Get to know Diadem Pickleball

We recently sat down with Diadem Pickleball to ask about how their expertise in the racket industry brought them to pickleball and what we can expect from them now and in the future! With their recent launch of the Warrior Paddle known as the thickest paddle on the market coming in at 19MM, Diadem Pickleball is a brand to watch in 2022!

The new Warrior Paddle from Diadem Pickleball

Diadem started making tennis rackets in 2015 then entered the pickleball market in 2019. Are there any particular technologies that you have brought from tennis into your pickleball paddle designs?

We have brought not only technologies and concepts, but also our Quality Control over from tennis as well.  In the Icon you will see the same HMT carbon fiber we use in our high-end tennis rackets.  The replaceable edge guards are very uncommon in pickleball but in tennis it is a necessity, so making sure players would be able to customize and replace their edge guards was important.  Our QC team is monitoring everything from our weights, balances to the graphics on a daily basis.  That type of attention to detail we hope will help separate Diadem from the pack. 

Diadem Icon Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Your first pickleball paddle was the Icon, with a slimmer than average core at just 12mm. You have recently introduced the new Warrior paddle, with a thicker than average core at 19mm. How do you describe the specific attributes that each of these cores brings to these two different paddles? What type of player do you think would prefer each of them based on their play characteristics?

What is interesting and special about the Warrior is the core is actually three separate layers that allow the player to feel both control and power when needed.  However, the average player looking for power will be drawn to the thinner Icon, and the player looking to add feel and touch will be drawn to the Warrior’s thick stability.   We tried to create two very different paddles that reach those two types of players in different ways.

Diadem Icon Graphite Pickleball Paddle

Another unique feature of the Icon is the replaceable 3-piece edge guard that is flush-mounted. Do you anticipate using this style of edge guard on other paddles or was this a special design specifically just for the Icon?

In order to have a replaceable edge guard you need to have a paddle with a molded construction.  The Icon was constructed like our tennis rackets, creating a solid structure entirely encased in carbon fiber.  We do have plans to add additional paddles with similar attributes.  In pickleball we are limited by guidelines but also by weight.  For example, the Warrior could not be produced using the molded construction because the weight would be up near 10 ounces.  

Warrior Paddle by Diadem Pickleball

The Icon and Warrior paddles both have smaller than average cores in the honeycomb core (8mm across). How do these smaller denser cores affect the feel of the paddle?

We have always enjoyed the denser cores, and find they more easily give the player access to power.  They also have less chance for dead spots that can occur when the honeycomb core gets damaged or bent. 

The Icon and the Warrior paddles have a noticeably gritty surface. How does that help players put more spin on their shots?

The Icon and Warrior get spin in different ways.  The Icon has a unique paint that truly bites the ball with a softer face.  Alternatively the Warrior has a grit paint that cuts into the ball to produce the spin. 

Warrior Paddle by Diadem Pickleball

What’s next for Diadem? Are you planning to introduce more paddles in 2022?

We are excited to add to the Warrior line in 2022.  We are currently working on a light version of the paddle.  We know that 8.5 oz may turn some people away, and even though it is balanced in a way that feels lighter, some players have a hard limit, and we would love to make a paddle with the Warrior technology that appeals to more people.  New color options for both the Icon and the Warrior are also coming soon.   Finally we have a super-secret new concept for a paddle we are working on that may launch in 2022, but I have said too much already.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Diadem Pickleball?

Diadem Pickleball is committed to bring the highest quality paddle to the market, pushing the boundaries of the norm while growing this beautiful sport.  We are always happy to chat with our customers and listen to their ideas or concerns to make our products better.  

If you’re not sure which paddle would be best for you or want to know more, call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. You can purchase with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.

PROLITE Sports: The company that changed Pickleball

We recently chatted with Neil Friedenberg of PROLITE Sports Pickleball about PROLITE’s past and present. The first company to begin making paddles out of modern non-wood materials, PROLITE revolutionized paddle technology and continues to be an industry leader developing innovative paddles for players of all types.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball
Owner and President of PROLITE Sports; Neil Friedenerg

Can you tell us about the history of the PROLITE company?

The PROLITE company was originally founded by Arlen and Steve Paranto. Arlen was a Boeing engineer and his son, Steve Paranto, was an avid tennis player and physical education teacher who took up pickleball in its early days. Steve was famously known for analyzing the weight ratio of a tennis racquet compared to a tennis ball and then analyzing the wood pickleball paddles available in the beginning compared to the weight of a pickleball Using this ratio, they determined that wood paddles were way too heavy, and that the honeycomb panels at Arlen could obtain at Boeing would work well to create a lighter paddle.

Their resulting paddle technology innovation revolutionized the equipment and the game. The feel of the new lighter paddles was exceptional, and led to the importance of dinking, more strategy, and longer rallies.  With this new technology, Arlen and Steve Paranto created PROLITE Sports in 1984 – at the time, Ultra Paddle Company. Both Arlen and Steve have been inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame due to their significant contributions to the growth of the sport.

Today PROLITE Sports Pickleball is well known as the legacy brand of pickleball. Nearly forty years old, PROLITE was not only the first company to transform the paddle industry, we also introduced woven carbon fiber paddles to the pickleball market. PROLITE’s most important distinguishing characteristic is our philosophy. We believe that what makes the sport of pickleball special and has led to its increasing worldwide popularity and attention are the everyday recreational players…the 99%ers! That is what PROLITE is all about.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball History
Steve and Arlen Paranto playing Pickleball at their lake house
PROLITE Sports Pickleball Arlen Paranto
Arlen Paranto (inductee of Pickleball Hall Of Fame) and founder of PROLITE Sports

What are the most popular paddles in your lineup? 

