How to Choose a Good Badminton Shuttle

A badminton shuttle can be the synthetic or feather type. The feather types are made from the left wing of a goose or ducks. Why do manufacturers ONLY use the left wing? I can’t figure that out myself!

But that doesn’t matter, on this page, I want to show you how to choose the most suitable badminton shuttle (feather) for your own needs.

Did you notice that some shuttles feel light and are able to fly very far; whereas some other shuttles seem heavy and can hardly fly?

In badminton, we refer to this as the shuttle speed.

  • A fast shuttle speed means the shuttle can travel a relatively long distance
  • A slow shuttle speed means the shuttle is unlikely to fly far

If you buy shuttles that fly too far (even with soft hits), take note that this is NOT the manufacturer’s fault for providing “lousy” shuttles. This simply means you have chosen the wrong shuttle speed.

Shuttle Speed

The speed of a shuttle will be affected by TEMPERATURE, ALTITUDE, and HUMIDITY. A shuttlecock that flies perfectly well in Australia does not necessarily fly well in Thailand.



Hot weather Speed of the shuttle will be faster.
Cold weather Speed of the shuttle will be slower


Higher grounds Speed of the shuttle will be faster
Lower grounds Speed of the shuttle will be slower

The speed of the shuttlecock is classified into different categories (ranges from 75 to 79). Usually there will be a white and round sticker at the bottom of the shuttlecock tube indicating the shuttle speed.

Picture (coming soon)… Just flip your tube over and you’ll see it!

What shuttle speed to choose?

Shuttle Speed Meaning When to use these shuttles?
75 Slow use in very hot countries above sea level
76 Quite Slow use in hot countries above sea level
77 Moderate Speed use in countries AT sea level with perfectly fine temperature
78 Quite Fast use in cold countries below sea level
79 Fast use in very cold countries below sea level

The above is merely a guide. You should choose the shuttle speed that suits your needs.

If you’re serious about playing badminton, choose the shuttle speed in accordance to the standards of international badminton tournaments.

Click here for information on how to test shuttlecock speed for international tournaments

Things to consider…

Some group of players, especially female players or younger kids, would prefer using shuttlecocks that can fly faster/further; making it easier to hit the shuttle from baseline to baseline.

I also recommend beginners to start with shuttlecocks that can fly relatively further (higher shuttle speed).

In order to get more power in your shot, learn the correct technique for badminton strokesfirst.

Once you master the correct technique for badminton strokes, you’ll soon realise that not much strength is needed to send the shuttle from baseline to baseline (even with a standard speed shuttle).

However, it’s important to let beginners know that they’re using a high speed shuttle so that they won’t take it for granted. Once you’re familiar with the correct stroke techniques, switch to a standard speed shuttle.

Durability of a Badminton Shuttle: Can You Make Your Badminton Shuttle Last Longer?

More recognised and expensive brands like Yonex tend to produce better quality badminton shuttle.

High quality shuttlecocks are more durable, have better flight stability, and have a better trajectory.

However, high quality shuttlecocks are often expensive. If you play frequently, it’ll be VERY COSTLY.

So here’s my advice for increasing the durability of any feather shuttlecocks…

  • After you purchase a tube of shuttlecocks, open both ends of the tube immediately. Then store it at a cool and humid place. Air your shuttles for 24-48 hours before you use them (let them breathe!). By doing this, they will be A LOT MORE DURABLE.
  • Alternatively, dip the feathers of shuttles in warm water (for a few seconds only!). Store them overnight and you’ll be able to use them the next day.

These are simple and easy ways to help you save some money on shuttlecocks.

Synthetic Shuttlecocks

On the other hand, if you don’t mind, consider using nylon/plastic shuttlecocks. They are much more durable, but offer lower quality flight and stability. Also, upon contact with your badminton racket, they don’t offer a nice, solid sound.

Feather shuttles are still the best – but are more costly. Use the tips above to extend your shuttlecock’s life.

Tell me what you think!

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