Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: May 15, 2021
Rec Room Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
In this article, we’re looking at the best backing for dart boards. If you are installing a dart board then you will want it to have some form of backing to protect your wall and make sure you’re not chipping the paintwork or even worse!
The Viper Defender III Backboard & Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Bundle has been named as our editor’s choice, it is a set, so includes a board with it and offers a smart reversible design with a lot of wall coverage and some fantastic features including a scoreboard section to keep track of the scores while playing. There are plenty of options on the market, though, and we’ve featured some of the very best backing for dart boards within this guide.
When creating our best backing for dartboard reviews we’ve had to explore the things that are important to a dart board backing such as the material that the backing is made of. Some materials offer far more protection than others and can be more suitable. We’ve also looked at the surface type, and the dimensions of the dart board. It needs to be big enough for protection but also should fit on the wall! Our article is presented as a very simple overview table showing our editor’s choice and other nominations. We’ve also included reviews of the dart board backing we’ve chosen and then a buying guide which can help you to fully understand the important features of the top backing.
This is a very clever design and is our editor’s choice due to the fact that it offers great value for money as well as some fantastic features. It may sound like foam isn’t the most protective, but it does a decent job of stopping the wall from getting chipped and damage.
The clever foam design is reversible and it also fits together like a jigsaw, and is designed to snap in place around the board perfectly. The fact it comes with a board is a big plus point.
The sisal dartboard is made from bristle fibers that means that bounce outs are far less likely and the board is more durable and can even recover after use.
An added bonus is the fact that there’s a set of 21 steel darts included to make sure you have plenty to practice with and don’t have to keep going back and forth to the board.
The foam does a very good job of soaking up some of the sound, so you won’t annoy whoever is on the other side of the wall with the banging of the darts settling into the board.
If you’re looking for something simple and easy to install that does a good job of protecting the wall then this could be for you.
What are our favorite features?
Easy setup, the backing clicks together.
Minimizes the noise of the dart board.
Comes with a dart board.
What could be better?
Not as much protection as some of the other dart backing on this list, foam isn’t as durable.
You might think of cork backing if you are in the market for a dart board backing, this is something of a ‘traditional’ material for the backing. This cork board backing is suitable for most peoples’ needs, but it is very basic with no extra features like scoreboards. If you just want an affordable and simple design then there’s every chance that this will be suitable for your dart board.
The cork material has a lot of benefits, as well as offering great protection for the wall, it’s friendly to the environment, and comes from renewable sources.
As well as being protective, the darts stick inside the cork, this is why it is preferred to wood, for instance. The darts don’t get damaged or bounce out of the cork very easily.
The dimensions are 36 by 24, this means plenty of the room on the wall is covered. Unless you’re a terrible throw, your paintwork should be fine.
It’s definitely basic, so don’t expect lots of high tech features, but for simple protection while you are practicing at home then this backing could be suitable for a games room or other area to mount your dart board.
What are its best features?
Easy to install and simple to use.
Works with any dartboard design as long as it can be mounted.
100% natural and eco-friendly.
Darts stick inside with ease so don’t bounce out of the backing.
This is the best backboard set we’ve come across. It has such a clever design and includes lots of different accessories and extras to help enhance the darts playing. It’s great if you’re going to have friends around for a little tournament or something as it has a dry erase scoreboard and comes with a pen. You can use this to keep track of the scores easily, but it also looks a lot more “pro” in a games room, for instance.
It is made mainly from MDF, which is a very versatile material, but it also has a mahogany finish and a clever felt backing, this helps to protect the wall by encouraging the darts to stick.
It also has space for four sets of darts and the makers have thought about the experience of playing darts.
This mounts really nicely, too. It may not be as easy as some of the other options, but the Viper Championship Wood Framed Dartboard Backboard Set feels very sturdy once it has been mounted, so you don’t have to worry about it falling or the backing not offering the protection you’d hope for due to poor mounting.
What makes it special?
Feels very professional and comes in three parts.
Very sturdy mounting.
Easy to keep track of the score with a dry wipe scoreboard and pen included.
Felt included to help the darts stick.
What cons did we find?
Not as affordable as some of the competing options.
Not as easy to mount although very sturdy once it has been mounted.
The Dart-Stop 36 inch Professional Dart Board Backboard is a great option if you are looking for an octagonal dart board backboard as a lot of people are. It certainly looks good, and it gives protection all the way around the board for when those darts inevitably miss.
This has been named the best mounting option as it is exceptionally firm with three inch screws and anchors within the wall to keep it perfectly in place throughout use.
The surface of a plush fabric is a big bonus, too. It looks and feels great but also serves the purpose of helping the darts to stay in place perfectly.
The mounting is designed to be “wobble-free”. Some backings can have a problem where they wobble and aren’t secure or that they can rattle against the wall. Though the mounting is unbelievably secure it is also relatively simple to do. You don’t have to be an expert to mount this in place perfectly.
This really does help with preventing bounce-outs as well. The darts settle in place so they don’t fall to the floor or get damaged by the board.
It’s not cheap, but this board really does have a lot of quality and a feel that wouldn’t be out of place at a pro darts event.
What are its best features?
Relatively simple to mount in spite of it being hugely sturdy and firmly held in place.
Helps to reduce bounce outs significantly.
Very professional look and feel.
What could be improved?
No accessories such as scoreboard included with the purchase.
Quite expensive. You pay a premium for the design.
Viper is quite a popular brand and has a lot of brilliant dart related products for professional use and for home use. Their wall protector backing is a fantastic option and it is very lightweight making it popular for people who don’t want something too big and bulky.
The Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector is made of high-density v-foam. This is what helps it to stay lightweight but also give protection to the wall. It can draw in the darts with ease so it doesn’t damage the darts and allows them somewhere to nestle rather than bounce out. The protection is decent, but not quite as high as some of the more sturdy options such as cork.
It’s fully reversible, and this can enhance the lifespan of the dart board backing.
In terms of the fit, it can allow two different types of dart board in 17.75 inch and 18 inch designs to fit inside the backing. These are standard sizings.
The assembly is super simple and easy, partially because of how light in weight it is.
The velvet surface helps to keep it looking plus even after a lot of use. There’s an impressive 8.2 sq ft. of protection in the design.
The budget pick on our list is not the most impressive in terms of being a professional design. However, it is very functional and does a job of being very basic but pretty useful for beginners. Plus, if you have a dartboard that you take down and put back up again from time to time this is one of the only dart board backing options that can be easily taken off and put back on.
It effectively serves as an outer ring for your dart board. It’s one of the only one-piece designs on the market, so it requires absolutely no assembly whatsoever.
You can buy this in either black or red, and though it totally comes down to your own personal preference, it is worth buying it in black if you are worried about the red color being distracting at all.
The diameter is 27.6 inches and the thickness is just 1.4 inches. This does a good job of protecting, but if you’re likely to have some throws that are truly wild then it might not be the best option. It’s not 100% likely to protect the wall if you throw a long way from the board.
It’s made our list as the budget pick because of the fact it is so cost effective. If you don’t need a huge coverage area it can be a good choice.
What makes it special?
Easy to set up, just a one piece design.
What cons did we find?
Could do with being a little bigger to give more protection.
Red may be distracting.
Things to Consider
There are certain things you may not have thought of when it comes to buying a dart board backing. It’s a purchase that is pretty essential if you are going to install a dart board anywhere in your home. It’s not something that you can just buy on a whim without doing a little bit of research first. There are a surprising amount of options when it comes to backing, and you need to consider lots of different aspects including what type of wall you are mounting on, and whether you’re an absolute beginner. If you aren’t very good at darts yet the chances of needing a bigger coverage are higher because you might accidentally throw much further from the board. The buying guide is in place to help you to make the right decision so that you know exactly what to look for and what design of backing suits your home and your needs.
What is essential when buying a backing for dart board?
What are the essentials to consider before taking the plunge and buying a dart board backing? These products aren’t always cheap, so don’t make an impulse buy before giving it some serious thought. The considerations and features below are the ones we’ve used to create our reviews and are what we consider the most important aspects of the backing.
First and foremost is wall protection. This is 100% essential. The whole point of buying a backing is to protect the wall, whether you need to protect the paintwork or you’re worried about the structural integrity of the wall itself. If you have a drywall style covering then darts can even make holes in your wall if you do not have a proper protector set up on the wall.
All of the options on our list offer some protection, but consider the size you need. How big a space are you working with? How likely are you or other darts players to accidentally throw a long way from the board?
Another bonus of a backing can be the fact that it offers a bit more safety to users. If your darts bounce out of the backing then they can fly off and pose a threat to someone nearby. The goal is for the darts to nestle perfectly within the backing. It should be a bit like an extension of the outside of the board.
Often, this comes down to the material that has been used. Some people like to use cork for their backing as this is historically very good at nestling darts within with no problems. The Viper Defender III Backboard & Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Bundle also shows that you can use foam in order to encourage the darts to stick within. There are plenty of options and different ways for you to keep the backing giving enough protection by keeping the darts sinking in rather than bouncing back.
How easy is the product to mount? This is something that varies hugely. If you are not the most competent at DIY then you might find it a bit tricky to mount some of the backings, whereas others click together with ease and can be easily mounted onto the wall
It isn’t just about how simple the mounting process is, though. It’s important that the mount is done well to avoid rattling, and the way it is mounted can also avoid a thump sound on the wall every time a dart nestles within. We’ve named the Dart-Stop 36 inch Professional Dart Board Backboard the best for mounting as it has anchors and a very sturdy design that allows it to screw within the wall. If your dart board is going to see a lot of use then you should make sure it sits flush to the wall and is mounted very well.
Type (material, surface)
What sort of material and surface is on offer with the dart board? This is something to think about before you buy. As we’ve already discussed, there are a number of different materials that can be used including foam and MDF as well as other woods and cork board. However, as well as the main part of the backing, there’s often a covering. The Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector is covered in velvet, which keeps it looking better even after a lot of use.
How does it perform? Does it keep the darts within? Does it hold up to punishment? Does it wobble when the darts stick inside? It’s well worth looking through the reviews of the backing in order to check how the backing performs.
What does it look like? This is still something to think about when it comes to buying a dart board. You may have a rec room or games room that you want to look as good as possible. Materials such as sturdy woods and velvet coverings can help you to find a dart board that looks great. Obviously, this comes down to personal preference.
How big is the backing? If you’re not likely to hit near the dart board and your aim is off then you should definitely pay close attention to the size of the dart board. If you have a bigger space it might be the case that a big dart board backing is needed. If your board is installed on a smaller space, consider something compact like the CyeeLife-18in Dartboard Surround PU-ONE Piece.
Consider whether there are any extras included with the dart board? Does it have a scoreboard attached or even some darts to play with and to make your practice easier? Manufacturers often add their own little extras to try and make their board backing a more attractive proposition.
Naturally, the price is bound to play a part. If you are on a budget, there’s no point in spending huge amounts on the backing. It is more important that you ensure you get adequate coverage rather than spend a lot of money on fancy features and extras.
Yes, if the sizings match up. Check that you have an electronic board that is in a standard dart board size. You don’t need to protect your walls as much, but there’s no harm in buying a backing and it looks good!