For Indians, badminton is happiness! It is a cherished pastime that brings people together. From parks to professional badminton courts, badminton is one sport that is enjoyed by young and old. It is one of the most popular sports in India in addition to cricket, kabaddi, hockey, wrestling, and football.
One crucial aspect of this beloved sport is selecting the right shuttlecock. A shuttlecock's cost may be minuscule compared to badminton rackets or shoes. However, it is the focal point of the sport.
A good quality shuttlecock will exhibit predictable flight patterns and trajectory, thus, leading to accurate shot placement. If you choose a premium shuttlecock, you can control its speed and direction by adjusting your technique.
Feather Birdies: The Obvious Choice for Badminton Professionals
Badminton shuttlecocks are crucial for rallies, strategic play, and winning points. So, badminton professionals, advanced players, and beginners training to be pro players focus on the quality of shuttlecocks. They choose premium feather birdies such as Aerosensa 50 or the GE92 shuttlecocks. But what about recreational players who play the game casually?
Plastic vs. Feather Shuttlecocks: Options Galore
Like gully cricket, badminton is also a recreational pastime for many Indians. They play the game in public parks, grounds, and housing societies. Additionally, you will find several renowned badminton academies in the Southern part of India. So, shuttlecock manufacturers are keen on targeting the nation's market. From tournament-level badminton shuttlecocks to training feather birdies and durable plastic shuttles, there are ample choices for a casual badminton player.
Let's understand how Indians can choose between feather and plastic shuttlecocks because it's anything but a casual decision.
1. Where do you Play: Park or Professional Courts?
If you are a casual player, you may be playing at a local badminton club or a sports centre near you. In a professional setup, you may be required to use feather shuttlecocks because it is often the tradition of sports clubs.
However, if you choose to play the game in public parks or your society, the choice is entirely yours. You may not comply with the traditions and standards of any. So, the choice of your shuttlecock will depend on your playing venue.
For example, you can opt for an affordable GE351 nylon shuttlecock if you need something to play over the weekend picnic. They are an excellent choice for someone who is playing casually and still learning the skills of the game.
2. How often do you Play: Daily, Weekly, or During Vacations?
Badminton is not just a favourite pastime of Indians. It is also a way of getting healthier. Many Indians prefer to play the game as a fun way to improve their cardiovascular health. It is a much more affordable option than yearly gym memberships. It is also a better choice than running or jogging for some people because badminton also allows bonding with others. So, your choice of the shuttlecock will depend on your goals and playing frequency.
You can choose Yonex Aeroclub TR feather shuttlecocks if you train daily and require a higher flight trajectory. On the other hand, someone who likes to play the game only during their summer vacations may opt for a plastic shuttlecock. Their goal is to buy an item they will use for a limited time only. So, it all depends on how often you play the game and how you want to play it.
3. Whether Weather Plays a Role?
India's diverse climate is a crucial factor in the shuttlecock selection process. The subcontinent experiences extreme weather conditions, from sweltering summers to intense rains and chilly winters. These variations severely impact the performance of shuttlecocks.
For example, you may prefer feather shuttlecocks for their natural feel and flight trajectory. However, they may be sensitive to humidity and temperature during Bengaluru monsoons and become heavy and lead to inaccurate shot placement. If you are playing in the dry conditions of Gujarat or Rajasthan, you may find the feather shuttles too dry and brittle.
On the other hand, plastic shuttlecocks such as Yonex Mavis 350 are more resilient to changing weather conditions. They are not sensitive to humidity and temperature fluctuations, making them a practical choice for year-round play. This durability makes plastic shuttlecocks a preferred option in places where the weather can be unpredictable.
4. The Big Question of Budget
Indian consumers are known for their value-conscious shopping habits. The cost-effectiveness of a product often influences their choices. The fact is no different when it comes to shuttlecocks.
Feather shuttlecocks are relatively more expensive in comparison to their plastic counterparts due to the cost of sourcing and processing natural feathers. Many enthusiasts consider them an investment for serious play or professional training.
In addition to the cost of the feather shuttles, you need to invest in a humidifier to ensure that the feather birdies stay in good shape. Alternatively, plastic shuttlecocks do not need any steaming process to maintain their shape. You can store them easily without any additional preparations.
Plastic shuttlecocks, being more affordable, are often preferred for casual play and beginners. They offer a cost-effective way for aspiring players to practice their skills without breaking the bank.
As Indians, we are cost-conscious and value money over other things. But, do not decide on the basis of the cost alone. Instead of going for cheaper, generic plastic shuttlecocks, choose quality and affordable plastic shuttles such as Yonex Mavis 10 and Li-Ning Swift X100 plastic shuttlecocks.
5. Preference over Everything!
Indians, whether they play for fun or competitively, want their shuttlecocks to last. Durability is a significant factor in the selection process. And, if you look at feather shuttlecocks, they are relatively more fragile than plastic shuttles. And, so, we need to handle them with care.
Plastic shuttlecocks are known for their durability. They can withstand the rigors of intense gameplay, making them a smart choice for regular training sessions and extended playtime.
However, in the end, it all depends on your preference. Even if you play recreational badminton games over the weekend, you can buy feather birdies if you enjoy their feel and playing experience. There are no rules to buying shuttlecocks, only suggestions and preferences.
The decision between feather birdies and plastic shuttlecocks is a thoughtful one, especially for Indian badminton enthusiasts. Weather conditions, buying habits, playing style, budget, and preferences play a crucial role in choosing the right shuttlecock. Whether you play casually or take up the sport professionally, choose badminton shuttlecocks to elevate your game and make it fun!