Diadem Icon Pickleball Paddle Review – Innovative Equipment to Elevate Your Game

Pickleball’s popularity has exploded in recent years. With its fun, fast-paced play and inclusive community, it’s no wonder why so many people are getting hooked on this addictive sport. As your skills progress, having a high-quality paddle designed for performance can give you an edge on the court. Diadem Sports is one of the most respected paddle brands, continuously pushing innovation and technologies in their equipment. Let’s dive into diadem icon pickleball paddle review, six of their top models, to see how they can take your play to the next level.

Diadem Pickleball Paddle


The Warrior V2 represents the pinnacle of Diadem’s paddle engineering, cramming loads of advanced features into one impressive package. This paddle is built for competitors who want to overpower their opponents.

  • Carbon fiber face and polypropylene honeycomb core
  • Soft feel and large sweet spot
  • Tapered edge guard
  • Weight: 7.8 oz, Grip size: 4 1/4″, Length: 15 3/4″, Width: 8″


Cutting-Edge Multi-Material Design

Diadem pulled out all the stops when creating the Warrior V2. It starts with their extra-thick 19 mm polymer honeycomb core, making it the thickest core on the market. This amplifies stability to enlarge the sweet spot and provide unmatched control.

But Diadem builds on that foundation by incorporating their patented 3X L-Core system. This technology sandwiches a sheet of super sturdy aramid honeycomb between two layers of 8 mm polypropylene.

The aramid inserts an ultra-rigid center into the core right where you need the most power and pop on shots. By borrowing space age materials from other industries, Diadem engineered a paddle unmatched for both explosive power and precise control in any situation.

Advanced Carbon Fiber Face and Edges

In addition to the unique multi-density core, Diadem equipped the Warrior V2 with multiple carbon fiber technologies to enhance performance.

The paddle face utilizes etched carbon fiber, which is vertically scraped to create miniature textured grooves. This structure increases friction between the face and ball to provide enhanced spin generation. The etching also extends the long-term durability of the grippy surface.

Around the paddle edges, liquid carbon fiber reinforced resin adds tremendous strength to prevent cracks and chips. This protection comes in an edgeless streamlined design to maintain a comfortable smooth feel against the hands during play.

Reasons to Buy
  • Massive sweet spot for outstanding stability
  • Powerful multi-material core for versatile shot-making
  • Etched carbon fiber face generates heavy spin
  • Extremely comfortable tapered handle shape
Reasons to Avoid
  • Higher cost due to premium technologies
  • Large surface area demands strong technique

Premium Comfort-Focused Handle

Diadem rounds out the Warrior V2 package with their ergonomic Taper Tech comfort handle. The grip circumference tapers down to a slim 4 1/8”, allowing even players with smaller hands to control the paddle effectively.

The tapering combined with a 5.3” length gives you leverage for solid wrist action and stability on off-center hits. All wrapped in a soft yet tacky grip material for ultimate comfort, even during marathon play sessions.

Performance and Playability

Bringing together all these technologies results in a paddle that truly has it all – power, control, stability and spin. The multi-density core provides unmatched versatility. You can hammer deep drives with authority, then transition to delicate touch shots around the net.

The etched carbon face bites into the ball for heavy topspin, both on servers and during rallies. The expansive 19 mm sweet spot gives you confidence to play aggressively, while the lightweight 8.25oz design is easy on the arm even after hours on the court.


The Warrior V2 exemplifies Diadem’s commitment to pushing paddle innovation further. It’s the ultimate choice for competitive players seeking to overpower opponents with heavy drives and spins. If you’re looking for a paddle stacked with every advancement available, the Warrior V2 delivers.


Following up on their original Icon paddle, Diadem upgraded the technologies to create the Diadem Icon V2 – an arm-friendly powerhouse built for aggressive baseliners.

  • Molded carbon fiber face and polymer core
  • Responsive and consistent hitting surface
  • Dual layer edge guard
  • Weight: 7.8 oz (light) or 8.1 oz (midweight), Grip size: 4 1/8″, Length: 15 3/4″, Width: 7 3/4″



Reducing Vibration With a Multi-Stage Core

One downside of some graphite power paddles is increased vibration and stiffness which can strain the arm. Diadem tackled this issue head-on with the Icon V2’s 3XL Core.

