Vibration Dampeners in Tennis
Those who visit the tennis courts regularly will know how popular vibration dampeners in tennis are.
However, this popularity is not always because of how loved this piece of rubber is. While there are people who owe their careers to vibration dampers, some dislike it.
According to a survey, almost 58% of the top men players in the world rely on vibration dampeners.
Among the women, the ratio is even higher, with a massive 76% following.
Contrary to the stats, the best male and female tennis players,Roger Federer and Serena Williams, have never used any vibration dampener.
This article covers everything worth knowing whether to invest in one or not. This will be a comprehensive overview of vibration dampeners from how they work to the different kinds and their placement.
Table of Contents
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How do vibration dampeners work?
There is a widespread misconception regarding vibration dampeners. Yes, they were first manufactured for the sole purpose of reducing the vibration and risk of injuries, but that is not what they do.
It might be surprising to learn it is the psychological effect it produces rather than a physical one.
👉When it comes to tennis, the stroke, power, and stability matter the most.
A vibration dampener does not help with any of these. Professional players who use vibration dampeners in tennis say they reduce the racket frame vibration.
The truth is it reduces the plink that comes after the ball hits your racket. This gives a false notion of the vibration reduction.
There is no harm in using a tennis dampener if it helps enhance performance. It does not matter if it is through a mere psychological incidence or not.
👉Therefore, it is recommended to try it at least once. They are relatively inexpensive, so it is suggested to purchase one, give it a go, and discard it if it isn’t suitable.
Types of tennis vibration dampeners:
Round button type
These are the most basic kinds of dampeners that you will find everywhere. As the name suggests, they look like circular buttons.
The shape is almost the size of a button, with minor changes in the outlook. It can be a simple round colored rubber piece or made in the shape of a logo. Button tennis dampeners are extremely easy to put up.
However, they are also the ones to come out easily. Hence, if you do not have an issue with frequent installation, round tennis vibration dampeners would be a good fit with their accessibility and ease of use.
Long worm type
The long worm type of tennis shock absorbers provides extra coverage by holding onto more strings.
They are long, slender, and worm-like.👉 Furthermore, long dampeners are woven between the strings, so they do not come out easily.
This makes them sturdy but at the same time harder to install. They have a more profound effect in minimizing the sound of the hit. Some people find them heavy and intimidating, but it all depends on your personal preference.
Does it help against tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow refers to a condition faced by players due to long hours of practice. The constant arm swinging and the reverse force is acting on your arm after a hit causes tender outer arm muscles with extreme pain.
The symptoms increase gradually, so you should get yourself checked at the slightest of the symptoms.
This would, of course, mean staying away from the tennis court until you get well. Since there is no other way out, tennis players are always looking for tools to minimize such risks.
Vibration dampeners in tennis are of no help in this regard. It is a fact that tennis dampeners do not have any physical effect on the rate of vibration.
👉A study was carried out to investigate the effect of vibration dampeners on the strokes and their contribution to arm and hand discomfort. The result further confirmed the already proven analysis that there is no effect of the dampeners on the force your arm receives or applies.
A better approach would be to consult a physiotherapist and take frequent sessions. It would mean some time off from the court, but it is better than having any severe, permanent injury.
👉Furthermore, changing your racket can also bring significant improvement. Try getting a lighter racket with a slim frame; whose material is not too rigid.
How to install a vibration dampener onto a racket
It is essential to know the placement of a vibration dampener in tennis before you learn how to install it. There are two factors that owe to the specific placement of the tennis shock absorber.
The first is the ball contact, and the second is the official tennis rules.
It needs to be placed in a position that does not hamper your shots.
The ideal location would be in the bottom-most area, where the chances of hitting the ball are minimum.
In tennis, each ball counts, and there is no room for a mishit with even one of them. However, it is the player’s choice wherever they want to weave it.
Tennis is a game of rules.
In Section 4 of the rules of tennis, it is clearly mentioned that no vibration dampener should be placed inside the crossed strings. This means you have to place the dampener somewhere around the string bed.
Usually, players prefer placing it at the bottom. Any number of vibration dampeners can be installed, as long as it does not break the rule mentioned above.
However, the increased number of tennis vibration dampeners on a single racket does not make any difference.
Button dampener installation
These are the easiest to install and will take no time even if it is the first time trying:
- Look for the central strings between which the dampener must be put.
- Next, use your fingers to separate and see how much space is present between the strings. This will give you an idea of how much pressure needs to be applied.
- Press the dampener on one end of the string, move the other string aside with your fingers until the dampener is stuck between the two of them.
- Slide it up or down to the lowest cross or horizontal string, and that is all.
Worm dampener installation
Worm dampeners may be hard to install, but they alleviate the hassle of putting them up again and again. Once you weave this dampener, it will stay in place forever.
- Locate the tennis vibration dampener where you want it to be, do not insert it yet. Since it is a permanent fitting, you need to be sure that you are placing it at the center.
- Buckle the dampener to the first string and weave it under and over the strings.
- Once you reach the end, hook it to the end string.
- Slide it to bring it to the middle of the head or throat and the first string, i.e., the lowest cross.
