If you’re unclear on the differentiations, the single Black Diamond is a power paddle, while the Double Black Diamond is a control paddle.
The Black Diamond Power is, in my opinion, the most poppy and powerful unibody thermoformed raw carbon fiber paddle on the market. While the Double Black Diamond brings a perfect blend of control and power to the Gen. 2 thermoforming paddle space.
If you decide you’d like to buy one of these paddles, you can get 10% off your order at Six Zero’s website using code DASHPB.
Double Black Diamond 16mm vs 14mm Quick
These paddles play more similarly than I expected. More so than I usually experience when swapping between 14mm and 16mm versions of a paddle.
I think this is partly due to the thermoforming hot-mold production method that Six Zero uses. Another 14mm and 16mm comparison I did between Vatic Pro Flash paddles, which are also thermoformed, had them feeling quite similar to each other, as well.
But there are some differences. And, overall, I believe the 16mm DBD will be the easier, cozier choice for most players. It’s more forgiving while sharing many of the strengths that the 14mm has.
Less advanced players who don’t have well-developed touch and a solid soft game might not feel that the extra hand speed from the 14mm is worth the drop in stability and touch that they get from the 16mm.
I’ve lent out both my 14mm and 16mm DBD to some lower-level local players and many felt that their game was a bit off with the 14mm when compared to the 16mm, which they universally loved. While the 14mm was favored by both high-level players that I had test these paddles.
Both paddles give you access to plenty of power. But their power shows up in different ways.
The 14mm has fast, poppy power. I can play faster and harder at the net with the 14mm over the 16mm. At the baseline, though, I find that the 16mm feels like it hits harder. This is because the 16mm is more plush and soft, so you can really channel your forceful power into it with full-out groundstrokes.
The 16mm is also heavier, which lends to its power output. But if you add some weighted tape to your 14mm, then the denser and poppier 14mm quickly starts to feel more powerful than the 16mm.
In some ways, the 14mm feels powerful with its quick and poppy nature. But I think the 14mm will feel the most powerful with a player that can hit really hard already, and the 16mm will feel more powerful for less powerful players.
The 16mm is more stable and has a slightly larger sweet spot. This gives it a clear advantage in the control department.
But again, these paddles play more similarly than you’d expect. Even with its thinner core, the 14mm is still very controllable.
I really enjoy the faster hand speed I get from the 14mm DBD, and I find that I don’t make enough errors with it to warrant a switch to the 16mm. After getting used to the play of thermoformed paddles, I’m able to hit my drops, resets, and blocks easier with the 14mm DBD than I have with any other 14mm paddle before it.
But players who desire extra control and stability should consider going with the thicker and more forgiving 16mm paddle.
As expected, the 14mm DBD wins this comparison handily. The 14mm DBD is lightweight and oh-so quick. I have a new love for hand battles at the net with this paddle.
This doesn’t mean that the 16mm DBD isn’t fast, it most certainly is. The hybrid shape of Six Zero’s paddles makes them more aerodynamic and faster than elongated paddles.
But the head of the 16mm is definitely heavier than the 14mm, which increases the swing weight and makes it move noticeably slower than the 14mm.
Both paddles provide excellent spin performance. They feel very similar here, but if I had to give the edge to one paddle, it’d be the 16mm. It feels less poppy than the 14mm, giving it increased dwell time. And I feel that I can get more spin from the paddle because of that.
Should you buy the 14mm DBD or 16mm DBD?
I think the 16mm Double Black Diamond will be the better choice for the majority of players, but the 14mm DBD is very good for the right player.
You just can’t go wrong with the 16mm. It’s got great control for a thermoform and is plenty fast at the net. No, it won’t be as poppy or fast as the 14mm, but most players prefer a paddle that leans more to stability and control. The 16mm also gives easier access to power.
Most 3.5 or under players I had test out the paddles felt that they struggled to keep the paddle stable for blocks and weren’t able to get their drives feeling right with the 14mm, while the heftier 16mm gave them a much easier time with both.
The 14mm is best for higher-level players that don’t need as much stability and may actually prefer the harsher feedback. The 14mm is also great for those that prioritize hand speed and can handle a lot of pop without popping the ball up.
The 14mm DBD moves super fast and performs well at the net in the right hands. I love squaring up with the opposition in hands battles with it. For higher-level players, the extra-hand speed is usually worth it.
If you’re accustomed to 16mm paddles but are on the fence about trying a 14mm out, the 14mm DBD would be a great paddle to start with. The leap in stability and sweet spot performance with a Gen. 2 thermoformed paddle like the DBD makes the thinner core far more pleasant to use. You can always add weight via lead tape or an overgrip to help with the soft game and improve the stability and plow-through of the paddle.
I hope this comparison has been helpful for your paddle-buying decision. I know it’s so hard to weigh the options when you don’t have the paddles in hand to test with.
On a final note, if you want even faster hand speed than the 14mm Double Black Diamond, check out the Vatic Pro Flash 14mm. It’s a paddle I absolutely love.
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