# What causes a half smash to land less far than a full smash?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by ralphz, Sep 19, 2020.

1. ### ralphz Regular Member

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This might be largely a physics question

What causes a half smash to land less far than a full smash?

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2. ### Budi Regular Member

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Less power, isnt it obvious?
But full smash, half smash, drop, all that are stroke choice we can use to ruin opponent rythm. Play fast, slow, fast...

So is there something you face coz of half smash land shorter?

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3. ### ralphz Regular Member

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In the case of a block to the net, gravity pulls it down from a horizontal movement to a sharp curve. So it gets increasingly steep.

With a half smash, is it more steep?

So if it's the "less power" aspect, then is it that it's in the air for longer and therefore gravity has more time to pull it down, so it comes down gradually steeper with time?

Or is it that there is more forward momentum on a full power smash so even at the start, the half smash is steeper. (I think maybe if technique is good then all the force of the body should transfer into a diagonal hit downwards, so in which case, it should be the same steepness at least at the start.

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4. ### speCulatius Regular Member

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Believe it or not, but the vertical movement per time due to gravity is the same for a full smash and a half smash. Played at (roughly, but not exactly) the same angle (a half smash often allows to hit the shuttle slightly higher, so assuming the same angle is fair*), the half smash travels slower, takes more time, thus falls shorter. Slice a bit and you largely increase this effect, because you can inject more speed, but the shuttle will slow down quickly.

*talking some more about the angle...
... because this is probably the much bigger effect.
A full smash is very prone to error (very fast movement), also, especially in singles, the angle is not that important, because the opponent has much less time to react. Often, a full smash is hit to travel half a meter (or something close to that, depending on the situation and the level of play, in singles even more) above the net, while it's probably half of that for the half smash (no, that's not where the "half" comes from), so I think it's safe to assume that a half smash is hit at a better angle.

Before somebody starts to talk about the difference between drop shots and (sliced) half smashes, the transition is fluid. The "half" in half smash doesn't mean it's only defined as the one stroke that's exactly half the power of a full smash.

Where's the difference between a half smash and a stick smash? The movement.

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5. ### ralphz Regular Member

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I've heard this.. ok..

I don't see why a "half smash" would allow you to hit the shuttle higher, I don't think so and have never heard such a thing.. It's the same stroke but with less power.

When you say "assuming the same angle is fair".. its not clear to me what you mean.

If you hit it higher at the same angle then the shuttle won't land nearer it will land further. But hitting higher allows you to hit it steeper by allowing you to adjust to a steeper angle without hitting the net.

So for example comparing a and b, it's the same angle, but 'b' hits the floor further down the court. With more height one can adjust to a steeper angle and the shuttle lands nearer.

And this is all the case assuming 'a' and 'b' and 'c' were all full smashes i.e. same speed.

If we assume the same travel path, then (so not comparing a straight half smash, with a cross court sliced smash). Comparing e.g. a cross court full smash with a Sliced cross court full smash. Then yeah the latter is slower and lands nearer, and same question applies. And whatever the answer is to my question would apply to that too. Of why the slower one lands nearer.

I'll consider how high a smash goes above the net..(if half I was once told to aim for a racket head above the net.

I will look out for if half smashes pass the net at a lower height than full smashes.

I have used really good overhead technique in the past when I had really good training on it(hope to retrain it some time). At the moment, the technique i'm using isn't ideal, and the more forward momentum I hit with, the flatter the angle would be, because i'm not converting all the forward momentum properly.

Supposing with good technique all forward momentum is converted into that diagonal angle.. then well, my understanding is that you seem to suggest that half smashes land nearer by virtue of a higher contact point and steeper angle. I don't see why that would be.

I'd have thought that a half smash is the same as if a less powerful person were to do a full smash. Same stroke less power.

I'd have thought that a TTY style drop that drops between the service line and the net, is a lot steeper in angle near when it lands than when it was coming off the racket. Would you say that's gravity?

And a drop travels slower(increasing time it's in the air), and travels a shorter distance(decreasing time it's in the air), but overall would be in the air longer than a smash. And so gravity would have longer time to take effect on it.

You write "the vertical movement per time due to gravity is the same for a full smash and a half smash." . Even if so, you'd still be multiplying by how much time it's in the air for. So even if the "the vertical movement per time due to gravity" was the same throughout the journey of a smash. And even if the "the vertical movement per time due to gravity" were the same for full smash and half smash.

If the shuttle is in the air for longer and there's a certain downward "vertical movement per time due to gravity" then the total downward vertical movement(not per time but over the time it's in the air), will be greater for shots where the shuttle is in the air for longer. (so e.g. contrasting full smash and half smash, done at same contact point same racket angle at contact - and granted you are of the view that a half smash is done at a higher contact point and i suppose greater angle of steepness.. though I don't see why that would be)

I'm not talking about a stick smash.

I'm talking about a full smash and a half smash.

