While dampeners aren’t the most important piece of equipment when playing racket sports like racquetball, some players swear by them. Below we provide all the information on racquetball dampeners including which ones to buy if you are just starting out or looking to make your first purchase.
What is a Racquetball Dampener?
A racquetball dampener is typically made of a material consisting of elastomer rubber which aids in reducing the vibrations felt because of the impact of ball on racket strings.
In doing so, a dampener increases the player comfort level and has long-term benefits for the player’s arm protection. Some players have complained of pain in the arm and elbow if they play without a dampener, while others have spoken of a potential tennis elbow problem without one.
A dampener is usually used by adding it to the main two central main strings.
How to Install a Racquetball Dampener?
Here’s an excellent video explaining how you can install a racquetball dampener to your racket.
Our Best Recommended Racquetball Dampener Reviews
Five of our top recommended racquetball dampeners have been mentioned and reviewed below. Their pros and cons along with some of their best features explained will help you make a quick decision on which machine to go for.
- Gamma Shockbuster II
- Wilson Pro Feel
- Head Smartsob
- 21K Sports Dampeners
- Sorbz Dampeners
Here’s a deeper analysis on why we have opted for the aforementioned racquetball dampeners.
Gamma Shockbuster II
Gamma Shockbuster II is an upgrade to the original Shockbuster dampener from Gamma. The earlier version only had one gel strip to reduce the shock and vibration from the impact.
But Shockbuster II comes with two strips of the same. On both sides of the strips, a clasp ensures that the strips are kept secure. Shockbuster II contacts all the critical main string of the racket to provide maximum reduction in vibration.
It has a 2X Zorbicon construction that absorbs harmful vibrations and shocks from the impact and helps to alleviate and protect against injuries like the tennis elbow and other wrist injuries. The dampeners are available in blue and black colours. The dampeners don’t take a long time to install in the racket.
Hooks are provided on both ends of the shock buster, one end hooks around the main string and weave the flexible dampener through the string and hook it through another verticle string on the other end. The placement of the dampener is to be kept near the throat of the racquet on the lower part.
Shockbuster provides great absorption and just an average racket can feel like a pro version with it. The only downside of this dampener is that the plastic clasp of the dampener tends to break off rather quickly. Especially for hard hitters of the ball, the dampener can only the last amount 2-3 months before it breaks off.
Whilst the durability of this dampener may be questioned, its performance is unquestionable. No matter how hard one hits, the shock absorption capacity of this dampener is second to none and is an excellent choice for players playing at any level of the sport.
Wilson Pro Feel
Wilson makes some excellent vibration dampeners for all racket sports. Its tennis and racketball dampener range gives excellent performance and comes in attractive colours and shapes.
Some other dampeners like the Vibra range come in fire and heart shapes. The Wilson Pro Feel is a classic “W” shaped dampener which is one of the best dampers available in the market.
Two main issues whilst using the dampeners are the difficulty of properly installing them on the racket as well as the falling of the racket when the balls hit them and or when a hard-hitting shot is played. The Wilson Pro feel solves both of these issues.
It has a very simple and uncomplicated way of installing and will stay in its place as long as you push it to the bottom-most cross string in the racket.
Each pack comes with two dampeners inside and they are available in blue, yellow, silver and red colours. Although it is always advisable to go with colours that are in contrast to the playing surface colour because at times dampeners to come off the racket and then it can take forever to search a blue colour dampener against a blue colour surface!
This dampener absorbs the vibration excellently but it will also provide and different feel and feedback based upon where one hits the ball from. For example, there will be a difference in feeling if the ball is hit from the sweet spot compared to when its hit from the off centre. This will provide excellent feedback to the player and they will know how consistently they are finding the middle of the racket.
Head has been one of the leading sports equipment manufacturers when it comes to producing high-quality ski and racket sports products. Its smartsob dampener is a worm style dampener which will weave through six strings on the racket to provide a maximum amount of coverage.
The additional coverage from the dampener ensures that shock and vibrations generated when the ball hits the racket is partially absorbed by the dampener and lessens the stress and tension that is passed on to player’s arm. This also means that more precision and control is generated from the swing which improves the overall game.
This dampener also reduces the ping noise generated with each shot and the player can stay focused and on top of their game. Due to the design of Head Smartsob, it won’t last as long as a classic rubber dampener but it can still give great performance if due care is taken.
One needs to ensure that when the dampener is put on the racket, they don’t pull the ends by the clips. One should start from the middle and push the ends towards the strings. This will help to keep the ends from breaking off and last longer.
Some Raquetball users may find this long design of the dampener too long for their liking and that this product may be more useful for tennis rackets. But it will work on any type of racket with a string bed.
It may take some time for users who have been using the “button” type dampeners for a long time but its unique design and coverage reduces the vibrations more than other products in the market. Players with elbow injuries and concerns with regards to their arm should try this product.
21K Sports Dampeners
21K sports has introduced dampeners which are fast and easy to install and provides the maximum amount of vibration control. It comes in a three-pack with attractive colours that covers six strings on the racket and provide great coverage.
It looks attractive on the racket with nine different colour options including a multicolour one being available. It is a lightweight dampener which takes next to no effort to set up but still provides amazing performance. According to the manufacturers, the dampeners are made to last at least 100 hours of play which is extremely long-lasting and durable.
Unlike most other dampeners which provide no performance or manufacturing warranty, the 21K sports dampeners come with 30 days full price refund guarantee.
Each dampener weights around 0.1 ounces which are extremely light and most players won’t notice that weight on the racket. Apart from reducing the stress vibrations passing on to the arm, these dampeners primarily do three main jobs extremely efficiently. One, they are easy to install, the player just needs to ensure that the dampeners’ upper slot completely snaps into the bottom set of coss strings.
Second, it gives a very satisfying and solid “pop” when the ball strikes the sweet spot. Three, the dampeners stays on the racket and doesn’t fly off in the middle of a rally which is a complaint many users have when using other dampeners.
The only downside of this dampener is that they are a little bit above average when it comes to the price. Primarily the higher price is down to the fact that the brand does not provide a single or two dampener pack unlike other products in the market.
So people who are not looking to buy a three-pack dampener and spend a good amount of money on it may not find this option very attractive.
We have covered dampeners of various sizes and shapes. There are dampeners which are classic button style and there are also dampeners which provide extra coverage because of its worm type design.
But most of them are pretty similar when it comes to their colours and patterns. So if someone is looking to lighten up their racket and put on some expressive dampeners, Sorbz is a brilliant option.
They come in as a super pack of 12 all of which are unique and fun in terms of its size, shape and colours. The “Winners” pack consists of dampeners in the shape of a cow, a frog, a panda and many other fun shapes. Just like other dampeners they are also easy to install and durable.
Each pack comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if the customer is not 100% satisfied with the product. This can also be used as an excellent gift for the young ones starting in the game.
If fitted properly, they do not fly off from the racket while playing and tends to last for sufficient time. The only downside of this dampener is they can not be bought in a two or three dampener pack and only comes in 12 unit pack. And because of the number of dampeners in a pack, the price of is a little bit on the higher side.
Using a racquetball dampener is bit of a personal choice given there are some players who also reckon it takes away any kind of feeling from the racket too. However, if you reckon a dampener is a must and the lack of its usage causes issues, then you could refer to our guide above on our recommendations on the best dampeners available in the market.