The trouble with the conventional type of badminton shuttlecocks, often times referred to as a bird or a birdie depending upon where you live, is that they are not durable. The so called best ones, and I’m not convinced of that fact, are the Badminton Shuttlecocks that are made out of Duck or Goose feathers. The duck or goose feathers are inserted one on top of another in a shape of a cone. The Badminton shuttlecocks are made this way because in this manner the shuttlecocks achieve what is known as aerodynamic stability. In other words, they tend to fly better like this.
The way in which a badminton shuttlecock takes to the air and flies is much different that that say of a tennis ball or a squash ball. These shuttlecocks have their own uncomparable way of taking to the air due to their unique shape, form and makeup. Once contact is made with the badminton bat, the shuttlecock flies with ease.
In the earlier days of birdie manufacturing, the birdies would be very brittle and break very easily. Manufacturers had to store the shuttlecocks in special temperature and humidity controlled facilities in order to keep them durable. Not a problem if you’re ultra wealthy but for most players of the sport it could become very expensive replacing your birdies that often.
Today, with the newest technologies and manufacturing capabilities that are available, manufacturers have come up with synthetic types of birdies that are almost just as good as the feather variety. The key word here is almost.
I say that because for most players of the sport, the synthetic variety suits them just fine. If you are a highly skilled and very experienced player of Badminton, I’m sure that you probably can and will feel the difference between the two types. Any highly skilled athlete in any sport will be able to feel and tell the difference between variations in equipment types. In tournament play, only the higher end feather shuttlecocks are used.
There are quite a few good manufacturers when it comes to the production of birdies. Yonex, Head, Wilson, Black Knight and Carleton are a few of the well known shuttlecock manufacturers. They all carry birdies in a wide range of prices to suit everyone’s needs. The best thing to do is to try out both the synthetic versions and the feather versions of Badminton Shuttlecocks and see which ones work out the best for you.