Unless you play like a seasoned pro, chances are more than a few shots won’t hit the board.. oops!
Therefore, after a while, playing darts without a backboard is going to leave your walls filled with unsightly holes. In which case, investing in a quality wall protector will help keep your walls free of holes.
Between bounce-outs and missed shots, your wall will end up in pretty rough shape. But, by using a backboard, it prevents any markings from stray darts.
Though not every backing is worth your investment! There are a few considerations, including the size, material, and shape of the wall protector, among others.
We’ve reviewed the different options available to bring you this guide to the best dartboard backboards backings. Continue reading for our product recommendations, as well as a more detailed breakdown of the aspects to consider.
TL;DR – Our Choices of the Best Dartboard Backboard
- Viper Defender 3
- Winmau Professional Surround
- Viper Championship Wood Framed Set
- Viper Defender
- Dart-Stop Pro Series 29″
#1 Viper Defender 3 Backboard
The Viper Defender 3 works with both standard 17.75-inch and 18-inch bristle dartboards. It provides 8.2 square feet of protection and offers 1-inch thick high-density foam.
This sleek-looking option has a velvet surface that shows minimal signs of wear and is easy to assemble with its puzzle-piece fit. You won’t require any additional bracing or mounting hardware, making it a simple addition to any games room.
This dartboard backing is fully reversible and designed for lasting protection. It offers a pressed fit against both the wall and board, for the best play experience.
The Viper Defender 3 effectively protects your walls from dents and markings thanks to its foam surround that offers superior protection while being easy on your darts.
This surround is ideal for indoor use, but not for outdoors because it won’t hold up against the elements. Though if you have a covered area like your patio, you won’t have any issues with it.
- Compatible with most standard bristle dartboards
- Protects 8.2 square feet of wall space
- 1″ thick high-density foam
- Easily fits together, like a puzzle!
Buyers Don’t Like:
- 18″ boards fit very tightly
#2 Winmau Professional Surround
The Winmau Professional Surround is an ideal choice for use at home or in any games room. It works perfectly with Winmau bristle dartboards excluding the Rebel.
This wall protector is a stylish choice with a professional look, thanks to its Winmau and BDO logos. The Professional Surround costs more than similar products, though it has quality construction that makes it a worthwhile investment.
The molded foam structure is excellent for protecting the surrounding areas! It adds 4-1/2 inches of additional coverage and eliminates the need for a full cabinet.
This dartboard backing mounts directly to the board itself and works only with Winmau products. Though if you have another brand with the same measurements, it should be fine as well.
- Compatible with Winmau bristle boards
- Professional appearance
- Molded foam
- 4 1/2″ wall coverage
Buyers Don’t Like:
- Won’t fit the Winmau Rebel
#3 Viper Championship Wood Framed Set
The Viper Championship Backboard Set offers a bold mahogany finish. It looks sharp with practically any home decor and adds style to any games room.
This set holds four sets of darts and fits most dartboards. The backboard is high-grade black felt that grips dart tips, reducing bounce-outs.
Complete with a storage rack and 12 flight pockets, this set gives you an ideal place to stash your darts. It includes a dry-erase scoreboard that makes it easy to keep track of scoring. Engineered with a smear-free surface, you won’t need to worry about accidentally erasing your totals.
The Viper Championship Backboard Set includes everything you need: one dry-erase scoreboard, one marker, dart storage rack, and heavy-duty gold hangers. Its unique materials offer the perfect combination of flex and rigidity.
This backing has a plush fabric surface area that shows no dart holes, even after months of continuous use. These materials grip darts and prevent them from falling on the floor.
- Mahogany finish
- Complete set includes storage rack and 12 flight pockets
- Dry erase scoreboard
- Plush fabric backing
Buyers Don’t Like:
- Board and darts sold separately
#4 Viper Defender Dartboard Backboard
The original of the Defender series, this sisal backboard does what it’s supposed to! The Defender fits any standard 17.75-inch bristle board and gives you an additional 5-inches of protection. Its circular design and black hue make this a stylish addition to any man cave or game room.
Complete with a soft-touch velvet surface, this backing minimizes signs of wear from stray darts. You won’t need any additional mounting equipment because its compression fit holds tightly around your board.
This option is fully reversible which extends its lifespan, giving you countless hours of enjoyment. The Viper Defender is an economical option that sells for an affordable price.
Made of high-density V-Foam, it offers the perfect combination of rigidity and flex. These elements reduce bounce-outs and make the game more enjoyable overall.
- Fits standard 17.75″ dartboards
- Provides 5″ of wall protection
- Fully reversible
- High-density V-foam
Buyers Don’t Like:
- Some darts still puncture the wall
#5 Dart-Stop Pro Series 29″ Backboard
The Pro Series 29″ dartboard surround from Dart-Stop is an excellent choice to consider! It comes in three different finishes: black, burgundy, and tan, which make it easy to blend with practically any decor.
This backboard looks sophisticated and will change the way your game room looks for the better!
The Pro Series 29″ has a no-holes fabric finish that conceals holes left behind by stray darts. This option includes a pre-installed mounting system that makes it easy to hang your board.
