10 Best Dartboards for 2022 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Choosing the best dart board for your practice and competitive needs can be vital to improving your darts game. There are hundreds of different boards on the market providing vastly different quality levels and selecting the right one for you could be the difference between a bounce out and a massive 180!

Navigating the maze of dart boards in online stores can be confusing, so we’ve broken down the main features you should be looking for in a new board and have made a few selections of the best dartboards from each category that might well fit your darting needs.

Types Of Dartboards

Over the years darts has evolved from a simple bar game into an international sport with prize funds in the millions of pounds. As the game has evolved, so has the equipment that’s being used by darts players around the world.

Dart boards can be seen in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Not every practice venue is suited to having steel tip darts stuck in their wall and not every player has the budget for the top-of-the-range pro boards! Similarly, children aren’t advised to use heavy, sharp darts when starting out and so new board constructions had to be devised. Amongst them you can find:

Bristle Dart boards

best dartboards

The ‘pies de resistance’ of dart boards, the bristle dart board is the professional dart players board of choice and the one you’ll see when watching darts on TV. The board itself is made of sisal fiber, a coarse material that grips darts once they are thrown in but also has a ‘wolverine’ like healing ability whereby it closes the puncture holes left by darts over a period of time.

Players most regularly use steel tip darts with a bristle dartboard but soft tips can also be used if thrown hard enough.

It’s considered the best dart board on the market for serious players.

Soft Tip Dart boards

soft tip dart board

Soft tip dart boards have been surging onto the darting scene in recent years. They arose originally as an alternative to steel tip boards due to the fact that they are cheaper to produce, sell, and can be used with cheaper darts, too. All in all, it was a much more accessible way into the game for beginners or amateurs.

Over time, it was adopted as the main form of darts in the continent of Asia and continues to dominate the competitive scene there as well as the Americas.

Soft tip boards are made of plastic and contain thousands of small puncture holes for the similarly plastic darts to penetrate. The darts used for them have soft plastic tips and are usually easily held when thrown into one of these holes.

These days, they are regularly purchased as a ‘child-friendly’ alternative to bristle dart boards which require sharp and potentially dangerous darts.

Electronic Dart boards

electronic dartboard

At some point in time, players felt the standard soft tip dart board could be developed even further into a board that autonomously registers thrown darts and also has automatic scoring. Enter the electronic dart board.

These boards look very similar to soft tip boards in appearance but have pressure-sensitive receptors behind the scoring board to pick up on where each dart has landed and what it has scored. These systems vary in complexity from simple 501 countdown systems to full-on darting machines that have a variety of different game modes and allow you to compete with other players anywhere in the world.

Magnetic Dart boards

magnetic dartboard

For players who want to take their game seriously and practice regularly, it’s unlikely they’ll ever see or play on a magnetic dart board. These boards are targeted towards the casual dart player or even as a gift for children on birthdays or holidays.

They usually come in two forms; a plastic round-shaped board with a magnetic metallic layer under the surface or a piece of fabric that can be hung on doors or walls which also has a magnetic layer inside. The darts used are extremely front-heavy and very unreliable, making them good boards for a game room or office but not for competitive darts.

Other Boards

Other styles of dart board do exist but are rarely seen or even used as dart boards.

Wooden dart boards look stylish and up-market in pubs or bars but really can’t be used more than a few times for real games. They lack the ability to self-heal and so once a dart is thrown into the board, that puncture wound is there forever. A few games in and suddenly you’ve got holes all over your board where you can no longer score. Wooden dart boards should be avoided if you actually want to play darts!

Similar to wooden boards, coiled paper dart boards are another temporary darting solution. They look similar to usual boards except for the material for the scoring beds is no more self-healing than the paper you write on. If you’re playing darts regularly, paper boards won’t do the trick.

Our Top 10 Dart Board Picks for 2022

1. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Bristle
  • Material: Plastic
  • Usability: 14+ years
  • Weight: 10.7 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.75 x 17.75 x 1.5 inches

The Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core was the peak of bristle dartboard technology for most of the 2010s and still sits at the top to this day. It takes everything good about the Unicorn Eclipse Pro and improves on them exponentially.

