Six Zero is a relatively new pickleball company that hit the paddle market with a bang in 2023. They’re based out of Australia, where they’ve had a cult following before gaining a ton of popularity recently overseas.
Unlike a lot of newer companies that just play copycat by white-labeling old designs, Six Zero is actually innovating the space. They’re at the forefront of innovative paddle tech, namely the “Gen. 2” raw carbon fiber paddle designs that feature unibody thermoforming, edge foam, and high-spin quality raw fiber carbon surfaces.
In this post, we’ll be diving into their very hot Double Black Diamond paddle. I’ve written a post already on the 16mm version of this paddle that came out first, but today we’re diving into their newer 14mm offering.
Double Black Diamond 14mm Technical Specifications
- Price: $180 ($162 with code DASHPB)
- Type: Control/All-court
- Shape: Hybrid
- Core thickness: 14mm
- Face: Toray 700 Raw carbon fiber
- Average weight: 8.1 oz
- Grip length: 5.3”
- Swing Weight: 111
- Grip size: 4.25”
- Core: 8mm Honeycomb polymer
- Total length: 16.3”
- Width: 7.5” to 7.7″
- Warranty: 6 months for defects
Double Black Diamond (DBD) 14mm Quick Summary
I’ve always enjoyed the poppy power and improved hand speed I get from 14mm paddles. But the 14mm core thickness does have its drawbacks, mainly less stability and a smaller sweet spot than its 16mm counterparts.
Enter the Double Black Diamond, which brings some serious improvements in those areas when compared to past-generation 14mm paddles. The DBD 14mm combines thermoforming and edge foam, which provides a noticeable boost in stability and sweet spot performance. It’s also one of the few thermoformed paddles that’s been created primarily with control in mind.
All in all, the DBD is more forgiving than any other 14mm paddle that I’ve played with.
You also get some stellar spin from the 14mm DBD, more than I’ve ever had from a 14mm paddle. Add to this some excellent hand speed from the DBD’s lightweight hybrid-shaped paddle design (shorter, wider w/ a taper towards the handle), and this paddle becomes a total weapon in the right hands.
If you love the idea of a new Gen thermoformed control paddle that gives you fast hands, control, and plenty of power, then the 14mm DBD should have your interest.
The DBD is marketed as a control paddle, but don’t let that fool you. I’ve never had an issue generating power with the 14mm DBD. As far as I know, the DBD hits harder than every other control paddle that’s come before it.
The DBD’s power comes from the new generation of unibody thermoforming tech. It makes the paddle feel stiffer, poppier, and overall more powerful than previous “Gen 1” carbon fiber paddles. It’s notably more powerful than my 14mm Joola Hyperion CFS and Vision CGS. You can put plenty of pace on your drives, overheads, speedups, flicks, counters, and punches with the DBD.
While powerful, the 14mm DBD is lightweight and doesn’t have as much plow-through as the 16mm DBD. It’s hard to say whether the 14mm has more power than the 16mm, even though 14mm paddles usually create more power than 16mm. They’re just different. The 14mm pops of the face hard and fast, while the 16mm has a bit more dwell time, giving it more plow-through.
If you add a bit of weight to the DBD 14mm via lead tape and/or an overgrip, it will, of course, get more plow-through and power.
Note that the DBD’s true power begins to set in after 5 or so hours of play, as these thermoformed paddles have a bit of a break-in period.
The Double Black Diamond line of paddles is control focused. But this doesn’t mean the 14mm DBD is your typical control paddle.
At 14mm, the DBD feels dense and will be stiff fresh out of the box. It’ll loosen up after 5 or so hours of play, but it still won’t be the ultra plush-feeling type of paddle you might be accustomed to if you’ve been playing with Gen. 1 carbon fiber paddles.
It might take a week or so for you to really ease into using this paddle. But it’s well worth the adjustment process. After the initial settling period, your drives, resets, counters, and dinks should feel very controllable and potent.
The 14mm really shines with how fast it feels in your hands. I’ve never had such a light and fast feeling paddle that had such a good sweet spot and still felt relatively stable. You’ll really need to hit the outset edges for a full mishit.
