The original CRBN 1 and 2 models with their great control & spin have been very popular, cementing CRBN as a household name in pickleball.
It’s been a year and a half since CRBN released a new line of paddles, and people have been anxiously awaiting what’s next.
Well, they’ve arrived, and the CRBN 1X, 2X, and 3X Power Series paddles bring much-desired improvements to their paddle line. They’re not perfect, but I think a lot of people will really like these paddles.
In this post, we’re taking a deep dive into the CRBN 1X 14mm, which has quickly cemented itself as a premium 14mm paddle.
CRBN 1X 14mm Technical Specifications
- Price: $229 (or $206 with this 10% discount link)
- Shape: Elongated
- Core thickness: 14mm
- Face: Toray T700 Carbon Fiber
- Avg. weight: 7.9-8.1OZ
- Grip length: 5.5″
- Swing Weight: 117
- Grip size: 4.25″
- Core: Honeycomb polymer
CRBN 1X 14mm Quick Performance Summary
Here’s a bulleted breakdown:
- One of the most powerful raw-carbon fibers on the market
- Plenty of spin with avg. range of RMPs over 1700+, which is considerably high
- Improved handle shape over the CRBN 1 & 2
- Edge-foam injection which improves the sweet spot, stability, and reduces vibrations
- Very durable due to its one-piece unibody thermoformed face that extends through the handle. Also makes the throat of the paddle more poppy and less dead feeling on low mishits
- Similar stability and forgiveness as the CRBN 1 & 2, but with more power and pop
- It’s stiffer than the original CRBNs, which gives it more pop and power but makes it harder to control & adapt to
- 5.5″ elongated handle might not be ideal for everyone
- There are other 14mm thermoformed paddles from the same manufacturing plant for cheaper, such as the Vatic Pro Flash 14mm.
- The thinner core of the 14mm 1X can have more vibration vs the 16mm 1X, especially on mishits. Some people have mentioned that the 1X 14mm is prone to vibration, while the 16mm is not.
The original CRBN 1 & 2 paddles were great with spin and control but lacked in the power department. CRBN has addressed this with the new power series paddles, which hit much harder.
The CRBN 1X plays stiff with plenty of pop. If you’re switching from a CRBN 1 or 2, you’ll quickly feel the difference, and how it contributes to the power improvements. The 14mm 1X has more power than the 16mm 1X, but not by a ton.
The CRBN power series is not the strongest of the new thermoformed paddles, though. That goes to the Legacy Pro and SixZero Black Diamond. Regardless, the power from the CRBN 1X is no joke. You can hit effortless deep serves, returns, and penetrating drives with this paddle.
There are some tradeoffs in the control department with the 1X line vs the original CRBN 1 & 2.
On the positive side, the 1X model has a bigger sweet spot than the original due to featuring edge-foam injection tech. This makes it more forgiving on mishits. It’s closer to the Hyperion’s sweet spot, which has been well-acclaimed.
On the negative side, the unibody thermoformed design makes this paddle quite stiff, resulting in it being harder to control your hit velocity. Your soft game could struggle with its lack of plushness, especially at first as you adjust to it.
With the extra power and spin, though, you’re able to be a bit more offensive than the original CRBN 1. It’s easier to win with speedups, counters, and put-aways, which is great if you’re an offensive type of player.
The 14mm is also great for hand battles at the kitchen line with its high pop and lower swing weight compared to the 1X 16mm.
The 14mm 1x has slightly less control with drives, drops, and dinks than the 16mm 1x, but if you like a lot of power in your game (which I do), then the 14mm might become your preferred power paddle.
The 1X 14MM hits spin rates of around 1700-1800 RPM, which is very high and allows you to shape the ball at will. These spin numbers are considerably higher than previous raw carbon fiber paddles, like the CRBN 1.
This improvement can be contributed to the unibody design and new T700 Toray carbon fiber that the 1X uses.
Who is this paddle for?
Players who crave lots of power at the expense of some control. The 1X 14 has a ton of power, more than many players even need and accomplishes this without destroying all of its control capabilities.
Any singles player should check out the CRBN 1X 14mm. It’s great for doubles players that enjoy lots of power, but the 1X 16mm offers the best all-around feel for power and control between the two and doesn’t suffer from vibrations like the 14mm sometimes can.
If you want a more plush-feeling paddle, I’d go for the Hyperion CFS, Volair Mach 1, or the Ronbus R.1.
Players who prioritize reliable build quality. The unibody design and thermoforming in the CRBN 1X series make it a reliable option. These paddles should last a long time and won’t suffer from random breaks (looking at you, Joola). The build quality of the 1X is comparable to GearBox paddles, which are notoriously well-built.
Should you buy the CRBN 1X 14mm paddle?
All in all, the new CRBN power series paddles are an anticipated and welcomed addition to the growing paddle market.
You should consider picking one up if you:
- Prefer thinner 14mm paddles
- Want lots of pop and power and are okay with adjusting to a stiffer paddle
- Are a fan of CRBN and don’t mind the higher price tag
Overall, expect to be satisfied with this paddle. The 1X 14mm model plays similarly to the Hyperion line, but with more power, spin, and better build quality. You can buy the CRBN 1X 14mm for $229 or $206 with this 10% discount link.
Expect to take some time adjusting to this paddle. The unibody thermoforming tech really is a change. You might want to drill a bit first before diving right into a game.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the 1X and are okay with buying from a lesser-known brand, then the Vatic Pro Flash 14mm, Legacy Pro, and SixZero Black Diamond paddles are comparable in feel and performance while providing a better value (upwards of $90 cheaper).
The Legacy Pro handily outperforms the CRBN in spin potency and power, but Legacy Pro does not yet come in a 14mm model.
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