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Monday, June 3, 2024

Tennis Dampeners & Shock Absorbers For Your Racket [In Depth Guide]

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Tennis vibration dampeners are the accent of alternative for numerous execs and hundreds of leisure gamers throughout the globe, however do they do something to your racket? Or are they purely beauty?

Not solely that however do they assist your sport? Will they enhance your strokes? Will they forestall tennis elbow?

And if they’re vital piece of package, is there such factor as the most effective vibration dampener to your racket?

All that and extra on this in-depth information to vibration dampeners. Let’s have a look.

What’s a Tennis Vibration Dampener?

Goerges Vibration Damepener

Let’s begin with what it’s. A vibration dampener is a small piece of silicone rubber inserted right into a tennis racket’s string mattress close to the racket’s throat.

For those who shift your eyes to the left of the image above, Julia Goerges has one on her Babolat Pure Drive.

These mini shock absorbers first appeared in 1964, when Rene Lacoste produced the primary vibration dampener referred to as the Tanti-Vibration Dampener to assist harm prevention.

Tanti Dampener

Naturally, different manufacturers adopted go well with to create their variations of dampeners, and it’s turn into a extensively used modern-day tennis accent.

Right now they go by many names, and also you’ll hear them referred to as vibration dampers, absorbers, dampeners, worms, damps, rubber bands, shock absorbers, and doughnuts.

Producers even spin it with phrases like “Professional Damp”, designed to make you suppose you’re getting one thing higher than an ordinary one. 😀

No matter how they’re named, all of those phrases describe the identical factor; a product designed to cut back the vibration from the strings after you contact the ball.

What Does a Dampener Do On A Tennis Racket?

Yonex Dampener

Suppose you surveyed 100 gamers on why they use vibration dampener or what it does. In that case, you’d get numerous responses from altering the way it feels, curing tennis elbow, lowering vibration, and stopping common harm.

Nevertheless, most gamers have a function after they use vibration dampeners as a result of it adjustments the “ping” sound after the ball impacts the racket.

The rubber dulls or muffles the sound; for many gamers, that is for psychological/auditory well-being somewhat than a bodily function.

From my expertise, they do make a giant distinction within the sound, and for those who’ve ever had one come out throughout a rally, you immediately realize it’s not in there whenever you hear that pinging sound on the following shot.

Some gamers hate that sound, which is why dampeners are so prevalent on tour and throughout tennis golf equipment worldwide.

Do Tennis Vibration Dampeners Stop Damage or Tennis Elbow?

arm friendly

So if these shock absorbers cut back vibration, they have to forestall harm or assist ease tennis elbow, proper? Many gamers imagine that is the case, however the reply is no.

Dampeners don’t assist tennis elbow, change string stress, enhance string sturdiness, increase energy, add spin, or some other advantages you’ll have seen touted elsewhere.

This false impression has unfold as a result of producers use phrases of their advertising and marketing to make you suppose taking part in and not using a vibration dampener is leaving you open to elbow issues. 

It then solely takes one revered membership member to place a dampener of their racket, sing its praises and earlier than it, each different membership member is utilizing one 😆

Nevertheless, quite a few unbiased analysis has proven that string dampers don’t cut back the quantity of racket body vibration you’ll really feel in your forearm; they solely cut back the quantity of vibration of the strings. Therefore the acoustic results.

Analysis from Taiwan to England reveals that the dampening system is simply too small to really cut back body vibration. String dampers don’t cut back the quantity of racket body vibration acquired within the forearm, They continue to be a well-liked accent amongst tennis gamers due to their acoustic results and psychological assist, somewhat than any mechanical benefit. Dr. Francois-Xavier Li, College of Birmingham Faculty of Sport and Train Sciences.

There’s no discount in vibration from the body as a result of vibration dampeners are too small to have any impact.

Regardless of this analysis, the parable that vibration dampeners will cut back body vibration and stop tennis elbow persists.

I discovered zero distinction in arm friendliness from my expertise taking part in with and and not using a dampener.

My solely rationalization is that some gamers discover that ping sounds extra jarring, which in all probability interprets into considering their elbow has to soak it up. 

