How to Steam/Humidify Shuttlecocks
For those of you who play with feather shuttles, you will know how easily they can break due to a miss-hit or just from normal play. Once the feather of a shuttle wears out and breaks, it will affect the flight of the shuttle and will need to be changed.
To improve the shuttles durability, many players will steam their shuttles. This is done to introduce moisture into feathers so that they are softer and not as brittle, reducing the chance of breakage when hit. This effect is quite noticeable for those who are living in dry places as well as during the winter time.
There are specialized shuttlecock steamers on the market but you can do this with any apparatus that produces steam. Some examples would be rice cookers, a pot of boiling water, a kettle, etc..
To steam your shuttlecocks, first remove both end caps of the tube. Identify the entry and exit ends of the tube. Make sure the tube has an aluminum foil lining.
Place the shuttles that you want to use for next days play into the tube. (It is best to steam it a day before use so that there is time for the shuttles to retain the moisture)
Once you have your shuttles in the tube you are ready to start steaming. With both ends of the tube open, place the entry-end over your steaming apparatus.
As soon as you see steam coming out of the top end of the tube, take it off the steamer and put the end caps back on quickly to prevent the steam from escaping. (The steaming process should take around 30 seconds to a maximum of 1 minute) Place the tube exit-end facing up (cork up) and let it sit for 12 hours.
1) Use the steamed shuttlecocks as quickly as you can, ie. only steam the amount you intend to use the next day
2) Make sure not to over steam the shuttles as it can damage the cork as well as slow down the shuttles flight
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