Wednesday, March 1, 2017

FYI - Where to obtain list of BWF approved shuttlecocks

The following is the link to the BWF webpage which lists BWF approved of shuttlecocks.

Please note there is an expiry date for every approval.

There are some products which claim to be BWF approved and show a certificate on their blog or website ... hey I can photoshop too!!

Please do note the BWF approval is for a specified batch number for a specific brand and model of shuttlecocks, not a model of shuttles with BWF in the name.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Different shuttlecock feathers

Shuttlecocks are manufactured using two type of feathers, duck and goose. 

You often hear of the many complicated descriptions on how to differentiate between the type of feathers used on a shuttlecock.

Worry no more - the following picture is worth a thousand words!

For the newbies:-

Duck feathers are used for lower quality shuttlecocks eg training, etc. 
Basically thicker stem with shorter, wider and thicker "featherspan" (alike term wingspan)

Goose feather shuttlecocks are used to manufacture the tournament grade shuttlecocks.
Longer and thinner stem with narrower, longer and finer "featherspan".

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The best and worst shuttlecocks I have tried (so far)

The following is my personal take on the shuttlecocks I have used in the past few years.

In summary, there is no cheaper product which is durable and has best performance aka you get what you paid for. It's like wanting to own a BMW or Mercedes. You would not buy a Proton or Cherry and expect it to be the equivalent of a German automobile!

Alike buying a car, it is a compromise - Durability, Cost and Performance.

Please feel free to feedback via the comments.

BEST Overall Flight Characteristics
1. Yonex AS30/40/50
2. Aeroplane EG1101
2. Protech Platinum
3. RSL Tourney Classic
3. Xped RF-X3
4. RCL Black No1
4. RSL Tourney No1
5. Protech WorldClass

WORST Overall Flight Characteristics
1. Sintec*
2. Flymax
2. APAC*
3. Ashaway*
4. Efeel*

Best Durability (Least feather breaking or speed degradation)
1. Protech SG PT-10
2. Yonex AS30/40/50
3. RCL Black Gold
4. RSL Supreme (previously now Ultimate)
5. Sintec ST-818 Speed76

Worst Durability (due to feather breaking or speed degradation)
1. RCL Gold
2. Protech Masterpiece
2. Sintec ST-818 Speed77
3. Xped RF-X3
4. RSL Tourney Classic/Tourney No1
4. Aeroplane EG1101
4. RCL Black No1
5. Li-Ning*
5. Ashaway*
5. Victor Gold*
5. Efeel*

Worst Quality Control (aka batch inconsistency)
1. Victor Champion*
2. Fleet*

Pricing (Most expensive - from visiting shops)
1. Yonex AS30/40/50
2. RSL Ultimax (never tried yet)
2. Protech Platinum
3. Sintec ST818
4. Li-Ning A300
5. RCL Black Gold

Most Popular (various groupes or advertised usage at BadmintonCentral)
1. RSL Supreme/Ultimax
2. Yonex*
3. Li-Ning*

*The brand/series of shuttlecocks in-general

Thursday, December 1, 2016

More details of the shuttlecock assembly process

Here's a video with more details than the mere glimpses from the RSL equivalent

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Li-Ning SG-Gold

Not used before. Found in one of the halls I frequent.

Shuttle was practically new but had 3 consecutive broken feathers on one side of the shuttlecock.

Li-Ning logo on shuttle
Cork structure of the Li-Ning

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Revisit - Protech WorldClass

Been playing with a different group on Saturdays and they were using the Protech WorldClass.

The tube looks pretty much as before, only the colour scheme of the sticker inside the shuttlecock has been aligned to the new design.

Shuttle feels is a little lighter than before. Performance is still acceptable.

Unfortunately durability is still an issue once the smashing starts - the rib-cage structure seem to soften after a few hard smashes.

No other feedback.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yonex AS-50

Finally had the time to revisit a group I used to join on and off. My previous visit was over about 2years ago.

Boy did I receive a SURPRISE ... they were using genuine Yonex AS50 (Speed-2) shuttles and charge only $6 per player!!!

Hats off to the organiser*for pulling off this feat!

The Yonex AS50 is what you would expect from a top notch quality shuttle aka defacto standard for other shuttles to aspire to.

My only comment is that Speed-2 AS50 was a bit faster on the clears (aka flat flight paths). Otherwise everything is as one would expect from the defacto standard.

*Reason I say so is because many groups in MEETUP.COM charge $6-16 per player for a 2hr session and provide mediocre shuttles or very small number of new shuttles only. Hence if he can provide real Yonex AS50 and charge $6 per player, these other organisers are really raking it in. Sure MEETUP charge for using their facility but it's a puny USD$2.99 for 6-months if you try registering a dummy group to find out the cost ... whats the next excuse for raking it in?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Revisit - Li-Ning A300

Joined a friend's friend group and they were using Li-Ning A300 shuttles.

From memory, the tube colour scheme looks unchange. However, the shuttle feels much lighter than before. When I first used the A300 around 2007/8, it had good weight and hence provided very nice feedback upon contact with the racquet. This A300 felt nothing like the original eg as if Gozilla was transformed into Pee-Wee Herman!!!

Honestly if it was a blind test, I would feedback it was a budget shuttle. 

Flight wise, performance was acceptable until a few hard smashes later. The shuttle would sudden slow down in mid-air ... time for replacement! Even so, the shuttle speed consistency is much preferable when compared to the Efeel and/or Sintec - atleast the speed consistency remains acceptable till it gives.

Durability, is acceptable for non-power smashing games. The shuttle rib-cage structure gives way more often than any feather breaking. However these feathers do ruffle easily and need to be coerce back into place after every point.

Cost, is always an issue with Li-Ning products as they are priced above the norm.

In summary, if cost is not an issue then go for it. Otherwise best look for alternatives.