The two most common questions I get are: "How and why was the ShockSorb made?" This article will give more insight into the development, testing and marketing processes.
The story of the ShockSorb dampeners cannot be told properly without a little personal background. My family moved to the United States from South Korea when I was 8 years old, to further my dream of becoming a professional tennis player. I worked my way up to the top five juniors within each age division before having the honor of being hand-picked by Nick Bolletieri to attend at IMG Academies. During my time at IMG, I had the chance to train with the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Tommy Haas, and many other top tennis players in the early-mid 2000’s.
My time at IMG included some of my toughest training and most intense matches. While I was no stranger to intense workouts and training sessions, one opponent that I could not seem to conquer was my chronic shoulder pain. As I continued playing and training, my shoulder pain worsened into something that put me out for over a year when I was at my peak professional ranking.
After my professional tennis career, I found a new passion in coaching professional and recreational players. This has been (one of) my occupations during the last decade and had countless chances to test various racquet, string and tension combinations for myself.
After testing different racquets and string combinations (2-3 days) my shoulder would always regress into the same pain that I would battle while on tour. I was comfortable with my body and understanding its needs, knowing this pain wasn't immediately an injury. Had I continued to play test other racquets/strings long enough, however, even just 2-3 days, my shoulder felt like the rotator cuff was starting to tear. The weird thing to me was that I had never changed my technique - the only change was the racquet or strings.
After realizing that it was not my technique or overuse, I theorized that the problem stemmed from the different vibration frequencies when I would test the various racquets and strings. My main/preferred racquet setup would not hurt my shoulder whatsoever. In light of this, I wanted to see if using a better quality racquet dampener would help with my shoulder pain.
Naturally, the first thing I did was search for the best dampener on the internet. Nevertheless, the market was relatively limited options for dampeners, especially in terms of the materials that were used. Being a player/coach for over 30 years, and using dampeners as long as I could remember, I was already familiar with the brands and products of dampeners. I realized that I had tried just about every dampener on the market already. Been there, done that.
Wanting something different with more dampening properties, I searched for "the best vibration dampening material" on Google (to this day, Google is my best friend). Out of all the results that Google threw at me, I was especially interested in a material called "Sorbothane". Various articles explained that there was no other known material that could both absorb vibrations and shock as well as Sorbothane. So, I immediately bought a piece of Sorbothane from Amazon and eBay (just to make sure I wasn't getting fake stuff) and eagerly began experimenting.
I cut a small, square piece of Sorbothane and stuck it in between my usual spot for my dampener. I can still remember, very clearly, the first time I struck the ball with that piece of Sorbothane on my racquet. It was amazingly...bad. Not bad because the dampening effects weren't there, but quite the opposite. It was amazingly bad because the vibration reduction was so strong that I couldn't even feel the ball! I kept playing with the sorbothane square on my racquet to further experiment how it would affect my shoulder pain if I put them on a different racquet and strings. The effects were truly amazing. I didn't feel any pain that I would usually feel when I play with other racquets. The differences with the Sorbothane were particularly noticeable and beneficial on the serve. I would feel most of the pain when serving with other racquets, but with the piece of Sorbothane, I didn't have any pain at all.
"So much for the theory on dampeners not helping with arm pain..." I thought.
I knew right away how tough it would be to explain to every tennis player that this material/dampener actually helps in reducing pain. But knowing that, I still had to make the dampener and knew that it would be able to help thousands or if not millions of tennis players out there that feels pain just like myself. So I continued to tweak the feel and design of the dampener for over 2 years with hundreds of designs and different types of plastic and found the perfect combination of feel and arm-comfort.
The control and comfort of the ShockSorb is directly related to the four-piece construction. Two discs of soft Sorbothane core that are encased by two durable polymer pieces on the outside. When ShockSorbs are applied to the strings, the Sorbothane discs absorb the harmful vibrations. The solid polymer pieces prevent the strings from eating up the soft Sorbothane for durability. All of this together creates a unique dampening system like no other shock absorber on the market.
Field tests were performed by recreational players, junior players, and even other retired-pro players. The results were shocking. Most of the players that had arm pain had significantly reduced arm pain whether it might be wrist pain, elbow pain, or shoulder pain.
(Of course, I have to say, "your results might vary" but we have hundreds of reviews and testimonials from tennis enthusiasts just like you.)
The added bonus of the ShockSorb over traditional dampeners, was the clean and loud "Pop" you get with each strike. Most players that play-tested the ShockSorb claimed that it provided a stronger sense of control on your shots.
There are players competing at the top levels and using ShockSorbs swear them. For these players, the sense of control that these dampeners provided on every shot was the main draw and preventing injuries and fatigue was a bonus.
Thanks to everyone that supported us on Kickstarter. ShockSorb racquet dampeners are recommended and available to players of all ages and levels. These were designed by a player for players and they provide the highest level of performance, comfort, and durability that is unlike any other product currently available.
Help us break the old stereotypes of dampeners. Tennis, a hobby and favorite sport to many, should not be painful.
Go ahead, try it risk free - it can’t hurt you (it’s designed to do just the opposite) :)
Plus if you are not fully satisfied with your ShockSorb dampeners then let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will fully refund your purchase from our website.