Placing on a dampener muffles the sound and sure creates a placebo impact.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what vibration dampener you place in your stringbed, for those who’re utilizing a body that’s too heavy, too stiff or a string that’s harsh like polyester, this all has a major influence on the shock and vibration of your arm endures which no small piece of silicone can influence.

For those who’re affected by tennis elbow, I’d advocate trying into arm-friendly rackets and the sort of tennis string you utilize.

Most producers produce a line of rackets with built-in dampening properties to their frames, giving higher shock absorption.

The place Do You Put a Vibration Dampener?

Shock Absorber Placement

Provided that there aren’t many areas on a racket, you possibly can set up a dampener with out it negatively interfering with the ball; you wouldn’t suppose there’d must be any guidelines.

Nevertheless, in line with the USTA’s Official Guidelines of Tennis and the ITF rulebook, a vibration-damping system “could solely be positioned outdoors the sample of the crossed strings” (Rule 4, Case 3).

Subsequently, legally you possibly can solely match it in one in all three locations.

  • Nevertheless, there’s hardly ever sufficient room on the high of the racket.
  • On the excessive left or proper of the body, which doesn’t appear very logical. Though a dampener solely weighs ~5g and doubtless gained’t have an effect on the steadiness of the body dramatically, having it in the midst of the racket head appears bizarre. You may additionally hold seeing it within the nook of your eye through the shot.
  • Close to the racket’s throat earlier than the primary cross string, as per the image above. The one logical spot.

There aren’t any guidelines on the form, however it should be an affordable dimension.

What Different Impression Can a Dampener Have on a Racket?

Del Potro Nuclear Fh

Other than the influence on the sound of the ball at contact, the one space a dampener can have an effect on is the racket’s really feel. 

The lack of feeling is probably one of many downsides of getting a vibration dampener on a tennis racket, as you don’t really feel the ball as effectively in your strings.

This boils right down to purely private choice, although; some gamers love a muted response, and others wish to really feel the ball on the strings, so whether or not it’s good or unhealthy is so that you can check and resolve.

Once I play with a dampener, I feel you get much less suggestions on how effectively I hit the shot.

You get a considerably muted sound no matter whether or not you hit a screamer in the midst of the candy spot or hit off-centre, so I usually play with out one. The sound is completely different and barely grating on the ears, however you get used to it.

What Are The Completely different Kinds of Vibration Dampeners?

Button Dampener

Vibration dampeners are available three most important kinds:

Button Dampeners

Button Dampeners

Button dampeners are normally round (typically sq. or reduce out like a model’s brand) like a button and are extra generally seen than the worm type.

Most experts go along with these as they’re straightforward to suit, which suggests eradicating and placing one in a freshly strung racket earlier than a ball change is a job you are able to do strolling again to the service line.

In style button dampeners embody the Djokovic dampener from Head, Dunlop’s spider dampener to assist the advertising and marketing efforts round their standard Black Widow poly string and the Sampras Tourna Dampener.

The one unfavorable is that button dampeners fly out throughout play from mishits. They’re solely held in place by two most important strings, so for those who make contact close to the throat, you’ll have to look the court docket for it. So bear in mind to maintain a few spares in your bag.

Worm Dampeners

Worm Dampeners

The opposite frequent vibration dampener is named a “worm” dampener. This dampener is lengthy and skinny and fitted by weaving it between a number of strings.

In consequence, it’s involved with extra of the stringbed and produces a extra dampening impact on the sound.

In comparison with button dampeners, they’re a bit faffy to suit, however they normally gained’t come out as soon as they’re in.

In style worm dampeners embody the Gamma Shockbuster and the Head Smartsorb.

Elastic Bands

Agassi Rubber Band

For those who had been a fan of Andre Agassi, you’re seemingly acquainted with his DIY dampener – the elastic band. 

Agassi tied a rubber band to his strings, which had the identical impact as a rubber dampener. It won’t look as cool, you possibly can’t get one with a brand or smiley face on, however they do the identical job.

The dampening isn’t fairly as extreme as you get from a button dampener, however the thicker the band, the extra important its impact.

