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VIBRATION DAMPENERS

   There has been some confusion about those rubber
dampeners that most people put on the strings. I would
like to inform everyone of the facts.
   First of all they are vibration dampeners not shock
absorbers, however they only reduce string vibrations.
Tennis strings vibrate when contact is made. The
vibrations from the string do not produce harmful vibration
to the arm or hand. The harmful effects of ball contact is
caused by racquet shock along with some racquet
vibration. Do not confuse racquet vibration with string
vibration. String vibration simply put is sound! The higher
the vibration frequency the higher pitch sound it makes.
Vibration dampeners only reduce the sound pitch of the
strings to a lower level. If you don’t like the high pitch â
€œpingâ€� on ball contact the dampener will make a
lower pitch “thud� instead. It is all a matter of
preference not performance. A vibration dampener will
NOT help prevent  or reduce the pain of tennis elbow.
   Secondly, the rules of tennis state that no devices or
object may be place within the string bed of a racquet. The
vibration dampeners are to be placed outside the last
string towards the frame. It can be placed above, below or
the sides of the string bed, but the best method is to place
the dampener near the throat of the racquet.
   I hope this has clarified some confusion that I hear
about tennis racquet vibration dampeners.

Doug Hofer, USPTA & USRSA   November 22, 2006
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