Six Zero is a new pickleball paddle company that has a loyal following in Australia where they’re based.
They began shipping paddles to the US/overseas in late 2022 and have blown up onto the scene in 2023 with their thermoformed paddle line. They sold out their first run of paddles in 48 hours, and their second and third runs before they shipped.
Six Zero’s paddles are not clones or copycats of previous technology. Their paddles are part of a new “Gen. 2” paddle movement which utilizes sturdy unibody thermoforming tech combined with edge foam and high-quality Toray T700 carbon fiber.
This new thermoforming tech is set up to sweep the pickleball world in 2023. The more I play with these types of paddles, the more I like them. And the Double Black Diamond is one of my favorites.
Six Zero’s paddles are likely going to continue flying off the shelves in the USA as word of their innovative paddles sold at reasonable prices gets out.
Note that this review is only for the 16mm Double Black Diamond. There is also a 14mm Double Black Diamond, which I wrote a review of here. I’ve also created a post that compares the 14mm and 16mm versions of the paddle, which you can read here.
Six Zero also has a sibling paddle to the Double Black Diamond called the Black Diamond Power. You can read about it here. I’ve also written a write-up comparing the Double Black Diamond vs. the Black Diamond, which you can read here.
Double Black Diamond 16mm Technical Specifications
- Price: $180 ($162 with code DASHPB)
- Type: Control/All-court
- Shape: Hybrid
- Core thickness: 16mm
- Face: Toray 700 Raw carbon fiber
- Average weight: 8.1 oz
- Grip length: 5.5”
- Swing Weight: 114
- 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 16mm Quick Summary
The Double Black Diamond paddle is one of the most solid and crisp feeling paddles I’ve played with. It has top-tier power, spin, and control (for a thermoform).
It might cost less than $200 ($162 w/ code), but don’t let that fool you, this is an elite paddle that rivals any of the $250+ paddles on the market.
Yes, top-tier power in a control paddle! It can be an absolute weapon that gets better the more you play with it.
- All-around performance. Excellent spin with a great balance of power and control. You can shape shots with spin and deliver powerful drives and putaways with ease.
- Feel. Great feel, handle length/circumference, paddle shape/sweet spot, and weight
- Sweet spot. Generous sweet spot provided by the unibody thermoforming and sealed edge foam. More shots go where you want them to
- Control. More controllable than other unibody thermoformed paddles
- Shape. Its hybrid-elongated shape plays with the forgiveness of a standard-shaped paddle but has that added extra reach of an elongated paddle
- Durability. Great durability with the robust thermoformed design. No exposed foam/polymer. Highly resilient paddle face surface with proprietary composite Toray T700 face materials.
- Lacks the plush control of Gen 1 raw carbon fiber paddles. While softer than other unibody thermoformed paddles, it’s still stiffer and not as plush as a typical raw carbon fiber paddle. I’d personally categorize the Double Black Diamond as an all-court paddle.
- Requires a bit of a learning curve. It takes time to get used to hitting this (and any unibody thermoformed) paddle. Expect some pop-ups and out-of-bounds shots as you adjust to the pop and power. The hybrid shape paddle shape also takes some getting used to.
- Handle length. While the 5.3″ length is the same as the Vatic Pro and Legacy Pro, I found that the DBD’s handle felt shorter than advertised due to how the handle ends abruptly at the neck taper.
- Balance. While mostly balanced, it’s a tiny bit head heavy, although not as much as the Hyperion CFS. You can easily remedy this by adding weighted tape lower on the paddle.
- Paddle cover. While it comes with a zipped paddle cover, it’s a bit thin.
Update 8/20: SixZero’s newer released batches of DBD paddles feel a bit softer than their original line. They’ve modified the paddle slightly to combat delamination issues. But after playing many hours with my new DBD, it’s loosened up and is hitting comparatively hard compared to my original model.
It’s marketed as a control paddle, but I’ve never had an issue generating a lot of power with the DBD. The focus may be on control, but this is a unibody thermoformed paddle, which means it’s no slouch in the power department.
You’ll notice this pretty quickly when your drives, overheads, and putaways catch opponents off guard. Power is not a problem when needed. You can put a lot of pace on speedups. Little flicks and hard, snappy shots fly off the paddle with relative ease.
As far as I know, no other control paddle provides as much power as the Double Black Diamond. It hits harder than paddles like the CRBN 1, Pursuit EX 6.0, Joola Hyperion, Volair Mach 1, and GBX.
It’s not as powerful as the new Legacy Pro, Black Diamond, Vatic Pro, or CRBN 1X, of course. But those are thermoformed power paddles that are focused more on power. I don’t know of any other thermoformed control paddles, much less one that brings as much power to the table as the Double Black Diamond.
Since the paddle typically comes in relatively lightweight at 8.0 or so oz, you can afford to add weighted tape to the paddle to give it even more power if you’d like.
The Double Black Diamond doesn’t have as much pop as its fiberglass-faced Black Diamond sibling, but the Double Black Diamond still has much more pop than non-unibody, edge-foamed raw carbon fiber paddles.
The pop from the DBD is truly great and makes your opponents have a much harder time dealing with speed-ups, drives, and dinking due to having less time to react.
To me, it’s the perfect amount for a paddle. You get enough pop to play fast at the net and win hands battles, but not too much that it becomes exceedingly hard to tame.
Most users will be surprised and pleased with the amount of pop. But some will struggle to adjust. In my opinion, it’s well worth it to adjust to the pop of these thermoformed paddles. And the Double Black Diamond is one of the easiest of the bunch to adjust to.
Update 8/20: Six Zero has adjusted the glue & other paddle components to address durability issues inherent with thermoforming. These production adjustments have made the Double Black Diamond a little softer and more controllable. It’s a change I’ve liked, though it does lower the power output of the paddle slightly.
