More On Slow Shuttles – It’s Happening Again!

Last night, I visited a badminton club in Widnes, after receiving an invitation from one of the players. The player found me through Yonex UK website and I took the Yonex range of racquets for the players to test.

I also agreed to provide coaching on the night.

First off, I’d like to thank the players for making me so welcome and for asking so many questions.

When I asked everyone what they wanted to learn, the first topic was clearing the shuttle.

Rather than launching into technique, I asked the players whether they knew how to test a shuttle properly – nobody in the club knew the answer. I began explaining the process of testing and why it was important. (You can see this for yourself in my video section.) I picked up a brand new shuttle to test, stood on the back line, struck the shuttle and watched the result with a look of horror and despair…

What had I hit? The shuttle stopped at least 4 feet short of the back service line! No wonder the players were having problems hitting to the back of the court. They hadn’t a chance of clearing to the back line with these shuttles – even I couldn’t get a good length.

The sportshall was well lit and very warm. They were using Carlton or Head speed 78 shuttles. I would have expected a speed 78 shuttle to have been right for this hall.

Having seen where the shuttle landed and pointed out exactly where the shuttle should land, I explained to the players that there was no way with these shuttles that I could help them achieve their goal. I then went on to explain the dangers of playing with these shuttles including the injuries they could suffer. Later on in the evening, one of the players strapped on an elbow support. The phrase “I told you so” sprung to mind.

We worked on a number of skills. It was great to see confidence rising as the players realised that they could improve quickly and that everything I asked them to do was relatively easy – they just hadn’t been shown before.

Towards the end of the evening, I took out of my bag a Yonex Aerosensa 30 shuttle. I tested it and it landed on the back doubles service line – perfect! I played a game of mixed doubles to finish the night.

I’m not writing this post to have a go at a particular brand of shuttle – I’m actually writing out of concern for you, the player. I urge you to make sure you know the rules for testing badminton shuttles and can test yourself. Please watch my video if you’re unsure. It’s such a shame that the players last night were suffering, playing with poor shuttles in terms of speed, and this was having a major impact on their ability to play the game. It was also beginning to cause injuries. If not checked, this could result in players leaving for the game through injury.

Thank you once again to the players for taking part. i really enjoyed working with you! Please, buy some decent speed shuttles, you will enjoy your badminton more when you do.

As always, I invite you to write to me or comment on my posts.

To your success.

Paul

4 Comments

  1. Sevex March 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I have used nearly every type of shuttle in existence in my quest for a holy grail for a “perfect” cheap shuttle and am slightly confused by you finding the Carlton shuttles bad. Which type were they using? I quite enjoy playing with the GT1’s and have had no problems with any of them, they are on a par with Yonex AS30’s if not slightly better. They were definitely better than the Victor shuttles which were slow. Wilson were too fast.

    I agree Yonex shuttles are good, just a little pricey, but not necessarily the best. My favourite are Aeroplane shuttles from China, which are hardly easy to get hold of.

    I just wish it was easier to persuade people how to test shuttles!

    • Paul March 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Matthew

      It just proves that we all have different experiences and depending on the batch whether it’s a good experience or a bad one.

      I don’t mind what brand players use, as long as they get the right speed.

      In my 20+ years of coaching, I just haven’t found a brand as consistent in quality terms as Yonex.

      I haven’t tested Aeroplane shuttles although I do hear good reports about them. As you say, the difficulty is finding where to buy them. From what I hear they are a similar price to Yonex shuttles.

      I totally agree that Yonex are more expensive. There again, they don’t have their shuttles manufactured in the same places as others.

      I used the Carlton GT shuttle and it was dire when we tested, both in terms of speed, flight, and endurance. I’ve always found Victor to be a little slow compared to other brands of the same speed. It’s almost an in-between speed.

      Thanks for your comments. As players we are always looking for the holy grail of shuttles, but I think we are all asking too much in terms of price versus quality these days. We want our cake and eat it and that’s rare.

      Paul

  2. Paul November 22, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Hi Brian

    Many thanks for your comments.

    Yes, I am connected to Yonex and am extremely proud of it too. However, I have tested plenty of shuttles and still test on behalf of the retailer I am connected to through Yonex.

    In all of my articles about shuttle testing, I have steered clear of pushing the Yonex brand because I knew the article would be misread and potentially seen in the wrong light.

    The articles were explictly written to make players aware of the rules, the dangers of playing with slow shuttles, and to put forward an argument that slow shuttles are de-skilling badminton.

    How can we teach our youngsters skill when we’re taking away the underlying skills such as shuttle control, the ability to change grip fast, and the importance of staying focussed in order to keep the shuttle in?

    I have no intention of having a go at other shuttle brands. I have tested many and disected them to see the makeup. It’s amazing how many are exactly the same!

    The club I go to do not use Yonex feathers because of the cost – a huge underlying factor for most clubs and players. Whilst I believe wholeheartedly that Yonex make the best shuttles in the world, and many players and coaches alike will concur with me, they are expensive compared to other brands. That said, if they are deemed the best, then why should they be the cheapest?

    Let’s get back to your comments…

    I always have a tube of Yonex shuttles in my bag. The only reason I got a Yonex shuttle out was to test it bearing in mind the other shuttles were so slow. I really couldn’t believe how slow they were so questioned the conditions in the hall. I expected my shuttle to test slow but it didn’t.

    So for anyone reading this please, I just want to help you understand how vital shuttle speeds are in the skill and enjoyment of the game. All of the players in the club I visited could significantly improve with the right speed of shuttle. Enough said.

    To your success

    Paul

  3. Brian November 22, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Paul, I know readers may think you\’re biased because of your obvious connections with Yonex, but I have absolutely have to concur with what you\’re saying. Yonex shuttles are the standard and there are a lot of people out there using dreadfully inferior shuttles unaware of what they\’re missing out on. From what I\’ve played with, I can say that Wilson and Carlton shuttles are very brittle and generally poor, and that Victor Tourny shuttles perform comparably to AS30s.

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