Dampeners for me, have two important parts to play.
Unlike a lot of other sports, tennis doesn’t leave a ton of room for personalization. Other than your clothing and your racket, there are very few ways to add a bit of individualism to your look. Adding a cool vibration dampener to your racket is a fantastic way to do this.
While the health/ injury prevention benefits of a vibration dampener are somewhat questionable, they’re not going to increase your chance of injury and can make using your racket feel more comfortable.
With all that in mind, today we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best tennis racket vibration dampeners out there today.
What is a Tennis Dampener?
A tennis dampener is a small, typically rubber ball or similar shape that can be added to the strings of your racket.
The idea here, as the name suggests, is to dampen the vibrations traveling through your racket and into the arms. It has been proposed that having a vibration dampener on your racket reduces the chances of sustaining a repetitive strain injury such as tennis elbow (more on this in a second).
Do Vibration Dampeners Reduce the Chance of Injury?
A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences confirmed that the usage of a vibration dampener did not reduce the vibration being transferred from the racket into the forearm. Using a pool of 20 participants, there was no difference in vibration frequency in the arm when using a vibration dampener, compared to not using one.
So, what does this mean?
The chances are, using a vibration dampener isn’t going to prevent tennis elbow. That said, using one isn’t more likely to give you tennis elbow. So, if it helps psychologically to use a dampener and you like the way it looks, go ahead and use one!
Although the reduced amount of vibration may not help to reduce the chance of injury, I do find that it helps with the overall feel of the racket. Less vibration for me tends to lend itself towards more precision and accurate placement of my shots.
Plus, the added vibration dampening helps to reduce the noise of your shots, and creates an oh-so-satisfying “PING”.
If you are looking for a way to reduce the chance of sustaining tennis elbow, or a tennis elbow-friendly way of playing, the racket you use will have the greatest impact. We’ve actually got a list of the best tennis rackets for tennis elbow that you can check out for some great options.
Ok, with all this out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best tennis dampeners.
Best Tennis Dampeners
So, we’re going to break down our list into two sections. One section will be looking at vibration dampeners for big brands such as Head and Babolat.
The next section will look at some other cool vibration dampeners, ideal for adding a personal/ comedic touch to your racket.
Let’s dive in.
Gamma Shockbuster 2
The Gamma Shockbuster 2 is a worm-style vibration dampener (can you guess why it’s called a worm type?).
Gamma is one of my go-to brands for accessories, I absolutely love their overgrips. This is largely due to the fact that they’re affordable and incredibly high quality.
With that in mind, these are one of my favorite worm-style dampeners. The Shockblaster 2 itself features two interconnected dampeners, which you can weave in and out of your main strings (the vertical ones).
This multi-layered design allows more vibrations to be absorbed, as there is more of the dampener touching the strings. It’s also extremely easy to install, as it only takes a couple of seconds to hook on one end, weave the dampener, and then hooking on the remaining end.
If you’re a bit unsure on how to install a vibration dampener, we’ve put together a short guide towards the end of this article that you can check out.
Tourna Sampras Vibration Dampener
Up next we’ve got the Tourna Sampras vibration dampeners. These have recently been renamed to “ODamp Vibration Dampeners”, so if you’re wondering what the difference is between the two… there isn’t any.
I think it’s safe to say that if the 14 time Singles Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras endorsed these vibration dampeners, then they’re going to be pretty good.
The first thing worth mentioning here is, like with a lot of other brands, Tourna offers these in a pair. This is great if you’ve got a couple of rackets, or even want to mix things up on your racket every now and again.
The second thing I want to draw your attention to is the design of the dampeners themselves. You’ll probably notice that they’re hollow, looking somewhat like a donut. Tourna has used this design in order to produce the least amount of air resistance possible in your swing.
While it’s unlikely that something so small would affect your swing in a big way, it’s clear that Tourna has taken every step possible to make these some of the best tennis dampeners.
