Badminton Shuttlecocks Types, Features and Speeds

Published: 25th March 2011
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“Feathered Friends or Plastic Partners?"

Badminton shuttlecocks, also known as birdies, are the specific projectile associated with the sport. There are different types, and with the differences come different features and dynamics. Knowing the difference between the types will help you choose the correct type of badminton shuttlecock and also help you to understand how they will move and gain or lose pace. This knowledge will ensure that you are able to position yourself and choose the correct shot to manipulate the badminton shuttlecock effectively.

Badminton shuttlecocks are designed to be lightweight, and there are four main designs to choose from. Badminton shuttlecocks are typically either made from goose feathers, duck feathers, plastic or synthetic. Goose or duck feathers are considered to the best quality of shuttlecock, but understanding the difference between all types is crucial to improving your game. The method used in the best designs of badminton shuttlecocks, is to create the best aerodynamics and stability possible. The designs which include feathers are generally faster than their synthetic counterparts and the player has much more control over the movement. The advantages of a synthetic or plastic badminton shuttlecock, is that they are less susceptible to damage, and do not have to be replaced as often. A synthetic shuttlecock will gain in speed throughout it's flight, which is important to know when choosing a shot type and choosing your court movement.

Badminton shuttlecocks are generally made to cover three levels of speed: slow, medium and fast. The speed is determined by the distance the badminton shuttlecock will travel when hit with a normal or average powered shot. For example, a 'fast' shuttlecock will travel roughly just over a meter longer than a 'slow' shuttlecock when hit with an average powered shot. Whilst these are interesting statistics to know, you should always bear in mind that these states can be manipulated by the skill level of the player. A player with more power for example, may be able to add an extra edge to these states and you should always account for any differences due to player skill or style of play.

Choosing the right badminton shuttlecock for your style of play will add the extra edge to your game, and if you don't have the option to choose, knowing the difference in styles and performance will help you adjust your play to suit. Trying out a range of badminton shuttlecocks and practising with their speeds and dynamics is the best way to gauge which is best for your methods and style of play as well as your budget.

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