History and Characteristics of badminton shuttlecocks.
Back in the old days, manufacturers used the weight of the shuttlecock to categorize them. Most shuttlecock tubes were marked numbers from 48 to 52. So, if the shuttlecock is categorized as 50, it means its weight is 5.0 grams. But it led to several inaccuracies.
Later, speed was used as a differentiating factor. The speed of the shuttlecock lets a player know how fast and far it will go. Just as coloured labels are used to differentiate nylon shuttlecocks on the basis of speed, feather birdies come with numbers to help you identify their speed.
What do the different numbers on the tube of feather shuttlecocks mean?
74 – Slow Speed – It is used in mountainous high-altitude regions.
75 – Slow Speed – It is ideal for very hot countries above sea level.
76 – Quite Slow Speed – You can use the shuttlecock in hotter areas
77 – Moderate Speed – Perfect for most sea-level areas
78 – Quite Fast – You should use the shuttlecocks in cold areas below sea level.
79 – Fast – You can try it for very cold countries, below sea level.
If you buy a shuttlecock with speed 77, it will land 30 cm further than a feather birdie with speed 76. Every two shuttlecocks with consecutive speeds will have a difference of 30 cm between them.
Now that you know all about the different categories of feather shuttlecocks, let’s begin by making the choice. When it comes to selecting a shuttlecock speed, it all depends on the location. You may think that if you live in the hot climate of California, you need to opt for shuttlecocks with speed 76. However, you must remember that location is not always the major factor in making a decision.
1. Air Density
The speed of a shuttlecock is dependent on the air density in the area. If the total amount of air is less in an area, it means it has a lower air density. And, lower density means a shuttlecock will have no problem travelling quickly. So, if you live in a mountainous region with low air density, choose a slow speed as it will be sufficient for you.
In hot weather, the speed of the shuttle is faster. And, when you are playing in a colder region, the shuttle speed is slower. If the temperature rises in a region, the air density reduces, thus making it easier for you to use a slow shuttlecock. It is for the same reason China uses 76-speed shuttlecock in the summer months but it opts for a slightly faster 77-speed feather birdie in the winter months.
The higher the altitude, the faster will be the shuttlecock. It is because the air density is lower compared to an area near sea level. If you are playing on a lower ground (for example, below sea level), the speed of the feather birdie will be slower. So, you must choose according to the altitude of the area.
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