The wiring on the Blade 5 is what lends to its name. This Blade wiring had a sharp diamond edge the entire board round and increases triple bed size by 6mm squared and double bed size by 9mm squared, a huge spacial improvement in the scoring area which can have a dramatic impact on your scoring averages. Bounce-outs from darts hitting the wiring are now mostly nonexistent. The surface area of the bladed wiring is so thin that on impact a dart usually deflects into a bed on one of the sides of the wire instead of bouncing out. This is without a doubt the new industry standard for wiring on competitive dart boards.

The dual-core sisal fiber features two layers of fiber which increase dart retention and grip upon impact. The lower total compression reduces surface resistance for increased point penetration meaning fewer bounce-outs on this highly impressive bristle dart board. Its patented technology cannot be directly emulated by other board manufacturers, making the Winmau Blade 5 stand out on a pedestal in comparison to other boards.

Although not as technical as the Blade 6, its younger brother is not yet available internationally and so the Blade 5 continues to be top dog!

What I liked

  • Blade wiring technology
  • Dual core sisal fibre
  • Great dart retention
  • Long life span
  • Highest quality board available to all players

What could be improved

  • Bullseye wiring is not as thin as the Blade 6

 

 

2. Arachnid Cricket Pro 900

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Electronic
  • Material: Nylon
  • Usability: N/A
  • Weight: 11.73 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 30 x 22.5 x 3.25 inches

If budget is not an issue and you are searching for the top dog in electronic boards, you need to look no further. The Arachnid Cricket Pro 900 is without a doubt the best autonomous board on the market, with bragging features and durability that make other manufacturers extremely envious.

Arachnid has developed its own durable plastic for its scoring beds called NylonTough. It results in beds that last for years and encase the tips of darts softly but firmly. Somehow each dart sticks into the board like glue but upon removal comes out like butter! The segment dividers are micro-thin meaning reduced bounce-outs and increased bed size.

The Pro 900 brags 48 different games optimized for up to eight players at a time. The input interface is clear and concise, with a menu of commands visible on the board itself and responsive rubber input buttons.

The LED lighting on the scoreboard is bright and contrasts well with the black background, making it easily visible from a distance.

The CPU feature enables players to play an ever-evolving AI which learns as you play and adapts its skill level to continue to push the player in their practice.

One unique feature of the Pro 900 is the heckler system. The voice feedback software in the board can be programmed to insult you when you hit bad darts or support you for big scores. It’s not a necessary feature but it’s definitely one you would not find on other dartboards!

Everything the Archnid does, it does well. It’s not over the top but does everything reliably and has fantastic durability both in its construction and electronics making it the best electronic dart board on offer.

What I liked

  • Huge library of game modes
  • Supports 8 players
  • Durable build
  • Mains power
  • Adaptive AI
  • Voice feedback
  • Bright LED scoreboard

What could be improved

  • A little bland to look at
  • Expensive

 

 

3. WIN.MAX Electronic

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Electronic
  • Material: Durable Plastic
  • Usability: N/A
  • Weight: 3.4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 1 inches

Simple, reliable, and durable, the Win.Max is a no-thrills maximum results based electronic board. Its ergonomic design means it can fit on the smallest of wall spaces and yet has the build quality of a much larger board.

The Win.Max boasts over 20 game modes capable of supporting 4 players at a time and a LED scoring screen with great contrast and great ease of use.

One of the biggest grips with electronic boards can be responsiveness. Nothing’s worse than throwing a triple 20 that doesn’t register on the board! Fortunately, the Win.Max has some of the best durability and reliability reviews of all electronic boards on the market. Despite its lightweight feel, it seems no cost has been spared on the pressure sensor quality behind every single bed.

What the Win.Max lacks is ground-breaking tech, which it makes up for in simplicity done extremely well. It’s not the best electronic dart board but it certainly isn’t far off!

What I liked

  • Simple design and UI
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent responsiveness

What could be improved

  • Only 6 inputs
  • Only 20 game modes, but classics

 

 

4. Unicorn Eclipse Pro

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Bristle
  • Material: Durable Plastic
  • Usability: N/A
  • Weight: 3.4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 1 inches

The first completely staple-free dartboard on this list, the Eclipse Pro is a traditional dartboard that combines affordability, quality, and durability to result in the best budget bristle board on the market.

