The effect of tennis racket string vibration dampers on racket handle vibrations and discomfort following impacts

J Sports Sci. 1999 May;17(5):379-85. doi: 10.1080/026404199365894.


In this study, we evaluated the effect of the use of tennis racket string vibration dampers on racket handle vibrations, and perceptions of hand and arm discomfort experienced by tennis players owing to stationary racket impacts. Twenty tennis players (10 males, 10 females) aged 18-29 years volunteered for the study. Two different racket models were impacted at the geometric centre of the racket face and 100 mm distal to the centre both with and without string vibration dampers in place. The participants could neither see nor hear the impacts, and they indicated their discomfort immediately after each impact using a visual analogue scale. An analysis of variance (2 x 2 x 2 factorial) was performed on the scaled discomfort ratings with the factors damping condition, racket type and impact location. No significant differences in discomfort ratings between damped and undamped impacts or between the two racket types were found. Also, central impacts were found to be more comfortable than impacts 100 mm distal to the centre (P< 0.05). There were no significant interaction effects. Vibration traces from an accelerometer mounted on the racket handle revealed that string vibration dampers quickly absorbed high-frequency string vibration without attenuating the lower-frequency frame vibration. In conclusion, we found no evidence to support the contention that string vibration dampers reduce hand and arm impact discomfort.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Protective Devices
  • Sports Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Tennis / injuries*
  • Tennis / physiology
  • Vibration / adverse effects*