I need to begin this blog post with two disclosures. The first is that when the email entitled ‘Product You’ll Enjoy’ from the owner of Romp Supply arrived in my inbox I almost sent it straight to my spam folder in shock, but then my eyes landed on the words ‘tennis fashionista’ and I realised it was definitely a serious message for me! The second is that as an outcome of this email, Romp Supply sent me three vibration dampeners for free which prompted this review, but I can assure you that all opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
Romp Supply make three different brightly coloured vibration dampeners in lemon yellow, cherry red and sky blue. You could say there isn’t that much variety, but if you think about it, these colours do actually match a wide range of tennis rackets on the market. My tennis racket is an orange and black Head Radical Team and my partner’s is a Prince black and red Warrior 100 racket, so I let him have the red dampener to try (it looks so stylish!), and I took the yellow for myself.
They cost $14.95 for a pack of three (so they are a bit pricier than your standard dampener) and whilst they only currently ship to the US, they are looking to expand this to other countries in the future.
What I immediately liked about the Romp dampeners was how flexible they were, which makes them easier to put on. For someone who likes to look after her nails, trying to insert a vibration dampener can be a rather scary undertaking. I have broken at least one nail trying to get those pesky little things on – those small ridges just don’t want to slot onto the strings! I have also managed to lose my vibration dampener quite a few times on the court. I have no idea how common this is (perhaps this is just another of my failings, like throwing my racket across the court), but I think it either happens to me because I didn’t manage to put the dampener on properly and/or because I am learning and often miss-hit the ball, but it is certainly a problem I would prefer to avoid in the future (as I would be way too embarrassed to ask my partner to help me put on a dampener during a tennis match just to save my nails!).
The next thing that I realised was different about the Romp Supply dampener was how many more strings it stretched across compared to a typical button dampener – they are more like the worm-style dampener. Not only does this mean that these dampeners certainly aren’t going anywhere once they are on, they are likely to provide increased dampening. The only way to judge this was to train for a couple of hours with the dampener, which is what my partner and I did in our joint tennis lesson today. (By the way, we really enjoy having tennis lessons together and I recommend it to anyone that wants to find an activity they can share with their other half).
We both started off with our usual dampeners, and after about 30 mins we changed to the Romp dampeners so we could better gauge the influence of the latter (we’re engineers, and so we like to do an experiment properly!). As my partner doesn’t usually have trouble putting on dampeners, he actually found these a bit more time-consuming to attach, as they need to cover more strings. At the end of the 2 hour lesson, we did feel that they provided more dampening, but we weren’t sure if it was possibly too much. However, like all changes it is probably just something we would eventually get used to, and each player has a different preference for the amount of dampening they want (with some people not even using dampeners).
In summary, these are cute, colourful, nail-safe, stay-in-place dampeners that provide increased dampening to your tennis shots. A perfect gift for any tennis lover (except those that don’t use them, of course!).