A professional badminton player seeks to have even the slightest edge in every match. Shoes, racquets, and shuttlecocks (birdies) can influence the outcome of a badminton duel. The design of a birdie is an open conical array of feathers which sits on a rounded cork base.
Instead of feathers, a synthetic plastic alternative is also available. The base can be a rubber material. Aerodynamic stability is important in birdie design. Various companies are household names, but what shuttlecock brand is the best?
High-quality shuttlecocks ensure you are able to play for longer. Well-known shuttlecock makers include Yonex, RSL, Carlton, Wilson, and KEVENZ. Others are Ohuhu, Victor, Protech, and Aeroplane. They are in an endless fight to be the best. Being businesses, they try to balance between making premium products and maximizing profit. Premium products are affordable only by a few, including elite badminton athletes. They have better durability and aerodynamic quality. Manufacturers cater to varying skill levels and budgets. They offer a range of high-quality feather and plastic birdies. Key parameters include durability, quality, and price. Yonex has a rich catalog; others impress with fresh innovations and local availability. They all offer shuttlecocks with aerodynamic efficiency, durability, and great price points. A good shuttlecock should make anyone enjoy badminton, and these brands provide that.
Analyzing Shuttlecock Brands
A badminton shuttlecock has either goose feather or nylon string feathers. Each feather type suits a specific set of conditions. The features of plastics and feathers vary in obvious ways.
Plastics are slow when they are first hit. They then slow down less as they approach the end of their flight. Feathers are likely to drop straight down when hit clear. Plastics do not show a true straight drop. They assume more of a diagonal path as they drop. Once speeds exceed 320 km/hr (200mph), a feather shuttle is likely to detach from the strings. They slow down faster as they drop.
Goose feathers provide a smoother playing experience. Nylon feathers are necessary for durability and strength.
Elite players recommend that the following qualities be taken into consideration when purchasing feather type shuttlecocks:
- shuttle speed
- durability of shuttle
- flight stability
The majority of experienced and elite players have a preference for feathers. Serious tournaments or leagues use feather shuttlecocks of the highest quality. There are no exceptions.
Yonex AS-20 Shuttlecocks
A solid cork ensures the cork gets hit. A cork with perfect shape guarantees a perfect hit in badminton. AS-20 birdies offer this very advantage. They are available with solid cork and high-quality goose feather, for increased accuracy.
Birdies are hard to hit at high speed. A Yonex AS-20 is precision-made to auto-correct its speed. Distance is another significant consideration during gameplay. A birdie must be able to reach its intended destination. More or less is not desirable.
The Yonex AS-20 ensures ground dimensions remain unchanged. It also ensures the birdie stays afloat for an accurate period. It’s worth noting that several packages are available with Yonex AS-20 Shuttlecocks. For instance, a variation of colors is possible.
Each AS-20 is waterproof, feels great for its weight, and has a fine body construction. It suits indoor and outdoor use and lasts longer than regular cocks. Yet, speed and color variations go hand-in-hand, and the stitching quality is poor.
RSL Classic Tourney
The most common birdies from a brand committed to the game. Offers the best value for money. Available from a store near you or online. A classic tourney is best for an intense game involving intermediate players.
Victor Master No. 2
A true tournament birdie from a respected brand. It is one of the most expensive. It combines high price with great value.
Victor Master No. 2 is durable and has a nice flight pattern. People love the sweet sound it makes when the racquet hits it. These birdies span up to one and a half doubles duel.
Victor sponsors many tournaments worldwide, so their birdies are readily available.
KEVENZ Badminton Shuttlecocks
KEVENZ Badminton Shuttlecocks are the cream of the feather birdie. Every box of birdies from KEVENZ contains twelve white shuttlecocks. This enhances nighttime visibility. The birdies can last four months, depending on usage.
These birdies are from goose feathers, as they are light, strong, and uniform. They also do not give in to humidity. All sixteen feathers pass through infrared. The thick and straight hairs make them strong and resilient.
Feather size is consistent to maintain flight stability. A KEVENZ is durable and comfortable to play. Rotation tests ensure flight stability. Each shuttlecock can is reusable several times without splitting and stitching. The quality is high.
