Thanks for visiting us!

Badminton Central is a free community for fans of badminton! If you find anything useful here please consider registering to see more content and get involved with our great community users, it takes less than 15 seconds! Everybody is welcome here.

Click here for a FREE account!

Ashaway bird2

Discussion in 'Shuttlecock' started by dbswansea, May 30, 2013.

  1. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    Humidity

    Further to the question of comparative durability. Thermoplastic nylon used in shuttlecocks is hydroscopic and the brittleness is affected significantly by changes in air temperature and, in particular, relative humidity (RH). You will have experienced a very large difference in durability of any kind of shuttlecock, including feathers, from December to January. December is often wet and this year broke all records, with RH values of above 60% at room temperature consistently. Recently with an anticyclonic weather system prevailing, as is common in January, the RH has been about 35%. At this level of minimal saturation, any kind of shuttle will last less than half the time than it would in average conditions. The only way to be sure of comparative durability of different products is to store them together and trial them in parallel.
    Gordon
     
  2. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    14,513
    Likes Received:
    621
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    So... if you want them to last longer, just steam/mist them?
     
  3. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    No because that can affect the crystalline structure of the plastic making it more brittle or less resilient which affects the feel and also can affect the glue. There is little you can do as the very thin sections which are vulnerable absorb or lose moisture to the atmosphere very quickly. Keep them in the tube with the lid on as long as possible; they leave the factory in ideal condition. Try not to store shuttles where they will see extremes of temperature or humidity, high or low.
    Gordon
     
  4. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,454
    Likes Received:
    145
    Location:
    Canada
    [MENTION=57143]visor[/MENTION]
    So in other words,visor, don't store your shuttles in Vancouver! :p
     
  5. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    14,513
    Likes Received:
    621
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Haha...
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Designer
    Location:
    3rd Rock from the Sun
    Wow, that's smth new I learned today! Never thought nylon is absorbing water to some noticeable extent. :) But after some googling it looks like it is one of the most vulnerable to moisture plastics. The good thing - it's a completely reversible process.
    Although I've got a bit confused about what humidity level could be considered as the optimum conditions for Bird2.
    Gordon, could you please somehow state the preferable range of humidity for the best experience?

    I happen to live in one pretty humid area as well (not Vancouver though :)) but it's rare one can witness sudden drop or rise in humidity level. At least not to the extent we notice it's affecting nylon shuttles (and we still steam our feather ones. =) ). That's true for all nylon shuttles I've played with including Bird2. Durability is quite a stable parameter within the same batch regardless of is it a wet month or desert-dry one.

    But temperature is another story - especially during Winter months. That has a huge affect on durability. Those crazy ones playing "badminton" outside @-20C do know that shuttles can take just a couple of moderate hits before they start shattering.
    And the often problem when playing inside is that racket bags usually have only one insulated compartment and people rarely keep the tubes in there along with the rackets. I myself just prefer to give the shuttles some time to level with the indoor temperature after coming from cold outside. Need to have warm-up myself anyway. :)
     
  7. ryebank

    ryebank New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Gordon

    My doubles players have been using Bird2's for a bit now - and originally liked them - moved from Mavis (2000 or 370's mainly). The first packs we tried seemed pretty durable - although the skirts got splits in them they still flew true and the shuttles remained playable longer than the Mavis's. But then we got a tube of the new "French" Bird2's - new bi-lingual packing - and these don't seem to last anything like as well - and in fact even the black struts seem to break. I really hope that in ramping up production that quality hasn't been lost. I hear all you say about temperature/moisture but on same day we switched back to a tube of the earlier "English only" design and the shuttle from that lasted much better.

    Also I have to say the price is really too high - at about £10 a tube delivered it was just about OK when the shuttles were lasting well - but now they are breaking up more quickly and costing so much more it is hard to justify over Mavis. As a group I think we prefer how the Bird2's play - but not sure the price is sustainable.

    I also really don't like the idea of grading with Bird2 and Bird3 - that just makes it feel like you are getting something inferior for what is still a premium price - and surely this defeats the object of getting up to a scale of economy because you are splitting the production in two. Personally I think you need to get to the point that production volumes bring the price back into competitive territory - and then try to get evangelists to help find you market share - e.g. sending out tubes to be given away to other player groups at various sports centres etc we all play at and to even act as local suppliers - because the shipping costs add a lot to the costs.

    Oh - and who did the tube design - it really is too dreary - I can't see them standing out on the shelf - I see the new tube is meant to be some sort of "blue sky" - but it looks like it was modeled on our recent weather - grey and depressing!
     
  8. rudy.t

    rudy.t Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Germany
    So,

    I also bought some of the shuttles (hard to get in Germany, only place was http://www.badminton-total.com );
    they´re the best plastic shuttles I ever used:

    - trajectory is quite close to feathers, especially the clear shots.
    They´re at least as good as cheap feathers, e.g. Yonex TR / Babolat 5.
    Also better compared to Mavis 2000, more "bend" in clear shots, same for smashes.
    Slice shots are far better than any other plastic shuttle.

    - durability is also good; no damages recognized on the shuttles after 2 hours doubles play (with some hard-hitters on court). No experience long-term, but from the experience so far I guess durability is comparable to Mavis350. Compared to the best competitor Mavis 2000 the durability is even better, we usually break 1 or 2 of those in a doubles session.

    - price: totally worth it. Paid 15€ for a tube of 6, compared to 9€ for Mavis2000 in the same shop.
    * cheaper than feathers (but not quite as good, but good enough ....)
    * taking durability into account, cheaper than Mavis2000

    I still prefer to play with feathers (AS20, Victor Service, LiNing GrandPrix is the usual choice), but for plastic the Bird2 is the best available shuttle on the market.
     