This is one of the best paddles for your soft game out of all of the new-generation unibody thermoformed paddles. You should be off to the races with your control game after you get used to the power+pop and wear it in a little bit (yes, the DBD wears in with time, like a shoe),
I started to adjust to how the ball hits after a week of playing with this paddle regularly. That’s how long it took for my drives, resets, counters, and dinks to become very controllable.
The large sweet spot really helps with control. The Double Black Diamond’s sweet spot is comparable to the Hyperion CFS, which is a standout paddle for its sweet spot. You don’t have to add a bunch of lead tape to make the paddle stable or improve the sweet spot.
You really have to hit the edge guard itself to experience a full mishit. The throat of the paddle is much more responsive than non-thermoformed paddles, not that you want to hit there, but it is more responsive if you do.
The paddle snags and grips the ball surprisingly well, making it feel like you can re-angle a ball without issue. The directional control really stands out.
Control at the net is good with this paddle once you get used to the pop. Your hands feel fast with the paddle being snappy, crisp, and responsive. It also has a low swing weight at 114, adding to the feel of quick hands. Add to this the great sweet spot, and this paddle can make your confidence at the NVZ skyrocket.
Drops take time to adjust to. It’s not a spongy or particularly plush paddle, so hits from the center of the sweet spot can really fly far and fast. It takes practice not popping it up or sending it out of bounds. It’s not a bad feeling by any means, just different, and will take some practice getting accustomed to.
Once you get familiar with it, drops, resets, and blocks become easeful as you don’t have to put a ton of energy into them. You learn to let the paddle do a lot of the work for you.
The extra power and spin also really add to the control you can have with the paddle. You can place shots where you want and use spin to keep balls in.
You can set your expectations for spin very high with the DBD. The spin here is excellent, and you should not be disappointed with the output. It’s among the best spinning paddles I’ve tried, landing it high up in my best pickleball paddles for spin list.
The surface material is very tight and dense, comparable to the Legacy Pro. Both paddles create a ton of spin. You get a result that’s comparable to the Power Air, also one of the top spinning paddles available.
Slices and deep top spin drives are a blast with this paddle. Shaping the ball from all areas of the court feels effortless. It really feels like you can put it where you want it. I’ve had the spin from this paddle save a number of questionable shots from going out.
If you already have good spin form in your game, expect to see your a mixture of surprise and disgust on your opponent’s once you switch over. This paddle will turn your spin shots into a serious weapon.
Update 8/20: Six Zero has worked to improve the durability of their thermoformed paddles. Recent tweaks they’ve implemented have greatly reduced thermoforming-related issues such as core-crushing, disbonding, and delaminating.
Once you get one in your hand, you’ll quickly recognize that this paddle is not cheap, and is made with solid, meaningful materials and construction.
The Double Black Diamond has one of the more durable paddle bodies on the market. Six Zero’s use of the unibody thermoforming and carbon-forged handle ensures that the paddle will stay together quite well.
In their early production models, there were reports of some paddles delaminating, where the paddle face would separate from the paddle body. Some instances of this were happening to all of the thermoformed paddles from the same factory used by multiple companies.
Six Zero has addressed this by implementing new adhesion processes, utilizing better resins, and doing other proprietary adjustments. As of March 2023, all new Six Zeros include improvements to stop the paddle from delaminating.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with a paddle like this at its price point. As I mentioned earlier, this is truly an elite paddle at a reasonable price.
The paddle costs $180, but with the code DASHPB, you get 10% off, which brings the price down to $162. The cost includes a neoprene cover.
It’s heartening to see companies like Six Zero storm the scene and challenge the idea of what a performance paddle should cost. I don’t see a reason to pay $250 or more when a paddle this good can be bought for so much less.
Should you buy the Double Black Diamond 16mm paddle?
If a unibody thermoformed paddle control paddle with plenty of power appeals to you, then you shouldn’t hesitate to pick up the increasingly popular Double Black Diamond. This thing is an absolute pleasure to play with.
If you use a beginner or mid-tier paddle, you really might not know what you’re missing until you get your hands on this paddle. Yes, it’s that good. It lands near the top of my best intermediate player paddle list.
The combination of great touch, control, power, and spin rivals every other paddle on the market. I have a lot of paddles from a lot of brands, and I don’t hesitate to say that this paddle is one of the best you can get. When compared to the more than a dozen paddles I’ve tried in the last year, very few compare.
Advanced players should love this paddle, as they can hone their control game while also adding tons of speed and power to their rolls and flicks while imparting silly levels of topspin. I know a lot of strong 4.0+ players who simply love the DBD and have started using it as their primary paddle.
You can buy the Double Black Diamond now for $162 from Six Zero’s website after applying the code DASHPB at checkout. It comes in black and the new cherry blossom pink (pictured above).
The paddle is frequently back-ordered after its popularity has skyrocketed recently. I recommend putting in an order now to get it sooner than later.
If you feel that the Double Black Diamond might be too hard for you to control and want a more plush paddle, I recommend the Ronbus R1.16. The Ronbus is a fantastic paddle that costs $100 with code DASHPB. It’s getting a lot of praise right now for playing very similarly to the popular but expensive Joola Hyperion CFS. Another excellent paddle in the $100 price range is Six Zero’s Sapphire paddle. It’s one of the only unibody thermoformed paddle on the market for less than $100.
If you want an even harder-hitting paddle that still has surprisingly good control for being a power paddle, check out SixZero’s Black Diamond. You can read about how the Black Diamond compares with the Double Black Diamond here.
You can also read the comparison I did between the Double Black Diamond 14mm and 16mm paddles here.
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