Okay, I may be exaggerating. However, I believe many people will agree with me, especially those with vast badminton experience, that a badminton game with feather (shuttle)s is very different compared to those with nylon (shuttle)s. Heck, in Indonesian badminton is called "bulutangkis" where "bulu" actually means "feather". So I might not be completely wrong in the first place... hehehe...
Anyway, let me start with my story. Back then when I live in Indonesia, I was not a serious player. I never played in any club nor had any kind of training. Simply said, I played badminton just for a social activity. Despite that, I never once played with anything other than feather shuttles. When I came to Holland to study, to my surprise, everyone in my campus badminton court was playing with nylon shuttles, including those in the club. Since feather shuttles are expensive, I was also forced to play with nylons. At that moment I didn't realize much, but when I started to take badminton more seriously, I realized that there are huge differences between nylons and feathers. My opinions are:
- With feathers, the shuttle will have a high initial speed compared to nylons, but with higher deceleration as well.
- It is more difficult to lift nylons. This cause the shuttle path much more flatter compared to those with feathers.
- Thus, there is less chance to jump smashes in badminton game with nylons. The shuttle will not "float" as much as feathers.
- Nylons don't give enough feedback on the impact. I often wonder if I hit the shuttles correctly.
- The strokes are different. If you are used to feathers or nylons, expect to have some effort in adapting when using the other type of shuttle.
- Those with technical finesse have more advantages when playing with feathers, nylons encourage power play more. Smashes with nylons are very difficult to retrieve since their speed is ridiculous.