Last updated on April 2nd, 2019 at 08:27 pm
So what is a shuttlecock? What kind of Badminton shuttlecock types can you choose from?
All these questions and more will be answered in this article.
What is a birdie in Badminton?
The Badminton Shuttlecock is also known to many as the Badminton birdies or bird. It’s the projectile used by players to hit back and forth over a net. The shuttlecock or birdie is a conical shape with overlapping feathers going into a cork base. The feathers may be replaced by nylon or plastic.
The cork is then covered with leather material, again depending on the type of Badminton Shuttlecock it may a type of plastic or rubbery material. The cork gives the shuttlecock weight so when hit it will always fly cork first, thus enabling it to be returned.
Other names for the shuttlecock include “Shuttlecork” but some now simply refer to the Shuttlecock as the “Shuttle”.
Aerodynamically the Badminton shuttlecock is incredibly stable making it ideal for the long rallies we sometime see in Badminton matches.
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Why Are There Different Kinds of Badminton Shuttlecocks?
So as mentioned earlier the Badminton Shuttlecock comes in basically two varieties. Badminton feather or synthetic shuttlecocks (nylon shuttlecock or plastic shuttlecock). There are of course many different types within these two categories, I will mention a few of these later.
Type 1: Badminton Feather Shuttlecock
These are used by professional players and the serious amateur. Why? Well basically they fly better I’m sure there’s all kind of cool science to explain it but simply the speed is better and the flight is better!
So why doesn’t everybody just use the Feather Badminton Shuttlecock?
Well put simply they aren’t very durable the feather can become brittle. In fact in order for the feathers to be used they are often placed in a humidifier for around 4 hours. This ensures the feathers perform as required.
You can instead of placing them in a humidifier box place a moist sponge in the feather end of the shuttlecock tube, this should have the same effect. Just make sure you don’t put the moist sponge at the cork end as this will not result in a good shuttlecock!
Type 2 The Synthetic: Nylon Shuttlecock
This is the type most people will have used at some point and are ideal when you just want a game inside or outside. There are many types of these synthetic nylon or plastic shuttlecock with varying price and quality.
Let’s take a look at the different types of Badminton Shuttlecock that are currently on sale:
- Goose Feather
- Duck Feather
What are the different shuttlecock speed ratings for?
Not only do you need to choose between a feather or a nylon shuttlecock but they also have speed ratings. You will notice a number on the tube refering to the speed the shuttlecock are rated at.
Speeds range from the slowest 75 – 80 the quickest, but this is also dependant on the conditions where the shuttle is being used. But basically we can say they boil down to slow, medium and fast, refering to how quickly the shuttlecock can cover distance.
There is no doubt a more technical explaination but I would not concern yourself to much if you are a beginner.
What Badminton shuttlecock brands are there?
Yonex: Shuttlecock, Rackets etc..
Probably the best known name in the sport. Yonex feather shuttlecocks are supplied to most of the games major professional tournaments.
Yonex are also the biggest sponsor in Badminton and regarded by most as having the some of the best equipment for Badminton.
Another well known name in Badminton circles, RSL (Reinforced Shuttlecocks Ltd) origins date back to London, England 1928
Wilson: Shuttlecock, Rackets, etc..
American sports equipment supplier Wilson is known for Badminton, Tennis, Squash, Baseball, Basketball, American Football and Golf
Carlton: Shuttlecock, Rackets, etc..
Based mainly at Camberley, England Carlton has worked with some of the top players in the sport producing quality Badminton rackets and shuttlecocks.
VICTOR: Shuttlecock, Rackets, etc..
From China, Victor International makers of Badminton equipment and is also a big sponsor in the professional game.
So now you know what to look out for when purchasing your shuttlecocks, be it shuttlecock brands or shuttlecock speed and type. If you just want a bit of fun choose a nylon shuttlecock from any of the brands listed above.
How much you want to pay will obviously be a factor but unless you’re playing regularly you don’t need to spend too much.
For those of you playing regularly you will need to pay a bit more for durability. The best advice I can give is to check out a few reviews before buying. If you decide to opt for the feather shuttlecocks don’t forget you need to look after them or the feathers will become dry and brittle.
That’s why I would only recommend feather shuttlecocks if you play at good to high level and often. You can get really good nylon ones which should last more than just a few games.
So Feathered Badminton Shuttlecocks or Synthetic Badminton Shuttlecocks? It all depends on what you want, serious competition or just a bit of fun.
To find out more about the sport at Badminton England
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I will be adding lots more Badminton goodness to the site very soon, so don’t forget to check back regularly.
For Further Information
If you require more information on the sport of Badminton head over to the BWF.
Don’t forget the other good sources of info such as the BBC website