Andre used a band as he didn’t like how rubber dampeners felt, so as an alternative, he used a dimension 64 rubber band.

If you wish to use a rubber band dampener, right here’s how you can fasten it to your racket.

How To Set up a Vibration Damper


The denser the string sample, the more durable dampeners are to suit, however usually, they’re easy to put in. The one time I discover them annoying is on a freshly strung racket with stiffer strings, as they require a little bit of drive to budge.

The button dampeners are extra easy as you push the damper slot into one in all your most important strings so far as it can go, then both bend the dampener or pull the other most important string till it slots into the opposite aspect. Then slide it up onto your first cross string.

The worm ones could be barely fiddly and are finest defined on this video under. 

Do Skilled Gamers Use Dampeners?

Khachanov Dampener

A whole bunch {of professional} gamers use vibration dampeners; nonetheless, two notable absentees exist. Roger Federer doesn’t use one, and neither does Serena Williams.

Federer did use one again within the day, however it fell out as soon as, and he by no means put it again; saying the sound aggravated him at first, however he obtained used to it.

Nevertheless, he makes use of Energy Pads, which have an identical, though not fairly as dramatic, impact at nullifying the sound.

If we take a look at the present high 30 (as of early 2023) on the lads’s aspect, 63% use a dampener; the opposite 37% don’t. You’ll be able to see the breakdown within the desk under.

Rating Participant Makes use of a Vibration Dampener?
1 Carlos Alcaraz No
2 N. Djokovic Sure, Head Djokovic Dampener
3 S. Tsitsipas No
4 Casper Ruud Sure, Yonex Vibration Dampener
5 D. Medvedev Sure, Tecnifibre Vibra Clip ATP Vibration Dampener
6 M. Berrettini Sure, Head Xtra Damp
6 F. Auger Aliassime Sure, Babolat Customized Damp
7 A. Rublev Sure, Pete Sampras Tourna Vibration Dampener
8 Hubert Hurkacz No
8 Holger Rune Sure, Babolat Customized Damp Sq.
10 Taylor Fritz No
11 Jannik Sinner No
12 Cameron Norrie No
13 R. Nadal Sure, Babolat Customized Damp
14 Frances Tiafoe Sure, Yonex Vibration Dampener
15 A. Zverev Sure, Head Zverev Dampener
16 D. Schwartzman No
16 Ok. Khachanov Sure, Kimony QuakeBuster
17 Pablo Carreno Busta Sure, Luxilon Legacy Vibration Dampener
18 Reilly Opelka Sure, Smiley Face Dampener
18 Alex De Minaur Sure, Luxilon Legacy Dampener
19 Tommy Paul Sure, Smiley Face Dampener
20 Borna Coric Sure, Love Coronary heart Dampener
21 Lorenzo Mussetti No
22 Marin Cilic No
23 Matteo Berrettini Sure, Head Xtra Damp
24 Nick Kyrgios No
25 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Sure, Head Professional String Dampener
26 Sebastian Korda No
27 G. Dimitrov No
28 R. Bautista Agut No
29 Dan Evans Sure, Luxilon Legacy Dampener
30 D. Shapovalov No
~ Nikoloz Basilashvili No
~ Lorenzo Sonego Sure, Wilson Professional Really feel Dampener
~ G. Monfils Sure, Luxilon Legacy Dampener
~ John Isner No
~ C. Garin Sure, Luxilon Legacy Vibration Dampener
~ D. Thiem No
~ R. Federer No
~ D. Goffin No
~ F. Fognini Sure, Pete Sampras Tourna Vibration Dampener
~ S. Wawrinka Sure, Yonex Vibration Dampener

6 Advisable Vibration Dampeners For 2023


Beneath I’ve highlighted six of the most typical vibration dampeners used on the ATP and WTA excursions, and so they’re all strong decisions.

I’ve had a few emails asking if I can advocate the most effective dampener accessible, however it’s not possible to offer any product the crown of ‘finest vibration dampener’.

All you’re getting is a chunk of silicon, so that they’re totally interchangeable.

