Badminton is an age old sport played with an light-weight object made up of fine quality Goose feathers on its top and a wooden cork in its bottom to hold the feathers to make it fly from one end to another, and that’s how the alternate name (shuttle-to move an object from one place to another) of badminton shuttlecock was coined.
A feather shuttlecock weighs around 4.75 to 5.50 grams, has 16 feathers, 70 millimetres (2.8 in) in length. The diameter of the cork is 25 to 28 millimetres (0.98 to 1.10 in) and the diameter of the circle that the feathers make is around 54 millimetres (2.1 in).
There are some amateur and low priced models of feather shuttlecocks and plastic shuttlecocks available in the market, while there are several high flying shuttlecock manufacturing giants to name a few are Yonex, Li-ning, Vitor, Carlton, RSL who entitle themselves in manufacturing these birdies by adhering to several strict manufacturing guidelines, specifications and standards in composing precision enriched shuttlecocks to make it world class thus supporting badminton sport to stage it as a live wire. whose feather shuttlecocks are repeatedly used in International tournaments.
The fastest shuttle cock ever smashed was recorded as 162 miles per hour (261 kph) by the Guinness Book of Records when compared to squash`s 151 mph (243 kph) and 138 mph (222 kph) for tennis. (Image Courtesy: www.guinessworldrecords.com)
Both plastic and feather Shuttlecocks have different models from different manufacturers however, the basic parameters and guidelines remain the same. They mostly vary based upon its flight and speed and where these shuttles are played. According to these factors the weight of a feather shuttlecock varies and makes one suitable for the arena.
The following data’s gives a clear picture on the speed of the feather shuttlecocks and its playability.
1) 48 or 75 – slow, for used in higher altitudes of sea level.
2) 49 or 76 – medium slow, used in hotter area.
3) 50 or 77 – medium, most sea level area.
4) 51 or 78 – medium fast, cold area.
5) 52 or 79 – fast, cold area, below sea level.