The most popular paddles are our Black Diamond Series, which includes the Supernova Pro, Rebel Pro, Titan Pro, Large Titan Edition, and Cypher Pro. These are woven carbon fiber models in a variety of shapes to perfectly fit any player’s sports background. The Black Diamond Series is very unique. Before it came out, most other paddles developed for imparting spin typically emphasized texture and roughness of the paddle face. We approached things a bit differently, focusing on dwell time on the paddle, creating absorption of the ball, and enhancing the ability to maneuver the ball where you want, especially at slower speeds (for example rolling dinks at your opponent’s feet or hitting aggressive, angled dinks creating that next put-away).

Many people are surprised because the surface of the Black Diamond Series paddles appears to be smooth, but much more is going on. Carbon fibers begin to fray over time. Imagine looking under the microscope and seeing these little fibers raised above the surface of the paddle. Those fibers work to grab the ball, which causes friction and can create more spin.  It really is amazing.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball Black Diamond Series Paddles
PROLITE Sports Black Diamond Series Pickleball Paddles

How did your dad get the nickname “Yoda”?

My dad Mark Friedenberg (author of the book Winning Pickleball) was inducted into the Pickleball Hall of Fame a few years ago.  It was well deserved just for the fact that he saw how beneficial this game was to people’s lives so he started introducing the sport into new communities. He was also a skilled player and began competing and putting the time into getting better. “Yoda” came about when he was playing one day against some much younger competition and they sarcastically called him “Grandpa”. Then he cleaned their clocks and the name Yoda caught on.

PROLITE Sports Pickleball, Mark Friedenberg and Neil Friedenberg
Mark (Yoda), Neil (Owner and President of PROLITE) and Erick Friedenberg

If Pickleball had walk in songs like Baseball does, what would be your song?
I can’t help but think of how Ken Griffey Jr. walked up to the plate at the Kingdome when I was young. He had the Hip-Hop Hooray beat by Naughty by Nature. Rage Against the Machine gets me pretty pumped up. No Shelter is a great song, so I would have to say No Shelter by Rage Against the Machine – it gets me ultra-focused and the heart pumping.

What’s next for PROLITE?

We’re on the brink of some exciting brand-new technology yet to be implemented in paddles. We also see the influx of new players coming into the sport and our goal is always to ensure that players of all levels have a specific PROLITE paddle to swing that fits their individual performance needs. PROLITE is dedicated to the sport of pickleball and the everyday player, and our customers will always continue to be our focus.

Explore PROLITE’s paddle lineup and learn more here.

Oneshot Launches New Pickleball Paddles Designed With Aero Flow Technology

Oneshot Pickleball is family owned and operated

Two families bonding over a game of pickleball, having fun with a little friendly competition, and it didn’t take long before they were hooked! Most of us can relate to a story like this – a family member, a friend, neighbor or maybe colleague introduced us to the world of pickleball and it didn’t take long before we were hitting them up to play again.

Their passion for pickleball translated into a desire to create their own pickleball paddles and that is how Oneshot Pickleball was formed. The Lui and Montes Family set out to design a unique yet simple series of paddles for youth up to pro, and have succeeded and even excelled.

Introducing Aero Flow Technology

The newest launch is one of their most exciting to date! On 9/29/21 Oneshot launched 2 paddles with Aero Flow technology, introducing the first commercially available paddles with an aerodynamic component.

The two paddles launched with this technology are the Proshot Graphite Paddle and the Powershot Composite Paddle.

The face of these two paddles has four curved cut-outs on each side. Tested in a Belgium lab, this design was shown to reduce the drag on the paddle by 2%. That may not sound like a lot, but is actually a huge decrease in aerodynamic drag reduction!

When we spoke with Oscar Montes, co-owner of Oneshot, we asked him what he sees as the biggest benefit to the Areo Flow Technology. He said, “the most significant benefit is less drag which translates into faster swings, therefore more power and control. Another benefit that relates to the drag factor is more player stamina; having to swing repeatedly with less effort could have a serious impact on long days of play.”

When asked how long they’d been working on this unique paddle design, Oscar said it started in a garage in 2019. “We drew some prototype sketches on paper and a few weeks later used basic power tools to make a few physical prototypes. Later, we proceeded into the data collection stage which included running our new paddles through wind tunnels and analyzing the results.” 

Which Oneshot paddle is right for you?

When deciding which paddle is the best fit for your game Oscar says, “the Proshot is usually selected by players looking for control and a good feel for the ball at the kitchen line. The Powershot caters to those looking for more power and that might have some racquet sport background.”

Whichever paddle you choose, you will definitely stand out on the pickleball courts! For the team at Oneshot, “paddle color matters to us as much as design; we put a lot of time and effort into each of our paddles to make sure we are offering a clean and modern look. The new Aero paddles reflect a mix of our favorite colors.”

You’ll find these paddles in PickleballCentral’s Oneshot category.

Bonus question from our conversation with the founders of Oneshot:

Other than your paddle, what’s your one piece of gear you can’t live without?

• The Montes family: Definitely a diaper bag; we travel everywhere with our 2 kids!

• The Lui family: Snacks…we like to eat!

What is your answer to that question?

If you’re not sure which paddle would be best for you or want to know more, call us at 1-888-854-0163. Nothing makes us happier than helping you find a paddle that fits your game. You can purchase with confidence, knowing you have a 30-day test drive to make sure it works on the courts – that’s where it counts.