The Purpose of the Rope Dart Flag
August 28, 2014
August 28, 2014
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The Rope Dart Tennis Ball Misconception

Before I get into this I do want to point out that I am not against replacing the dart head with a tennis ball or other modified object in the beginning stages of learning. I do, however, disagree with always using a modified version. This methodology is a slippery slope and I will do my best to articulate what this is all about.

When I first started practicing rope dart I had two rope darts. One was a classic conical rope dart, which I used most of the time. The other, a rope with a bag of rice at the end, which I rarely used. My practice sessions consisted of two components: the initial stages of practicing basics, accuracy and combinations with the dart and a switch to the rice bag only when trying to figure stuff out. Mind you, this was at a time when information on the rope dart was practically nonexistent, there was nobody to ask about technique. Either way, I would immediately switch back to the dart once I had a basic understanding of a new concept or technique. We’re not talking days, months or years with a rice bag, we’re talking a few minutes then on to the real thing. I just knew, even back then, that there was something inherently wrong with always using a modified version of the dart. I could just feel it, that I would never get good if I babied myself.

Why permanently replacing/covering the dart for rope dart practice is a poor idea is that one never respects the weapon for what it is, a weapon. Also, a person who uses a tennis ball or sock never get’s better because they don’t have to get better. A person has to get good and be good when using a real dart.

Yes, one who uses a tennis ball may have a layman’s respect for the weapon, after all that is why one replaces/covers the dart in the first place. Unfortunately, one never gains a practitioners respect. To be clear I will define both terms as I understand them:

Layman’s respect: the respect one has for something simply because they don’t understand it. They know it is dangerous but don’t know why. The respect comes from fear.

Practitioners respect: the respect one has for something because they do understand it. They know it’s dangerous and they know darn well why. The respect comes from knowledge.

Ask yourself, do you respect the rope dart out of fear or knowledge?

Always replacing/covering the dart will never allow one to gain a practitioners respect. These people never get good because they don’t have to. Ultimately, you are developing a higher level of skill and body/space, body/implement, and hand/eye coordination with a real dart because YOU HAVE TO.

By not letting the dart teach these valuable lessons one will not reach their full ability. I mean, it is a weapon, right? I certainly would not fear (or, dare I say, respect) someone who had a tennis ball at the end of a rope.

While there is no reason to deliberately hurt yourself in the beginning just go slow and get an awareness. Personally, I have more respect for someone who uses the dart head and plays slow than someone going fast who uses a tennis ball. After all, the former is using a weapon, the latter, a toy.



  1. Sean Brandt says:

    I have the perfect and simple practice rope dart that’s soft, durable, and is weighted perfect for shooting. A tennis ball is to light and a soft ball is to hard, though you can find softer rubber soft balls that are nice but not as nice as my new concept. So I give you the SUMO Dog Chew Toy Rope Dart Head. The chew has a nice weight for shooting and hallow so it hurts very little if you hit yourself. With a small hole on one end and a big hole on the other, all you have to do is put acouple knots on one end of your rope and feed the rope through the toy and walla, super soft, perfect weight rope dart. Hope someone reads this and the academy takes my advice because it’s a fantastic rope dart concept and you won’t be disappointed.

    • Frank says:

      Thank you for your comment! We have seen and used the dog chew toy rope darts and were not impressed at all and were surely disappointed. We encourage you to try using a dart that was actually designed to fly in the air – you will feel a difference immediately.

      A lot of times beginners think tying anything to a rope is a rope dart. To be sure, a person could tie anything to a rope and call it a rope dart, however, it usually flies terribly. Dog toys were made for dogs to chew on – with no consideration to how they would operate as a rope dart, which is okay because they were not designed for that purpose. Also, the rubber nature of a dog toy causes a gnarly bounce on shots, is wobbly and does not fly straight. We have used them, if they were good we would still use them. Not trying to rain on your parade, however, we would encourage you to try using something that was actually designed for the purpose of rope darting. You will see and feel a difference instantly.

      • Sean says:

        First thing I’m not a beginner. Second I don’t think you tried the SUMO, I have number of practice and fire rope darts and I’m telling you this SUMO size large red chew toy rope dart casts and shoots super straight with no wobble. I agree you can’t just put anything on the end off a rope and expect it to fly straight and perform, I had tried many things and this one does the best. It’s actually flys a little better than my best fire dart. But you Frank seem like the “know it all” that’s probably gonna tell me my best fire dart is as inferior too, so whatever dude. But if anyone else wants to elbow and knee shoot pop cans of a picket fence and have a head of soft rubber instead of a hard monkey fist try my concept. It’s the head only costs $7 in the pet department.

  2. Jebron says:

    Can you give some examples of good beginners darts?

    • Frank says:

      Hello, thank you for reaching out. Our Silk and Training Darts are great for beginners. We also highly recommend The Martial Flow Dart from Flow Toys. If you have any questions we are happy to answer them for you

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