So, you have a newly bought racket and you have been playing for a couple of months and you see on TV that pros have this small rubber on the bottom of their rackets and you wonder what that is. You google it, you ask around and you find out that its a vibration dampener. I call it the shock absorber but its most commonly referred to as a vibration dampener. You may be intrigued by it and if you are interested in buying it, you certainly can as they are very cheap in most cases. You can check the current prices on Amazon right here
Should You Buy It or Not
My stance on it pretty much an affirmative. I can not even think of playing without a vibration dampener and the people I interact with mostly agree that it does help their game. It provides comfort, lasts a long long time if you buy a quality dampener and saves your elbows and shoulders from unnecessary wear. All of these things prolong the fun that you have on the tennis court.
I generally used to hate it when I was starting out. It felt like I was losing the feeling of the ball hitting the racket but slowly it started growing on me and I started liking the mute sound of the contact of the ball with the racket. It made me focus more on my shots rather than the vibrations and sound of the racket and that in turn helped me with my game. Placebo or not, if it works then what do you have to lose right? If you do not end up liking the feeling, then you can always remove it and not have any regrets because of their cheap price.
Tennis Racket Dampener Placement Guide
So, you can’t place your dampener wherever you want. The International Tennis Federation or the ITF dictates the placement of your vibration dampener. You can place it in one of two places. Either below the bottom cross string or above the top cross string. You can slide it up or down to touch the cross string, but it can’t be anywhere else, including the interior of the string bed.
The rules are in place to avoid the ball hitting the vibration dampener and going in a weird direction and including variance in the game which is bad for both players.
The design of the dampener is your choice obviously in pro play nothing vulgar is allowed, but in casual play, you can add whatever you like as long as the people around you do not get offended by it.
What is a Tennis Racket Dampener Made Of
Rubber is the preferred material of choice for most dampeners because of its vibration dampening properties. Andre Agassi came up with a custom way of creating a vibration dampener by wrapping a rubber band around the bottom of the string bed.
Types Of Tennis Racket Dampeners
The more common vibration dampeners are round buttons, rubber doughnuts, tiny foam balls or 2- to 3-inch flat or round, worm-like shapes. These devices are made of solid silicone or foam, and some are filled with a silicone gel. The round designs are made with grooved edges to hold it in place between the strings. The longer styles weave in and out of several strings and are held in place by a hook or some other attachment design. In a pinch, you can even use a large rubber band and simply tie it around two strings.
Some companies make custom dampeners with hearts or squares, smiley faces, and even school mascots. The button type is more popular because it is small and stealthy and it reduces the chances of the ball hitting the actual dampener that can be a problem with the worm type as a ball can hit that quite easily if you are a beginner to intermediate player. Sometimes even pros can hit the ball on the dampeners but it’s very few and far between. I personally prefer the button types as the worm types mute the racket too much for me as I generally like to have a little feeling for the ball rather than complete muteness
Adding Your Own Style
Everybody likes their own style and adding style to your tennis gear can be very fun. Vibration Dampeners come in all sort of shapes and styles. You can find what you like on Amazon pretty easily. Some of the cool ones that I found on Amazon are:
- Djokovic’s Signature Head Vibration Dampeners
- Spider Designed Vibration Dampeners
- Emoji Vibration Dampeners
I personally love the emoji ones and I can alternate different emojis depending on my mood and sometimes the weather. It adds so much fun to my game and it has helped my anger issues on the court too. Whenever I get angry I look at the emojis and it helps me calm down and think positively.
What Pro Players Think of Vibration Dampeners
A lot of pros including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Juan Martin Del Potro use vibration dampeners. It’s a matter of personal preference for them while some rogues like the great Andre Agassi used to tie a rubber band in place of a vibration dampener. Some pros use a combination of strings that have vibration dampening qualities in them and that’s why they don’t use dampeners. The player that fits into this category is Roger Federer.
So, whether you decide to get one or not please do try it once. It can give you a perspective of why people might want to use it and why it might not be good for you. If you like to add a personal touch to everything you own then I would highly recommend getting them. Their cheap cost and functionality is more than enough of a reason for me to get them