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For those who have experience with BOTH plastic and feather birds, which racket...

Discussion in 'Racket Recommendation / Comparison' started by visor, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    type do you find perfect for each type of shuttle?

    Head heavy or light?
    Shaft stiff or flexi?
    Weight 3U or 4U?

    So, I've done several hours of researching on the forum and I note that most every racket and string review is based on playing feathers by default (and good reason too, because that is the only way badminton should be played). But for the sake of discussion (and also because of cost effectiveness and the group that I play with), has anyone who has played with both types of birdies notice the different racket characteristics that would allow you to play well with each bird type?


    My intuition and limited experience says :
    --plastic requires 3U, head heavier, medium stiff shaft racket, with thicker strings at lower tension.

    --feather requires 4U-3U, head lighter, stiff shaft racket, with thinner strings at higher tension, preferrably with a stroke that favours a shorter and crisper contact time with the shuttle.

    This is all due to how the different birdies bounce off the string bed at impact: plastic having a harder cork and softer skirt, so harder impact on cork and no feel on the skirt with slower shuttle turnaround time. Feather, I understand, has a softer cork but harder skirt, so slightly softer impact on cork but with feel on the feather skirt, with much faster shuttle turnaround time.

    I'd like to know what your experience is and what you guys think about this?
     
  2. ryim_

    ryim_ Regular Member

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    I have played with the same racket and strings (same tension) with both plastic and feathers.
     
  3. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Ah! But have you observed how different racket types (and strings and tensions) are better for different birdie types?
     
  4. lilgamer1337

    lilgamer1337 Regular Member

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    ive played with both and ide say that the racket doesnt matter against the birdie. its mostly the string tension. the higher the tension the better for feathers i say. max for plastic ide say is like 26 or 27
     
  5. ryim_

    ryim_ Regular Member

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    Nope, because the player should adapt, not the racket. That's what I think.
     
  6. AurorAX

    AurorAX Regular Member

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    Yea, I tried 26lbs against a plastic and could barely clear it past half court :eek:
     
  7. ryim_

    ryim_ Regular Member

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    The highest I've played with was 26lbs and I didn't have much trouble. Although BG80s at that tension with plastic snapped in less than a week.
     
  8. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    True that, but being the perfectionist that I am, I'm always analyzing and looking for any way to have an edge over my opponents.

    For example, some of the players in my plastic group string their NS9900 rackets to 26-28 lbs, with thin BG80 strings, thinking that is the best. I tried hitting a few and just couldn't get any power for smashes or clearing, although accuracy was excellent. Now I know why they have to wear "tennis elbow" tensors on their forearms when they play!

    I believe, just like there are optimal string size and tension for plastic vs. feather birds, there must be optimal racket characteristics also. And if so, then that affects how I choose my next racket...
     
  9. ryim_

    ryim_ Regular Member

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    Just wondering though, are they able to get power from it? The tension may be too much for you much good for others. For instance, beyond 26lbs for plastic is too high for me because strings will snap way too often.
     
  10. Random-person1

    Random-person1 New Member

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    Well.. I go back and forth with plastic/feather every single week. I would have to say that 24 pounds is probably ideal to keep balance since i play both plastic/feather every week. For me that's 24 pounds with BG65 on my NS9900.
     
  11. Optiblue

    Optiblue Regular Member

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    to each their own~ You can adapt to anything with enough experience.
     
  12. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Yes, true, but I don't want to have to adapt, because I'm playing plastic most 99% of the time.

    So, my suspicion is that all those string and racket reviews that I read may not apply to those (ie. me) who play plastic birdies...:(
     
  13. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    In your case, have you thought about having a birdie-specific racket/tension/string, ie. one for plastic and one for feather?

    I know I would, because I wouldn't want to compromise on the optimal settings for each type of bird.

    Hmmm, where is taneepak when we need him? He would have some insight.
     
  14. glydersid

    glydersid Regular Member

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    I have played both, and IMO using a head light racket with plastic is pretty much useless (unless you play at the front in doubles). There is no power generated at all, and its hard to control a plastic shuttle anyway. Also applies to 4u rackets. With feather shuttles, any racket will do really.
     
  15. lilgamer1337

    lilgamer1337 Regular Member

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    how is that possible LOL a clear with plastic is almost as effortless as a drop especially with 26
     
  16. Sevex

    Sevex Regular Member

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    Are you sure your using the right speed plastic shuttles? If you get it wrong then you can either blast them out the back of the court when clearing or barely get them anywhere, just as with feathers.

    I play with the same racket for feather and plastic, simply because I like the racket, 26lbs bg80, or 24lbs zymax 62, headlight and stiff. I don't break or damage the string by using plastic any more than feather. It's also easier as I only play with plastic once a week for 2 hours, compared with feather for 6 hours.

    Interesting topic though, as both shuttles play very differently, although I'd still use the same racket even if I played with feathers more. So those reviews aren't totally useless, although there still very subjective!
     
  17. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    You should definitely keep the same racket for both if you like it. Most people won't change their string setup between plastic and feather shuttles either. If you really feel it necessary, string your rackets for synthetics a few pounds lower than the ones for use with feathers. You may also want to use a more durable string but make sure the strings are similar the ones in the feather rackets - you don't want to be changing too much at once.
     
  18. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    I appreciate your replies, guys, but maybe I should restate that I'm playing plastic almost exclusively and I'm looking at getting another racket to supplement my Ti Swing Power SS, which is flexi and mod head heavy.Understanding that different strings and tensions work differently with different birds, I highly suspect that different rackets (ie. characteristics) are also required. So, now knowing that thicker strings and lower tension work better for plastic, what racket charateristics would work better for plastic?
     
  19. Sevex

    Sevex Regular Member

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    I think you could go 2 ways about that, plastics generally fly faster if hit hard, so you could go for a lighter racket to counter that, if you think you can react fast enough. It isn't always as easy to finish the point off though, as it is harder to control the shuttle to exactly where you want it and you'll have less power.

    Or you could respond in kind, the trouble is you then end up with a bit of a smash fest with no real skill involved, rallies are often short and boring.

    As for stiffness not so sure, but I think as plastic shuttles are heavier, you'd want a slightly stiffer shaft, as it will flex the shaft more, as it has more mass, this could be negligible though. The game is faster so again stiffer as the shuttle will hit the racket faster flexing the shaft more. Again not sure if this makes a huge difference, I was planning on experimenting a bit on this after Christmas.

    So maybe go up to a medium flex racket and even balance, so that games stay interesting and the same string. The trouble with the lowering the tension is it will mess up everything I just said above. Maybe try varying one thing at once, or there are just too many variables all depending on each other. Which wouldn't be cheap...
     
  20. shot3gun

    shot3gun Regular Member

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    I use 24lbs for both plastics and feather. With plastics, I'd use a bit more effort to clear/smash harder, but drops are more precise.

    With feathers, clears are EFFORTLESS and smashes are more lethal. Drops go a bit too fast, so I lose a tiny bit of control. Defense also suffers a bit for me (usually return it too high and opponent would net kill it)

    in conclusion
    With plastics=more control
    With feathers= more power
     

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