Within the grand scheme of issues, getting proper in your racket is a comparatively trivial factor, so I like to recommend selecting your favorite design.

Bear in mind, the button type muffles the sound lower than the worm type, because it covers fewer strings.

Wilson Professional Really feel Dampener

Wilson Pro Dramp Feel

Test Value

The Professional Really feel dampener takes the form of the long-lasting W brand and is one you will note utilized by a number of execs who’re sponsored by or utilizing Wilson rackets.

It’s easy to suit/take away and is available in a number of colors to enhance your racket or string job.

Head Professional Damp

Head Pro Damp

Test Value

That is Novak’s dampener, though his model is orange and comes with the Serbian eagle on one aspect.

It’s also possible to purchase a Djokovic model with the “D” brand. They’re normally offered in packs of two and are available numerous colors.

Pete Sampras Tourna Vibration Dampener 

Sampras Tourna Dampener

Test Value

The dampener made well-known by Pistol Pete is the Tourna Dampener. It’s additionally the place the nickname for the product ‘doughnut’ comes from.

A simple design and one you see lots of execs utilizing alongside TournaGrip overgrips.

It has “Pete Sampras” printed alongside the perimeters, normally in black, pink or white.

Tecnifibre Vibra Clip ATP Vibration Dampener

Tecnifibre Vibra Clip Atp Vibration Dampener

Test Value

The Tecnifibre Vibra Clip is without doubt one of the extra distinctive designs of vibration dampeners, and a number of other execs, together with Daniil Medvedev, use it.

Weighing in at simply 2 grams, it’s extremely mild and has a barely completely different fastening system that locks it in place.

Babolat Customized Dampener

Babolat Custom Damp

Test Value

The dampener of alternative for Rafael Nadal to match his racket is the Babolat Customized Damp.

This one is a superb alternative for gamers who wish to mess around with the extent of dampening, as you possibly can take away the clear rubber piece within the center for extra ball really feel or hold it for further dampening.

Gamma Shockbuster II Vibration Dampener

Gamma Shockbuster 2

Test Value

The Gamma Shokcbuster II is a vibration dampener with a brand new twin-tube design created to contact extra areas of the primary strings for an elevated dampening impact.

Not my favorite, however for many who prefer to nullify the sound of the string, this can be a good selection.

Luxilon Legacy Dampener

Luxilon Legacy Dampener

Test Value

Utilized by a number of execs like Gael Monfils, the Luxilon Legacy Dampener has a dense silicone development; this supplies a really easy and dampened really feel.

That is similar to the unique Vibra Stopper O dampener that used to return bundled in with Luxilon strings for a few years however sadly, no extra!

What About A few of the Completely different Dampeners To Hit the Market?

Adv Dampener

A number of new type dampeners hit the market; some have even tried elevating cash by way of Kickstarter and different crowdfunding websites.

Nevertheless, my drawback with these is that all of them make outlandish claims and don’t supply something completely different to what’s already there.

Take, for instance, the ADV Dampener pictured above. You get three in a pack to experiment, however they’re marketed as a feat of engineering. Whereas they appear cool sufficient, they’re no higher than a easy button dampener.

The opposite situation with this type of a dampener is that they’re not a common match and won’t work on particular string patterns or spacing.

Whereas I don’t suppose it’s a unhealthy product, I can’t see the worth tag justification in comparison with the dampeners which have been accessible for years.

Ought to You Use a Vibration Dampener?

Nadal Dampener

Dampeners are all about private choice. Some gamers like them and others don’t. However given the comparatively low value of shopping for one, it’s price testing.

In the end they’re considerably of a misnomer as they dampen string vibrations, not body shock, and don’t forestall harm.

So whereas It’s not a product that can enhance your sport, it might produce extra of a nice sound to your ears, and for those who benefit from the aesthetics of including them to your racket, give them a strive!

If you’re a participant who likes the ‘pock’ sound, then use a worm dampener; gamers who solely need a quieter ping ought to use a button dampener, and people who need a loud ping ought to use nothing.

What are your ideas on vibration dampeners? Let me know within the feedback.

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