The origins of Badminton can be traced back as early as the 1850’s, where it was played with a ball of wool. By the 1870’s it had become immensely popular and evolved to be played with an item known as a shuttlecock, which is what we still use today.
An incredibly fast paced racket sport, it is a game that requires a great level of fitness and coordination to play at even a basic level, while the elite players are some of the most skilled athletes in the world.
More than just simply “hitting a ball over a net” as uninformed spectators may feel, taking up this sport is a venture that is going to require a great level of discipline and dedication.
Before you begin, it is a good idea to get a greater understanding of one of the most important aspects of the sport, the shuttlecock. This gives you the best possible chance of success, whether you simply want to play for fun or especially if you have loftier aspirations.
Types Of Shuttlecocks
Feather shuttlecocks are made using real feathers and require being humidified before play. They produce the fastest and smoothest flight of all shuttlecocks, making them ideal for pro level players.
Synthetic shuttlecocks have the feathers replaced with other materials, most commonly plastic. This makes them slower and considerably longer lasting, which is ideal for newcomers to the sport.
Things To Consider
Depending on your skill level, the speed of a shuttlecock can dramatically affect your ability to play with it.
Shuttlecocks have varying levels of durability so, if you aren’t looking to play at a pro level, perhaps look to find one that offers a longer lifespan.
Material dictates everything from durability to speed of play, so consider all of your options before choosing the material for your shuttlecock.
Style Of Play
The speed and flight of a shuttlecock both rely heavily on the material from which it is made. If you know your own style, select the shuttlecock that best lends itself to your personal tendencies.
While the texture of a shuttlecock remains largely consistent no matter which you select, the smoother it is, the truer it will fly. This is something worth considering for experienced players, as every little thing matters at an advanced level.
Natural feathers and man-made plastics are worlds apart when it comes to how eco-friendly they are. If this is something that is important to you, make sure to select your shuttlecock accordingly.
Despite not being the most expensive items, you still want to check you are comfortable with the price of the product you are looking at, so you don’t waste time analysing a shuttlecock that is a little steep for your liking in the first place.
There is very little maintenance you can do with a shuttlecock, as it has a limited lifespan due to the nature of its use. That said, humidifying the feather variety will allow it to function in the ideal way and last a little longer. This can be done either using a humidification box or by simply inserting a small, moist sponge into the feathered end of the container.