How to Improve a Badminton Shuttlecock

Wouldn’t it be pretty awesome if your shuttlecock lasted a while longer than they do at the moment?

Well, this is possible but entirely depends on how you store and care for them.

As our main focus in this article, we will look at how to improve a badminton shuttlecock to lengthen its lifespan. We will also touch on when and how to revamp shuttles using different existing methods.

Keep reading.

What are the three types of badminton shuttlecocks?

Before we dive into learning how to take good care of the shuttles, let’s look at the available types of shuttlecocks and what level of care each requires.  

Feather shuttlecocks – These types tend to have a great shuttle flight when hit hence are mostly used by intermediate to professional players. Feathers used here are from ducks or goose. The biggest downside to them is that they tend to wear out or break after one or two games, thus the need for improving their durability to save up on costly replacements.

Plastic shuttlecocks – In terms of shuttle flight, plastic shuttlecocks are not as efficient as feathers since they are too fast at the end of the flight path. They are made from nylon material and often used by beginners and recreational players. Plastic shuttles are durable; they can last up to 100 games before wearing out.

Hybrid shuttlecocks – These are a combination of both feather and plastic. They consist of duck or goose feathers and a nylon frame. They last up to three or four games.

What affects badminton shuttlecocks?

Regardless of the type of shuttlecock, you have, learning how to maximize their lifespan is essential. You will save a lot of money and time.

Important to note is that Shuttlecocks are affected by three main factors;

  1. The humidity of the environment
  2. Temperature
  3. Altitude

The most favorable environment for the badminton shuttles is an altitude of below sea level, cold temperature of 0-15 degrees for a shuttle speed of 78.

Three ways to improve badminton shuttlecocks longevity via humidifying

When you buy a new tube of shuttles, the humidity inside is usually very low, which means the shuttles are very dry and brittle. 

To solve this, you can increase the shuttles’ humidity by introducing moisture, which will reduce the chances of the feathers breaking prematurely.

The reason for humidifying shuttlecocks is to prevent them from breaking easily and fast, especially in dry and cold climates. Humidifying is very useful as long as carried out correctly.

There are several steamers in the market for this purpose, but it can be as simple as using the equipment you have at home, such as a kettle.

  1. Using a Steaming Apparatus
  • First heat up a pot of boiling water preferably in a kettle or a jug with a spout,
  • While the water is boiling, remove the plastic casing of the tube and the top and bottom lids of the shuttlecock tube.
  • Next, place the tube over the steam with the cork side up and the feathers directly to the steam.
  • Around 30 seconds and not longer than a minute is the time the steaming process should take.
  • The process is over once the steam has passed out of the end tube. 

NB: Oversteaming the shuttles will slow down the flight speed.

  1. Using Steam from Hot Showers

This method is the easiest as you do not need any special equipment and most people take a shower at least every day. Just place the shuttles in the bathroom during your shower and ensure the windows and doors are locked. After the shower, put back the shuttles into the tube, and you are good to go.

  1. Using a Humidome

A Humidome is a device containing beads that maintain a high level of humidity after submerging it in water.

Humidome replaces the cap on one side of the tube and acts to maintain the shuttle’s humidity on the inside. 

Steps to using a Humidome:

  • Fill water in a jar that can fit the Humidome inside.
  • Turn the Humidome upside down with the hole facing up and submerge.
  • Wait for at least four hours so that the beads can grow. Once every couple of months after the beads have shrunk, you repeat the same process so that the dots can reabsorb water to retain moisture.
  • Take off the tube’s bottom cap, have the cork facing up and stick in the Humidome. That will retain moisture of the shuttles, and it’s all you have to do.

Modifying the Shuttlecocks Speed via Tipping

If the shuttlecocks are too fast: 

Tip the feathers outward to increase the friction and the drag of the shuttles as they re propelled, making them slower.

If the shuttlecocks are too slow:

Tip the feathers inward to increase aerodynamic and reduce air resistance, enhancing speed.

Conclusion

You don’t have to keep spending your hard-earned dollars on buying shuttlecocks every other time. By ensuring the factors affecting shuttlecocks are taken care of, and the feathers are well in place improves the shuttlecocks, you are good to go for a couple of games. 

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