The ProDrive seems to be one of the most popular paddles at my club – it is used even by beginners.
My choice of paddles was the Diadem Warrior (Edge for doubles); however, after testing the ProDrive paddle, I found that it compared favorably. In fact, it may be a bit better than the Warrior when it comes to imparting spin.
The specs for the ProDrive are essentially the same as the Warrior, except that the honeycomb on the ProDrive is stated as 6.5 mm PP + Kevlar 6 + 6.5 mm PP, while the honeycomb for the Warrior is stated as 8mm PP + Aramid + 8mm PP.
Okay, so “PP” means Polypropylenem, which is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” made from the combination of propylene monomers. “Aramid” stands for Aramid fibers, short for aromatic polyamide, are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. Kevlar is a brand name for a specific Aramid.
Got it? Too technical for me.
Anyway, how ProDrive can have a core of 6.5 mm yet be the same thickness as the Warrior is beyond me. I guess the Kevlar layer adds width. I have asked ProDrive for more information but so far the company has not responded to me.
Both the Warrior and ProDrive are constructed with a 3-layer core, which the companies say give players better feel and touch on drops and dinks. I’m not sure I agree with that.
The company also says that the “grit paint” surface provides more spin ability. I can put a lot of top spin on my serves, but can with the Warrior as well. I really cannot feel the grit on the paddle. Diadem also states that it has a grit surface. Neither company, though, provides any specifics about the grit (how much, what kind, etc.).
The company also says that the Kevlar in the core unleashes power when it is time to hit a drive or a put-away. Three layers of honeycomb are pressed to achieve a 19mm core thickness, giving players an incredibly solid and stable feel. Here I agree. I think I can get my serves deeper, and faster, with the ProDrive than with the Warrior, but I have to keep testing them both side by side with someone observing.
The paddle comes with an 8-month warranty, slightly better than the 6-month warranty from Diadem. If you purchase a paddle and don’t like it, you can return it within 10 days and get your money back. There is no information about who pays shipping.
Diadem lets you test 2 paddles for 10 days and provides a return shipping label. If you purchase a paddle after testing two, you will get a $25 discount on the paddle you purchase.