VT Advantec is a new company on the tennis scene. Their mission is to reduce vibrations through their strips and grips. Here is my review.
I have been using VT Advantec strips and grips for a few months and overall it's been a positive experience. I can't sadly confirm the claims about reducing vibrations compared to lead tape. Because any added weight will technically reduce vibration according to The Physics and Technology of Tennis so I would like to see a scientific comparison of vibration dampening between lead tape and the VT Advantec strips. But if you don't want to add weight by using lead strips, I think VT Advantec strips are a nice substitute. They are a bit more expensive though, so if you do plenty of customization, it will be costly. But the benefit of VT Advantec strips is that you can move them around between racquets without losing the stickiness of the glue. I find this really useful when I am testing different racquets.
A strip is around 0.8-0.9 grams so if you add two strips, it does make a difference. If you haven't tried racquet customization before, this is a great way to start.
What about the VT Advantec Grips?
The VT Advantec grips are something like a synthetic leather grip with the same material as the strips included to reduce vibrations. If you don't like the feeling of the bevels of the grip or never used a leather grip, this might not be your cup of tea. But if you use leather grips and want a more comfortable alternative, I think you should give the VT Advantec grips a try. I really enjoyed these grips and they did feel more comfortable to me than a leather grip, especially for my hand.
As you can tell, I like the products, but I am not sure about whether they do everything they claim to. I would love to see some scientific data on how and how much these products eliminate vibrations. I didn't personally feel a difference compared to lead tape, but if you don't use lead tape – these products should work well to make your racquet more stable and solid-feeling.
I do like the feel of the grips and my favorite part of the strips is the ability to move them around between racquets. Perhaps they would make a difference if I use them for a long period of time, but since I don't suffer from tennis elbow or wrist pain these days, I have a hard time telling whether they would help me or not.
That's why I'm keen to hear from you who have tested their products. What do you think about them?
Read more about Advantec products here
No real explanation of the tech on their site. The only relevant piece of information is the reference to “layers”. It is scientifically true that layered designs can absorb vibrations. This is most often done by having a visco-elastic substance sandwiched between two stiffer panels. However, it is required that the entire sandwich flexes for it to absorb any energy into the visco-elastic layer. This design method is often used to dampen sound and vibration in cars, ships, engine rooms, high-end loudspeakers etc.
Unfortunately there is very minor flexing possible in the handle of a racquet or within the few centimeters of strip length if put on a frame. The longer and thicker/stiffer the strips, the more likely it would be they could absorb energy.
The energy would be deposited as heat into the material. You can verify if this happens by hitting as hard as possible within a given period (against a wall) and then measure the temperature change of the strips. If you for example do this with a low pressure (green/orange tip) training ball, you will notice a significant rise in ball temperature after a few minutes.