What is a shuttlecock?

The shuttlecock is the most iconic part of badminton and is globally recognised as the symbol of our sport. Even so, many people do not know how awesome shuttlecocks are! So we have created this shuttlecock series to take everyone from shuttlecock novice to shuttlecock master…

So let’s start with the fundamentals!

🧠 Do you know that not all shuttlecocks are the same? There are shuttlecocks for high and low altitudes, shuttlecocks for hot and cold climates, even shuttlecocks for dry and humid conditions. Not to mention the newest change to the shuttlecock, special outdoor shuttlecocks!

Two shuttlecocks side by side. See the flared feather skirt and narrow cork base.

After reading this article series you will have all the information to be the know-it-all at your club!

Shuttlecock Fundamentals

The badminton shuttlecock, also known as a Shuttle, Birdie, Volant, or Ball, is the object hit between two people playing badminton. The Shuttle is characterised by two parts, the base (or head), and the skirt.

The shuttle is the only sports object designed to slow down once hit instead of speed up. This is done via the skirt of the shuttlecock flaring wider than the base (the part players hit). This increases drag from wind resistance. The cone shape is designed to hold in the air longer and slow down quickly.

The cone shape makes the shuttle fly in a very stable and predictable way making it easier to judge the flight of the shuttle. The unique shape enables the shuttle to fly base first making it much easier to hit. This is important for playing consistent and repeatable shots. The shape also slows the shuttle down giving players more time to react and ensuring the shuttle drops steeply when reaching the rear of the court.

Do you have any more questions about the design of the shuttlecock? Leave us a comment!

Badminton Speak


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