more suitable for beginners.
2. Material Thickness
Most dartboard surrounds have a thickness of 1 inch, with some at 1.5 inches. Thicker material will help the darts stick easier.
3. Self-Healing Capability
A better self-healing capability allows the dartboard surround to stay and appear intact even with frequent usage. It also helps if you get a dartboard that has a fiber-like surface and has a black or dark color to avoid easily seeing the penetration holes.
4. Ease of Setup
A dartboard backboard/surround with a convenient setup procedure is worth buying. It should be an easy fit into most standard-sized dartboards.
5. Durability and Stability
Consider getting a dartboard surround with durable material. If you prefer more stability, it’s more advisable to get a setup with mounting installation so that the dartboard (and the surround) won’t wobble.
Overall, my top choice is the Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround, which has a velvet finish that conveniently hides the dart marks from plain sight. The next dartboard surround in my list is the Viper Wall Defender III Dartboard Surround Cork, which is lightweight yet durable while being easy to install.
If you’re on a budget, you will like the YF Craft EVA Foam Dartboard Surround with its space-saving design. For professional players, the Target Darts Pro Tour Printed Surround is a good choice thanks to its fast self-healing capability and durable material.
For a wide backboard, the Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Octagonal Dartboard Backboard is for you, which will work on most wall surfaces. Another spacious option is the Dart-Stop 36-Inch Professional Round Dartboard Backboard.
The Viper Wall Defender Dartboard Surround Cork is a worthy consideration if you want to fit either sisal or a bristle dartboard. Another great choice is the Viper Defender Black Dartboard Surround, which has a flock layer that reduces penetration marks. A thick-layered surround board, such as the YF Craft Red PU Dartboard Surround, will work well for deep-penetrating darts.