Pickleball Gear

Diadem Edge 18k - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Published on: Dec 15, 2023

The Diadem Edge 18k pickleball paddle on a blue background

The Diadem Edge 18k is marketed as a revolutionary spin paddle with cutting-edge technology. While I was excited to test it for myself, I was a little skeptical about how the spin compared to something like the Legacy Pro.

Read my Diadem Edge 18k review to see how it compares to other top spin paddles, and if it's worth the $230 price tag.

My verdict4.5star iconThe Diadem Edge 18k is the real deal—I've never played with a paddle that generates spin like this, both in the amount and the consistency. The 18k carbon weave is no gimmick. I could beat teams almost entirely with topspin. If you're a big spin player, or you come from a tennis background (like me), I can't recommend this paddle enough.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • Spin is your top priority:

    I still can't get over just how good, and different, this paddle's spin is.

  • You want to perfect your serves:

    the spin and control combo gives me consistent, point-winning serves.

  • You have over $200 to spend:

    if you have the money, you won't get a better spin paddle than this.

Pass if:

  • You're on a budget:

    the Legacy Pro, another top spin paddle, is a whole $80 cheaper.

  • You prefer power paddles:

    you'll want something more powerful like the Bread & Butter Filth.

  • You want a lightweight paddle:

    this feels a lot heavier than 8 oz, so maybe try the Volair Mach 1.

Paddle Weight

8 oz

Paddle Length

16 ⅖"

Paddle Width

7 ½"

Handle Length

5 ⅓"

Grip Circumference

4 ⅛"

Paddle Face Material

3D 18k carbon fiber

Core Material

Honeycomb polymer core

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot


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Review summary

This is the paddle spin junkies have been waiting for. The spin you get from the Diadem Edge 18k is unbelievable. It's also a durable and forgiving paddle with excellent control and enough power for players who swing hard. It quickly became my everyday paddle in October 2023.

Spin is by far the standout feature here. Not only does the Edge generate more spin than almost any paddle I've played with, but it does it differently too. Plus it's really consistent across all types of shots and angles.

Check out my first thoughts here:


Any former tennis players like me will like this paddle. I almost feel like I can "play tennis" and win pickleball games. This isn't usually a good idea as pickleball requires more strategy and touch shots. However, the spin is so good that I can play like I'm on a tennis court and still win games.

Control is great too. I'm noticing the same muted, responsive feel that I associate with control paddles. This really helps to take pace off the ball and boost my touch game. It feels like the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash in that way.

My serves are amazing with this paddle thanks to the control. I'm able to swing as hard as I've ever been able to and the ball never goes out. I can go on 5-point runs just on my serve—especially against unfortunate lower-level players.

The Diadem Edge 18k paddle on a pickleball court
The Diadem Edge 18k paddle on a pickleball court

For me, the biggest negative with this paddle is the head heaviness. Even though it only weighs 8 oz, it feels like a tank in my hands. I find it slow in fast hands battles.

This is especially true against more advanced players (level 4.0 or above) who play fast. This paddle is just too slow to keep up against hard drives. I always feel a little behind the ball when playing up at the kitchen.

While the power is good, I think this is only if you can swing hard. I can hit drives and putaways like I can with thermoformed paddles, but I have to swing really hard. For anyone prone to fatigue, I worry that you'll tire out too quickly with this paddle.

When it comes to looks, I like the 3D cubed design. This pattern alludes to the 'carbon weave' feature that gives this paddle its incredible spin.


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  • Great for players coming from tennis

  • Really good control

  • Responsive, muted feel like the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash


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  • Too head heavy, especially for its 8 oz weight

  • Slow in fast hand battles

  • Extra swing needed to generate power


Diadem is an innovative brand founded in 2015. Starting out in tennis, they entered the pickleball market with some interesting paddles that suit tennis players. They like to try different things that make them stand out, like their 19 mm paddle, the Warrior V2.

So, what kind of features are in the Edge 18k? Let's take a look at some of the elements that make this paddle unique.

Upgraded spin

The biggest complaint about the original Diadem Warrior was its lack of spin. They've really managed to answer that in their newer paddles.

First, the Warrior Edge had an "etched carbon face" that got really good spin. However, the Edge 18k really excels here. I've never played with a paddle that spins like this one. This is all down to the next feature.

