Even a great player can’t expect to hit the bull consistently without using the best dartboard. A premium dartboard can also take your skills to the next level, allowing you to train just like the pros. In my latest review, I’ll take an in-depth look at the GLD Viper Shot King dartboard. This is a sisal fiber board, which means it’s designed with durability in mind and features a surface that’s self-healing. So, if you’re shopping around for a newer bristle board, one that offers the latest in dartboard technology, read on to learn more about what the Shot King has to offer.
Overview and Features
If you’re a seasoned dart player, then you’re looking for a board that can reduce bounce out rates. But most top-of-the-line dartboards are pricey and don’t always deliver on their claim to reduce bounce outs.
Enter the Shot King, the latest model from GLD and definitely a board that is dart tournament-worthy. Not only is it available at a decent price, but it’s got some great features that you won’t find on competing models, even the equally popular East Point Sports bristle dartboard.
Becoming a pro at throwing darts isn’t easy. It takes practice, determination, and dedication. This board is made out of compressed, high-quality sisal fibers that allow the board to heal itself and retain its original shape. Sisal fiber boards are known to last several years longer than electronic boards or older models that are made out of wood. This board also supports a staple-free design. This helps minimize the chances of the dart bouncing out when a player is shooting for the bull. This can increase a player’s average score. Competing models often secure the wire using staples, which can cause frustration and bounce outs.
This model features a unique spider design. The wires on the Shot King are round instead of angled. This design works to minimize bounce outs by allowing the dart to slide off the wire and into the board. As you continue to practice your throwing technique, you’ll find that your shots are more consistent.
To further reduce bounce outs, you’ll find thin three-sided wire around the bull. The spider’s thinner wire also increases the size of the scoring area and a player’s scoring potential.
The spider is made out of galvanized steel wire. This improves its strength and durability.
But does the spider’s round wire really help with bounce outs like the manufacturer claims? While the round design can get the job done, it’s not going to have a huge impact on reducing or eliminating the board’s bounce out rate. However, the wires are strong, so the wire will not break or bend when you hit it with a dart.
The board is regulation size, at 17.75 inches in diameter. If you want to train on a board that meets dart rules and regulations, the Shot King is a great choice.
The board is made out of high-quality sisal fibers. These natural fibers are packed together tightly, to improve the board’s durability and its self-healing ability. On the board, you’ll find that the colored sections heal up nicely, while the darts stick to the surface with very little effort. This makes the board perfect even for a gentle dart thrower. Because of the board’s tightly packed sisal fibers, you won’t have to heave the darts to get them to stick.
Rotating Number Ring
The board’s rotating number ring makes this one of the best bristle dartboards for the serious player. This design will keep your board looking new and performing well for years to come. Rotating the number ring is an innovative design that allows you to smooth out any flattened areas and spread out the wear and tear, so darts aren’t targeting the same spots throw after throw.
To rotate the board, you can choose from three positions to place the holding knobs on. Once the board begins to show signs in one area, remove it from the hanging bracket, then rotate the board and move the number ring. This is a fast, easy, and simple way to balance out the board and help is last longer, so you’ll enjoy year after year using a great-looking dartboard.
The staple-free bullseye design is one of the board’s biggest selling points. The board was designed this way to reduce bounce outs that are caused by a dart hitting a staple and bouncing off the board. However, the manufacturer doesn’t tell you that the staple-free bull is only found around the double bullseye, which is somewhat of a drawback.
This set comes with a total of six darts, which are beginner quality. The darts won’t offer the best balance for every player, but they do feel good in the hand and throw well. Unfortunately, the shafts break easily. You’d be better off upgrading and purchasing a set of aluminum darts instead.
Ease of Assembly
The board is easy to assemble and install. This set includes the mounting hardware and detailed instructions, so you’ll have everything you need to set up your board in a matter of minutes.
The board is easy to clean, install, and maintain. If you play daily or a few times a week, the numbers ring should be rotated once a week. If you play a few times a month, the numbers ring should be rotated monthly. Staying on top of rotating the board will be important since doing so can prevent signs of serious wear, especially if you play often.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The spider is thin and durable
- Rotating number ring
- Board is covered in high-quality sisal fibers
- Perfect for tournament use
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to install
- Bounce outs can still be a problem
- Low quality darts
- Staple-free bull design is only around the double bull
Conclusion and Rating
The Shot King features a top-notch build and a durable design. Unlike entry-level sisal fiber dartboards that have staples in the bull, this model features a staple-free design that can minimize bounce out rates. However, despite the spider’s thin wire and the staple-free design, bounce outs can still happen if you hit one of the wires that separates the numbers.
Overall, this board is a great choice for anyone searching for a pro-quality dartboard that’s available at a reasonable price. This board earned a rating of four and a half out of five stars.