During my long tennis career 😉 I have tried a couple of different tennis sensors – my partner has the Babolat POP (which I have already reviewed for this blog) and I have used the Zepp tennis sensor. The Babolat POP has been a great success and my partner uses it for every single training or match. I have not used the Zepp so much as I have the flex mount that sticks out of the end of the racket, and it feels a bit strange to play with – I think I will need to buy the pro mount that will allow me to attach the sensor directly to the end of the racket. Now if, like me, you follow lots of tennis accounts on Instagram, you will have recently noticed a deluge of posts about the QLIPP dampener sensor. It looks like the makers of QLIPP are following the modern trend of using Instagram accounts with a high number of followers to promote products. And I was lucky enough to be one of those Instagram accounts! (Update: they have now also created a discount code for me, and so if you buy a QLIPP sensor with the code “helenqlipp” or directly from this link, you will get a 10% discount.)
The QLIPP tennis sensor is a dampener that collects information about your shots on an application installed on your smart phone. It retails at around 100 US dollars and can be shipped internationally for free. It is a little heavier than typical dampeners, but the extra weight did not bother me, and I liked the dampening effect it gave. Once you have installed the app onto your phone, you need to turn on the sensor, and it should pair automatically (provided you have Bluetooth turned on). You then start the sensor from the app and start playing. I left my phone on the chair at the side of the court, and the sensor did disconnect a couple of times, but in almost all cases it reconnected itself straight away. I recorded 20 minutes of my training, and afterwards I was able to get a summary of the whole session in terms of average speed, sweet-spot and spin power as well as a log of each stroke. It will distinguish flat shots from those with slice or top spin, for both backhand and forehand. In addition to providing information on each session, it also shows your progress across sessions, so you can see whether you are improving on any of the aforementioned parameters. One thing it does not do (as far as I could tell) is allow you to separate training sessions from matches, which would be a useful feature to see whether your performance is affected by those match nerves (well, I already know that this is the case, I just don’t know by how much!)
Another feature it has, and which I tested out, is the possibility to video yourself whilst using the sensor. In addition to being able to see how your footwork and loading affects your speed and accuracy, a good use of this feature is to check whether the sensor is distinguishing correctly between the slices and top-spin shots etc. This is something that is difficult to gauge with other tennis sensors, and you have to just trust that they are working correctly. I did notice that my battery drained quite quickly with this video feature (which I used for 16 minutes in total), so it is not something you would want to use for a whole match or training session.
The final main feature, which I have not yet used, is related to the service. This is something I am really keen on using as I really hope to see an increase in my service speed in the coming months. If I manage to see any improvements, I’ll be sure to share the QLIPP statistics with you here!