ADV Tennis Vibration Dampener
If you like to be inundated with color and design options, then you’re going to like the ADV tennis dampeners.
Coming in a set of three, you’ve got the choice of 8 color options in a few different designs. Whether you like your dampeners to belong in length, like a worm style, or short and rectangular, the ADV dampeners will most likely have your preferred style.
Covering 4 strings, ADV has used a durable poly-silicone material to construct their dampeners. This in turn is insanely lightweight, whilst not sacrificing in the quality and durability department.
I also like the fact that ADV offers a lifetime guarantee with their dampeners. It’s always great when a company does this, as it clearly shows that they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to their quality.
This essentially means that you’re able to get a replacement or money back if you’re unhappy with the dampeners for whatever reason, which I doubt you will be.
Considering these dampeners come in a pack of three, the value for money here is insane. Plus, if you’re unhappy with them, return them and get your money back.
Great stuff all round here.
HEAD Djokovic Tennis Racket Vibration Dampener
One of the first dampeners I ever bought was from Head, and that stuck with me for years. It was a white dampener with the Head logo that looked awesome on my black and white Prince 03 (I also had a white Tourna overgrip that I loved which looked and felt AMAZING).
Anyway, if you’re on the hunt for a pair of top-quality pair of dampeners for less than 10 bucks, I think you’ve found what you’re looking for. Plus, you’re getting a pair of dampeners endorsed by the legend that is Djokovic himself, which is always a good thing.
These are a pair of button-style dampeners that covers a total of 2 strings. As always with a company like Head, top-notch materials have been used, such as rubber elastomer. This material is insanely lightweight, so you won’t feel a difference in balance of feel with your racket.
All in all, a great pair of dampeners for an equally great price.
HEAD Zverev Tennis Racket Vibration Dampener
Up next we’ve got another pair of Head dampeners. I won’t go into too much detail here, as they’re virtually identical to the previous Head model we discussed, in terms of material and shape that is.
The difference here is the player behind these dampeners and their design. Alexander Zverev is the man behind these, with these offering a slightly different color palate.
It really comes down to personal preference in the design department, if you’re looking for a darker dampener with a bit more pop in the design, these are the ones for you.
If you’re looking for a simple, non-descript black and white pair of dampeners I’d recommend the Djokovic dampeners we just discussed,
Both are insanely cheap and offer amazing value for money.
Wilson Profeel Tennis Dampener
These vibration dampeners are classic. Built-in a somewhat button style design in the shape of the Wilson logo, these tick all the boxes when it comes to looking for a new vibration dampener.
They’re budget-friendly, have a couple of color options, are made by a well-known brand, and get the job done.
What I particularly like about these dampeners is how well they stay attached to the strings. I’ve had dampeners in the past that fall off every other shot, and that’s certainly not the case here.
I have found them to be somewhat large compared to other designs, however that could be down to string pattern perhaps.
Overall, a great pair of dampeners that are cheap, easy to use, and stay attached through many a game on the court.
Tourna Vibrex Neon Dampener
Tourna is undoubtedly one of my go-to brands when it comes to accessories, they just do it right.
While these may not be to my taste in the design department, they definitely have a bit of charm to them. If you’re the charismatic type of player who likes a bit of individuality in your gear, then these are for you.
Coming in a pack of three, these button-style dampeners cover a total of 2 strings and are created using lightweight silicone material.
As with a lot of accessories, this really comes down to personal preference. Most dampeners are going to offer the same in performance, so it’s a matter of finding a style that suits you and your gear – and these certainly have the style points.
In terms of price, these are actually some of the cheapest on the list, which is surprising considering they come in a pack of three and are made by such a reputable company.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a neon-style dampener to help you stand out on the court, I think you’ve found it. FUNKY!
Babolat Custom Damp X2
These dampeners are as old as time itself. Only joking, but still, I’ve been seeing these circular Babolat vibration dampeners since I was a child, and they’re still going strong.
