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Playing badminton is fun. However, it isn’t a game that most people think about when they look at fast-paced action. But, that’s precisely what a professional badminton match involves. The players not only move around in the court with great speed, but battered badminton can reach speeds up to 500 km/hr. The combination of airy strokes and dribbling makes the tempo of badminton game to the point. And it is the badminton shuttle that culminates a successful match.
Badminton birdies or shuttlecocks, whatever you call them – they’re indeed an integral part of the badminton game. But what exactly are they? Well, the badminton shuttles are a high-drag projectile that comes with an open conical design. The cone usually forms from sixteen overlapping feathers embedded into a round cork base. Moreover, the cork comes with a thin layer of feather or synthetic material. The definition aside, the origin of these shuttlecocks can be traced back from more than two thousand years. Moreover, in China, the shuttlecocks was played as a kicking game, called ‘Ti Jian Zhi’, as early as 5th century BC. Cut to the present, today you’ll find a wide variety of badminton shuttles. Which is why, in this article, we shall understand the various aspects of the badminton shuttles and look at a few tips for their hassle-free purchase.
Choosing the right shuttlecocks is not always an easy job, especially when you are an amateur or a recreational player. That’s because, not only there are several types of badminton shuttles, but they come in all kinds of numerical ratings. Moreover, you’ll find some of them to be expensive. Therefore, it is imperative to know and understand the various facets of the shuttle. For instance, the birdies you buy for the workout is very different from the ones you purchase for a professional game. Therefore, you must carefully analyse their anatomy to get them right. So, let us understand, evaluate and inspect these birdies.
You can label the shuttlecocks a good one, only if it reaches the right speed level, blows in a predictable and standardised level. To achieve such kind of equilibrium, you’ll see that it comes in highly specific materials. A typically high-quality shuttlecock starts with a heart of cork. It is made of the same stuff that stops your wine bottles. This forms the face of your shuttle. Moreover, most of these corks come with a very thin dermis that is slightly stretched. This ensures that your cork is protected. Furthermore, it improves the aerodynamics too. However, today, you’ll find a harder plastic cover. Well, all this adds up to the action you get when you operate your badminton. But did you know there is more than that? You know there are the different speed of shuttlecocks?
Typically, the badminton shuttles, under optimal conditions, must reach a certain distance over the net, provided you throw them usually. It is the distance it travels that determines the ‘speed’. It is quite evident that the shuttlecocks have an unusual nature. For this reason, local conditions like temperature and humidity play a significant role in the speed of the shuttles. That’s why some speeds in some time zones and places work better. For instance, usually, a badminton shuttle has speed 77 at sea level. Similarly, when you are out playing in the cold climatic conditions, the speeds of shuttlecocks will be around 75 or 76. Likewise, the hotter it gets, the more you want to tilt towards speeds like 78 or 79. These speeds are less important to recreational players, while professionals must consider them.
The badminton shuttles come in two major types, the feathered and nylon. That is, the Nylon shuttles come in synthetic materials while the feather shuttles come in natural duck or goose feathers. It is essential to know the fact that the goose feathers have thicker bristles than the duck. Moreover, they have better flight quality and durability. Also, most recreational players go for nylon shuttlecocks as they are cheaper and a lot more durable. These features make them an excellent choice for practising skills and for a casual play. However, when it comes to feather shuttles, only professional players go for them. That’s because they come with more natural flight characteristics. But, most of them go for nylon as the feather ones are expensive and less durable.