A badminton shuttlecock is also known as a feather, cork, or birdie. It has a cone-like shape which is formed by a cork head and 16 feathers. The design of the shuttlecock makes it very stable and perfect for long rallies.
There are two types of shuttlecocks available on the market: synthetic shuttlecocks and feather shuttlecocks. When you are choosing a shuttlecock you need to be sure that you select the right one for you. Hopefully this article will assist you with that and help make your choice easier.
But before you make your purchase, there are still a few factors that may influence which shuttlecock you select:
All of these factors play a great part in choosing a shuttlecock. You want stability as this will ensure that the shuttlecock will travel smoothly through the air (the feathers play a great role in this part).
Badminton is a fast paced game so you will need a shuttlecock that will provide speed. The material, weight of the feathers, and the number of the shuttlecock plays all factor into the speed of the shuttlecock. A number 1 shuttlecock is the lightest and a great choice if you are living in the highlands. A number 5 is the heaviest and works great if you are staying in colder areas.
As for material type, synthetic birdies made of plastic are a great option if you are a beginner while feather birdies may be for more experienced players. Real feathers aid in the rotation of the cork and getting the desired distance on it. Synthetics are generally more durable but lack stability and quality.
Finally, if you are playing anything beyond casual games you will need something that has high durability to withstand the beatings of long games. As mentioned, real-feather shuttlecocks are often more durable, but may also be more expensive.
So, let’s take a look at a few shuttlecocks that we have selected to find the best badminton shuttlecock for you.
These yellow nylon shuttlecocks are more durable to play, as they are using better materials and the structure is very sturdy. The structure also allows for a more continuous bounce.
The nylon is thick and straight, which enhances the resistance and ensures a smooth rotation while in the air. This smooth rotation then leads to improved flight stability, increasing the potential range that you can achieve with this shuttlecock. The whole design of the shuttlecock’s spacing, angle, and arrangement plays a big part in the stability of its speed.
So, the structure of the shuttlecock is very resistant and durable. It can take quite a beating and withstand a relatively large impact. The nylon has a nice feeling to it with good elasticity.
- HIgh durability
- Great for casual play and training
- Doesn’t have any float
These shuttlecocks are made from high quality, durable nylon. They are perfect for outdoor play as they are very durable and can take quite a beating. Plus, they won’t break the bank, making these shuttlecocks a very popular choice. They are a great option for beginners or those playing casual games.
These birdies are not designed to be played during tournaments as the materials cannot handle the strength and the roughness of the game for extended periods. Even though the nylon is very durable, it just isn’t up to standard for big games.
However, they are still a great option for some family outdoor fun.
- Very durable
- Great value for money
- Birdie is very light, wind will be bothersome while playing
With a sturdy structure and high quality materials used to produce these birdies, they are a very good choice for beginners or professionals looking for training shuttlecocks. The structure provides a continuous bounce that makes the ball more durable, allowing users to play longer. The structure also improves the flight stability.
The bubble ball head is lightweight and easy to control. It also offers a fast volley so you can be assured of flight consistency. These birdies are a great choice whether users are just playing for fun or playing a more serious game, perhaps while training. The hardness of the ball head makes it very durable even though the overall shuttlecock is lightweight.
- Great choice if you are a beginner
- Is stable even in windy conditions
- May not hold up well after extended use
- Has a lot of air spin
The nylon feather design offers great durability even after repeated hits and also helps to improve the stability of the birdie. The cork material has a very good elasticity to it that makes it impact resistant so it won’t crack easily. This also helps in keeping the birdie stable during air travel.
With the medium speed that the shuttlecock provides, beginners are able to build hand-eye coordination. The ball is a bit heavier which makes it good for outdoor use in mildly windy conditions.
This is a perfect choice for a game of family badminton, training, or when enjoying a game with friends.
- Color makes it very easy to spot
- Quite durable
- Great value for money
- Not professional grade
When you are playing badminton, your playing environment also has an influence on the type of shuttlecock that you will be using. Certain types of shuttlecocks don’t do well in colder temperatures, where they may be more prone to breaking. That is why Yonex categorised these shuttlecocks into three temperature categories: green-slow 22-33°C, blue-middle 12-23°C, and ref-fast 0-13°C.
As long as the right shuttlecock is chosen for the conditions, users should have few problems.
This is a great option to choose for a beginner or an experienced player. The close-to-feather like design will provide great flight performance and is about five times more durable than ordinary shuttlecocks. This is a very cost effective option to consider even for practicing.
- Very durable
- Can be used outside with a slight wind blowing
- Temperature choices
- The yellow can be hard to see during play
- Will break easily if played in the incorrect temperatures
These brightly coloured birdies will make badminton really fun to play. These are a great option to consider for a day at the beach with some friends or great backyard play for the kids. As these shuttlecocks have a slow speed, they are a great choice for beginners.
They are made from a lightweight plastic but the heads still have enough weight to give users a nice bounce. The bright colors also make the birdies easy to spot. Plus, another great thing about them is that they are on the cheaper side so they won't break the bank when you purchase them.
- Great for smaller kids to play with
- Nice bright colors
- Maybe too lightweight
- Not durable
Buyer’s Guide for Badminton Shuttlecocks
Now that we have had a look at a wide range of the best badminton shuttlecocks, here are our recommendations for specific uses.
The Best Birdie for Outdoor and Indoor
Here you have three options to choose from, the first two are the ZHENAN and the Philonext shuttlecocks. While these options are very different from one another as the ZHENAN uses nylon shuttlecock and the Philonext uses goose feathers, both of these have been designed to play well inside and outside.
Both of these options are durable because of the quality of their construction, but this also means that they carry a higher price tag.
Last on this list we have the Senston Nylon shuttlecock, made completely from nylon. It is a very durable birdie to play with and is a great choice to select for fun play with the family, even if you are practicing for a tournament. As the birdie is quite durable, it will be able to take a few big hits before it is necessary to be replaced. Finally, they are not too expensive so they are a great option to keep in mind.
The Best Shuttlecock for Colder Temperatures
The Yonex Mavis 300 should be your top pick if you live in an area that gets quite cold. The company has designed three shuttlecocks that are categorised for different temperatures, ranging from 0-13°C, 12-23°C, and 22-33°C. They have a medium speed so they are also a great option to consider if you are just starting out. You also have two color options available: yellow and white. While they are a bit on the expensive side, you will receive a great quality product.
The Best Shuttlecock for Outdoor Play
Here you can make your selection between the following two: the Sports Nylon Shuttlecock or the Franklin Sports Shuttlecock. They have a speed range from slow to medium, which makes them a great selection for beginners. If you are heading to the beach or park, either will be a great option to choose as they are not that expensive.
They are also great for kids as they have the lower speed range, so kids can easily follow them and play.
Well, all of these options are great options to consider, I would go for the Zhenan shuttlecocks. While a little more expensive, the pros outweigh the cons, making this the best badminton shuttlecock on our list.
If you found this review to be helpful, check out our other reviews and buyer’s guides as well.