5 Best Dart Board Backboards to Protect Your Wall [Reviews & Buyer's Guide]

Best Dart Board Backboards (Review)

Best High End

Dart-Stop 36 inch Professional Dart Board Backboard Review

Best Mid Range

Viper Wood Framed Dartboard Backboard

Viper Wood Framed Backboard

Best Inexpensive

Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector Review

Viper Defender III Extended Length

Last Updated: 27th Sept, 2019

Worried about missed dart throws damaging your wall? Whether you're a pro or just starting with darts, every now and then, some errant darts are bound to end up in the wall - damaging your ego and the wall behind! Trust me when I say, those unsightly marks on the walls are going to get worse with time.

Not anymore!

A dart board backboard is your savior offering three-fold benefits. It protects your wall, saves your darts from untimely damage and adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home dart setup.

Dart board backings come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and material compositions. The downside, however, is that all these options can make choosing the right model, a little confusing. And this is exactly where we come into the equation. We've selected five top-rated Dart backboards and evaluated them based on features, quality and pricing.

After vigorously throwing hundreds of steel darts across 9 of the top-selling backboards, we think the Dart-Stop 36-inch Professional Dart Board Backboard is the best for most users.

The backing looks great and is sturdy enough to handle any rogue darts thrown its way. Although it's slightly costly, but this pro-quality backboard offers superior protection than any other product on offer.

Best Dart Board Backboard Reviews

The 5 Best Dart Board Backboards


1. Dart-Stop Pro Dart Board Backboard

Gold Standard


 Dart-Stop 36 inch Professional Dart Board Backboard Review

If you're looking for an uncompromising protection for your wall, flooring and the darts, we present you the Dart-Stop 36 inch Professional Dart Board Backboard. This octagonal backing is larger than most backboards available in the market. It measures 36 x 36 inches, giving ample coverage in all directions. Available in three classic colors - Black, Burgundy, and Tan, this board is sure to add some panache to your game room. And yes, it's compatible with almost all brands of dartboards. 

This sturdy unit comes with ¾ inch thick wooden backing, and when combined with the outer fabric padding, the total thickness stands at 1 inch. It's also the thickest backboard currently available in the market. The unique feature of the woven fabric is that it doesn't show any sign of dart holes, saving you from those ugly sights. The MDF wood used is durable yet soft enough to allow the darts to easily penetrate without damaging the tip.

The installation is pretty straightforward as well, and all the mounting hardware is included. It comes with a slotted recessed metal bracket at the center which allows for wobble-free and secure mounting. Simply, measure the regulation height from the floor level, drill two holes, screw in the board and you're done. The board can be installed on wood, drywall, concrete, or any solid surface. 

This is by far the best dartboard backboard money can buy. If you feel comfortable with the higher price point, definitely opt for this. It will hold up for many games and years, and the extra-wide coverage is sure to catch most, if not all, darts thrown its way.

What We Liked
+ Premium craftsmanship and durable build
+ Large coverage
+ "No Holes" Fabric
+ Ball holder

Watch Out for
- Expensive

2. Viper Wood Framed Dartboard Backboard

Runner Up


Viper Wood Framed Dartboard Backboard

Our next pick, Viper Wood Framed Dartboard Backboard is durable, elegant, reasonably priced and does an excellent job! The frame and back is all MDF while the top is finished with black felt. And the best part is that it costs less than half the price of our top pick, making it an attractive alternative.

The board measures 29' x 29', and mounts on the wall using two screws. The one-inch thick backing ensures your wall remains protected at all times. The surface provides just the right amount of give for the darts to easily penetrate without causing damage to the dart or the tip.

It is designed to fit most standard bristle/electronic dartboard under 24'' and includes all mounting hardware for easy installation. The outer black felt doesn't show signs of dart holes marks while the inner MDF board captures most of the darts thrown its way without major bounce outs.

The only downside here is that it's available in only one color option - dark mahogany (which by the way looks classic).

Few buyers complained about the darts not sticking to the board well enough. Based on our research, we found these reviews date back mostly from 2014. Since then the manufacturer has vastly improved the design; the latest reviews are a testament to the quality.

Priced under $50, this is a reasonably priced backboard which offers excellent protection to your wall and the darts.

What We Liked
+ Sturdy build
+ Elegant design
+ Reasonable pricing

Watch Out for
- Low coverage
- Not as durable as our top pick

3. Viper Defender III Extended Length

Best for large coverage


Viper Defender III Extended Length Dartboard Surround Wall Protector Review
Viper's products are certainly no slouch, especially when it comes to backboards. So this leads to the second board from the same company. This is an extra-large board which provides much more coverage. Measuring a whopping 45" x 32", no other board comes even close to this in terms of size.

It is ideal for all types of players, but beginners would benefit the most. No matter how bad your aim or throw is, as long as you can throw straight, there are high chances that this backboard will catch it, in case you miss.

The board is made out of high-density V-foam and is further covered with velvet felt to minimize the signs of wear and tear. The stiff foam backing protects the walls from dings and dents from nasty throws while it's flexible enough to allow the darts to penetrate, reducing the bounce outs. The only downside to this board is that the foam backing gives up after a couple of years.

It fits most standard dartboards between 17.75 to 18 inches. However, the installation is where this product outshines. It doesn't require any special tool. Simply, attach the six interlocking pieces together, and mount it around the dartboard. The compression fit design makes sure the backboard snugly fits the dartboard.

Viper Defender III Extended Length backboard is an excellent pick for beginners, starters or anyone looking for larger coverage and protection. Priced under $55, the value is definitely here.

