In this fourth installment of playtester favorites of 2011, we’re looking at accessories. This could include grips, overgrips, dampeners, wristbands … you get the picture.
In the spirit of year-end Best Of lists, some of our playtesters picked their favorite products of 2011 and explained why. So just who are these playtesters? Chris, Spencer, Jason, Brittany and Tiffani — we’re all familiar faces on the playtest team, and our jobs put us in contact with all of the newest products that go up on our web site.
Here are the playtesters’ picks for 2011 accessories:
Sometimes it’s nice to not take things too seriously, at least Tiffani and Brittany seem to think. They both chose this fun Wilson vibration dampener as their favorite racquet accessory for 2011.
Tiffani on the Vibrafun Dampener: “Call it silly, but I love to have fun with dampeners. A favorite of mine, but not new to 2011, is the Gamma String Things Dampener featuring the frog. It comes in a two-pack with a flower, but really, I stick with the frog. It reminds me of Sanrio’s Keroppi. For 2011, though, I have to give it to Wilson for the new Vibrafun Vibration Dampener designs. My personal favorites are the glitter hearts. I prefer the clear because it feels softer and more pliable. I’ve gone all girly since having a baby girl.”
Brittany weighs in: “The Wilson Vibra Fun dampener in glitter hearts is a fun addition to any racquet. Seriously, who wouldn’t love this dampener? It has glitter and is in the shape of a heart. Ok, maybe it is not for everybody but I can’t resist. In fact, I am not even really a fan of vibration dampeners and I will still use it.”
Prince DuraTac Overgip in black, also available in white
Jason took a more serious approach. As playtesters, we often have to share racquets. That can make a replacement grip wear out very quickly. An easy fix is an overgrip. Needless to say, we go through a lot of overgrips, so it’s easy to see understand why Jason would pick a new overgrip for his favorite 2011 accessory.
Jason on Prince DuraTac Overgrip: “Because it’s tacky, and I like that.”
Wilson Shock Shield System
Wilson Shock Shield Dampener
Wilson Shock Shield 17 (also available in 16 gauge)
Wilson Shock Shield Hybrid Replacement Grip
This pick by Chris isn’t a single product but a series of three items from Wilson. Tennis can do a number on your body if you’re not careful, and many TW playtesters, Chris included, have struggled with arm/shoulder pain at one time or another.
Chris on the Shock Shield System: “Put the string, grip and damp together and you can turn even the harshest feeling racquet feel plush and comfortable. What a great way for players to improve comfort without the expense of a new racquet.”
Spencer chose two accessories. First is the Yonex Dampener. They come with Yonex racquets, but we started selling them separately in 2011. This dampener is a favorite not just with Spencer. Tiffani would have to agree that this is one of the best.
Spencer on the Yonex Dampener: “It has a nice rubber consistency, it’s easy to install, and it stays in.”
For his second pick, Spencer went with sweat management. Even on the indoor testing court, things can get pretty heated!
Spencer’s take on the Volkl wristbands: “Perfect length, not too short, not too long. Perfect tightness, not too loose, not too tight, and excellent moisture absorbtion.”
Check back in tomorrow for our next installment of playtester favorites. We’ll take a look at socks.