The Victor Master No. 3 is the 3rd shuttlecock of the Victor Master series (excluding the Victor Master Ace). The Victor Master Series is Victor’s main goose-feathered shuttlecock line that are numbered 1 through 7. You can get an overview of all the Victor shuttlecocks over here.
Some of my friends like to use the Victor Master No. 3 as it is relatively cheaper than the more premium shuttlecocks such as the Aerosensa-50 or even Aerosensa-30. Due to this, I had the opportunity to play many games with this shuttlecock in addition to doing the tests down below. Here are some of my observations of the shuttle.
The Victor Master No. 3 flies fairly well but feels like it flies faster, or at least farther, than premium shuttles do. While the flight looks smooth, the shuttle’s base feels less heavy and thus makes the shuttle more “floaty”. This makes it easy to hit the shuttle out of bounds when hitting lifts. Further, it makes controlling the shuttle a little more difficult, especially for tight low serves.
As for in-game durability, the Victor Master No. 3 would probably suit most amateur players. It’s enough to last half a game or even longer if there isn’t much smashing (or hard smashers). The feathers definitely break faster than the Aerosensa Black Label (full review here) but the shuttle tends to not slow down much like the Aerosensa Black Label does. While it’s still playable even after some wear and tear but usually you’d want to change birdies at that point. They do make for pretty good warm-up shuttles for the next session though at that point.
Anyway, let’s get onto the standardized tests and I’ll add my overall thoughts in the conclusion down below for the Victor Master No 3.
Here are all the weights (in grams) of the Victor Master No. 3 that were in my tube.
Standard Deviation: 0.13
Ever since I started recording weights of shuttles that I reviewed, this has by far the biggest spread in weights. You can see that the difference between the heaviest and lightest shuttles is 5.38 – 4.87 = 0.51 grams apart (that’s pretty big)!
Therefore, this follows with a pretty big standard deviation. The standard deviation is more than double that of the Aeroplane Black Label (full review here), which had a standard deviation of 0.0499 grams. Of course, the Aeroplane Black Label is a BWF-approved shuttle and is therefore has much more strict regulations, but you can see that there is a big difference.
So this probably means that playing with 1 Victor Master No. 3 is going to vary considerably more than when playing with another one. It might still be ok, but you probably need a point or two to adjust each time.
For the speed test, I stood behind the baseline of the court and hit 12 shuttlecocks from the back of the court using a slight underhand drive motion with my forehand and saw how far the shuttlecock landed.
You can see from the above pictures that there is a pretty big spread of distances on where the shuttle landed. This might be because of the fairly big variety of shuttle weights. On the other hand, each of the shuttles flew fine. None of them wobbled or spun weirdly.
For the speed test I’ll give the following scores:
Flight: 2.75 / 5
Consistency: 2.25 / 5
I also realize now that when I performed the test, I allowed the shuttle to land anywhere in the half-court area. It would probably be better for me to perform the test with more strict requirements, such as requiring them to land in the alleyway. This would likely reduce user error and provide better results. I’ll do that for future shuttle reviews.
After 25 clears, we see 1 feather already splitting a bit but it’s not too bad. However, there are more feathers than I’d like to be pretty ruffled up already. You can see that very few feathers are still in a new looking state.
After 50 clears, 6 of the 16 feathers are pretty heavily damaged at the top and the other feathers are heavily ruffled up. However, none of the stems are broken and the shuttle isn’t wobbling. The shuttle can still fly but you can tell that the shuttle is deteriorating quickly. It can probably still work well for a warm up shuttle.
After 100 clears, pretty much all of the feathers are beaten down. You can tell from the bird’s eye view that it’s not in great shape. Still though, none of the stems are broken, which is good. The damage is a little bit lopsided though so the feathers aren’t all the same length and so it would make it easy for the shuttle to wobble. At the 100 clear point, it kind of looks like the 200 clear mark (or even worse) on more premium shuttles like the Aerosensa 50.
The entire shuttle is pretty much gone at this point – but still none of the stems are broken! So it can still fly – but not really that well as we would expect just looking at the damage to all of the feathers.
Weight after Clears
Starting weight: 5.00 grams.
Ending weight: 4.88 grams
The shuttle lost .12 grams in the process of the clear test. That’s a little surprising considering that so much of the feathers came off!
As a percentage, that would be 0.12 / 5 = 2.4% of its original weight.
Anyway, for the clear test, I’d give the following scores:
One of the feathers is already fraying quite a bit while 5 of the other feathers have visible marks of damage on them.
After just 25 smashes, many of the feathers have bits sticking out. The shuttle is deteriorating much faster than some other shuttles at this point.
Two of the feathers have a quarter of them completely gone. Interestingly, the feathers don’t look as frayed anymore, maybe because they just broke off. They do look a bit less dense than before as you can clearly see the lines on each of the feathers and can even somewhat see through the gaps of them.
After 100 smashes, we see that the tops of all the feathers are no longer pointy. The feathers are fairly damaged, but not as bad as I thought they would be. None of the stems are broken and it can still fly decently well. It pretty much looks like a more worn down version of the 50 smashes shuttle.
Weight after Smashes
Beginning weight: 5.08 grams
Ending weight: 5.03 grams
The shuttle lost .05 grams, which comes to .98% of its original weight. It barely lost anything!
The Master No. 3 did considerably better in the smash test than in the clear test. I’ll give it these scores for the smash test:
Durability: 3.5 / 5
Flight: 3.5 / 5
Averaging out the tests, we get the following scores:
Flight: 3.25 / 5
Durability: 2.875 / 5
Consistency: 2.25 / 5
Overall, the Victor Master No. 3 is an OK shuttle to play with. It’s certainly not a premium shuttle but it isn’t anywhere near the bottom. It’s kind of in the middle of the road, which makes it great for the vast majority of amateur players as they’re generally cheaper than the premium shuttles but can still play good games at the intermediate level or below.
You’ll get some variety in your shuttle weights so be prepared to adjust accordingly. Going back to my introduction, the shuttle does feel more “floaty” than some other shuttles sometimes and can be easy to hit out. You’ll want to play more downward-facing shots with this shuttle or high clears and lifts rather than hard flat pushes and punch clears as those can be more difficult to control with the Master No. 3.
In the end, I’d still recommend the Master No. 3 for recreational beginner/intermediate players that aren’t too picky or those on a budget. If you’re an advanced or professional player, you’ll probably get frustrated with the shuttle’s inconsistency and “floatiness” that are less apparent in more premium shuttles.
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