The board features a regulation layout with standard-sized beds encased in thin rounded wiring which claims to be thirty percent thinner than most round wires on the market. Their wiring technology has also enabled them to produce a staple-free bullseye, an absolute must for players looking to advance from intermediate onwards in their darting game. This feature maximizes your averages and minimizes wasted darts.

The board itself is PDC endorsed, meaning that every single feature meets the regulations and requirements of competition steel tip darts. It’s a great dartboard at this price point. Anything more complex with better-edged wiring suddenly becomes a lot more expensive.

What I liked

  • PDC Endorsed
  • Thin rounded wiring
  • Affordable
  • Completely staple-free

What could be improved

  • Rounded wiring
  • Single-core

 

 

5. Winmau Blade 6 Triple Core Shield

Announced in late 2021 and only now becoming available to the casual dart player, there simply is no competition for the Blade 6. It is without a shadow of a doubt the best bristle dartboard on the market and in fact the best dart board from all categories.

The stand-out feature of the Blade 6 is the triple-core sisal layers. These additional layers allow for reduced trapped fibers in the material, meaning it will heal quicker and more efficiently than before. On top of that, it continues to receive darts well and hold them firmly in place while you finish your throw. The sisal also sits closer to the wiring than ever before meaning there are less gaps between metal and fabric.

The bullseye wiring has been optimized massively with both inner and outer bullseye ring wiring being reduced by 20%. For a scoring area, only an inch or so wide which is a huge improvement and will dramatically increase averages and make you rethink your out-shots, putting more preference on bullseye over certain doubles.

Small aesthetic features also set the Blade 6 apart including laser-cut number ring which is now in a less startling grey color and precision coloring on the overlays and scoring areas.

The best championship quality dartboard just got better. The Blade 6 takes the Blade 5 and runs into the distance with it with new technology, a new look, and a new build.

One HUGE drawback with the Blade 6 is that it is not yet available to the wider international market. Keep your eyes on this space, the Blade 6 will soon be making huge waves in the darting world.

What I liked

  • Thinnest possible wiring
  • Blade wiring
  • Excellent bullseye scoring area
  • Triple core sisal fabric
  • Clear and concise coloring
  • Aesthetically pleasing

What could be improved

  • Not available yet to casual players.
  • Expensive

 

 

6. Gran Board Dash

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Electronic
  • Material: Plastic
  • Usability: 16+ Months
  • Weight: 5.34 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.05 x 20.47 x 1.97 inches

If you were to walk into a room and see the Gran Board Dash on the wall, you’d immediately assume it was just a basic soft tip practice board. This statement couldn’t be any further from the truth and in fact, the Dash is bordering on revolutionary.

What sets the Gran Board Dash apart from the others on this list is its Bluetooth scoring compatibility. No longer do you need to set up your game using an input interface of rubber buttons or plastic switches, you simply connect the board to a handheld device via Bluetooth, download the Gran Board application and run your game from the palm of your hand.

From inside the application, you can set up a multitude of different game types but most impressively you can connect to other Gran Board players anywhere in the world and go toe to toe in a darting matchup. No matter where you are with this board, you have someone to pit your skills against including competitive tournament play.

The board runs on two AA batteries and has a battery life of four to six months. It will even send you a warning on your handheld device well before it is time to change your board’s batteries.

The Dash has a great soft tip build with high-quality plastic which holds your darts well. As a board alone, it is well built, but with the addition of the wireless scoring software, you’re now looking at a ground-breaking piece of darting hardware.

What I liked

  • Bluetooth scoring system
  • Handheld board management
  • Ergonomic and portable
  • Long battery life
  • Online play

What could be improved

  • Must be connected to Bluetooth, no alternative inputs

 

 

7. Viper ION Electronic

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Electronic
  • Material: Plastic
  • Usability: 14+ Years
  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 19.5 x 1.2 inches

In the age of emerging soft tip dart machines in competitive environments, the Viper ION provides a more portable and ergonomic alternative to standing machines.

