Sisal vs Bristle Dartboards: What’s Better?

When discussing what goes into making a dartboard, sisal and bristle are two terms that are commonly used and misused. There are differences between them so let’s start by breaking them both down.

What is a Sisal Dartboard?

Sisal dartboards are made from the fibers of the sisal plant. A plant that’s native to Mexico and other parts of South America.

To make a sisal dartboard, the fibers are first cut and then woven together to form a dense, tight-packed material. This material is then mounted onto a backing board and covered with a thin layer of cork or a similar material. The darts are then inserted into the board, where they remain until they are removed.

What is a Bristle Dartboard?

Bristle dartboards, on the other hand are made from compressed, staple-set horse hair or pig hair. This material is carefully chosen, sorted and processed to create the bristles that make up a bristle dartboard.

To make a bristle dartboard, the bristles are first compressed and shaped into a circular form. This circular shape is then mounted onto a backing board, usually made of cork or another suitable material. The darts are then inserted into the board, where they remain until they are removed.

What is the difference between Sisal and Bristle Dart Boards?

Sisal and bristle dart boards are two different types of dart boards that are commonly used for the game of darts. Here are the key differences between the two:

  1. Material: Sisal dart boards are made from the fibers of the sisal plant, while bristle dart boards are made from compressed, staple-set horsehair or pig hair.
  2. Durability: Sisal dart boards are known for their durability and longevity, as the fibers are tightly packed and resist wear and tear. Bristle dart boards are also durable, but they may need to be replaced more frequently than sisal boards due to the soft nature of the bristles.
  3. Bounce-out Rate: Sisal dart boards have a lower bounce-out rate as fibers are densely packed and do not give much when a dart hits the board. Bristle dart boards may have a higher bounce-out rate, as the bristles may give when a dart hits the board.
  4. Playability: Sisal dart boards offer a slightly different playing experience than bristle boards, as the fibers provide a unique feel when darts hit the board. Bristle boards provide a more traditional dart playing experience, as the bristles are similar to those found on older dart boards.
  5. Maintenance: Sisal dart boards require less maintenance than bristle boards, as the fibers do not need to be trimmed or replaced as often. Bristle boards may need to be trimmed and replaced more frequently, as the bristles can become frayed and damaged over time.

What Type of Dartboard do Professionals Use?

The official Dartboard of the PDC World Darts Championship is a Unicorn Eclipse Pro dartboard. This board is a bristle dartboard and is not that expensive.

Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 Dartboard with American Legend Dartboard Cabinets - Dartboard and Dartboard Cabinet Bundles
  • Next generation bristle dartboard technology from the world-leading brand in darts
  • All-new Spider2 new radial wires for a total clean playing area
  • New 14% increased playing area with Super thin bullseye

Should You Wet a Dartboard?

It’s a common myth that you need to wet a dartboard to keep it well maintained. Wetting the board can damage the fibers, therefore affecting the playing surface.

Moisture can also seep into the back of the dartboard, causing further damage.

The best way to keep a dartboard in good condition is to use a dry, soft cloth after each use. Use mild soap and water if necessary but ensure that board dries completely before use.

Which is Better?

The popularity of Sisal dartboards is due in part to their durability and long lifespan. The tightly packed fibers resist wear and tear, and do not need to be replaced as often as other materials. Sisal dartboards have a lower bounce-out rate than some other types of dartboards, making them a popular choice for players who want a consistent, reliable playing experience.

Final Thoughts

The choice between sisal and bristle dart boards is largely a matter of personal preference. Both types of boards have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on your individual needs and playing style. Be sure to protect your wall as well as your dartboard.