Pickleball Gear

Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Updated on: Mar 4, 2024

The Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle on a blue background

After recently testing the standard version of this paddle, I was excited to try the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro. It claims to keep the same unbelievable spin as the standard 18k while adding more power.

Read my Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro review to see if it achieves just that.

My verdict4.0star iconLike the standard 18k paddle, the 18k Power Pro generates a unique kind of awesome spin in terms of both the amount and the consistency. However, while it does add a touch more power with its thermoformed build, it's not enough to make this model stand out. I personally find it less consistent and controlled than the standard Diadem Edge 18k model.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You love playing with spin:

    like the standard 18k, the Power Pro's spin is really good, different, and consistent.

  • You want a good mix of power and control:

    I find the control surprisingly good for a power paddle, thanks to the spin and lighter feel.

  • Accurate serves are a priority:

    I like swinging hard and hitting accurate serves again and again with this paddle (though I do wish they went deeper).

Pass if:

  • You want a super powerful paddle:

    for a paddle marketed for power, this doesn't hit like the Bread & Butter Filth or even the Ronbus R1 PULSAR.

  • You want a more affordable option:

    check out the Legacy Pro, another great spin paddle that costs $80 less than this.

  • You want a softer paddle:

    the standard Diadem Edge 18k is not thermoformed and has a more plush, muted feel.

Paddle Weight

8 oz

Paddle Length

16.4"

Paddle Width

7.5"

Handle Length

5.7"

Grip Circumference

4.12"

Paddle Face Material

3D 18k carbon fiber

Core Material

Honeycomb polymer core

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot

Medium

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Review summary

After being really impressed by the Diadem Edge 18k and voting it my favorite paddle for spin in 2024, I was hoping the Power Pro model would do what it claims—keep this spin and add more power. I think it falls short of that, and I'll tell you why.

When I saw this thermoformed "Power Pro" model, I naturally expected big power. I hoped for a paddle to rival the Bread & Butter Filth, my top paddle for power in 2024. I thought it would at least play with a good bit more power than the standard model.

However, it turns out the Power Pro is only slightly more powerful than the standard 18k. So, what you end up with is a stiffer thermoformed paddle with less control, but without a big increase in power.

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What is reassuring is that you'll find pretty much the same incredible spin here as on the standard model. Compared to even the best spin paddles, like the Legacy Pro, the spin with this Diadem series is more consistent across all types of spin shots and angles.

I did find the spin generation of the Power Pro just slightly less impressive than the standard model. I'm not sure why—maybe it's something to do with the thermoforming process.

Don't get me wrong: it's still great for spin. It just lacks the wow factor that saw me name the Edge 18k my favorite pickleball paddle for spin.

For a thermoformed power paddle, I like the control on the Power Pro. The 7.9 oz weight of my paddle and the spin (which grips the ball) helps me control my shots. I have no problem hitting topspin third-shot drops, something I usually struggle with on thermoformed paddles because of their excessive pop.

Thanks to their spin and control, these paddles are really, really accurate on serves. I can swing as hard as I've ever been able to swing a paddle and the ball rarely goes out.

Surprisingly, though, I struggle to get serves to go deep, which you wouldn't expect for a power paddle.

Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle

Another issue I have is with the inconsistent sweet spot, which makes this model less forgiving. l have more mishits than I'd like, especially at the net when blocking hard drives.

Finally, I miss the plush, muted feel of the standard model. If I'm going to get that stiff, thermoformed feel, I want a lot more power than what I get here.

Overall, I'm not as impressed with the Power Pro as I am with the standard 18k. With that paddle, I feel like I can almost play tennis on the court and still win games.

With the Power Pro, I have to play a more conventional game. That's fine, though, and this is a solid all-court paddle with great spin (if a little inconsistent at times). It's just not as unique and notable as its non-thermoformed cousin.

Pros:

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  • (Almost) the same wicked spin as the standard Edge 18k

  • Faster and more aerodynamic than the standard model

  • Less bulky than the standard, with a slightly lighter weight

Cons:

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  • I want it to be more powerful

  • Less forgiving thanks to the inconsistent sweet spot

  • Thermoformed build makes it stiffer than the standard without adding a lot more power

Features

Diadem came to pickleball from tennis, and they make really innovative paddles. Their 19 mm Warrior paddle is a standout, and so are their new 18k carbon weave spin paddles.

3D 18k carbon fiber face

Those cubes on the paddle face are not just a print. If you run your hand over them, you'll see this is the "3D" carbon fiber that gets you such awesome spin. Rather than T700 carbon, Diadem uses 18k carbon. This refers to the number of carbon fibers in each thread.

Diadem claims this is revolutionary tech. I was skeptical at first but I'm a believer now. I've never got such strong and consistent spin. I predict we'll see a lot more paddles adopting this 18k carbon technology in 2024, as it's no marketing gimmick.

Thermoformed (CMS) construction

I really like that the standard 18k isn't thermoformed. It feels different compared to most recent thermoformed paddles. So, I'm a little surprised by the construction choices made with the Power Pro.

