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How Long Does a Shuttlecock Last?

How Long Does a Shuttlecock Last?

Badminton is a racket sport and the second most popular sport in the world. This sport is usually played using a racket, a shuttlecock, and a net. The racket used in this sport is much lighter than a tennis racket.

And a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, is used here instead of a tennis ball. The players use this projectile to hit back and forth with the help of a racket over the net. It holds a conical shape with feathers embedded into a cork base as the cork base provides weight to the shuttle so that it be played back and forth for longer rallies.

These shuttlecocks are either made up of synthetic materials or feathers. Synthetic materials include nylon and plastic. However, only feather shuttles are permitted in professional matches, while synthetic shuttles are good for non-professional players for everyday practice.

But do you know how long a shuttlecock lasts? If yes, then fine, but if no, then let me explain it to you, and let’s begin with:

Factors effecting the durability of shuttlecocks

Here are some common factors that affect the durability of shuttlecocks:

  • Humidity level

If you play badminton on an indoor court, remember there must be no moisture or humidity in the air. It is so because humidity increases the shuttlecock’s weight and does not let it fly faster.

The difference is not much, but sometimes it means a lot and can affect your game when you play a professional match or in any competitive tournament.

  • Playing style

There are two different kinds of playing styles used by badminton players: aggressive and defensive.

The player with an aggressive gameplay style will try to hit more heavy shots and powerful smashes, which will surely reduce the lifespan of the shuttlecock. Sometimes a single powerful smash can even break down the shuttlecock.

On the other hand, defensive play can make the shuttle last longer as they don’t force powerful shots on the shuttle.

  • Quality of shots

Professional and advanced players are accustomed to using the correct technique when hitting the shuttlecock, which is why the shuttle does not shatter easily.

Beginner players, on the other hand, frequently utilize more shuttles since they lack the necessary technique.

  • Choice of quality of shuttle

Some players change the shuttle even if only one feather is broken. But on the other hand, some players continue to utilize the shuttle after the base’s many feathers have fallen off.

It depends on how long utilizing the shuttle is pleasant for you. So, maintain your effort until the shuttlecock finally gives up.

  • Court temperature

The high temperature allows the shuttlecock to increase its speed because high temperature usually expands the volume of the cork indulged on the head of the shuttle.

If the temperature decreases, it causes the outer feathers to bend inwards and vice-versa. So, if the weather is cold, the shuttle might travel slowly. It would help to opt for a heavier shuttlecock in this condition to get better results.

How to increase the life of a shuttlecock?

Many players find it financially draining to keep purchasing shuttle tubes. Therefore here are some tips that will help you extend the shuttles’ longevity so that you can use them for longer.

  • Shuttlecock steam treatment

Those who play with feather shuttlecocks are known for how easily they break down if mis-hit or just from normal play. And once the feathers of the shuttlecock wear out and break, it will affect the flight and trajectory of the shuttlecock and will need to be changed.

So, to increase the durability of the shuttlecock, many players steam their shuttlecocks. It is so because this process introduces moisture into feathers to make them soft and not reduce the chances of breakage while hitting them. This process is effective for those who play in dry and cold temperature courts.

And to steam your shuttlecock, firstly, you need to remove both end caps of the shuttlecock tube. Identify the box’s entry and exit and ensure the package has aluminum foil lining. Then place the shuttle you want to use for the next day’s play in the box, put the entry end over your steaming apparatus, and leave it there for about a minute.

Remove the tube from the steaming apparatus as soon as you see the steam coming out of the top end of the box, and put both end caps back into the tube to prevent the condensation from coming out from the pack. Also, place the shuttle tube for about 12 hours to let the moisture sit completely inside the box.

Also to learn how to steam and revive dry old shuttlecocks, click on the video below:

  • Modifying the speed of the shuttlecock

Modifying the shuttlecock’s speed is prohibited in professional and competitive tournaments and matches. But you can alter the shuttlecock’s pace in friendly and recreational games by checking its normal speed first.

If the shuttlecock’s speed is fast, then you need to tip the feathers of the shuttlecock slightly outside to slow it down. And in case the shuttlecock travels fast again, you can tip every second feather of it.

Also, be careful because it is irreversible, so doing it wrong can damage the shuttlecock.

  • Purchase a humid cap

It is a slightly expensive option because you must purchase a humid cap, also known as a Humidome, and swap out the original shuttle tube cap for it.

As the name suggests, it uses beads built into the lid to moisten the shuttles. The dots in the cap will absorb the water if you soak it in clean, distilled water for at least two hours. Place the lid on top of this; the beads will keep the humidity at a certain level for a few months.

To learn, how to use humodine, click on the video below:

Additional tips to increase the lifespan of a shuttlecock

Rather than the above options, here are some other tips that will help you increase the lifespan of a shuttlecock. So let’s begin with:

  • Avoid keeping the shuttles in dry storage because the heat will dry them out. It becomes brittle as a result, making the feathers susceptible to breaking.
  • After each shot, while playing, precisely align the shuttle’s feathers.
  • Remove the damaged feathers immediately if you see them because they can alter the shuttle’s trajectory.
  • Keep the shuttles in your bathroom as you take a hot shower or bath as another method to extend their lifespan. It will result in a rise in the humidity level within shuttles.
  • You can also use damaged shuttles for exercises such as shuttle precision.
  • Use good quality shuttlecocks, as Yonex and LiNing provide the best quality shuttles. However, due to their superior quality, Yonex shuttles are predominantly used in professional matches, so buy a good Yonex shuttlecock tube. (Also read: Top 10 badminton rackets and shuttlecocks brands.)
  • If you forget to steam your shuttlecock, you can dip its tips in water before practice to make them last longer.

Final Words

The key to making your shuttlecock last as long as possible is to keep the humidity level constant and avoid using them when they are completely dry. Your shuttles will break quickly if they get brittle from being dry.

To maintain your shuttles for a long time, take care of the shuttlecocks and implement the advice provided in this article. Rather than this, you can use high-quality shuttlecocks because they are an essential factor in your matches.

Also, don’t let the price of the shuttles scare you. Instead, maximize your use of them by extending their lifespan and indirectly saving you money.

And in case you face any problems or have any questions going through your mind regarding this post, then feel free to ask us or pin it up in the comment section below.

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