We have recently tried AirBadminton in our local park, both on concrete and grass. So, you may be asking what is AirBadminton?
AirBadminton is a new concept developed by the BWF which aims to improve the accessibility of badminton, allowing the game to be played outdoors. It is played using an AirShuttle, and can be played in a singles, doubles or triples format.
The AirShuttle Used In AirBadminton
The BWF’s aim for the AirShuttle is to:
“develop a new outdoor shuttlecock with increased durability, stability and wind resistance.”
The five pillar design increases the wind resistance of the shuttle, in an attempt to create a more true flight in outdoor conditions.
Durability of the AirShuttle –
After having played for 2 hours, the shuttle held the same shape and condition as when we started playing. This was pleasantly surprising considering we would normally use up to 10 feather shuttles in a 2-hour session!
Wind Resistance of the AirShuttle –
The BWF recommends that AirBadminton should be played with wind speeds of up to 12kph. The AirShuttle is impacted much more in wind speeds of 11kph compared to 6kph.
We strongly agree with the BWF recommendation! We found that we could play a much higher level in the lower wind speeds.
Does The AirShuttle Break Strings?
The recommended string tension for AirBadminton is 18 – 20 lbs (9kg). This is because the AirShuttle is 3g heavier than a feather or plastic shuttle.
We have played AirBadminton multiple times – using our normal racket with a string tension of around 28 lbs and also carried out a ‘true test’ using string tension of 20 lbs. Although we did not break any strings, we would recommend that a lower tension should be used. We also recommend using a thicker string. Usually the thicker the string, the less likely it is to break! Anything higher than 0.68mm is suggested.
This recommendation means that most players would need to have a separate racket just for AirBadminton.
Differences Between AirBadminton and Badminton
The biggest difference between AirBadminton and Badminton are the rules and court dimensions. The AirBadminton court dimensions is smaller and the net zone is out, enabling people to play outside without the risk of injury on hard surfaces.
If you want to learn the complete rules of AirBadminton, check out our post here.
Whilst the key aim for AirBadminton is to improve the accessibility of the game, to play AirBadminton properly you would still require a ‘pop-up’ net. This isn’t very accessible for most people.
However, for a recreational game of AirBadminton you would only need some rackets and an AirShuttle. We don’t believe that a net, or the court markings are essential to have some fun and practice your skills outside!
The AirShuttle is considerably better for playing badminton outdoors compared to trying to use a feather or a plastic shuttle. We managed to get many rallies and some routines going – our YouTube video below shows some clips of us playing with the AirShuttle, showing what shots and routines we were (and weren’t!) able to do, and also contains our video review!