Long vs. Short Darts: The Impact on Dart Flight and Speed

Long vs. Short Darts: The Impact on Dart Flight and Speed

6 minutes read
Aug 16th, 2023

As passionate darts players, we know that every small detail can affect our game. One essential aspect that often goes overlooked is the length of our darts. Long darts and short darts offer distinct characteristics that can influence our dart’s trajectory, stability, and speed. In this analysis, we’ll examine the angle of entry and dart speed to understand how long and short darts differ and which option might be best for your game.



  • Long vs. Short Darts: Angle of Entry
  • Long vs. Short Dart: Speed
  • Long vs. Short Dart: Trajectory
  • Choosing the Right Dart Length
  • Conclusion

Long vs. Short Darts: Angle of Entry

One critical factor to consider is the angle of entry, which plays a vital role in how our dart interacts with the dartboard. We’ll compare long darts and short darts in terms of the angle of entry.

The Entry Angle of Short Stem Darts

With short stems, specifically 34 millimeter stems, we observe a slightly lifted angle of entry, meaning the dart is not sitting flat but rather has its flight sticking upwards, angling into the board. The short stems support this slight angle and lift in the dart’s entry.

Short stems offer the following advantages:

  • Stability and Consistency: The slight lift in angle of entry helps stabilize the dart’s flight, contributing to more consistent throws.
  • Optimized Flight Path: The dart’s trajectory with short stems provides a smooth descent towards the target, enhancing accuracy.

The Entry Angle of Long Stem Darts

On the other hand, with long stems, we see a significant impact on the angle of entry. The dart’s angle of entry is much flatter with long stems. The increased length of the long stems and the additional material on the back of the dart help flatten out its trajectory.

Long stems offer the following advantages:

  • Enhanced Control: The flatter angle of entry with long stems gives players better control over their throws, especially those with a quick, snappy release.
  • More Direct Shot: The dart stays flatter for a longer duration, resulting in a more direct shot to the board.

Long vs. Short Dart: Speed

The next aspect to explore is the speed at which our darts travel to the board. In the analysis, we’ll reveal intriguing findings in dart speed for both short and long stems.

The Speed of Short Stem Darts

When using short stems, the dart speed is measured at approximately 0.33 seconds from the point it leaves our hand to the moment it penetrates the dartboard. This measurement remains consistent across multiple throws.

The Speed of Long Stem Darts

With long stems, the dart speed increases to an average of 0.43 seconds. The difference in speed between short and long stems is approximately 35%, making long stems significantly slower to the board.

Long vs. Short Dart: Trajectory

Examining the shots of our dart’s flight offers valuable insights into its trajectory and behavior in the air.

Short Stem Darts : A Smooth Landing

With short stems, our dart exhibits a smooth flight path through the air. As it approaches the board, the dart takes over, creating a slight dip and lifting the back of the dart for a more controlled landing.

Long Stem Darts: A Flatter Journey

When using long stems, the dart stays flatter for a more extended period, resulting in a more direct shot to the board. The extra material on the back of the dart, along with the slight shift in center of mass, contributes to this flatter trajectory.

Choosing the Right Dart Length

Selecting the right dart length boils down to understanding our throwing style and preferences. If we prefer stability, consistency, and a slightly lifted angle of entry, short stems might be our best bet. On the other hand, if control, a flatter trajectory, and a more direct shot are our priorities, long stems could be the right choice.

Remember that every player is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Experimenting with different dart lengths, analyzing our throws, and seeking expert advice can help us find the perfect fit for our game.


As we’ve explored, the length of our darts can have a considerable impact on their flight path and speed. The angle of entry, dart speed, and trajectory all play essential roles in shaping our darts’ performance.

Whether we opt for short stems with a lifted angle of entry or long stems with a flatter trajectory, understanding these differences allows us to fine-tune our game and optimize our performance on the dartboard.

So, let’s take our time, experiment, and let our darting journey guide us towards the perfect dart length that complements our playing style and helps us hit those bullseyes with confidence!

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