Two members of Smash Pilipinas were able to try out the outdoor variation of badminton, airbadminton, last weekend.
Ros Pedrosa and Sarah Barredo figured in a short mix game held at the parking lot of Vista Real Classica Clubhouse in Quezon City. The event took place under the supervision of officials from both the Philippine Badminton Association and Quezon City Athletic Association.
For the two shuttlers, they had to make adjustments on the fly since the airshuttle greatly differs from its feather counterpart.
“Actually, nakakapanibago kasi ‘yung shuttlecock kakaiba, mas mabigat siya. So ‘yung ikot din niya nakakapanibago, may factor talaga sa paglipad ng shuttlecock,” said UAAP Season 79 Most Valuable Player Pedrosa.
“Kailangan din i-adjust ‘yung raketa e. Sa normal na shuttlecock, kailangan matigas na tension. Na-feel ko kanina, malambot ‘yung string para mas ma-control ‘yung airshuttle.”
“First time ko lalaruin gamit ‘yung airshuttle. Okay naman siya pero nung umpisa, nag-adjust talaga ako kasi iba ‘yung flight nung bola compared sa normal na shuttlecock na ginagamit namin. Kailangan ng more practice para ma-familiarize sa laro na ito,” shared Barredo, an incoming junior for National University.
The airshuttle itself weighs three grams heavier than the feather or synthetic bird.
With this, it is advised that the tension of the racket be between 20 to 24 pounds.
The two then had to adjust the power of their swings as well.
“‘Yung adjustment na ginawa ko is ‘yung binawasan ko ‘yung swing ko. Sa normal na shuttlecock, mas malakas ‘yung palo ko. Less strength talaga kasi ‘pag sobrang lakas, lalabas ‘yung bola, or minsan tatamaan mo pa ‘yung kakampi mo,” said the 20-year-old Barredo.
“May factor din ‘yung palo kasi iba ‘yung texture niya sa feather at plastic. Mas kailangan basic ‘yung palo. Mas malayo lipad,” added Pedrosa, 23.
At the end of their one-hour session, both Barredo and Pedrosa decided that airbadminton is a whole different ball game compared to its indoor counterpart.
But that’s not to say that they won’t play it.
“Feel ko kakagat ito e. Ako, lalaruin ko ito kung may chance na papalaruin ako nito,” said Pedrosa, a doubles specialist.
“Siguro personally yes, pero for fun. Mahirap kasi ‘pag afternoon, pagtingala mo ‘yung araw makikita mo. So feeling ko, I’ll enjoy it ‘pag for fun pero ‘pag serious game, I’ll think about it,” opined Barredo, one of the country’s top singles players.
PBA president Albee Benitez shares the same sentiments as the players that indoor and airbadminton are two completely different sports.
“In an ideal setting, there will be a separate national team pool for the indoor game and air badminton. It’s two completely different sports, with finesse being the core of the indoor game while power is the name of the game for air,” said the former congressman out of the third district of Negros Occidental.
“But of course there will be prodigies out there who can be able to adapt easily to both sports. And that is who we are looking for and, later on, develop and groom in the federation.”