Even the throat of the paddle is more responsive to off-center low hits than previous paddles I’ve used, which can again be attributed to the unibody thermoforming tech encasing the paddle’s edges, as well as the foam injection in the handle and the edges.
You will sacrifice a small amount of control with the 14mm DBD compared to a 16mm paddle, but not by much. I found that the 16mm DBD played more similarly to the 14mm DBD than I thought it would. I actually enjoy playing more with the 14mm because I get more feedback on hits with this paddle while still having good touch and placement.
Same with power, if you want more control and stability with the 14mm DBD, you should add some weight to the paddle. You can add an overgrip or lead tape. If you go the weighted tape route, I advise adding it near the throat of the paddle for stability and to the side of the paddle for added touch and control.
The DBD 14mm has great spin, which landed in on my best paddles for spin list. You can set your expectations high here. Topspin and backspin are awesome with the 14mm DBD. My slices have been excellent when using this paddle. It gives spin comparable to a fresh Power Air or Legacy Pro, the latter being one of my all-around favorite high-spin paddles.
You might be surprised by how smooth seeming the paddle surface is when you get it. Typically, you think of high grit when you hear high spin, but the DBD focuses on friction more than grit, and it works.
I’ve found that with both my first run and later released DBD that the paddle performs even better with spin after it’s been broken in for a couple of weeks. It feels like it grabs the ball better and allows me to maneuver my shots with more precision.
Gen. 2 thermoformed paddles like the Double Black Diamond are built for stability. The unibody thermoforming process makes them rock solid. The handles and edges are solid and you shouldn’t expect any snapping or deterioration of the paddle’s structural integrity.
There have been some hiccups with these types of paddles concerning delamination and core crush. Delamination is when the paddle face unglues from the polypropylene core beneath. Core crush happens when the polypropylene core layer is too thick for the paddle mold and gets squished, leading the core to crinkle and lose its integrity.
Both of these issues can lead to springboard/trampoline effects that make the ball come off the paddle face way, way faster than intended. You can also experience dead spots and general inconsistencies with the paddle face.
Six Zero has worked hard to address these issues, including double bonding the face layers and adding other extra reinforcements to prevent delamination. They’re also improving their quality control across the board.
The new batches of Double Black Diamonds that shipped in March appear to be far more reliable on this front so far. I have both an old and new Double Black Diamond and the new one is holding up quite well. Though I haven’t had any problems with my old one, either.
Premium pickleball paddles have become expensive. Based on the competition, the Six Zero DBD could have easily been priced $200+ for the performance it provides.
But the paddle costs $180, and with 10% off w/ the code DASHPB, the price goes down to $162 and includes a neoprene cover.
This is definitely a good deal, considering how quality this paddle is. I prefer it over a number of the $200+ paddles I’ve owned.
Should you buy the Double Black Diamond 14mm paddle?
If you like powerful but controllable 14mm paddles then the DBD is an absolute great buy. The 14mm DBD paddle makes huge leaps in power, stability, and sweet spot performance for the 14mm profile. The combination touch, control, power, and spin you get from this paddle puts it well into the A/S tier of paddles for intermediate/advanced in 2023.
Keep in mind the 14mm Double Black Diamond has a higher skill floor when compared to the 16mm Double Black Diamond. The 14mm makes you much quicker at the net, which is nice for any level player, but the 16mm is more forgiving with its improved stability and control. For this reason, the 16mm is one of my go-to paddle recommendations for most players.
But if you’re an intermediate or advanced player with a developed soft game and want to gain an extra edge without entirely sacrificing control, then this control-focused 14mm DBD paddle should do you well.
You can go pick up the paddle now with a 10% off discount here. It’s back ordered at the moment, so I recommend ordering quickly if you want it soon.
If you want an even faster paddle for winning those tight hands battles, the Vatic Pro Flash 14mm is even faster than the DBD. And if you’re after power first and foremost, the Black Diamond Power paddle has a ton of pop and power, more than the Legacy Pro. You can read how the Black Diamond paddles compares to the Double Black Diamond here.
One last note, I’m not too fond of the grip tape that it comes with. The grip on the DBD can get damp and slippery in hotter conditions. I recommend adding an overgrip or replacing the grip if you live in a warm place and/or have sweaty hands.
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