A shuttlecock (also known as a birdie) is a small, aerodynamic piece that is hit back and forth across a badminton court. A shuttlecock is extremely light and is one of the main reasons why badminton will always be an indoor sport. Even a slight breeze can hinder gameplay, and this is why all badminton courts are indoors.
Most of you are probably aware that there are two types of shuttlecocks – feather and synthetic (or plastic). In a feather shuttlecock, the feathers are arranged in a conical shape and go into a cork base. Duck and goose feathers are used to make these shuttlecocks.
Synthetic shuttlecocks, on the other hand, are made with plastic and have the same conical shape that you find in feathered shuttlecocks.
Now, while both types of shuttlecocks are ideal to play badminton, it’s important to choose a type of shuttlecock based on your skill level.
What Do Beginners Use?
As a rule, professional badminton games are played only with feather shuttlecocks. They are designed to be more aerodynamic and retain stability when they are in flight. While it is true that these shuttlecocks require a lot more force in order to travel far, their path is more predictable, making them idea for a professional-level game.
However, as a beginner, it’s best to use a synthetic shuttlecock. Here are a few reasons why.
1) Easier To Hit
Synthetic shuttlecocks are made from heavier material, which allows them to travel greater distances with less force. So when you’re starting out, these shuttlecocks can help you master your technique with very little effort.
2) More Durability
Feather shuttlecocks get damaged or bent out of shape very easily. And as a beginner, you’re bound to make mistakes while playing the game. When you’re learning, it’s best to get a synthetic shuttlecock as they last much longer.
3) Less Expensive
A feather shuttlecock costs a lot more than a synthetic one. And since it loses shape very easily, you’ll be forced to replace it every few games. This can be time-consuming and expensive. So instead, get yourself a synthetic shuttlecock to practice with.
These are just a few reasons to get yourself a synthetic shuttlecock when you’re first starting out.
While it’s great fun to play with a synthetic shuttlecock, real badminton is played with the feathered version. As a beginner, it makes sense to buy a synthetic shuttlecock as they are less expensive and will last longer.
However, if you’re planning to take badminton seriously or play in the tournament, it’s best to get yourself a feathered shuttle. While the synthetic ones are easier to play with, they are quite unstable when in flight. And it’s difficult to suddenly switch to a feathered shuttle after you’ve played with a synthetic one for too long.
So remember, train your technique with a synthetic shuttlecock, and once you’ve got the hang of the game, invest in a feather shuttlecock.
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