  9. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    14,513
    Likes Received:
    621
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Until Bird 3 releases... ;)
     
  10. rudy.t

    rudy.t Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Germany
    sure, looking forward to it ..... :cool:
     
  11. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    More common use nylons like PA 6 or 66 can take up as much as 9% water, most shuttlecocks use PA 11 or PA 12 as they take up less than 1% and are more resilient and have high impact resistance. However that small amount of conditioning is still significant and will cause greater or reduced rigidity at different levels of moisture content. When dry the shuttle will have a better feel and crack sound and faster recovery and vice versa when moisture conditioned but will last longer; your preference will depend on what is important to you. Short term atmospheric changes will be smoothed indoors and not be so noticeable. However long periods of dry air conditions will dry out fabrics, wood and other materials indoors and everything including shuttles will dry out and be less durable. I haven't done much real science on this but I have been thrown several times testing the same batch of shuttles and getting very different results and it was only correlating historical RH values that I worked it out. Strangely if I try to recreate the conditions artificially the effect is not so marked. I have a feeling that there may be some ionisation or something else during anticyclonic conditions that compounds the effect. I do know that there are some weird goings on with the crystalinity of moulded plastics and the bonding of materials at a molecular level that are still not completely understood. I have yet to do any thorough analysis but raised temperatures for just a short period of time will make the crystalline structure of the nylon more amorphous which will reduce the tensile strength (an important component in impact resistance) and make it less resilient causing slow shape recovery. This will happen at not much over 60°C (140°F) and you can get much higher temperatures on the back shelf of a car or over a room heater. Plastics are generally seen as down market substitutes however they are hugely variable in use and processing needs and can satisfy just about any requirement but need to be understood and I still learn stuff almost every day. Note that the material cost of PA11 and similar grades is nearly 20 times the price of general purpose plastics so processing experiments and mistakes are expensive.
    Gordon
     
  12. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
     
  13. Slade

    Slade Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NY
    Are these available in the US yet?
     
  14. darrengsaw

    darrengsaw Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    12
    Occupation:
    Data Analyst
    Location:
    UK - Peterborough
    Hi Gordon,

    Interested to know if the bird 3 concept has progressed at all.

    Would these be a clearly different design to bird 2 or a tweaked development?

    Do you believe there is further scope to improve playability to genuinely rival say an AS30?

    It is great that there is someone carrying out serious research to improve the synthetic shuttle, I believe it is something that will HAVE to happen at some point.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
    #154 darrengsaw, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  15. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    Re Bird3 development:
    We haven't done much with Bird3 recently, the priority has been to increase the capacity of the Bird2 assembly line. We have improved the capacity and quality systems in our the injection moulding facility and can produce the mouldings in high volumes but can only produce limited numbers from the present assembly line and this has been the priority.
    Bird3 will have a new patented (unpublished at present) unique feature. It will have a number of differences which moves it further towards the feel of a feather. It is commercially sensitive to say whether or not it will look much like Bird2. Thanks for the interest.

    Gordon
     
  16. Slade

    Slade Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    NY
    Any info on U.S. availability of Bird2?
     
  17. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    Sorry for the delayed response. I did ask Ashaway to respond but they haven't yet. They have sent samples to a number of interested companies but the shipping costs have made it difficult for anyone to make a margin and offer it at a reasonable price. However, the recent fall in Sterling should balance out the transit costs so Ashaway should be able to find a distributor in the US soon.
    If anyone can say which distributors and/or retailers are likely partners please contact me or Nick Goode of Ashaway. UK.

    Gordon
    Birdsports.net Goode-sport.co.uk
     
  18. darrengsaw

    darrengsaw Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    12
    Occupation:
    Data Analyst
    Location:
    UK - Peterborough
    Thanks for the update, looking forward to future developments. Bird 2 is already a big improvement on the traditional nylon.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Yousor

    Yousor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    The Bird 2 is in my consideration the nylon shuttle to go.
    The only drawback is the somewhat heavy feel on the racket, but it is still by far easier to play with than with Yonex Mavis 350 (blue).
    Netplay can de done with more delicacy, drop shots are easier and better to execute and on smashes the shuttles won't fold. Against a hard hitter you get to return smashes, which you too, would return with a feather shuttles.

    edit: The actual shuttle should be visually distinguishable in their speed rating, not just on the packaging.
     
    #159 Yousor, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  20. Gordon Willis

    Gordon Willis Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St Albans
    Thank you for the feedback. People who are only used to standard nylons shuttles (I am sure you are familiar with both nylon and feather) tend to say that feathers 'feel heavy' when they try them in trials we have done and similarly with Bird2. Feather shuttles should weigh between 4.74 and 5.5 grams but generally a medium speed is about 5.0 grams. Most nylon shuttles tend to be over 5.0 grams, Bird2 medium speed is 5.2 grams at a normal relative humidity; the reasons for this are very complex. However it unlikely that it is this small difference that you are sensing. Feathers form a complete baffle to air passing through the skirt so thy 'cup' more air than a standard nylon shuttle when hit, particularly when moving backwards as in a net shot. This means that the feel of weight on the racket is considerably greater. With a denser lattice and smaller holes than standard nylons, Bird2 cups almost as much air as a feather shuttle, hence the heavier feel. This also means a dwell on the racket giving more control and a lower bounce off the racket on net shots.

    At the moment we do not have sufficient demand for either fast or slow shuttles to warrant orders for different coloured bands which need a minimum order to get an economic price. We expect to attend to this in a few month's time.

    Gordon
     

Share This Page