The throwing technique is the most important aspect of darts. Everyone will eventually develop their own throwing style with time, but some basic fundamentals of a good throwing technique remain the same. I will suggest a very basic technique for beginner players, which I still use to this day and have great success with.
All players need to stand 7 feet 9.25 inches from the dart board. But how and where you stand vary among many players. My tips are relevant for a right-handed thrower. I prefer standing to the left, body fully facing the board and feet planted on the ground (See above picture).
1) Standing to the left. By standing on the left side of the oche (Throw line), I am aiming directly at the treble 20 when I hold up my throwing arm. If I stand right in the middle, I will be aiming towards the right of the board. This means I need to throw at an angle for the treble 20, which is harder.
2) Body fully facing the board. This one is controversial. Most players will place their right foot forward with toes either pointing towards or away from the board. Essentially, they are facing at a 45 degree angle away from the board. The front foot bears the body weight while the back foot helps to keep balance. This posture provides more stability to the upper body to help with throwing. But personally, I feel that I aim better if I am fully facing the board and when I distribute my body weight equally in both feet.
3) Feet planted firmly on the ground. Some players’ back foot are partially lifted off the ground especially when leaning forward. Lifting the back foot can help with balance and leaning forward closes the distance towards the dart board. But leaning too much will unbalance you and can cause back strain in the long run. I like to keep my body straight and feet firmly planted on the ground when throwing because it helps me to remain stable.
The other important thing to consider is your throw. Once again, everyone has their own preference and some throwing styles do look quite ridiculous. But if the player makes it work, I can’t complain about it.
The steps for throwing are: Aim, pull the dart backwards (preferably to your eye), accelerate the arm forward, release the dart and follow-through. A consistent release point and a complete follow-through are the most crucial, otherwise your dart will fly unpredictably around the dart board.
How you grip the dart is entirely up to you, as long as it feels natural and does not wobble while you are holding it. I recommend using 3 fingers when holding the dart for the optimal grip. As for your wrist, you can choose to snap your wrist forward to accelerate the dart and improve accuracy. But if you are inconsistent with this, your dart will fly waywardly. I do not do this and I strongly recommend new players to keep your wrist action to a minimum.
The elbow of your throwing arm needs to be level to your armpit. If you drop your elbow, it points towards the ground and will be forced to raise during the throw. This causes you to push up on the dart and it will fly upwards.
What about how fast to throw the dart? All darts fly in a trajectory (Curved path), which is lower if you throw with more force. If you throw with less force, the dart will have dipped further downwards by the time it reaches the board because it has lost a lot of momentum. To compensate for this, you will need to throw at a higher trajectory so that your dart lands in the spot you are aiming for. If all these sounds too complicated, just throw with more force.
As mentioned from the beginning, only you can decide what is the best throwing technique for yourself. Do not be deterred by other people’s comments just because it looks weird. Do what is comfortable and keep on practising.