Installing a button dampener is no hard task. However, worm dampers are a different story. It may be hard to understand without practical implementation. Hence, you can refer to this
YouTube video to understand better.
7 best vibration dampeners in tennis
One of the top picks when it comes to vibration dampeners in tennis is ADV Tennis. The solid outlook provides a classy touch to your racket.
No matter if you are a frequent user or a first-time buyer, ADV tennis accommodates all. It comes with three sets of dampeners of different sizes. You can choose between the Max Sorb, Sorb, and Touch, giving you six, four, and two-string coverage, respectively.
👉You can try on different sizes and see which one suits you best.
Babolat is a big name in the tennis industry. Besides, it comes with a lot of options for different players and rackets.
This diversity makes it easier to switch to a vibration dampener in tennis. They fit on all kinds of rackets and come with a customizable design. The central portion is left hollow with an option to insert a beaded capsule, enhancing the dampening.
They always come in a pack of two makes it convenient to replace one if you lose it.
Wilson Pro Feel
Among all the tennis equipment manufactured by Wilson, Pro Feel is by far the best. It comes in a “W” design that hugs the strings tightly.
This dampens the vibration sound better than its competitors. It is easy to install, with a button type of design. Whether you own a Wilson racket and want to pair it with your dampener or just want a single piece, Wilson Pro Feel is the best thing to invest in.
If you are looking for a funky tennis vibration dampener, Sorbz should be your go-to. Unlike the conventional button dampeners, these come in various cute shapes. Imagine a flower, panda, or frog-shaped dampener.
They not only enhance the dampness but also make your game more enjoyable. Each packet comes with 12 funky tennis vibration dampeners that make for a great tennis accessory, as well as the perfect gift for a tennis enthusiast.
Some people also prefer the worm dampeners over the button ones for their durability. If that is the case with you, Head Smartsorb would be the best fit for you.
This 6 strings vibration dampener in tennis is the perfect maximum coverage dampener. With an extremely affordable price point, this is something that you should not miss.
Furthermore, it provides an optimum fit for almost all sizes, making the process feasible for you.
It may not seem much with its simple and straightforward looks, but rest assured,it is one of the most effective ones out there.
The circular rubber body is flexible enough to mold with almost all types of racket strings. Tourna Sampras dampens the vibration to an extremely low level.
It comes in a set of two, which is highly convenient when you lose one of them during a match.
Gamma Shockbuster II
The Gamma Shockbuster series has produced amazing, durable pieces in the past. This is yet another version on the same footings but more advanced. Instead of one, it comes with two shock-absorbing strips. This enhances the dampening quality immensely.
The snugness is immediately noticeable with an ultra-secure contact. It comes in a large collection of seven colors. If you are a picky chooser, this tennis vibration dampener would be your best find.
Do tennis vibration dampeners work?
Tennis dampeners work, just not in the way they are portrayed to be.
Dampeners are thought to reduce the vibration of the racket frame, minimizing the risk of injuries, such as tennis elbow. The truth is that dampeners reduce the string’s vibration, which in turn reduces the ping produced by the ball.
It is not the racket that vibrates less, rather the strings. Hence, there is no effect on the strokes or your game.
Some players still believe their games changed after making use of one. This is purely a psychological play, but if it works for you, there is no reason you should not use a dampener.
Furthermore, they come in various cool shapes and colors, adding to the aesthetics of your already supreme racket.
What is an alternative for a vibration dampener in tennis?
If you ever lose your dampener during play or do not want to invest in one, a DIY rubber band vibration dampener would work well for you.
This cheap alternative works well. Some players prefer having a rubber band dampener rather than a store-bought.
The installation is different but not difficult.👉 Furthermore, you can find it anywhere if you need it urgently. You can keep as many as you want in your bag and always have a vibration dampener with you. Can there be anything better than that?
Where do you put on a tennis vibration dampener?
When placing a tennis dampener, you need to comply with the ITF rules. The rule states you can place your dampener anywhere outside the cross string pattern. It can be the top, bottom, right or left area. Just be mindful of the pattern, and you are good.
The rule is made for the benefit of the players. If you place it in the middle, the dampener might affect your shots.
Of course, you do not want that. Usually, the dampener is attached to the bottom at the junction of the first cross string and the center main string.
Should you use a vibration dampener?
Now that you have gone through everything about vibration dampener in tennis, you can decide better for yourself. Since it varies from person to person, you may either love it or hate it.
It would be a good idea to use one before deciding. However, do not go in with false expectations.
The only thing a dampener works for is reducing the ping of the ball. There is no other drastic change in the vibration or the force. If this noise reduction has a psychological effect on you, helping you play better, you should invest in one for yourself.
Many players disapprove of the use of dampeners. They feel like the vibratory sound makes them perform better by analyzing the hit for them.
Furthermore, it would be strange for people who have never used it before to transition onto a dampener after a lifetime of playing without one.
Vibration dampeners in tennis might not do a lot, but they are popular for a reason.
Whether they are useful or not is a whole another debate for you to decide. However, they are an innovative addition to tennis accessories and should be tried at least once.
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Review by Marc Peppin – Won 40+ International Titles – Canadian #1