Choosing the right badminton shuttlecocks can make a world of difference in both training sessions and competitive play. In both cases shuttlecocks need to be durable enough to withstand constant hitting but they should also offer players consistency so that they can either practice their shots or compete at the highest level.
Badminton shuttlecocks were once a standard piece of badminton equipment but as the sport evolved and grew in popularity different variations have hit the market to cater to various circumstances.
Keep reading to learn more about the best badminton shuttlecocks for training and matches.
Global market value of badminton equipment
Badminton is a popular sport globally, whether people are playing it indoors or outdoors, competitively or recreationally – its growth in the world of sports is undeniable. The rise in local badminton clubs and leagues as well as consumers looking for ways to spend their free time has all contributed to the increase in value of both badminton equipment and badminton apparel. And since there are so many variations to the level consumers are playing at, as well as the locations, there are now more badminton shuttlecocks available to purchase than ever before.
By 2028 the global market value of badminton equipment is expected to reach approximately USD 4.6 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9%. In terms of regions North America has seen a significant growth in the sales of badminton equipment since 2021 which can partly be put down to a growth in population as well as more consumers becoming aware of the names of top badminton players as the sport is being broadcast on television more frequently.
What to consider when choosing a badminton shuttlecock
Not all badminton shuttlecocks are built the same or are suitable for every player. Consumers should first consider what type of badminton shuttlecock they prefer (ie. plastic, nylon, feather) as well as factoring in their personal skill level. It’s also worth considering the playing environment, how durable the shuttlecocks will be, the speed rating of the shuttlecocks so that they’re suitable for the specific people playing, and the budget as some shuttlecocks are significantly more expensive than others. All of these points are important to consider before choosing which badminton shuttlecocks to play with.
Shuttlecocks for training and matches
The types of shuttlecocks available for training and playing vary depending on what materials they’re constructed with and the purpose of their performance. Whereas some are designed for training or for use by complete beginners, others are meant for rapid play and are designed for use by intermediate players or professionals who require greater control and a good shuttle flight.
According to Google Ads, “badminton shuttlecocks” has an average monthly search volume of 18100 searches and the word “shuttlecock” is searched for 201000 times per month. Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “badminton shuttlecocks” of 86%, with 5400 and 40500 searches respectively over a 6 month period.
Looking more specifically at the types of shuttlecocks available for consumers to choose from, “feather shuttlecocks” comes out on top with 9900 average monthly searches followed by “plastic shuttlecocks” at 1900 searches, “nylon shuttlecocks” at 1600 searches, “hybrid shuttlecocks” at 720 searches, and finally “glow in the dark shuttlecocks” at 170 searches.
This shows that consumers are looking for high quality shuttlecocks to play with that will enable them to play a more consistent game. Keep reading to learn more about each of these badminton shuttlecocks for training and playing.
Feather shuttlecocks are the most commonly used type of shuttlecock among intermediate players and professionals. The shuttlecocks are traditionally made of goose or duck feathers with a small rounded cork base that helps to keep the shuttlecock stable while in flight and add weight to it. The materials used means that feather shuttlecocks are naturally aerodynamic so they adjust better to different hitting techniques than other types of shuttlecocks and they can be controlled easier which is why they’re popular for competitive play.
The downside to using feather shuttlecocks comes in the durability as well as their sensitivity. Players who are hitting more intense shots and performing at a high level will notice that the feathers wear out very quickly so they are used in matches rather than training sessions. These shuttlecocks are also sensitive to temperature changes so they should be used in a controlled indoor environment.
Between March and September 2023 there is a decline in average monthly searches for “feather shuttlecocks” of 22%, with 8100 and 6600 searches respectively over a 6 month period. February sees the most searches at 40500.
Plastic shuttlecocks are the most cost effective type of badminton shuttlecocks available and are predominantly used for beginner training sessions as well as recreational use at school. The plastic material makes them extremely durable even if they aren’t being hit properly and their weight means that they are also ideal for both indoor and outdoor use since they will be less affected by the wind.
Consumers who use plastic shuttlecocks also enjoy the fact that they are easier to maintain than feather shuttlecocks, they can easily be adapted to both singles and double play, and they are available in different colors too which makes the game more visually appealing. Most intermediate and professional players won’t use plastic shuttlecocks for match play or competitive hitting but may use them for light training sessions.
Between March and September 2023 there is a decline in average monthly searches for “plastic shuttlecocks” of 50%, with 2400 and 1600 searches respectively over a 6 month period. The highest search volume comes between December and May at 2400 searches per month.
Nylon shuttlecocks, also referred to as synthetic shuttlecocks, share many similar features to plastic shuttlecocks but with a few distinct differences. Many consumers prefer nylon over plastic shuttlecocks because they offer a more natural playing experience and come closer to the flight of feather shuttlecocks thanks to the nylon skirt. They’re just as durable as plastic shuttlecocks and can be used in a variety of playing environments.
Nylon shuttlecocks mark the halfway point between plastic and feather so they are a good option for more intense training sessions as well as intermediate players who don’t want to commit to playing with feather shuttlecocks. The price range is slightly more than plastic shuttlecocks but less than feather so they are budget friendly too.
Between March and September 2023 there is a decline in average monthly searches for “nylon shuttlecocks” of 23%, with 1600 and 1300 searches respectively over a 6 month period. The most searches come between December and April with 1600 searches per month.
A new type of shuttlecock that has hit the market in recent years is the hybrid shuttlecock. This badminton shuttlecock is a combination of both feather and plastic, or synthetic, shuttlecocks which brings the best of both worlds into one. These shuttlecocks are designed to mimic the natural flight pattern of the feather shuttlecock but with the durability of synthetic shuttlecocks added to the construction.
The frame of the shuttle itself is made of a synthetic material but the end of the shuttle is made of feathers which gives it more control than a traditional feather shuttlecock and also helps to keep the price point down. The hybrid shuttlecock is a fairly new addition to the world of badminton so there is limited availability in many parts of the world still.
Between March and September 2023 there is a decline in average monthly searches for “hybrid shuttlecocks” of 22%, with 720 and 590 searches respectively over a 6 month period.
Glow in the dark shuttlecocks
Glow in the dark shuttlecocks are a fun version of shuttlecocks that are used for recreational purposes. These shuttlecocks are made of a synthetic material and are designed for use in low lighting conditions. They’re great for indoor use but they can be used equally as well in an outdoor setting such as a park or beach when the sun is setting or has fully gone down. The glow in the dark shuttlecocks aren’t meant for professional use but they are a lot of fun and a unique talking point which is what makes them a popular choice among consumers.
Between March and September 2023 there is an increase in average monthly searches for “glow in the dark shuttlecocks” of 57%, with 90 and 210 searches respectively over a 6 month period.
Choosing the best badminton shuttlecocks for training and matches depends on a variety of factors such as the playing conditions, the skill levels of the individuals, material preference, and the overall cost. Whereas plastic or synthetic shuttlecocks are designed for training or recreational use, feather shuttlecocks are more popular for competitive matches. As badminton continues to grow in popularity globally the sales of shuttlecocks is only set to increase so it wouldn’t be surprising for more versions of shuttlecocks to emerge in the coming years, just as hybrid shuttlecocks have.