It’s a question badminton players often ask themselves. So, what are the differences and what type of player are they aimed at? Learn about the different types of badminton shuttlecocks.

1. The Plastic Shuttlecock

The “plastic” shuttlecock with foam base is ideal for novices, as it's lightweight and durable. Its foam base stands up to impact well and withstands friction with the net. Its plastic skirt is more hardwearing and forgiving of mistakes in lining up your shot. It also gives the shuttlecock a parabolic trajectory.

This features a hardwearing plastic skirt and a cork base. This base is more fragile but is more pleasant to play with and delivers a more direct trajectory. Heavier than a “feather” shuttlecock, it boasts many advantages when used regularly, as well as for outdoor play. It delivers “parabolic” trajectories.


2. The Feather Shuttlecock

This shuttlecock is ideal for regular to intensive play in perfect playing conditions (20 to 23° indoors), as well as for competitions. The weight of a feather shuttlecock varies between 4.74 and 5.5g. It always consists of 16 goose feathers (with duck feathers now also coming into use). It can be used to obtain a constant, accurate trajectory, of a type known as “parachute” trajectories.

The speed of the shuttlecock varies depending on the ambient temperature. When in play in the air, a frictional force is created, linked to the density of the air. Warm air is less dense than cold air; if you are playing indoors in temperatures of 20°, the shuttlecock will fly faster than if you play at a colder temperature (16°).

There are three shuttlecock speeds to ensure optimum performance. The warmer the air, the slower your shuttlecock should be:

  • Speed 78: for ambient temperatures between 16 and 22°C
  • Speed 77: for ambient temperatures between 23 and 27°C
  • Speed 76: for ambient temperatures above 27°C



  • The feathers of a shuttlecock are made exclusively from the left wing of a goose.
  • The fastest shuttlecock speed ever recorded was a smash shot at 439km/hour.
  • At an international level, players can get through up to 50 shuttlecocks in just one match.


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