I guess this can only be a testament to their quality, having been tried and tested over the years and still being one of the most popular tennis dampeners in the world.
Although one of the more expensive options on our list, they’re still inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.
You’ve also got the choice of a few color options, which is great as you’ll better be able to match them with your racket and gear.
As always with these smaller, circular dampers, they’ll cover a total of two strings. This will provide a good bit of shock absorption, whilst not adding any weight of balancing issues to your racket.
All in all, you can’t really go wrong with a brand such as Babolat. They’ve been around the block and know what they’re doing when it comes to tennis gear.
Just Tennis - Vibra Worm
In terms of price per dampener, this is the best value-for-money option on our list. Coming in a pack of 6, you’ll have a few different color options consisting of red, blue, yellow, and black.
Due to the style of these dampeners, they’ll cover a total of 5-6 strings, offering a ton of shock absorption to your shots. This in turn can help with the overall feel of the racket, often providing better precision and placement of your shots.
That’s not to say you’re going to whack one of these on and turn in Nadal, but it will definitely help when it comes to making comfortable and controlled contact with the tennis ball.
Hisello Vibration Dampener
Ok, time to look at the last vibration dampener of this list before we move onto the next section (which has some crackers in it by the way).
This is an overgrip and dampener combo, great for anyone who has just got their racket and are looking for an all-in-one customization option. By doing so, you’ll be able to save a bit of cash in getting them together.
The Hisello bundle comes with a total of two overgrips and two dampeners, each in a black and white option. The dampener itself is somewhat of a hybrid between a worm and button style, covering a total of 5 strings, which in turn offers a solid amount of dampening.
On top of this, you’ll get a money-back guarantee. So, if there’s any issues at all with the dampeners or overgrips, you’ll be able to get your money back with no problem.
While maybe not a well-known brand like Tourna or Babolat, the value for money paired with the money-back guarantee makes this a fantastic option for anyone looking for a budget-friendly way to customize their new racket.
Funny & Cool Vibration Dampeners
Ok now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best tennis vibration dampeners, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at some other options out there,
Admittedly, these won’t be from top brands, but will allow you to add a bit of personality or humor to your racket, which can only be a good thing.
Sorbs Tennis Dampeners
For a very decent price you can get 12 different tennis dampeners. They look Emoji like in their design, and have 3 different bundle options – Winners, Champs and Aces.
The fact that they come as a set of 12 gives you a ton of options to mix things up regularly. All in all, an awesome little bundle for a pretty decent price.
Iron Man Emoji Dampener
If you’re a Marvel fan like me, then I think you’ve just found your dream dampener. You can add a bit of Tony Stark (RIP) flair to your racket with these incredibly cool Iron man dampeners.
Much like a lot of the other options on our list, these are made from silicone material. This is both lightweight and durable, two key factors when looking for a vibration dampener.
Cool, cheap and good quality – I’ll take two thank you very much.
Dead Pool Dampener
Here’s another option for you superhero fans out there.
These are made from 100% silicone material, much like a lot of the top models we discussed earlier. This actually makes then a vary viable option that is made even better by it’s awesome design.
US Flag Vibration Dampener
A great option if you’re looking to show a bit of patriotism on the court.
Again, these are made from silicone material so should do a pretty great job as well as looking awesome.
Angry Bird Dampeners
These are fantastic! While I haven’t played Angry Birds in some time, you can’t help but love these little dampeners.
You’ve also got a choice for a variety of characters from the Angry Birds games and films to really spice up your racket.
What are the Benefits of a Dampener?
I Briefly touched on this earlier in the article, but let’s take a closer look at the benefits you can receive from using a vibration dampener.
Add a Personal Touch to Your Racket
Having a vibration dampener on your racket can add a bit of personality and individualism to your look. There’s not a ton of ways to stand out and add some personal flair to your tennis attire and gear, so having a vibration dampener is a fantastic way to stand out and customize your look.
