Whew! What a title!
As always, I am going to go into a bit of a technical discussion of the paddle technology, in this case, Gen 1 vs. Gen 2. I have asked to someone to explain the differences to me and so far – crickets. So I did some research.
But before I go into that, I have to discuss the name of the paddle.
Also, if, after reading this, you are interested in getting a paddle at a 10% discount, follow this link and use the coupon code HANSEN10.
So, about the name. We all know that most pickleball pros are rated 6.0+. I think the name of the paddle is in reference to that rating. But I am a whitewater kayak instructor, as well as a pickleball instructor, and 6.0 means something else to me.
Rapids are normally rated 1.0 (almost flat water) to 5.0 (dangerous water). There are 6.0 rapids, though, and they are very dangerous. So the 6.0 in the name may mean—the person using this paddle is dangerous!
I get it. It is a control paddle with a lot of power.
So, what about double black diamond? Well, I am (was) also a skier, and I have done one double black diamond run in my life. I did it twice. The story behind that is long, so I won’t write it here, but let me say that there is a skull and crossbones at the front of the lift. In other words, this run is scary and for experts only.
So, this run, and this paddle, are for experienced players who are looking for a bit more control. It has plenty of power.
These are the tests I normally run when testing a paddle:
Dink straight on and cross court
Okay – this paddle felt soft and responsive. Soft in a good way. I did not have to do much to get great dinks and, when I loaned my paddle to some students (who were maybe 3.0 players) they did very well with it as well. (So much for experts only, right?)
Windshield wiper dinking
I did this a little differently this time. I had two students on each side of the NVZ and had them dinking to e while I moved. I then switched around and let them use the paddle (one of them had a different paddle that I like as well). This drill was effortless for everyone.
Effortless volleying. One student wanted to try “roll” volleys. After I told her to ratchet it down a bit, when was hitting lasers to the baseline. No need to crank it up.
Great top spin and under spin. I really enjoyed returning serves with underspin using this paddle.
Great top spin serves and rives but, when it came to side spin, the paddle really performed. I could get a soft sidespin serve to kick about three feet away from my opponent.
Lob off a dink
This is not one of my normal tests, but a student wanted to learn it. With her paddle, she was hitting the lobs a bit long, so I had her use the Six Zero. Same stroke, better results. The softness and control of the paddle made quite a difference.
As powerful as any of the other 14 mm / 13 mm paddles I have. I did not test the 16 mm but I can assume it has adequate power as well.
- Construction: Gen 2 Raw Carbon Fiber paddle designed for control, combined with a permanent textured surface for maximum spin.
- Shape: A little wider at the top than the bottom. Not much. Width is 7.5” to 7.7″ from bottom to top.
- Face: Toray 700 Raw carbon fiber
- Average weight: 8.1 oz
- Grip length: 5.5” (Enough for a two-handed backhand)
- Grip technology: AH HA! I will talk about this a bit later. To maximize strength and performance Six Zero engineers have designed a 3D carbon forged handle.
- Grip size: 4.25”
- Carbon Fusion Edge Technology: Foam injection followed by a light-weight carbon seam fusing the top and bottom faces of the paddle results in a tighter crisp feel and an increased sweet spot that radiates around the paddle perimeter.
Gen 1 vs. Gen 2
Gen 1 and Gen 2 are terms (buzz words) a lot of people throw around without knowing what they mean. Most people seem to think that they are terms related to the face of the paddle. They are actually terms that refer to a process called thermoforming. Thermoforming is a plastic manufacturing process that applies a force (vacuum or pressure) to stretch a sheet of heated thermoplastic material over an engineered mold to create a 3-dimensional shape or part. After forming, the shaped part can then be trimmed and finished to specification to meet an end-user’s requirements.
This is what I have found out about Gen 1 and Gen 2 after a lot of research.
- Gen 1 is a patented system to thermoform plastic over custom, 3-D printed molds.
- Gen 2 manufacturing is a fully automated laser technology that allows for more precision cuts.
So, unless I am mistaken, both are 3D printing technologies, with Gen 2 incorporating laser technology. If you like, you can make a Glock 9 mm pistol with Gen 2 technology.
Some people have told me that CRBN paddles were banned because they were Gen 2. CRBN may have added to this idea because they sent out a letter to owners that contained the wording, “we made mention of the potential for immediate reapproval of Gen 1 and Gen 2 paddles.”
The ban had nothing to do with the manufacturing process, but with delamination of the face.
Anyway, on with the review.
What about price?
Not really. It sells for $180. With the discount I mentioned above, the price would be $162. That is in keeping with a number of other paddles and a lot less than some paddles, such as the CRBN paddle.
BUT – they are on back order. To get yours, go to the website I mentioned and place your order. It took me two weeks to get mine, not the end of the world.
Here is the ordering information again: follow this link and use the coupon code HANSEN10.