The USP (unique selling point) of the ION is its LED-illuminated segments behind every scoring bed. When hit, the bed lights up and registers your score. This might seem like a gimmick but anyone who plays competitive soft darts knows that tournament machines also light up and make sound effects, so it is in fact a feature that might normalize these new and strange details.

In terms of build, the ION is extremely precise and durable in terms of segmentation and even has an integrated inner bullseye without an outer frame. The spacious catch ring keeps your tips intact and reduces bounce-out potential.

Now for the features that really make the ION stand out; its game modes. Most electronic dartboards come with a pre-installed amount of game modes but the ION takes this one step further. Not only does it have 48 game modes that can support 8 concurrent players, but it also utilizes its lighting feature to run new and completely unique light-based games. For example, the board will light up a segment and the light will move around clockwise. You need to hit every lit segment to finish the game. This is obviously something that’s not possible on standard electronic and bristle boards and takes the ION from impressive to one of a kind!

What I liked

  • Impressive scoring bed lighting
  • Unique game modes
  • Durable build
  • Battery and mains power

What could be improved

  • Appears gimmicky to serious players
  • Small LED scoring screen

 

 

8. Nodor Supawire 2

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Bristle
  • Material: Sisal
  • Usability: Up to 10 Years
  • Weight: 11.4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.75 x 17.75 x 1.5 inches

Nodor are a relative minnow in the dartboard market but have managed to produce one of the best budget steel tip boards around. Most bristle boards in this price range have swelling wire staples and crusty paint layers, but the Supawire stands out alongside the Viper Shot King as an anomaly.

Although the wiring is stapled, the actual staple loops on the Supawire 2 are extremely small thanks to the thickness of the metal used. The Supawire 2 lends its name to the technology that allowed Nodor to produce super thin wiring which is 50% thinner than other budget dartboards with round wiring. Not only does this create more bed space but it also reduces bounce-outs.

On top of this, the thinner wiring allows for a much flatter outer to inner bullseye frame. If compared to the Shot King where the inner bullseye seems to be lost in a deep well, the Supawire’s bullseye areas are on an even plain, making them much easier to hit.

Due to the cost of the board, the sisal fiber is only a single core fiber meaning that it would only last a few months of strenuous gameplay, but at this price, it performs well above average as a quality board.

What I liked

  • Very small staples
  • Thin wiring technology
  • Increased scoring area

What could be improved

  • Average life span
  • Rounded wiring

 

 

9. CyeeLife 15.5 Inch Board

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Soft Tip
  • Material: Plastic
  • Usability: N/A
  • Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 15.5 x 1.14 inches

A stand-out choice on this list for sure, the CyeeLife soft tip board is the only board on this list that is neither an electronic dartboard nor bristle. On the face of it, its simplicity makes it look like a poor choice of board but if you are looking for a sleek, well put together practice board for your soft tip darts then the CyeeLife is the board you’re looking for.

Its simple construction from lightweight plastic is what makes this board purchasable. Not only is it light, extremely portable, and durable but the quality of plastic in the scoring beds is also impressive. It holds a dart well and while it may not provide scoring features it does have championship size triple, double, and bullseye beds and a diamond plastic wiring which reduces dart bounce.

A lot of simple plastic practice boards you will find will have an outer ring of hard plastic which can be destructive to your soft tips. Fortunately, the CyeeLife has a number ring that has a similar concave style to the scoring beds, allowing your darts to penetrate the board even when you miss your targets. Less broken soft-tipped darts lead to a longer board and wallet durability!

The CyeeLife is a durable board that is extremely capable of catering to your soft tip darts practice! Coming in at around $40, it does not break the bank and at this price point is well worth a purchase.

What I liked

  • Lightweight & portable
  • Durable plastic
  • Concave number ring

What could be improved

  • Very basic design

 

 

10. Viper Shot King

Quick Specs:

  • Type: Bristle
  • Material: Grade 3 Sisal
  • Usability: 14+ Years
  • Weight: 9.1 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 1.5 inches

If you’re looking for a reliable budget board for your practicing needs, then this Shot King bristle board could be the option for you. The Viper Shot King often gets a rough wrap due to its low price point, but its features and construction quality ensures that its users come away with a great darting experience.