What We Liked
+ Large coverage
+ Requires no tools for installation
+ Compression fit design

Watch Out for
- Would need replacement every couple of years

4. Viper Defender Round Backboard

Budget Pick


Viper Defender Backboard Round Surround Review

For our budget pick, we've picked the Viper Defender Round backboard. It also the third Viper product we've on our list. However, unlike earlier picks, this one is primarily suitable for intermediate to advanced players. Beginners should ideally avoid this due to the low coverage. The backboard covers just 5 inches around the entire dartboard, leaving not much room for error in any direction. 

This foam board does an excellent job in stopping the darts and protecting the wall. No matter how strong the throw is, this backboard can handle the impact well. The foam backing is full 1-inch thick and comprises of three distinct zones. The impact zone slows the dart down once hit. Next, is the absorption zone where the dart begins to stop completely and rest in the backboard. The last area is the shield zone, which provides one extra layer of protection right before the wall.

The only downside is that the foam backing loses its stiffness after a while. You can still squeeze some extra life, by reversing the board for extra use. 

The installation is fairly simple as well as doesn't require any tools (unlike our top pick). Join the four interlocking foam pieces and put it around the dartboard and that's it! Also, one thing to note here is that this backboard is compatible with only standard-sized dart boards (17.75 to 18 inches).

It's a solid product and worth the price. However, unless you are a little bit more experienced player who is not worried as much about your aim, this could be a risky choice. That being said, this a great product for the intermediate to advanced players. It provides just enough protection for the occasional miss, and won't break the budget at the same time.

What we Liked
+ Simple and elegant design
+ Requires no tools for installation
+ Bang for the buck pricing

Watch Out for
- Fits only standard dartboards
- Recommended for intermediate+ players

5. Cork Dartboard Backer

Traditional Pick


 Cork Dart Board Backer Review

Last on the list, we have the heavy-duty and rugged Jelinek Cork Group's dartboard backer. This backing might not be the best-looking, but it does offer superior protection. This board is full one-inch thick and is made out of high-density cork, just like the olden days. The board is rigid yet flexible enough to allow errant darts to easily penetrate the surface without many bounce outs or damage to the darts. At the same time, there is no risk to the underlying wall, no matter what force you throw the darts with. Due to the self-healing nature of the cork, you won't be seeing the dart holes either. The board measures 24" by 36", and multiple boards can be butted together to secure a larger area if needed.

Coming to the installation part, there are no hardware included. We suggest using a heavy-duty double-sided tape or you can also directly screw the board to the wall.

The downside to this board is that it doesn't leave much room along the sides which beginners may find problematic. Also, the color of the board might not be to everyone's liking. That being said, it's a solid board by all means and comes at a very competitive price. If you leave aside the looks, it's definitely worth considering.

What We Liked
+ Made out of high-density cork
+ Extremely durable and long-lasting
+ Large coverage

Watch Out for
- No installation hardware included
- Color may not be to everyone's liking

Buyer's Guide to Dart Board Backboards

With so many choices, it's easy to get lost and end up with a backboard that doesn't solve your purpose. In this buyer's guide we've explained the important features and specifications to look for when buying a dart board backing.

​Material Choice


The most crucial aspect of any backboard is the material that it is constructed from. This determines the overall performance and longevity of the board. The main materials you'll find are wood, felt, foam, and cork

The best performing backboards will usually be a combination of more than one material. The high-end options usually combine felt and wood. This gives you a good combination of a solid material that can withstand impact (the wood), along with the felt that provides good long-lasting resistance and a professional look.

Foam is another good alternative and doesn't require any installation. The foam backboards are light, easy to assemble, and form-fitting. They have a little flex to them and easily extends around the dartboard for a snug fit. It's durable and tough, though not quite as tough as wood. Darts will stop upon impact and usually, stick well. The price of foam backboards is lower than wood and felt combos, and is a good choice for those who want a budget-friendly item that will still get the job done. 

Cork is great for its versatile nature and resistance to wear. You can get a lot of mileage out of cork backboards, and have flexibility in how you arrange them. Just about any dartboard can be paired with a cork backboard.

​Sizing


The size you choose depends on three main things: how much room you have, your accuracy, and budget. If you are not a confident player yet, it would be very wise to opt for the largest available backboard. Your size choices could be limited by budget, though. The larger the backboard, the higher the cost. If you think you need more area, but are tight on the budget, opt for lower cost foam choices. This will most likely hit the sweet spot you’ll need.

Also, pay attention to both the length and width when selecting a backboard. Some boards can only be positioned in one direction, so measure accordingly.

Compatible Dart Boards


Backboards are not sized universally. It is recommended that you choose a dartboard first before making a choice on the backboard. This way, you won't limit yourself in terms of options available.

Most backboards fit regulation-sized bristle or electronic dartboards. For non-regulation boards, you would need to check the specs of the backboard.

The next feature you need to look for is the installation and assembly process. Wood backings are generally mounted on the wall and have a mechanism to screw in the dartboard directly. On the other hand, foam backboard simply hangs around the already installed dartboard.

Depending on whether you're looking for a permanent fixture or a temporary piece, make a choice.

Conclusion

Even the best players will botch a shot from time to time. Don't make the mistake many others have made and get yourself a quality dart backboard. It might not seem essential right now, but you’ll thank yourself later when the first dart slips from your hand.

When you do the math, the investment in a dart backboard compared to filling dozens of holes on your wall, it becomes a no brainer. All the more reason to invest in one, if you have kids and a set of darts laying around.

So, whether you are playing with steel or soft tip dart, save your wall and your wallet, and pick up a dart backboard ASAP! You’ll feel much more at ease once you do, trust us on this one - You won’t regret it.

Kevin James
 

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