This one is pretty subjective; however, I much prefer the sound my racket makes when I’m using a vibration dampener. There’s just something about that ping that’s so satisfying. It also reduces the overall noise of the contact between the racket and the ball, with a lot of people often referring to a dampener as a silencer.
Improve Feel and Placement
This is probably the biggest advantage you can get from using a vibration dampener.
There’s a palpable difference in feeling when using a dampener and when you’re not, especially if you’re a big swinger.
A vibration dampener can help gentle the impact of the ball and racket connecting, allowing for better precision and accuracy.
How to Choose a Vibration Dampener for Tennis
Ok, so now all that’s out of the way, how do you go about choosing the right dampener for your racket?
That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss now.
When it comes to vibration dampeners there’s a couple of different distinct types that you’ll come across.
You’ll notice that it’s fairly obvious how these have been named. The worm unsurprisingly is long and thin. These tend to be cover around 5-6 strings and can either be placed on top of the strings or woven in and out.
Most people tend to use the weave method, as the dampener itself will come into direct contact with more of the strings, and therefore have a bigger impact when it comes to shock absorbing.
Again, I wonder how they’ve come up with this name? Aptly named a “button” vibration dampener, these are circular in shape and are typically placed in between the two most center main/ vertical strings.
I personally prefer to use button dampeners, as I think they look a lot better, and there are just more options out there.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a ton of different designs and styles out there. You’re not just limited to two styles, however, worm and button style dampeners are by far the most common. One example can be the Wilson Shock Trap, which is somewhat a combination of the two.
The best way to find out what style you like is to simply try out whatever appeals to you the most. Fortunately, dampeners are pretty inexpensive, so you can try a fair few out without breaking the bank.
How to Put a Vibration Dampener on a Tennis Racquet
Ok, so you may be wondering: where does the tennis dampener go on the racquet and how do I put it on?
That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss now.
How to Install Button Dampeners
When it comes to installation, the tennis racket dampeners placement is key. There’s no point in having one but placed in the wrong part of your racquet.
Below we’ll go over how you can correctly install your new dampener.
All steps below should be carried out below the first horizontal/ cross string of the racket.
- Step 1. Locate the two centermost vertical strings.
- Step 2: Place the right side of the dampener into the right-center string. You should feel a pop or click as the dampener attaches.
- Step 3: Pull the left-center string slightly to the left, then attach the left side of the dampener to the string. Again you should feel a pop/ click as the dampener attaches.
- Step 4. Slide the dampener up the main strings until it is nicely touching the bottom-most horizontal string.
- Step 5: Enjoy!
How to Install Worm Dampeners
The steps to install a worm dampener will vary depending on the design. Most worm dampeners are attached as followed:
Again, all steps below should be carried out below the first horizontal/ cross string of the racket.
- Step 1. Attach the left side of the dampener to a string towards the left side. The string will depend on the length of the worm.
- Step 2. Weave the dampener in and out of the vertical strings.
- Step 3. Attach the right side of the dampener to the string.
Do professional tennis players use vibration dampeners?
The answer to this is yes and no. Some do, some don’t. For example, Nadal uses a tennis racquet vibration dampener, whilst Federer does not. With that in mind, it really comes down to personal preference and whether or not you find that a dampener can aid your ability to play, instead of hinder it.
What type of shock absorber works best?
Again, this really comes down to personal preference, which is probably why there’s such a variety of designs out there. Try and a few out and see which one works better for you.
Does a tennis racquet vibration dampener affect power?
I am speaking anecdotally here, but I have never felt a lack of power or reduction of power by using a dampener on my racket. In my opinion, the power comes from string tension and frame stiffness, neither of which are affected by the use of a shock absorber. With that in mind, I find it highly unlikely that using a dampener will affect your power, and if it does, will only be a minuscule amount.
Well, there we have it.
Hopefully, you’ve found the best tennis racket vibration dampener for your style and preference.
If you’ve got any questions whatsoever or would like to suggest a dampener, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form below.
Thanks for stopping by!