They surrounded a proprietary vibration-dampening film with dual-density 8mm polypropylene honeycomb. By essentially “suspending” the rigid film within the polymer, it absorbs shock and oscillations.

This provides a lively feel at impact without the sting of solid graphite. You get explosive power comfortably without arm fatigue. Diadem offers the paddle in both standard and extended length options to suit different play styles.

Gritty Hybrid Face for Spin

In addition to the multi-stage core, Diadem equipped the Icon V2 with their latest RP2 face tech. This combines a textured paint application with a proprietary polyurethane coating.

The result is a grippy-textured surface, providing the perfect friction level against pickleballs to impart spin. The hybrid material also enhances durability for long-lasting spin performance.

Reasons to Buy
  • Lively power from multi-stage core
  • Perimeter weighting for stability
  • Textured hybrid face for spin
  • Nice balance of control and power
Reasons to Avoid
  • Price is on the higher end
  • Lacks touch of softer paddles

Perimeter Weighting for Stability

To expand the Icon V2’s sweet spot for more consistent power, Diadem utilized perimeter weighting in their special Flex Stabilization system.

By incorporating high-density foam around the paddle edge, it distributes mass away from the center. This increases stability to help off-center hits stay on target.

It also balances the paddle head for quick maneuverability, important for reaction shots. Combined with the vibration-reducing core, the Icon V2 offers excellent control for such an oversized sweet spot.

Performance and Playability

The Icon V2 proves you can have the lively power typically found in solid paddles along with the comfortable flexible feel of composite designs. Smashing serves and groundstrokes feels effortless and crisp.

The gritty RP2 face bites into the ball with force to allow shaping shots with heavy spin. The weighting technologies give you confidence to swing aggressively thanks to enhanced stability. The Icon V2 is best suited for experienced players with fast swinging speeds seeking raw power from the baseline.


Featuring the latest in vibration dampening and weighting methods, the Icon V2 gives baseliners a perfect blend of lively power, pinpoint control and stability to rule the court. The paddle excels at adding vicious spin on commanding groundstrokes.


The Vice paddle is Diadem’s futuristic concept design built around innovation, showcasing technologies still years ahead of the market.

  • Textured graphite face and polymer core
  • Firm feel and high spin potential
  • Reinforced edge guard
  • Weight: 8 oz, Grip size: 4 1/4″, Length: 16″, Width: 7 5/8″


Extremely Soft EVA Foam Core

At the heart of Diadem’s Vice design is an EVA foam paddle core. This high-density material has never been used in pickleball paddles before.

It provides an extremely soft, lightweight feel unmatched by any other material. In addition to comfort, the flexible foam offers incredible touch and control on delicate shots.

Yet when throttling up on drives, the Vice still provides plenty of pop thanks to the dense foam construction. This innovates paddle cores beyond traditional materials like polymer honeycombs.

Spin-Enhancing Textured Hybrid Face

In addition to the groundbreaking EVA foam core, Diadem equipped the Vice with their latest spin-focused face tech. Dubbed RP2, it combines a textured paint layer with a proprietary polyurethane coating.

This forms a grippy textured surface that grabs pickleballs with ease to impart heavy spin. It’s specially engineered to boost friction between the paddle face and ball after contact. The hybrid material also enhances long-term durability.

Reasons to Buy
  • Extremely soft flexible EVA foam core
  • Spin-enhancing textured RP2 face
  • Edgeless full carbon fiber exterior
  • Unmatched comfort and touch
Reasons to Avoid
  • Not USAP approved for tournaments
  • Lacks stability of rigid cores

Edgeless Construction With Liquid Carbon Fiber

To complete the revolutionary design, Diadem encases the Vice in their Core Molding System. It utilizes woven carbon fiber cloth surrounded by a proprietary thermoplastic resin blended with colorants.

Heating this material allows it to be molded around the paddle edge like a protective skin. The result is a beautiful, seamless design that protects against cracks and chips without adding stiffness.

Performance and Playability

The Vice provides a look into the future of pickleball paddle technologies and materials. The EVA foam feel truly sets it apart, offering insane comfort and control.

The Vice allows placing shots with surgical precision thanks to the flexible core that cushions the ball beautifully. The textured face coats shots with heavy spin to keep opponents guessing.

