For the serious dart player, a decent home setup is essential to facilitate effective practise. There are few parameters in the sport of darts, but the two main requirements are often overlooked – board height and throw length. The height from the floor to the centre of the bulls eye should be exactly 1.74m (5’8″), and the throw line (oche) should be 2.37m (7’9.25″) from the face of the dartboard measured horizontally. These WDF regulation distances are best achieved using a Unicorn Ochemate (see our review here). Buy the OckeysRus home oche from Darts Mad.
Assuming the above has been completed, the next thing to do is mark out the throw line. A permanent oche (usually a bar screwed to the floor) is not practical for the majority of households, therefore a number of alternative solutions exist, the most common probably being the rubber mat which is prone to wear, bunching up and unsurprisingly also emits an unpleasant rubber odour. For those reasons, I was impressed when I first saw an advert for the OckeysRus portable home oche, as on paper at least it seemed to address these problems and more. On to the review……
Made from stylish matt black 10mm board with bright bold graphics, the portable home oche has a unique hinge system (that I am informed was a real eureka moment) which allows it to fold away to a storage friendly 80x40x5cm size. The specially sourced material is actually black through its core so any inevitable dart holes will not spoil the aesthetics. In use, one end butts up to the wall/skirting board and the other provides a stepped edge for your leading foot, which ensures that your size 9 doesn’t stray over the regulation distance and is braced against something solid to aid stability when throwing.
The wall end it is adjustable (using two screws) and easily modified to compensate for different depths of skirting and any irregular wall angles that may exist as a consequence of any cowboy builders. Once set this element requires no further adjustment unless you want to utilise the oche in a different room. As well as providing you with a reassuringly comfortable and accurate setup, the 405mm wide oche will also offer protection from most bounce out’s if you are using it on wooden/laminate flooring.
I had mine set up in no time (largely thanks to spending an hour chatting to Barry beforehand) however, I did scan the instructions and everything you need to know is there in black and white, such as how to adjust the length and the correct way to unfold/ fold up the unit. Given its 7.5kg light weight I was impressed how solid it felt in situ, I expected a bit of lateral movement but this was not apparent. Once my practise session was over I folded the unit back up and the darts arena was transformed back into a living room (just in time) as the trouble and strife got home 5 minutes later.
It’s difficult to highlight any negatives as the portable home oche really is a superb piece of kit. Portability is its strength aided by the cut out which serves as a carry handle, but if you have the luxury of a dedicated darts room there is a fitted option which provides all the benefits of our review model but is fixed to the wall and has a higher footplate. However it still folds away to leave only a 4 inch protrusion from the wall.
The home oche is priced favourably when compared to top end rubber mats, has the all important raised edge, which also means you don’t divert your eye before the throw to check your foot is behind the line, as you ‘feel’ the oche with your foot. Put another way, you don’t lose focus on the board from approach until after releasing the last dart.
I would not hesitate to recommend the portable home oche to any player serious about their darts and wanting home practise that closely replicates competition oche conditions. OckeysRus have a number of different product lines to suit different budgets and situations, and have no reason to doubt that the rest of the ockeysrus product line is of equal quality. The Birmingham based company (Barry and Brian) have a website which is www.ockeysrus.co.uk where you will find full product information and contact details.
As always we like to give something back to our readers, so to enter our competition to win the portable home oche on review, simply email your answer to the following question:
What is the current rrp of the Ockeysrus portable home oche?
This competition is now closed the winner is……….. Craig Davies, Staffordshire
Got my OckeysRus portable home oche today. Took a couple of minutes to set up to the correct length in the practice room and I was away. It’s a great design, it protects the floor and as it’s raised you get to throw from the same place which improves consistency. And when finished I folds up to store away. It’s really well made and I would highly recommend getting one. – Craig Davies
OckeysRus Portable Home Oche
“It’s really good and it doesnt move like the rubber mat does.”– Andy “The Pieman” Smith
“I love it.”– Zoe “The Pink Panther” Jones.
“I would not hesitate to recommend the portable home oche to any player serious about their darts and wanting home practise that closely replicates competition oche conditions.” – DartsMad.com
For the serious dart player, a decent home setup is essential to facilitate effective practise. Made from stylish matt black 10mm board with bright bold graphics, the portable home oche has a unique foldaway hinge system which allows it to fold away to a storage friendly 80x40x5cm size.
It provides a stepped edge for your leading foot, which ensures you your foot does not stray over the regulation distance and is braced against something solid to aid stability when throwing.
It also means you are not diverting your eyes before the throw to check your foot is behind the line, as you ‘feel’ the oche with your foot. Put another way, you don’t lose focus on the board from approach until after releasing the last dart.