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Diadem indoor Power Pickleball review

I was lucky to be one of the first people in the UK to try out a prototype indoor ball from Diadem. My initial one came in a plain white colour and I’ve now been able to use the production version in an orange colour. It is a 26 hole, indoor ball and is the same basic ball as the Diadem power pro but with different hole pattern and colour.  This means it should play towards the fast end of the spectrum of indoor balls. 

My initial testing of this ball was within my club sessions across both intermediate and advanced play, in advance of the “Dinking in the Midlands” tournament, arranged by PickleB

The real test, however, was that two day tournament in Wolverhampton. A badminton style slightly rubberised floor, this was a fairly good match of ball and surface. This ball is designed to play on wood mainly, hence the orange colour to contrast with most of the indoor surfaces you’ll be playing on. It also tracks well against the classic blue or grey walls found in badminton halls. 

The key factor for ball performance are visibility, initial bounce, shape retention, bounce retention, consistency of performance  and durability/resistance to cracking. The visbility is a big hit for most players although a couple of our male players said it disappears on them. I’ve had this same issue reported with pink X40’s, red balls and a classic optic yellow ball on a wooden floor is a disaster for some. It’s clearly something that’s specific to certain people. 

Its initial bounce plays true and I’ve not had many reports of bad bounces although any ball with holes will react depending on which part of the ball makes contact with the surface.  It certainly allows a diversity of play styles and dink rallies are possible on any surface.  It doesn’t over reward a power game (like a dura or x40 on wooden floors) or behave so slowly after a while to neuter speed ups, like an aged Penn 26 or Jugs.  

Shape retention is a big factor: is it an “eggy” ball or a “cracky” ball? Having seen in use for nine hours a day over two days, the balls stayed pretty true to round, breaking before the ball was too wobbly in my experience. Bounce retention was excellent: it didn’t seem to slow down, bounce low/slow or behave significantly different across its life span.  That means it’s a pretty consistent ball playability wise. 

Perhaps the most important variable is durability and resistance to cracking.  Both in club and across the tournament, life span has been good and crossing into double digit hours of play.  This means that a more premium priced ball becomes better value for money as the time between replacement creates an effectively more cost effective product. At just under £4 a ball, it’s more than the typical £3 per ball cost of your Franklin x26 or x40. However, we get close to twice as long use compared to the x40 indoors so it’s closer to a £2 effective cost over the alternative. The Penn 40 lasts a long time but plays very differently so not a true comparison.

Whilst I am a Diadem sponsored player/coach, I paid for my test balls with my own money so there’s no hidden pressure here. It’s a genuinely good ball and plays faster than a Gamma and slightly truer bouncing than the Franklin x26, which can skid a bit on wood and play “heavy”. I’d strongly recommend trying with the better players in your club as a step up ball from the common Gamma, Penn or Jugs balls. It might be the perfect solution for 3.5+ level players on wood that want a true all round ball for regular use. You can source them here and if you want them in bulk, get in touch and I’ll see if I can help you out.

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