Triaxial weave

This is the first paddle I've seen with this kind of face construction. Diadem claims it's revolutionary. When I saw the marketing around it, I was skeptical. So, how different is it?

The '18k' refers to the number of carbon fibers in each "tow" or carbon fiber thread. Meanwhile, the "triaxial weave" means it's woven the same in every direction across the paddle face. The idea is that you get the same spin at every angle of contact with the ball, making it really consistent.

I can confirm this isn't just marketing jargon. I can get really good spin consistently. I'll talk more about this later.

Edge Shield Pro edge guard

This is the name of Diadem's new edge guard, making its first appearance in the 18k. I think it looks cool and I like the way it gives the paddle a bright red border. It also feels sturdy to me, so it should make this paddle long-lasting.

16 mm core & elongated shape

The 16 mm build gives the Edge 18k excellent control, while its elongated shape helps with reach. This is what makes it an all-court paddle. While it lacks a bit of power, I think all-court is fair, but it does skew a bit on the control side.


















Power: 7.5/10

The Edge 18k isn't a power paddle and it doesn't pretend to be. It's not thermoformed, and with a thick 16 mm core, it's simply not designed for power.

That said, I'm able to generate plenty of power. This is down to one thing: the spin. The paddle grips the ball like crazy, so you have permission to swing hard—like REALLY hard. I quickly realized I could make up for any lack of power this way.

I especially feel this on my serves. I can load up a ton of swing and hit serves hard and deep. I won a lot of games going on multi-point runs with my serve, especially against lower-level players.

Control: 9/10

I'm a fan of the control on this one. It has that muted feel that takes pace off the ball, which is great on resets.

The best control shot I can get with this paddle is a topspin third shot drop. Drops are always hard to hit, but because I can get so much topspin, my drops get amazing dip.

This makes it hard for my opponent to counter aggressively. My best drops would dip at my opponent's feet, forcing them to pop it up and leaving me with an easy putaway for a point off my serve. There's no better feeling in pickleball for me.

Dinking is fine and controlled too. I feel confident in long dink exchanges.

Spin: 10/10

I would give the Edge 18k 11/10 for spin if I could. Seriously, I've never played with a paddle that spins like this.

When I watched Diadem's promo videos, I thought the spin tech was just some marketing speak, but boy was I wrong! This is real technology that I think will become a lot more popular.

You can generate all kinds of spin but none better than topspin. You can just get lower on the ball with your swing and generate tennis-like topspin. So, if you come from tennis like me, you're going to like this paddle.

Forgiveness: 8/10

I found this nicely forgiving for an elongated paddle. I didn't have many mishits. It's not overly poppy either, unlike many of the thermoformed carbon fiber paddles I tested in 2023.

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Weighting: 6/10

This is the paddle's biggest flaw for me—it feels super head-heavy for an 8 oz paddle. I tend to struggle in fast kitchen exchanges. Also, the paddle feels sluggish, especially against advanced hard-hitting players.

Grip: 8/10

The grip is good quality. Over an initial 4-hour testing session, I didn't have any issues with sweatiness or discomfort.

Durability: 9/10

With this paddle's premium edge guard for protection and raw carbon fiber materials, I have no reason to think it won't last a very long time.

Aerodynamics: 7/10

As I mentioned above, the Edge 18k feels bulky and slow through the air, with no aerodynamic features built in. It's just not where this paddle shines.

Is this paddle right for you?

Before buying a 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 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


The Diadem Edge 18k is currently priced at $230. This places it at the high end of the market, right alongside the CRBN Power Series, one of the absolute best paddle ranges I've seen.

Let's see how it compares:

Value for money

Since I don't think this paddle is as versatile as the CRBN-1X Power Series, I won't be recommending it to every player. However, if you play with lots of spin (especially topspin), then the Diadem Edge 18k is worth every penny to you.

You won't find this tech in any other paddle right now. It might be the best spinning paddle out there.

The Diadem Edge 18k pickleball paddle resting against a net
The Diadem Edge 18k pickleball paddle resting against a net

Bottom line

This paddle is an awesome choice for any intermediate player who knows how to play with lots of spin. Usually (but not always) that's someone who came to pickleball from tennis, like me.

If you can put big topspin on the ball, I'm confident you'll love this paddle. I also think that players who find thermoformed paddles too poppy should try it out. Again, though, you have to truly appreciate spin to justify the price.

Today's best deals

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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!


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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