While it is not USAP approved for tournaments, recreational players will appreciate being able to shape shots effortlessly however they wish. The Vice opens up new possibilities for maximizing feel.


Diadem’s Vice paddle demonstrates what the future of cutting-edge paddle materials and construction could look like. The soft core redefines control and feel. If you appreciate advanced designs and want to experience pickleball in an entirely new way, the Vice delivers.


The Warrior Edge puts a sharper spin on Diadem’s popular Warrior line with enhanced quickness and spin.

  • Carbon fiber composite face and polypropylene honeycomb core
  • Solid feel and balanced weight distribution
  • Tapered edge guard
  • Weight: 7.6 – 8.0 oz, Grip size: 4 1/4″, Length: 15 3/4″, Width: 8″



Lean 16 mm Design for Maneuverability

Diadem built the Warrior Edge off of their standard Warrior model but slimmed it down to 16mm thickness. The reduced profile compared to the original 19mm makes it more maneuverable and whipped around quickly.

It lightweight just 8oz for easy handling. The balance point is moved slightly towards the handle for a ramped up responsive feel around the net on reacting to volleys and dinks.

Mono-Density Polymer Core

The Edge utilizes a single 8 mm polypropylene honeycomb density throughout the interior core. This provides consistent pop and touch across all areas of the surface compared to multi-density cores.

The mono-density polymer transmits ball feedback directly to your hands for an intuitive, accurate response. The core is forgiving enough for recreational play but stable enough for competitive matches.

Etched Carbon Fiber Face

To generate heavy spin on servers and ground strokes, Diadem equipped the Edge with an etched carbon fiber paddle face. Etching scrapes small vertical grooves into the surface which supply added friction and bite against the ball.

This textured grip allows loading the ball with extra revolutions to keep opponents off balance. It also enhances durability over smooth carbon fiber.

Reasons to Buy
  • Lightweight responsive feel
  • Grippy etched face for spin
  • Mono-density core for consistency
  • Edgeless durable rim
  • Comfortable 5” ergonomic grip
Reasons to Avoid
  • Lacks maximal power of thicker cores
  • Less spin than gritty textured faces

Ergonomic Handle for Comfort

The Warrior Edge features a 5” comfort handle tapered down to Diadem’s signature skinny 4 1/8” grip circumference that feels great in any size of hands.

It provides nice leverage for wrist action compared to short stocky grips. The premium grip material remains comfortable even during marathon play sessions thanks to moisture absorption properties.

Performance and Playability

The Warrior Edge offers an impressive blend of control, power, and spin perfect for all-around players. The wide but skinny grip gives excellent handling for touch shots around the net.

The etched paddle face bites into serves and ground strokes to coat them with heavy spin. The lightweight build allows quick reactions, while the mono-density core provides nice pop on drives. A great choice for players looking to add more speed and spin from a maneuverable paddle.


With its spin-loaded construction in a slimmer reactive profile, the Warrior Edge is built for dynamic all-court players who rely on speed and quickness. The paddle plays beautifully both at the net and baseline.


Diadem created the special edition First Responder paddles to honor American heroes while delivering top-notch performance.


Same as Diadem Warrior V2, but with different colors and designs for fire, police, and medical departments


Precision-Tuned Design

The Responder paddles utilize the same technologies found in the Warrior Edge to provide a premium playing experience. This includes the 16mm polymer honeycomb core and etched carbon fiber face.

They are precision-tuned to an 8.25oz weight with a 240mm balance point. This gives a nice blend of maneuverability, power and control – ideal for competitive matches and recreational rallies alike.

Features to Enhance Spin and Feel

In addition to the spin-generating etched paddle face, Diadem also uses a grippy textured paint coating on the surface. This boosts friction even more to take advantage of the etched grooves.

Inside, the consistent 8 mm mono-density polymer honeycomb offers excellent touch and stability right across the paddle. The core material provides a soft, lively feel when striking pickleballs cleanly.

Reasons to Buy
  • Ideal 8.25oz weight for maneuverability
  • Etched surface for heavy spin
  • Vibrant consistent polymer core
  • Premium comfort handle
  • Give back to American heroes
Reasons to Avoid
  • Only one weight option
  • Core lacks touch of some paddles

Designed With First Responders in Mind

Diadem currently offers 3 color options targeting different first responders – blue for police, red for fire rescue, and green for military service members. This shows their support through paddle sales.