This is a championship size board with all beds and scoring areas at the regulation size. The paint job is clear and concise and generally runs in line with the board’s wiring.

Speaking of wiring, this is where the board saves a little on expenses in construction. The metallic wiring seen on the Viper Shot King is well routed and consistent. It’s barely malleable and can resist even the hardest of throws. The only gripe with the wiring would be that it is rounded and not edged, which may cause a bounce-out here and there, but for amateurs and even intermediates this should not get in the way too often or put you off from purchasing the board at this particular price point.

Each bed has two staples to hold down the wireframe except for the bullseye which has multiple. On the whole, they are unobtrusive and again at this price are actually very well incorporated into the board.

The rotating number ring allows you to switch up your beds from time to time, giving the single-core sisal fiber time to repair itself and get back to its best.

Although definitely not a competitor with some of the other higher-end boards on this list, the Viper Shot King comes in at number 10 as a reliable, durable bristle dart board that shouldn’t be overlooked by players on a budget.

What I liked

  • Affordable
  • Sturdy metal wiring
  • Minimalistic stapling
  • Rotating number ring

What could be improved

  • Rounded wiring
  • Single-core sisal
  • Bullseye stapling

 

 

The Buyers Guide To Dart Boards

As with any purchase you make in life, you’re going to want to make sure there are a few things that are definitely in line when choosing a particular dartboard. Whether that’s a bristle board, an electronic board, or a simple soft tip board, there are certain features and build details that can help you avoid those dreaded bounce-outs! Here’s our buyer’s guide to each type of competitive dartboard:

Bristle Dart boards

Bristle boards are usually considered the most popular and professional boards to play darts on. As such, there are quite a lot of features to keep your eyes out for when considering which one to buy for your practice.

Size

The standard for a bristle dartboard is that it usually conforms with competitive size regulations. This means that in theory, every bristle dartboard you play on will have the exact same proportions, meaning your game shouldn’t be affected by the board you’re playing on!

The official PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) and BDO (British Darts Organization) size regulations are:

  • Double and treble ring inside measurement: 8mm.
  • Bull inside diameter: 12.7mm.
  • Outer bull inside diameter: 31.8mm.
  • Centre bull to the inside edge of treble wire: 107mm.
  • Centre bull to outside edge double wire: 170mm.
  • Outside edge of the double wire to outside edge of double wire: 340mm.
  • Overall dart board diameter: 451mm.

Style

Over the years many different styles of bristle dartboard have been designed but only one has stuck it out in competition darts; the Old London. The Old London is the dartboard you’ll see in most tournaments and bars, characterized by twenty number segments, double and treble rings, and an inner and outer bullseye.

To many, the Old London style of the board is the only one they’re aware of, but others do exist! The London Fives board for example only has twelve wider number segments containing multiples of five and the Manchester board is designed without a triples segment. These can be fun to play on from time to time, but be sure to pick up an Old London-style board for regular practice.

Material

When purchasing bristle dart boards it’s important to make sure that it’s made of sisal fiber. Throwing a dart into any normal material would create a permanent puncture hole meaning the board would have a very short lifespan, however, sisal fiber has a self-healing property that means it will close these small holes over time, making it look as though no dart ever landed in that spot. Not only does it mean you can use the board for much longer, but you also save a lot of money in the long run.

Wiring

Not all bristle boards have the same wiring to help you avoid bounce-outs. There are three main wiring styles that you should check before purchasing your bristle dartboard:

  • Blade Wiring
  • Diamond Wiring
  • Round Wire Wiring

Blade wiring is the preferred method of wiring for most dart players. It is embedded into the sisal material meaning there are no pins holding wiring down and it has a sharp edge to it. This essentially means fewer bounce outs and higher scores! This is the only wiring style that features a staple-free bullseye, making it much easier to hit.

Diamond wiring is a sort of hybrid of the two other methods of wiring. The wiring is held down by additional metal pins but also has a blunted blade shape. These are more cost-effective and are often found in social clubs, bars, and pubs.

