You will be super shocked reading this top, because badminton or golf are not just sports for lazy people. When practiced by the best of us (not the common people) there can be truly impressive speed records. Faster than a formula 1 car, faster than a hare (I don’t know why I’m giving this example), if you receive one of these projectiles in the mouth, you’re in trouble.
It is in badminton that we observe the fastest sports balls: the Malaysian Tan Boon Heong achieved the record smash and hit the shuttlecock at 137 m/s (or 493 km/h!).
If we look at the speed scale above, it is almost 2 times more than the record in tennis (73 m/s), 4 times more than in volleyball (37 m/s) and 8 times more than in handball (15 m/s). However, we cannot really say that handball players are weaker than badminton players: Karabatic is 1.95m and 102kg, against 1.81m and 75kg for Heong.
To understand this ranking of the fastest sports, you have to understand how speed is transmitted to the ball.
1. Badminton – 493 km/h
Faster than a Formula 1 (397 km/h), the badminton shuttlecock is the fastest sports object to date. Malaysian Tan Boon Heong made the record smash and hit the shuttlecock at 137 m/s (493 km/h), apparently he had lost a winning lottery ticket that day, because we remember: the champions badminton don’t win a round.
No, seriously, it’s because the badminton shuttlecock is light and the racket is flexible (softer than a tennis racket, for example).
2. Golf – 339.6 km/h
Faster than a train (between 300 and 320 km/h) (and then we wonder why they’re always late…), golf, this big wanker sport, can actually be really impressive. The fastest strike was made by American Ryan Winther, who clocked 349.38 km/h, in January 2013.
3. Jai alai – 313 km/h
The same speed as a helicopter, but what is Jaï alaï? No it’s not a detox tea, and yes it’s a sport. It is a variant of pelota, and the Jaï Alaï ball is also one of the most dangerous: it is smaller than a baseball and harder than a golf ball, and the exchanges are extremely fast. Basically, if you get a Jaï alaï bullet in the face, you lose your life (and your car keys).
The world speed record was broken during a challenge organized by Redbull in October 2020. It was Iñaki Osa Goikoetxea who managed to propel the ball thanks to a special carbon fiber glove at 313 km/h.
4. Squash – 281.6 km/h
Faster than speed bike record, the squash ball also goes very very quickly, but we suspected as the power of the blows is often impressive. So if you’re looking for thrills, no more parachute jumps, or line 13 in rush hour, all you have to do is squash and hit the ball really hard.
The record is currently held by Australian Cameron Pilley with a speed of 281.6 km/h.
5. Tennis – 263.4 km/h
Faster than a Mercedes class A that you will surely never be able to afford, the fastest tennis serve was recorded at 263.4 km/h by Australian Samuel Groth during a Challenger event in 2012 (even if the ATP only recognizes service speeds recorded in ATP World Tour and Davis Cup events).
FYI the services of Federer, Nadal and Djoko are respectively approximately: 190 km/h, 217.2 km/h, and 210 km/h.
6. Soccer ball – 210.8 km/h
Faster than a Clio 2 (I see you laughing but the Clio 2 can still go up to 175 km/h), the fastest keystroke was recorded at 210.8 km/h. It was in November 2006 when a free kick was taken by the player Ronny Heberson Furtado de Araújo, known as Ronny, who was then playing for Sporting Lisbon. This feat was calculated by Portuguese TV (we hope the info is therefore true) thus exceeding Arjen Robben’s old record of 190km/h.
7. Hockey – 183.7 km/h
Faster than a hang glider (140 km/h), which goes really fast, (this thing is really dangerous, don’t do it) it is thanks to the Russian defender Alexander Ryazantsev that we owe this record. 183.7 km / h, in these conditions one even wonders why they have a goalkeeper supposed to stop this kind of strike.
8. Baseball – 174.0 km/h
Faster than a cheetah (who already runs at 130 km/h, while the maximum for humans is around 42 km/h, lol we suck), the record for the fastest throw of a baseball is 174 km/h . This record was set in 1974 by American player Nolan Ryan and has never been broken since (perhaps because the technologies of the time to record speed were less efficient). Only Aroldis Chapman came close in 2010 with a jet at 169.1 km/h.
9. Cricket – 161.3 km/h
Faster than the maximum metro speed (110 km/h) when it is not blocked or when there is no traveling discomfort, that is to say all the time. Even if everyone doesn’t give a damn about cricket, it is one of the sports whose projectile is the fastest with a record at 161.3 km/h. Record that we owe to the South African Shoaib Akhtar, achieved in 2003.
10. Table tennis – 112.5 km/h
Faster than Gwendo kan she did her jogging, at the same time it’s not complicated, table tennis is also a popular sport where people hit the ball like crazy. It is the New Zealander Lark Brandt who holds the record for the fastest smash with a strike at 112.5 km / h during the world competition for the fastest smash (yes it really exists).