It works well with any sized dartboard and offers a 3/4 -inch engineered wood backing. The wood backing makes it last-longer but hides out of sight so it won’t end up filled with holes.
This backing sells individually and doesn’t include any extras like a board or darts. It’s a higher-priced unit but is undoubtedly a good investment for anyone serious about the game of darts.
- 29″ surface area
- 3/4″ wood backing
- No-hole fabric
- Three colors available
Buyers Don’t Like:
That concludes our review of the top five best dartboard wall protectors available. Now that you’ve read through the descriptions, it’s time to consider which backing is the best choice for you.
The following information will help you think about the most critical factors and find a dartboard surround that suits your style of play.
Why you need a Wall Protector
When you have a wall filled with holes, it does more than make your home look unsightly! It weakens the integrity of the wall, leaving it open to further damage. For this reason, it’s much cheaper to invest in a wall protector then end up having to pay for costly repairs.
Using a backboard while you play darts not only saves your walls but your darts too! Every time one of your darts hit the hard surface, you’re lucky if it comes out in one piece. But, by using a backboard, it saves your dart from any damage that may occur if it sticks into your wall.
Using a backboard will also help to make your room look more stylish overall. A plane dartboard hanging in the room is reminiscent of a fraternity house for dorm room. But, with an excellent high-quality wall protector, it can give you’re board a much more sophisticated appearance.
Some backings offer wood framing that helps it to look like a beautiful decorative piece.
How to Choose the Right Backboard
There are several materials available, but they’re not all of the same value! The fabric you choose makes a world of difference! It dictates the level of protection and lifespan the backboard offers.
Cork: Cork is an affordable choice that performs reasonably well. This style is very lightweight and easy to install. They also last for a reasonable amount of time. The downside to cork wall protectors is their appearance, which is unappealing.
Foam: You might not think of foam as an excellent material to protect your walls, but it is! This style is perfect for indoor use; they’re lightweight and easy to install. Another plus to foam is that it’s minimalist in design but functions quite well though it will deteriorate relatively quickly.
Wood: Wood is the original material used for dartboard backings. Its more substantial than most others but serves its purpose nicely. One issue with wood is that is shows puncture holes quite distinctly and starts to look worn quickly.
Fabric: Fabric and felt dartboard wall protectors are suitable because they’re easy on the darts. Wood is a hard material that can damage your equipment when it strikes. Whereas, the softer fabric material won’t cause your dart to split or break.
Despite being heavier, wood still offers the most distinguished appearance and makes your dartboard look much more professional.
Several brands stand out from the rest. These labels are known for producing high-quality products that enhance the game of darts in every way. The top brands to keep an eye for are; Viper, Winmau, and Arachnid, among others.
Using darting accessories from one of these brands makes a huge difference! You certainly don’t want equipment that won’t hold up under severe wear and tear because it will ruin your gaming experience.
You want to choose a surround that fits your dartboard and gives you enough protection around the edges.
Ideally, you want the largest surface area possible surrounding your dartboard. Most backings offer at least a four-inch barrier, though some provide much more.
Depending on the style of the backboard, you may need to consider the size of your board to make sure that they’re compatible. If the backboard fits around the rim of the board, you need to be sure that the size matches with the board correctly.
Whereas, if the backing is one solid piece, you can hang your board over the top of it. This design works universally with any sized board.
There are a few different shapes to choose from, depending on your preference. Round backings generally fit around the edges of your dartboard and connect like puzzle pieces.
Round options offer less protection than other shapes because the surface area is much thinner. Some people find this shape more aesthetically pleasing and more natural to blend with their home decor.
Square and rectangular shapes give a much larger area of coverage. They’re also universal and work well with any size or shape of a dartboard. This style backing is generally one piece of material that you hang the board over the top to protect your walls.
Depending on your tastes, you might consider a hexagon or octagon-shaped backing. These are more distinct, and some people prefer them to the traditional square or circular designs.
Compatibility with your Dartboard
There are two kinds of dartboards: traditional and electronic. Some backings won’t work well with one or the other. If the surround was meant to work with an electric, it might not be suitable for a steel tip set.
The materials needed also differ between steel and soft tips. Soft tipped darts won’t stick in hard materials like wood which defeats the whole purpose of using a backboard.
Whereas, a softer fabric might not support steel tips well enough. Before you choose your surround, be sure to consider whether it works with your style of the dartboard.
Otherwise, you end up wasting money on something that doesn’t work well. Plus, it leaves both your walls and your equipment vulnerable to damage while you play.
Value for Money
Nobody likes wasting money! Which is why you want to buy a backing that offers excellent value. There are a few aspects that add value to the purchase like accessories, quality of construction, name brand, and the materials.
It’s always lovely when the backing comes as a set with the board included. Though, one with any other extras like flights, darts, or scoreboards is a bonus.
Some surrounds have LED lighting that illuminates your board. This style looks good but usually doesn’t do much to control bounce-outs or missed shots.
Wood is going to cost more than a felt backboard because the material is more expensive. Wood backings are of higher quality, but they still have drawbacks too. If you’re looking for something cheaper, fabric and cork backboards will cost less than other kinds.