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  1. #1
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Default For those who have experience with BOTH plastic and feather birds, which racket...

    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. #2
    Regular Member ryim_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    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?
    I have played with the same racket and strings (same tension) with both plastic and feathers.

  3. #3
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryim_ View Post
    I have played with the same racket and strings (same tension) with both plastic and feathers.
    Ah! But have you observed how different racket types (and strings and tensions) are better for different birdie types?

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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

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    Regular Member ryim_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Ah! But have you observed how different racket types (and strings and tensions) are better for different birdie types?
    Nope, because the player should adapt, not the racket. That's what I think.

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    Yea, I tried 26lbs against a plastic and could barely clear it past half court

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    Regular Member ryim_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AurorAX View Post
    Yea, I tried 26lbs against a plastic and could barely clear it past half court
    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.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryim_ View Post
    Nope, because the player should adapt, not the racket. That's what I think.
    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...

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    Regular Member ryim_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    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.
    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.

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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.

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

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optiblue View Post
    to each their own~ You can adapt to anything with enough experience.
    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...

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random-person1 View Post
    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.
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AurorAX View Post
    Yea, I tried 26lbs against a plastic and could barely clear it past half court
    how is that possible LOL a clear with plastic is almost as effortless as a drop especially with 26

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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!

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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.

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