Round wire wiring is exactly as it says on the tin. The wiring itself is rounded with a much larger surface area than bladed edges. This leads to a much smaller scoring area for triples and doubles and an extremely clustered bullseye. Your dart retention on these boards will be noticeably less. If you want to reduce bounce outs, pip for one of the other wiring styles.

Attachments

Even a high-quality bristle dartboard might not come with any mounting hardware. Imagine taking your board home to find out you have no way of hanging it where you would like! It’s important to make sure there is some sort of wall bracket included in your purchase, usually in the form of a metal bracket and two screws that attach to the back of the board.

Removable Number Ring

A removable number ring might not seem immediately important when purchasing a bristle dart board, however, if you want your board to last beyond ten practice sessions then it is actually vital. A removable ring means that you can rotate the board and allow certain segments to repair themselves over time. If you practice by peppering triple 20 over and over again, eventually that segment is going to wear down. With a removable ring you can simply rotate the board to another black segment and hey presto you have a completely fresh triple bed!

Soft Tip Dart boards

Although not as popular or expensive as bristle boards, soft tip boards still vary in construction methods and size. Here are just a few of the things to keep your eye out for when buying a new soft tip board.

Size

Due to the fact that soft tip boards are not typically used in competition settings, they do come in a huge variety of sizes. Recently, the official regulation size for soft tip boards has been set at 15.5 inches in diameter. Try to make sure your soft tip board falls within this measurement if you’re using it for competitive practice.

Material

The main construction material of the board should be hard plastic. Ensure the concave holes are the correct size and depth in order to hold your dart on the board. As this can be hard to measure, the best way to test this is to throw a few darts into the board at varying speeds and analyze how well they hold.

Attachments

As soft tip boards are a lot lighter than classic bristle dart boards, they can be mounted on just about anything without strenuous construction. They can be hung on a string or even attached to suction cups, but as with any other board, it is easier to use a wall bracket. With soft tip boards, this might even be built into the back of the board.

Electronic Dart boards

Across the globe, electronic dart boards are taking the competitive darts scene by storm thanks to their ease of use and reliable scoring system. Each machine can come with a myriad of different games, challenges, and features. Here are the main points to consider when buying an electronic dartboard.

Material

As for board material, an electronic dart board has the same construction as soft tip boards only with the addition of electronic receptors behind the scoring zones to register dart location. Follow the material tips for the soft tip boards and seek out a board with hard plastic beds and concave holes that fit your soft tip darts.

Games

Electronic dart boards often come with a variety of pre-installed traditional darts games including:

  • 901, 701, 501, 301, 101
  • Cricket
  • Around The World
  • Killer

Before purchase, check to make sure that the board supports the game mode you require for your practice. If you are getting serious about your darts, you will want there to be at least the 01 game modes installed. If the board is for a bar or club, think about purchasing an electronic dartboard with a few additional games installed.

Player Count

Some electronic boards support games for multiple players. Most, if not all, support scoring for two players but for many the player count stops there. Triple check how many concurrent players your board can score for before making your dartboard purchase!

Input Buttons

This is one feature of an electronic board that a lot of first-time buyers don’t check. The input buttons on your board can ultimately affect your game by being fiddly, too small, and unresponsive which will slow down your rhythm and ruin your practice. Make sure to check each button individually before purchasing. Ideally, the inputs will be solid plastic buttons that click when pushed, however, sometimes cheaper boards have rubber inputs that can get easily stuck underneath their plastic case.

Power Source

Most boards will be powered by mains electricity and will require a socket near in order to work. Some cheaper boards nowadays also run off of battery power, which is not recommended in case you lose your score halfway through a match.

Bed Sizes

Triple, double, and bullseye bed sizes vary on the soft tip and electronic dart boards. Generally, they are slightly larger than bristle board beds making them easier to score on. If you’re looking to stick to soft tip darts forever then an electronic dartboard could be the right choice, but if you want to evolve into steel tips, be prepared for a much smaller scoring area!

Magnetic Dart boards

In all honesty, there is not much to suggest in terms of magnetic dart boards. They can be fun for a while however when compared to others in terms of efficient practice they provide basically zero value. Only consider magnetic darts and a magnetic dart board as a toy or gift for a non-dart player. They really cannot be considered a quality board.

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