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The mechanics of hitting feather vs plastic shuttles. Or why badminton should be play

Discussion in 'Shuttlecock' started by visor, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    ... played with feather shuttles.

    I used to play plastic shuttles but now play only feather exclusively. I was just thinking about the differences recently and wanted to share what I suspect are the major differences between how and why feather and plastic shuttles hit and feel the way they do.

    It all comes down to this one thing:
    shuttle skirt rigidity.

    This explains why feather is so much more tactile and easier to hit with in terms of both control and power. Other than cost, it is universally agreed that feather has all the advantages over plastic. Some would even argue that badminton with a plastic shuttle is not even real badminton ( :) ) as there are many touch and control shots that cannot be performed with plastic.

    Why is shuttle skirt rigidity so important?

    [video]https://youtu.be/jA5oUoy-xOQ[/video]

    Looking at the slow mo video above (if you pause at point of impact) we can see that the plastic skirt collapses totally and completely on impact, with the cork sinking deep into the stringbed and taking some time to rebound off.

    Whereas looking at slow mo videos of feather shuttle impact, the skirt is much more rigid so it doesn't collapse as much on impact. This causes the shuttle to react and rebound off the stringbed faster.

    Additionally because of the rigid skirt, it is much easier to control, slice and impart spin. And it's also because of the rigid skirt that provides more exquisite feedback to the hand regarding how the shuttle is behaving on the stringbed, allowing the player finer control of the racket face and power input while performing a stroke.

    Finally, if you've never tried feather shuttles, you should at least try it for a few sessions. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the greater amount of feel and control you can get. Pair it with rough textured thin strings at high tension to maximize feel, rebound and control, it'll take your game to a whole new level... the way it's meant to be played.
     
    #1 visor, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  2. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    One more thing to add:

    Also because of the rigid skirt and the faster rebound and greater feel it allows, hitting feather is particularly satisfying in terms of its "crispness". When you hit it right with the right technique and timing, that crispness alone is worth the cost of a feather shuttle. :D

    And it is this crisp feedback that allows you to constantly adjust and improve on your timing and technique... especially important for beginners and intermediates.
     
    #2 visor, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  3. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Just played last night with a new group that uses AS50 shuttles. Blech... Kinda dull feel, even though feathers were long lasting. Maybe they steamed them too much.
     
  4. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    Thanks for the input. Every thing being equal, which shuttle flies faster and further?
     
  5. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    If both are at correct speed, both should fly same speed. But due to the crispness of rebound of the feathers skirt, it's much more effortless to hit a feather the same distance as a plastic bird.

    And also keep in mind feather spins as it flies thru the air whereas plastic doesn't, so feather has a steeper drop on the downwards part of the trajectory, eg a clear.
     
  6. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    Thank for your reply. Though it takes more than a 100 days.
     
  7. Exert

    Exert Regular Member

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    So that's why I can back hand clear all the way to the baseline with feather (; and half and a quarter way with plastic
     
  8. latecomer

    latecomer Regular Member

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    Use another racket for plastic only, ie. lower the tension.
     
  9. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Yep, very true.

    Heavier and head heavier, and slightly stiffer. With thicker string and lower tension.
     
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    [MENTION=31680]amleto[/MENTION]

    Ah, you have to try it for yourself to see/feel the difference. That sharp crack we all aim for comes not from the hitting the cork alone but cork plus feather/skirt.

    If i have time I'll look for the ultra slow mo video of a shuttle hit by TBH or FHF in a smash. There you'll see the cork hit along with obvious skirt compression and decompression.

    The skirt plays a more important role in shots than we think.

    I've talked a bit about this in a thread here... which I'll reply to, to keep on topic here.
     
  11. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    I don't understand this, I would love to be able to do a normal smash and for the cork only to hit the bed and still strike the sweet spot because as amleto says the skirt absorbs the energy but it is just not possible. Some nights the feather skirt is a weak batch one big smash creates a flattened side in the skirt and then needs changed.
    The only shots where the skirt does not contact string are softer shots.
     

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