Sure, if it's an AMbelievable™ Tennis Dampener!
Jokes aside, currently, the majority of players use a tennis dampener. With traditional dampening devices (e.g. button dampener), it comes down to personal preference and whether you like the feel and sound.
With the AMbelievable™ dampener we’ve done way more. While the choice is still very personal, our dampener performances are impressing players of all ages and levels —and that’s about science, not just feelings.
That’s a quite controversial question. While some think it's an essential accessory, others like the feel of playing without one. Overall, despite being small, simple and overall inexpensive, a tennis dampener can make a significant difference to how you feel on the court, which could enhance your game.
It's undoubtedly true that a dampener reduces the strings’ vibrations, which you might find adds to your comfort. Also, what a dampener won't do is reduce your racquet's power!
For some players, the main appeal of a dampener is that it alters the sound of the ball hitting the strings; instead of a harsher 'ping', it's a softer and more muffled sound. However, research demonstrates that their effect goes beyond sound reduction; a traditional dampener alters the vibrations frequency spectrum of your racket-system, shifting the frequencies and reducing their amplitude.
Some believe that the dampener also reduces the impact on the arm; that's not true for traditional dampeners; however, if that helps you feel good, you're more likely to play your best tennis. Unlike conventional devices, the AMbelievable™ dampener doesn't just absorb vibrations but further dissipates them through the elastic response of its constituent components, widening the reachable frequencies spectra.
The majority of players on the ATP and WTA players use a dampener in order to reduce their tennis racket vibrations. This is true both for woman and man. Generally speaking, the latest market researches say that up to 75% of the approximately 87 million players (source: ITF 2022) use a dampener.
Back to top ATP players, they place the dampener between the two central main strings on the racket. Many of them like using a dampener as they believe that, in addition to reducing the vibrations in the strings, it also improves their comfort and protects their arm. Novak Djokovic is reportedly among those latter.
Additionally, despite mostly untold, many players believe the dampener also adds to their racket's style :)
Some players believe that a dampener will cut the chances of getting tennis elbow. They feel better knowing it will reduce the vibrations in the strings. However, there aren’t any studies that have conclusively shown that dampeners prevent you from getting tennis elbow or that they reduce any pain or discomfort. Why? See the next question 👇
The scientific literature on the topic shows that the primary vibrations affecting your elbow are the lower frequency ones (typically around 100/200 Hz depending on your racket's model). A traditional dampener is too small to absorb them.
The AMbelievable™ dampener doesn't just absorb vibrations but also dissipates them -as we have introduced. Thanks to the "metamaterials" approach, this can be done in a targeted way; namely, we can engineer the shape of the device to precisely target specific frequencies. This can significantly affect the overall interference with the vibrations spectrum.
You can't just put the dampener anywhere you please - the International Tennis Federation says that it must be placed outside the pattern of the cross strings. The best place for it is below the cross strings.
You should be able to easily insert the 'button' dampener between your two central main strings, sliding it up as far as it goes until it reaches the first cross string.
There are three kinds of string dampeners: "button" dampeners, "worm" dampeners, and the "rubber bands". While the choice is personal, button dampeners are the most widespread and used among players of all levels. Talking about the AMbelievable™ dampener, some say it falls into the button dampener category, while others say we should use a new type for its classification. We leave that up to you.
As we have said, rubber bands are one of three types of tennis dampeners. The 'button' types are the most popular with amateurs and favored by professionals as they are the quickest and easiest to add to a freshly-strung racquet.
But you also can choose the longer, thinner 'worm' dampeners. Some players prefer to create their dampeners using rubber bands. That helps them fine-tune the dampening effect. While those DIY dampeners can somehow reduce a tennis racket's vibrations, they will lose their performance quickly (spoiler alert: almost immediately indeed, just after a few hits). Over time they will become too stretchy to be effective and might fall off the racquet.
If you're thinking about using a rubber band or do use it, you are more likely to love the AMbelievable™ dampener feeling. Let alone that, with a DIY rubber band, the overall look of your tennis racquet won't be quite so premium ;)
Yes, it is the first industrially produced device to date using 3D printing. No other dampeners use the same technology —and, as you can learn on our technology page, our dampeners must be made by 3D printing. No other manufacturing technology can achieve the same geometrical complexity at commercially viable costs.
That being said, there are a few DIY dampener designs that you can 3D print at home. However, the difference between those devices and ours is pretty visible at first glance; once you've printed and installed it on your racket (supposing that you had a suitable material, everything went well on your printer, and you correctly post-processed your part)... well, do not expect the same performance —in fact, do not expect it to work at all. If you really want to print one at home, read the next question!
No, you can't do that. Not yet, at least. First, the 3D printers we use to produce the dampeners aren't desktop 3D printers. We use industrial equipment with a price tag of some hundred thousand euros. Material is also crucial to the device's performance and, more important, to the environmental impact. Second, the device is protected by intellectual property right. Any reproduction or attempt to reproduce it is punished by international law -having a penal profile in most countries worldwide. 3D printing is a fantastic technology, yet the topic of intellectual property is still a challenging one. Once the hardware (i.e., 3D printers) is equipped with a solid copyright-proof mechanism, that may change. To date, we can send the file only to our partners' network.
If you are a passionate 3D geek and want to print some fabulous dampener designs subscribe to our newsletter (see homepage) —we are planning to release a few designs "free-to-print" in the coming months.