Friday, June 1, 2018

Storing shuttlecocks properly in the tropics

I wanted to share on the method(s) to store shuttlecocks in the tropics. The procedure is quite different than when I was living in NZ or California.

In countries such as NZ and California, the climate tends to be less humid and not as hot year round. Hence it was more likely I had to "steam" the shuttles before usage. Otherwise the shuttles would be brittle and highly likely for a feather to give way after a few average smashes.

However, the reverse is true for tropical regions. In the tropics, the average humidity is atleast 70-80% per annum. Hence the shuttlecocks have to stored in a dryer or more regulated environment.

Here's one true experience from a few years ago. The organiser bought a new batch of shuttles and we could differentiate that new batch immediately. The following week, the shuttles were back to their usual lack luster form. I then asked the organiser if it was the same batch of shuttles and how it was stored. He confirmed it was the same batch as per previous week and he stored it under his work bench in the house. Since the shuttles were being exposed to the high humidity and temperatures, it was if these shuttles were being steamed before usage in the tropics!!! Thus the ribcage of these exposed shuttles would be soften and the feathers would be easily ruffled.

A more recent experience was from a friend who recently took over a badminton group and started buying shuttles in bigger quantity. He was quite frustrated as he tried using the same brand and model as myself but only to be disappointed by the quality of the shuttles tend to be only good within the 1st week of purchase. Those used after the 1st week tend to be disappointing in some manner. When we discussed the issue, my 1st question to him was regarding storage. Sure enough ... he was doing as per the previous true experience.

I find the following technique effective for storing shuttles in the tropics. Keep them in a windowless storage facility eg store room. I store them in large cardboard boxes, in the storeroom. This seem to be quite effective in maintaining the quality of the shuttlecocks.

If in doubt, you can experiment by leaving a control tube in a normal room and the other tube within a box, in the storeroom. Then use these tubes the following week and survey if the player(s) can tell the difference ...

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