Fastest speed in ball/racket sports

Stringing is a skill, and an art
Indonesia XD player - Tontowi Ahmad

Those who aren’t familiar with badminton often have a delicate “With silken fan I flick the fireflies sailing by” kind of feeling about the sport, unlike tennis in which players repeatedly hit two handed shots with a big racket from the baseline while giving out a loud grunt; badminton players rarely roar when they hit the shuttlecock even when they jump up for a smash however, badminton is actually the fastest recorded ball/racket sport in the world. According to the Guinness Book of Records, in terms of shuttlecock speed recorded in an actual match, Fu Hai Feng’s 332 kmh smash at the 2005 Surdiman Cup was the fastest speed ever recorded in any ball/racket sport.











Korea MD player -
Ko Sung Hyun





Just how fast is 332kmh? Well, the fastest speed attainable by the Italian super sports car the Lamborghini Gallardo is 320-325kmh, while the official website of Major League Baseball shows that the Cincinnati Reds’ Albertin Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz recorded the fastest ever pitch in baseball 2010 when he served up a 169.1 kmh pitch. The tennis speed record is held by Croatia’s Ivo Karlović who hit a 251 kmh serve in a Davis Cup match against Germany in 2011; these figures show that indeed badminton is the fastest ball/racket sport.

Recently, shuttlecocks have been recorded travelling at speeds approaching 500 kmh however the method used to measure the speed was different to the Doppler Effect radar gun usually used. It uses multiple high speed cameras to take pictures of the distance traveled by the shuttlecock at the moment of impact and this is then used to estimate the speed of the shuttlecock at the moment it is hit. Malaysia’s Tan Boon Heong set a new world record when he hit a shuttlecock at 493 kmh in July 2013.

However, everyone should know that a shuttlecock slows quickly as it flies through the air; otherwise, travelling at almost 100 meters/second (at 360 kmh a shuttlecock would only need 0.134 seconds to travel the 13.4 meters length of a court) there would be no time to react at all as most people’s visual to muscular reaction takes at least 0.4 to 0.6 seconds. With the speed of a flying shuttlecock slowing by 30% every two meters and the flying time of a smash by a professional player just 0.4 second, the exchanges between top badminton players on court are indeed testing the limits of human physical ability.


- Famous blogger writing about badminton
- Being a badminton fanatic since Beijing Olympics
- Worked in the international news agency as translator and reporter
- English department graduated

( Edit by VICTOR Badminton )