I don't see that for a half smash.

A stick smash often would allow the shuttle to be hit higher and at a higher height the racket face can be adjusted to hit it at a steeper angle, but i'm not talking about stick smashes.

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Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
6. ### speCulatius Regular Member

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No need to inject as much power, allowing elbow to extend further, and to reach up further to catch your opponent by surprise.
So I assumed the reader might think for himself. A slower pace would require a flatter angle to cross the net. Think again from here....
I'd love to see that.
Yes. Ever heard that without air resistance you'll get a paravolical curve when you throw a ball? That's gravity. For badminton, you cannot ignore the air though, because unlike other balls, the shuttlecock is shaped to slow down allowing a three dimensional game.

The rest sounds either like a brain fart or like you answering your own questions. You choose.

You repeat yourself... and that finally earned you a very exclusive spot on my ignore list. Congratulations.

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7. ### Pagz Regular Member

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I think you got it backwards. The total downward vertical movement is the difference in height between the contact point and the ground.
You can think of the shuttle trajectory as two independant parts:
1.The movement towards the ground and 2. the movement parallel to the ground (which depends on how hard you hit the shuttle.)
The first movement is completely defined by gravity and the air resistance of the shuttle (assuming that you hit the shuttle parallel to the ground and not at an upwards or downwards angle). So the time it takes the shuttle to land on the ground is not dependant on how hard you hit the shuttle (again: only if you hit the shuttle parallel to the ground). This of course means that a shuttle flying at a higher speed can fly a longer distance before it lands on the ground.

Of course you would never hit a smash parallel to the ground so it is important to also look at what happens when you hit it with a downwards angle: Now gravity isn't the only force pulling the shuttle to the ground. You also have the downwards momentum coming from the racket. Since this momentum will be larger if you hit the shuttle hard, the shuttle will touch the ground quicker so gravity has less time to pull the shuttle to the ground. Thus the shuttle will fly a longer distance than if you were to hit it less hard.

Btw I don't think that a half smash and a full smash differ that much in terms of where they land in the opponents court because for both shots the "gravity part" of the shuttle trajectory is quit low (assuming same contact point and angle of course). But I could be wrong here...

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Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
8. ### ralphz Regular Member

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Well, a difference in height between two points is going to be the same whichever way you look at it, but I only used that term because I was replying to "spec" who spoke about the "vertical movement per time due to gravity", and I was trying to see what he was saying in terms that he was happy with. I think there are probably clearer ways of putting things. Let's put that whole term / line of thought aside, since I was using those terms that guy used particularly for him. I wouldn't normally use those terms.

So to my question of "What causes a half smash to land less far than a full smash?"

You say "If you hit the shuttle hard, it will fall to the ground earlier (this time both in terms of time and length)"

So is your view that the premise of my question is wrong, and actually a full smash will land less far than a half smash?

I see you then say

so do you think the difference is very slight, but that a full smash would land slightly nearer?

So what would be your view on why for example, a fast drop would land nearer? For example when i've had really good technique, then i'd do a fast drop that would land right on the service line. With poorer technique, it lands past that.. But still a fast drop will land nearer than a smash.

If i'm playing doubles and they do a lift, and are expecting a smash, then a fast drop can be a good weapon. precisely because it lands nearer.

A fast drop is slower than a half smash. A half smash is in between a fast drop and a full smash, in terms of power.

So I don't quite see why you say
"If you hit the shuttle hard, it will fall to the ground earlier (this time both in terms of time and length)" <-- Sure it will hit the floor earlier in time(sooner). But it won't hit the floor nearer (nearer meaning, to use your words "earlier in length").

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Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
9. ### Pagz Regular Member

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No, and just to recap what happened here: I wrote a post late at night with an obvious mistake in it. Ca 5 minutes after clicking "send", I realized that mistake and edited the post to make it more accurate. But you somehow saved the original text and then quoted me on it several hours later, all while completely ignoring that I have since rewritten that part you quoted me on. I am not sure what your intention was doing all of this (maybe you can explain?), but it doesn't really motivate me to answer your questions any further...

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10. ### ralphz Regular Member

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What an insane accusation.

In your edited post, I see you write "if you hit the shuttle hard, the shuttle will touch the ground quicker so gravity has less time to pull the shuttle to the ground. Thus the shuttle will fly a longer distance than if you were to hit it less hard....I don't think that a half smash and a full smash differ that much in terms of where they land in the opponents court because for both shots the 'gravity part' of the shuttle trajectory is quit low (assuming same contact point and angle of course). But I could be wrong here..."

So basically you agree with what I wrote there, in Post #3, where I wrote, "So if it's the 'less power' aspect, then is it that it's in the air for longer and therefore gravity has more time to pull it down, so it comes down gradually steeper with time?"

You could simply say Yes. (you don't think it's much steeper, but you think that it is a bit, solely due to gravity)

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Last edited: Sep 21, 2020