The 5” ergonomic handles maximize comfort and playability for officers, firefighters, soldiers and more who play pickleball recreationally. The Responder paddles let them enjoy top performance and give back at the same time.

Performance and Playability

Offering an identical playing experience to the standard Warrior Edge, the Responder paddles deliver outstanding speed, spin, control and power.

The lightweight design allows quick reactions while the etched grippy face bites into shots for heavy spin on serves and groundstrokes. Stability is excellent thanks to the vibrant mono-density core.

They are ideal choices for intermediate to advanced players looking for competition-level equipment to match their improving skills. The precision 8.25oz weight makes swings easy on the arm.


For pickleball players looking to support first responders, the Diadem Responder paddles accomplish that goal while providing elite performance capabilities. Their spin and stability enhance aggressive play.


As an affordable introductory paddle, the Diadem Riptide lets beginners enjoy quality equipment as they learn the game.

  • Fiberglass composite face and polymer core
  • Soft feel and large sweet spot
  • Edgeless design
  • Weight: 7.2 oz, Grip size: 4″, Length: 15 3/4″, Width: 7 3/4″



HMT Fiberglass Face

At the surface, Diadem uses HMT fiberglass on the Riptide face. This molded textured material supplies decent power and touch at impact.

The tiny etched grittiness helps generate spin for shaping shots. While it can’t match etched graphite for spin, it performs admirably given the budget price.

Polymer Honeycomb Core

Inside, the Riptide utilizes a 14mm polypropylene honeycomb core. This gives nice feedback and stability for beginners still developing proper technique.

The polymer material supplies some pop on drives to keep rallies fun and engaging as players improve consistency contacting the sweet spot.

Protective Edge Guard

To help the paddle hold up as players hone skills, the Riptide incorporates a thick molded edge guard. This protects the rim from dings and scrapes from mishits against the playing surface.

This allows beginners to build confidence without worrying about damaging their new paddle as ground stroke and volley technique develops.

Reasons to Buy
  • Quality construction for the price
  • Grippy HMT face for some spin
  • Stability from honeycomb core
  • Protective edge guard
  • Lightweight and comfortable
Reasons to Avoid
  • Lacks power of premium graphite
  • Limited touch and control
  • Smaller sweet spot

Ergonomic Elongated Shape

Diadem designed the Riptide with a paddle head length of 16”, longer than many models. This provides a few extra inches of reach for players learning proper footwork and positioning.

The grip is a comfortable stock size built for all hand sizes. At 5”, it allows nice leverage for solid mechanics on serves, returns and dinks.

Performance and Playability

Given the budget price point, the Riptide performs admirably for recreational play. The HMT face offers decent pop and spin. Stability is impressive thanks to the polymer core thickness.

Control and touch shots display quality thanks to the grippy face and forgiving core. While high-level players may overpower it, the Riptide handles nicely for casual fun. The shape gives new players confidence covering the court.


As an affordable, quality option for beginners, the Riptide delivers an enjoyable experience right out of the box. The friendly price makes it easy to grab a paddle and start having fun with pickleball.


Q: Does Diadem make paddles good for beginners?

A: Yes, the affordable Riptide paddle is designed for recreational players learning the sport with its durable construction and decent power.

Q: What makes the Vice paddle unique?

A: It contains innovative technologies like a soft EVA foam core and seamless carbon fiber edge construction found in no other paddles.

Q: Why buy the special edition First Responder paddles?

A: You get high-performance equipment while a portion of sales goes to support families of fallen American heroes.

Q: Which paddle is better for control and touch shots?

A: The Vice paddle’s flexible EVA foam core gives players unmatched touch and surgical precision on finesse shots.


With the help of diadem icon pickleball paddle review, it is understood that Diadem continuously pushes the envelope when engineering new pickleball paddles, whether refining proven favorites like the Warrior line or experimenting with radical new materials like the Vice. Their paddles enhance aspects like power, control, spin, and feel in ways that maximize strengths for different playing styles. For pickleball athletes looking to take their game up a level, Diadem’s roster offers numerous ways to gain an advantage on the court.

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