Maybe it's only natural that Diadem wants a thermoformed paddle in their series. However, it feels like a step backward considering the standard model is still new and exciting.

While this model is a stiffer, more powerful paddle, I'm still disappointed with the amount of power. For me, the standard model offers better performance.

Edge Shield Pro edge guard

Diadem's new edge guard makes its debut in this 18k line. I dig its look—it brightens up the paddle, giving it a red border. More importantly, it feels strong and long-lasting.

Longer handle

The Power Pro has the same elongated shape (16.4" x 7.5") but it has a longer handle at 5.7" versus the 5.3" of the standard model. If you like playing with two-handed backhands, you might love this.

Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle

Performance

8/10

Power

8/10

Control

9.5/10

Spin

7.5/10

Forgiveness

6/10

Weighting

8/10

Grip

9/10

Durability

8/10

Aerodynamics

Power: 8/10

I scored the standard model 7.5 on power. I expected the Power Pro to go up more than a half-point, but it really doesn't.

Like with the standard, I find I can make up for any lack of power by swinging really hard. Since spin is so good, gripping the ball like crazy, you have room to swing harder than with almost any other paddle.

I feel this mostly on serves—I can load up swing and hit them in almost every time. However, unlike with the standard, my serves don't go nearly as deep and I don't win points outright. I'm hoping this problem can be fixed with some lead tape.

Control: 8/10

This has good control for a power paddle, probably thanks to it being on the lighter side (mine was 7.9 oz). Also, the spin really grips the ball, which I find helps me control my shots.

This makes it a lot better than many thermoformed paddles when it comes to topspin third-shot drops, one of the most challenging shots for me.

Overall, I'm knocking it down a point against the standard. That stiffer, poppier feel makes it a little more challenging to dial in your soft game.

Spin: 9.5/10

In my review of the standard model, I said I'd give it 11/10 for spin if I could. Sadly, the Power Pro model doesn't quite reach even a 10/10. I don't know why.

However, I can't be too harsh as spin is still really, really good. I can't quite "play tennis" like I can with the standard, but I get that consistent spin on all angles and spin shots.

If it weren't for the standard model, I'd be recommending this highly as an all-court paddle with awesome spin.

Forgiveness: 7.5/10

This is slightly less forgiving than the standard, with a smaller sweet spot. It can feel stiff and inconsistent at times, and I can definitely see more advanced players putting lead tape on here.

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Weighting: 6/10

It's funny—the standard 18k feels head-heavy to me. Now, the Power Pro model feels too light for a power paddle. Weighting is all over the place with this series and is its biggest flaw in my opinion.

Again, lead tape would help to balance this paddle out and make it more stable, consistent, and powerful.

Grip: 8/10

This has a good-quality grip. So far, it has held up well over many sweaty sessions without any issues or discomfort.

Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie holding the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro pickleball paddle

Durability: 9/10

I expect these paddles to stand the test of time. The edge guard is very sturdy and should provide a lot of protection against dings. Plus, the foam injection, thermoforming, and carbon build all give me confidence in durability.

Aerodynamics: 8/10

I find this paddle better on aerodynamics than the standard model because it's less bulky. I prefer it more in hand battles as it's faster, and I don't feel the head heaviness that slows me down with the standard.

Is this paddle right for you?

When choosing a pickleball paddle, it's important to make sure it fits your game. That's why I created a 30-second quiz that recommends the best paddles for your play style and budget.

Give it a try and see if the Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro makes the list:

Find the perfect paddle

Find the perfect paddle

I've personally tested over 80 paddles. Take the quiz to see which ones fit your game best.

Take Paddle Fitting Quiz

Pricing

The Diadem Edge 18k Power Pro currently retails for $230. This is a bold move, pitting it against the ever-popular CRBN-1X Power Series. Can it offer similar value?

Value for money

This might not appeal to as wide of an audience as the CRBN-1X. However, I do think it's worth a high price thanks to the advanced spin tech. If you've already tried and loved the 18k but found it too soft, you should definitely give this one a test.

Otherwise, I'll be recommending the standard model over this one. It just has more consistency, control, and spin.

Brandon Mackie holding both the standard Diadem Edge 18k and the Power Pro pickleball paddles
Brandon Mackie holding both the standard Diadem Edge 18k and the Power Pro pickleball paddles

Bottom line

As you'll have gathered by now, I prefer the Diadem Edge 18k. It's got more to its game. That said, I know certain players will want to check out this Power Pro model and will get a lot out of it.

If you love spin and want a bit of power but find thermoformed paddles too poppy, check this out. It also suits players who like long handles, as the 5.7" grip here gives you room for two hands and more reach.

Today's best deals

Diadem logo
Save 10% with code PICKLEHEADS10
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This article contains affiliate links from which we receive a small commission from sales of certain items. As a brand associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

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About the author
Brandon Mackie
Brandon is an avid writer and co-founder of Pickleheads™. Once a competitive tennis player, Brandon can now be found these days honing his dinks on pickleball courts near Phoenix, Arizona.
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