There are two main types of shuttlecocks available – either synthetic (plastic) or feather ones.
Synthetic (plastic) shuttles:- these are usually used in schools and at open sessions due to their long life and comparatively low cost. There are various makes and qualities available and there are some newer dual construction designs which are supposed to mimic more closely the characteristics of real feather shuttles. The common plastic shuttles have a more parabolic flight path and have to be hit a little harder than feather shuttles. They are usually supplied in a tube of six. Cheaper ones will have synthetic bases, whilst more expensive ones will have a traditional cork base. You can get them in two basic colours – white or some are available in yellow, which can be easier to see in some sports halls. A coloured band around the base will indicate the shuttle speed. Green for slow, blue for medium & red for fast. Fast ones are sometimes preferred by beginners and children as they will fly further with a lighter “hit”. Other than that, one would tend to prefer a slower speed green shuttle for higher ambient temperatures, and a faster speed red one for lower ambient temperatures.
Feather shuttles come in many different makes and grades. Cheaper ones will be made from lower quality duck feathers, where-as better quality more expensive ones will be made from Goose Feathers. We normally use high quality Yonex AS-30 goose feather shuttles within our club, although we have tried others from time to time, including RSL, Babolat, Victor, Carlton, Yehlex, Ashaway & Forza tournament grade shuttles. Some perform better than others, and some last longer than others, but when weighing up the balance of performance, longevity and cost, we always seem to come back to Yonex! Feather shuttles have a different trajectory to plastic ones and will tend to drop quite quickly and fast at the end of their flight, but do not have to be hit quite as hard as plastic ones. Feather shuttles are supplied in tubes of a dozen and are the preferred choice for most players. Again they come in a variety of speeds, as per plastic ones. It is also possible to “tip” them to adjust the speed slightly. Tipping is where you deliberately bend the end tips of the feathers either inwards or outwards in an even fashion all the way round the shuttle.
If you need to purchase shuttlecocks in small quantities (minimum one tube) for you own personal use please enquire with our head coach Russell Clarke.