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A badminton shuttlecock (feather or cock in other countries) is a kind of projectile with specific aerodynamics and specific characteristics of design, flight, speed, and rebound, which is used in the practice of badminton. More simply, it could be said that it is the “ball” with which badminton is played. It is not a ball since it does not have a spherical shape but rather the shape is conical. A steering wheel is made up of a head and 16 goose feathers (left-wing) embedded in it. The conical shape allows it to reach very high speeds on impact with the racket.

The weight of the steering wheels is usually very light. Being able to vary a few grams from one model to another. The weight accepted by the world badminton federation is between 4.75 and 5.50 grams per shuttlecock. The head is usually made of cork with a diameter that varies from 25 to 28 millimeters. Regarding the average length of the feathers inserted into the cork, there may be a small variation between different models, but generally, the length is about 6 or 7 centimeters.

We can differentiate two types of badminton shuttlecocks, feather and synthetic. Each has specific characteristics, with feather shuttlecocks being used in official competitions and by players of a certain level, while synthetics are more appropriate for occasional players.

The natural feather shuttlecocks guarantee an ideal flight and the perfect aerodynamics to practice badminton. The most widely used types of feathers are a goose, goose, and duck. Goose feathers being the most widespread. To ensure the correct flight, the feathers must be on the same wing as the animal.

The speed reached by this type of shuttlecock on contact with the racket is extraordinary. Speeds of more than 320 kilometers per hour have been measured. After hitting the speed is constantly decreasing until it falls to the track or is hit back by the opponent.

The flight of badminton feathers can vary depending on the environmental conditions of the place where badminton is practiced.

Humidity, temperature, and even altitude can affect the good performance of the steering wheels. There are ways to counteract the negative effects of environmental conditions on flyers, such as by placing weights on them.

Another measure that must be taken into account for the proper functioning of a badminton shuttlecock is humidity. Whenever we go to play badminton with feather ruffles, it is necessary to moisten them for a while before using them so that the flight quality is ideal and thus it can reach the necessary distance and speed. In professional matches, all flyers are tested in advance to verify their correct operation.

Feather shuttlecocks, as we have already said, have perfect aerodynamic qualities for badminton practice, but they have some disadvantages. One of them is durability. This type of frills, despite their robust design, do not last too long, this is due to the fragility of natural feathers. On the other hand, it was thought to manufacture synthetic ruffles with much more resistant materials such as nylon.

It is always recommended if you are starting to play badminton, buy synthetic shuttlecocks since they will last much longer and you will be able to do a lot more training with them. Once you level up and practice more regularly it is advisable to change to the models made with feathers.

Author's Bio: 

Uniquely, shuttlecocks are also known as a bird or birdie. Even today, you will find that Badminton still reins the heat of many sports fanatics.