A flight protector (or flight saver) is a small piece of metal or plastic that slot onto the end of a dart flight. Installing flight protectors on your darts is a great way to help protect them from damage from oncoming darts. Installation is pretty simple, but the first step to installing them requires you to choose a brand of flight protector.
Once you have decided on the color, shape, and material of your flight protector, it’s time to install it.
To install your dart flight protector, take a dart and spread out the flight into even distances from one another. Take the flight protector and place each side of the flight into the slots of the protector. Firmly press the protector against your dart flight until it is nice and snug.
Repeat this process with the rest of your darts until they all have protectors installed on the flights and you’re ready to play!
How Do Dart Flight Protectors Work?
Dart flight protectors work in two different ways for your darts. The first way they work is by constantly keeping your dart’s flights spread open at a 90 degree angle. This helps prevent bad throws from otherwise poorly spread flights.
The second thing they do is protect the back of your flights from oncoming darts. Sometimes a dart that is being thrown can hit the back of a dart that is already on the dartboard. This can cause substantial damage to the dart’s flight which would then require changing it out altogether.
The metal protector will deflect any oncoming darts from hitting and penetrating through the flight and prevent any damage that would have otherwise occurred.
We recommend using a high quality flight protector like these by Winmau. Winmau is a well known brand in the darts industry who also make premium bristle dartboards as well as military grade tungsten darts.
Pros and Cons to Using Flight Protectors
There are many pros and cons to using flight protectors. Some of the disadvantages steer many players away from flight protectors altogether. Using flight protectors really comes down to the player’s personal preference.
- Protects your existing dart’s flights on the dartboard from oncoming darts
- Keeps your flights spread at a 90 degree angle for better flight performance
- The added weight of the protector may affect the way your darts fly
- If a flight protector comes off during play it may be difficult to find it on the ground due to their small size
- Using flight protectors may cause increased bounce outs due to deflecting the oncoming darts off of the existing darts on the board
Do Pros Use Flight Protectors?
One of the main questions that avid dart enthusiasts wonder is if the pros use flight protectors. It’s safe to say that the majority of professionals do not use dart flight protectors. The cons heavily outweigh the benefits, especially in a competitive tournament where reputation and money is on the line.
The first problem with using flight protectors are the increased bounce outs. Darts that would have otherwise skimmed past the existing dart on the board will now instead hit the protector and more than likely bounce out and fall to the ground.
The second problem that many players run into with flight protectors is the added weight. Even if the flight protector’s added weight is minute, it can still affect the way the dart travels through the air. This adds another variable to how a dart flies which is something that can be game breaking for a professional.
In the mind of a professional dart player, replacing a dart’s flight makes more sense than sacrificing their score any day of the week. Flights are cheap and very expendable to a professional as they most likely have an excess of darts and accessories at their disposal.
Flight protectors are a great way to protect your dart’s flights as well as help keep your flights properly spread open at a 90 degree angle. They are also very cheap and easy to replace if lost.
Installing them is also quick and easy. Your dart’s flights are simply pressed firmly into the slots of the protector and you’re ready to go.
At an average player’s standpoint, flight protectors are awesome. In the eyes of a professional, on the other hand, it can actually be the difference between a win or a lose in a tournament. The increased chance of bounce outs and the added variable of extra weight simply outweigh the benefits to using them in the competitive scene.