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Badminton is very appealing! In fact, it is England’s most popular racquet sport. More than ½ a million people are swinging a racquet there at least once a week. 

As a beginner just starting out, its appeal may be all in the simplicity. 

At first, concentrate on just keeping the shuttle from hitting the floor and keeping it inside the court!

If you are new to the sport, rest assured the badminton is good for you! 

But what’s the best shuttlecock for beginners?

Why badminton?

Some of the benefits of badminton include:

  • Great aerobic exercise 
  • The strategy involved challenges the brain
  • Flexibility, balance, and reaction speed is enhanced by the jumping, stretching, and twisting involved
  • Great hand-eye coordination exercise
  • Play at your own pace and progress as you are able

Badminton equipment

As a beginner, you will want to choose the right badminton racquet with the correct string choice and string tension (string tension recommendation should be listed on all racquets).

What is a Shuttlecock?

Games with a shuttlecock are believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago. They have been popular in India, China, and Japan.

In Europe, the game was played by children for centuries. Its modern development is the game we know as badminton. 

Players often refer to synthetic shuttles as ‘plastics’ and feathered shuttlecocks as ‘feathers’. 

With a plastic shuttle, the shuttle base and shuttle basket are synthetic nylon. 

A feather shuttle is traditionally made of goose feathers stuck into a cork base. 

A feather shuttlecock is formed from overlapping feathers, usually duck or goose, embedded into the rounded cork base.

 A shuttlecock is also called a ‘birdie’. It has an open conical shape formed by feathers or a plastic embedded into a rounded cork or rubber base.

The shuttlecock’s shape makes it aerodynamically stable. No matter where it originates when hit, it will turn to fly ‘cork first’.

Feather or plastic shuttles?

The playing characteristics of plastics and feathers are different. 

Some of the differences are listed below:

  • Plastics fly slower on initial impact but slow down less towards the end of their flight.
  • Feathers tend to drop straight down on a clear shot, while plastics never return to a straight drop, falling more on a diagonal. 
  • Feather shuttles come off the strings at extremely fast speeds but slow down faster as they drop. 

Are feather shuttles more expensive?

The cost of quality feathers is similar to that of quality plastics, but plastics are more durable. 

The plastic shuttle will last longer during play without changes to their flight. 

Feather shuttles are easily damaged and should be replaced as soon as they are damaged and do not fly straight. 

Changes to the flight of the shuttle will impact the direction of the shuttlecock. Stopping to change out the shuttle is a disadvantage here. 

What the pros use

Most professional players prefer feathers. Tournaments and badminton leagues use feather shuttlecocks of very high quality.

Since most professional players are sponsored, they do not have to worry about using multiple feather shuttlecocks. Cost will not be a concern in these situations. 

They do, however, have to deal with the disruption of the game as we mentioned earlier. 

Best Shuttlecock for Beginners

There are a number of shuttlecock options that may work well for use with beginners. It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product for your game.

The following shuttles may work well for use with a beginner.

Yonex Aerosensa 40 Badminton Shuttlecocks

These goose feather shuttles by YONEX are said to give you the best quality of play.

For beginners, the shuttle can withstand the hardest of smashes and rigorous play (brought on by a player who is learning the ropes) due to their manufacturing quality. 

Let’s take a look at the most common praises and most common complaints. 

  • Great quality and last longer than expected
  • They get worn down if the hits are not clean hits. This is to be expected with beginners because miss-hits are common when learning the game. 
  • Good for doubles play
  • Durable 
  • Good for learning control
  • Need to humidify before using.

Some feather shuttles need to be properly humidified

They should be humidified for at least four hours prior to play in order to fly the correct distance at the proper speed and to last longer.

Dry feathers are brittle and break easily, causing the shuttle to wobble. 

Saturated feathers make the feather cone narrow too much when hit, causing the shuttle to fly too far.

A humidification box can be used, or a small moist sponge is inserted in the feather end of the closed shuttle tube container.

View at Amazon for more information on how this shuttlecock might work for use with a beginner.

LI-NING Badminton Shuttlecocks A+ 60 Recreational Grade [77 Speed] Single Tube

The LI-NING Badminton A + 60: a recreational grade, 77 speed shuttlecock. This is a genuine feather and highly durable/long lasting shuttlecock.

The LI-NING A + 60 is ideal for recreational play as well as training.

Features and Details:

  • Quantity: 15 shuttlecocks per tube
  • Speed: 77; Perfect for most sea-level areas
  • Construction: Recreational grade feather 
  • Base: Synthetic cork and granulated cork
  • Flight: 8/10
  • Durability: 7/10
  • Hitting feel: 7.5/10

Let’s take a look at the most common praises and most common complaints about this product.

  • Good and consistent flight path
  • Slowed down noticeably after a few games
  • Steam them (humidify) before use
  • Fast and long lasting
  • Shuttlecocks are dry out of the tube, so steam (humidify)
  • Able to use 1 bird for every 2-3 games which is a good ratio
  • Great speed but not too fast
  • Good price for quality 

LI-NING A + 60 boast a speed of 77 which is ideal for most sea-level areas. 

This is important to know when choosing an appropriate shuttlecock for beginners because beginner players may not be aware of the difference it can make. 

Choosing a shuttlecock speed is determined by climate.

Ideal shuttlecock speeds are listed below:

  • 74-slow speed: Used in mountainous high-altitude regions
  • 75-slow speed: Ideal for very hot countries above sea-level
  • 76-very slow speed: Can be used in hotter areas
  • 77-moderate speed: Perfect for most sea-level areas

View at Amazon for more information on how this shuttlecock might work for use with a beginner.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com

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