Ohuhu LED Badminton Shuttlecock
Every pack comes with four shuttlecocks for a good game of badminton at night. Three are unique blue, green, and red. The fourth is a combination of all three colors.
Also of goose feathers, with a cork ball head. Weighs a mere 6.2 grams, giving an excellent bounce feature. Newcomers to badminton will enjoy the Ohuhu.
The LED comes on with a button, and hitting the shuttlecock can switch the color of the fourth cork.
Some consider this to be the best shuttlecock from Protech. It has a similar price as the RSL Tourney, but with inferior flight features. It is also able to last a whole doubles game.
As a Malaysian brand, it is still unpopular abroad. Thus, it may be scarce where you live.
Aeroplane Black Label
The best birdie from Aeroplane. Only carried by few suppliers and can cost more than the Masterpiece and Victor Tourney. Has similar durability to them, but with better flight pattern.
Easier to get in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Australia.
These shuttlecocks need watering before games. This prevents the feathers from drying up and becoming brittle. It is advisable to open shuttlecock tubes (front and back covers) a full two days before use. This improves durability by as much as fifty percent. Where humidity is low, tubes can be open in the bathroom or anywhere else with high humidity levels.
Yonex Mavis 350 Plastic Tournament Shuttle
Amazing shuttlecock used in popular tournaments. There are six in every box. It is possible to get fewer feathers for temporary use, or more for longer periods. Temporary use means a retreat, vacation, or a picnic.
Shuttlecocks are prone to temperature and humidity impact. High temperature increases shuttlecock speed and vice versa. Airflow also depends on temperature.
To hit a shuttlecock in the right position depends on the airflow. The Yonex Mavis 350 Plastic Shuttlecocks can perform well at 11 degrees Celsius. They also perform well up to a 21-degree Celsius range. Being a durable plastic makes the Mavis 350 a desirable option. It is very lightweight (a good thing) but shakes while it flies.
KEVENZ Advanced Badminton Shuttlecocks
We have discussed the KEVENZ, so all features remain the same. However, these have a yellow color. There are sixteen parts of nylon strings in the same row. There is a uniform arrangement of all parts. Great care produces the joints of the nylon.
This improves the resistance to flight for an extended period without breaking. This yellow breed lasts long, with perfect balancing. They are reusable several times, and you don’t have to worry about tearing. They are also capable of withstanding humidity, and as such, it cannot affect feather performance. Feather size is precise, and steady flight ability is combined with super durability, although climate temperature may have little influence.
Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Tournament Shuttle
The best shuttlecock will combine synthetic feather with a cork. The Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Tournament Shuttle is the perfect example. The feather has a necessary wing rid structure. This permits smooth hits of the shuttlecock.
With each hit, you can see the cork sail over the net – a vital feature that lets you hit the birdie in the right position. Irregular airflow causes shuttlecocks to move towards an undesired destination.
The Yonex Mavis 2000’s wing rid feather is immune to unpredictable airflow. It even interacts well with water. There are a dozen or two dozen in every Mavis 2000 box, and the nylon feather allows strong stitches. The added LED feature offsets issues with its quickness in flight.
The Weather And Shuttlecock Production
Shuttlecocks durability and quality improve when made in summer. Quality generally improves on a higher scale than durability.
In summer, shuttlecocks air dry under the sun. In winter, an oven dries the birdies. This makes summer sun-dried shuttlecocks of higher quality. Durability is also a bit higher compared to oven-dried counterparts.
Most shuttlecocks are China-made, and the reasons are economic. The middle of the year is the Chinese Summer. Any shuttlecocks made then will reach the stores between October and December.
To play badminton frequently, one will need to invest in a good deal of shuttlecocks. Top-quality feather shuttlecocks provide good game experiences. This is because wrong shuttlecock speed will impact your gameplay in adverse ways.
Not all manufacturers offer excellent shuttlecock quality. It is important to know that good shuttlecocks can be expensive. However, any amount of money is only a small price to enjoy the world’s second-most-popular participatory game.