Hall of Fame
Agassi's rubber band?
Agassi's rubber band?
I think Annacone used one of those in his POG.I remember having a small foam cylinder/tube thing that was red & yellow, and when put inbetween the 2 central strings at the bottom of the stringbed, took on the appearance of a little tennis ball. That was probably early 80s. But I am not a pro . . . .
Great pic/blast from the past... I used those too back in the day but completely forgot about them.He did. This is what i used!
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Syngut/nylon have been around since way before dampeners. Syngut/nylon was the only alternative to natural gut.Great pic/blast from the past... I used those too back in the day but completely forgot about them.
When I was growing up, good/snobby players would look down on those who used dampeners... But that was back in the natural gut era just as syngut/nylon was taking off. Guess gut inherently dampens vibration somewhat and they're needed more with synthetics? Then Sampras and Agassi started using them and now it seem many top pros do too.
I agree; though at the time I thought it was just a gimmicky way to fill in the 'visual' space created by the Superform throat.The first one I remember was Stan Smith with the Fischer Superfoam. If I'm not mistaken, Fischer invented the dampener for the Superfoam and included it with every Superfoam sold.
I bought a new Superfoam. It came with the original dampener. Of course, I had to fiddle with it and it wasn't as pliant as it was when new....I agree; though at the time I thought it was just a gimmicky way to fill in the 'visual' space created by the Superform throat.
Hey, I resemble that remark! I started playing in 1980, going through the wood-aluminium-graphite transition. In 1987, one of my high school team buddies turned up with a dampener and got soundly derided for it! These days, I wouldn’t play without one, even with the PT600 which is pretty muted.When I was growing up, good/snobby players would look down on those who used dampeners... But that was back in the natural gut era just as syngut/nylon was taking off. Guess gut inherently dampens vibration somewhat and they're needed more with synthetics? Then Sampras and Agassi started using them and now it seem many top pros do too.
Syngut/nylon have been around since way before dampeners. Syngut/nylon was the only alternative to natural gut.
A bit off topic, but I have a question for you guys who have played for a while. I started playing tennis circa 2003, so poly and other natty guy alternatives were already present. What did casual players use before synthetic gut/nylon? Was the only choice gut? Did it command a premium (as it does today), or was it cheaper then when it was the only option (seems like it would be more expensive if it was the only option, but maybe gut supply was greater then?)? Thanks!As others have said Stan Smith was the 1st pro I saw using a dampener. But the 1st person I saw using a 'dampener' was years before by a guy I used to hit with when I was a teenager. Back then everyone was still using wood, aluminum or steel standard head racquets and everyone strung with gut. There were some courts where a lot of top local juniors would go in the summers and hang out all day playing. There was a Romanian man in his 40's who worked at night and lived across the street from the courts who would also hang out and hit with anyone who wanted to. He wasn't much into playing sets but liked to hit/drill and was a groundstroke machine--all the kids would hit with him at some point as he was great to practice with. In his Jack Kramer Autograph he would wrap a piece of athletic tape, like you might wrap on your fingers, around the 2 center mains just below the last cross. When we asked why he did that he'd answer in broken English 'it feel better.' We all just thought he was crazy...
Very cool. Thanks for your reply!Back when I was referring to in my post above most people used gut because at that time the only other option was nylon and it did not play well at all back then--there was a huge difference between how gut played vs nylon. 'Synthetic gut' came a little bit later and while it was better than nylon it was still not close to gut. I used full gut string beds in my racquets until well into the 1990s. By then synthetic strings had improved a lot and more powerful graphite racquets were being used so the 'need' to use gut didn't seem as crucial. Gut was more expensive that nylon by a fair bit but most even casual players felt it was a necessary expense back in the old days. We would play with the gut until it broke to get as much as we could out of them. These days synthetic gut strings have gotten so good that using gut doesn't seem as worth it. Until a few years ago I was using gut/poly hybrids but these days I just use syn gut/poly hybrids and don't notice any real significant drop off in play. And I don't use a string dampener...