Spin has become an integral component of any pickleball game, as more and more players have mastered the ability. So, we’re going to be reviewing the best pickleball paddles for spin. We’ll also be discussing the most important features to look for in a spin-boosting paddle to help you step up your performance.
Let’s get started!
What Is Spin in Pickleball?
In pickleball, a spin is just as it says—the ball spinning after being hit a certain way. It can be used to control the ball’s movement and make it more difficult for the opponent to return.
A spin serve in pickleball involves applying spin to the ball during a serve. A well-executed spin serve can make the ball move so unpredictably that the receiver will have a hard time anticipating its trajectory. This can give the serving player a strategic advantage.
Types of Spin in Pickleball
There are two main types of spin in pickleball, topspin and backspin.
When a player imparts topspin on the ball, the ball rotates forward from top to bottom. This type of spin is often used to make the ball dip down quickly after crossing the net, making it challenging for the opponent to return.
Backspin, on the other hand, causes the ball to rotate backward from bottom to top. Backspin can be used to keep the ball low and make it bounce less, also making it harder for the opponent to attack.
What Is a Cut Stroke in Pickleball?
A cut stroke in pickleball is a shot that involves imparting spin on the ball by hitting it with a specific angle and motion, or underspin. This means that the ball will curve downward as it travels through the air.
A player with a superb cut stroke or spin serve can be very effective at controlling the point. When executed well, a cut stroke can make the ball curve or “cut” in a way that your opponents will have a hard time returning your shots. Your opponent could hit the ball towards the net, putting them at a disadvantageous position.
How Do You Create Spin in Pickleball?
You create spin in pickleball by hitting the ball a certain way. If the paddle is hit with an upward motion, it will create topspin. If the paddle is hit with a downward motion, it will create backspin.
Here are some tips for generating spin in pickleball:
- Hit the ball with a smooth, upward motion for topspin, or a smooth, downward motion for backspin.
- Use a paddle with a textured topsheet since this creates friction between the ball and paddle. A paddle with a smooth face will be more difficult.
- Hit the ball on the sweet spot of the paddle. For best results, use pickleball paddles for spin that are designed for this purpose. More on them later!
And, above all, practice! You won’t get very far without committing a fair amount of your time and effort into a specific skill.
What Are the Benefits of Putting Spin on the Ball in Pickleball?
Using spin in pickleball can give you an edge over your opponents. A ball with spin moves unexpectedly, which makes it harder for your opponent to control and counter. Here’s why:
- Makes your opponents unsure of where your ball will go.
- Spins can be used to create and set up other shots, like lobs and drop shots.
- Allows you to strike the ball harder without the ball escaping.
- Serves with more spin are aggressive and tend to be more difficult to counter and return.
- More reliable and difficult to return baseline drives.
How to Choose the Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin
Choosing pickleball paddles for spin will often boil down to what seems most appropriate for you and your game. But, here are some general guidelines to help you determine the best spin paddle for you.
The surface material
Generally, fiberglass face is the go-to option. It tends to offer a more textured surface that prolongs contact time for an improved grip and control. A composite hitting surface is also good due to its gritty texture.
Another common choice when looking for the best pickleball paddle is graphite. Nowadays, it’s made to be rougher (compared to its typical smooth texture) to cater to the players’ increasing need for better spin.
The size of the sweet spot
When it comes to pickleball paddles for spin, bigger is better. For better spins, you’ll want to hit the ball on the paddle’s sweet spot, and bigger paddles have bigger sweeter spots.
A firm, comfortable grip size and grip circumference is essential to create a good spin. Look for a cushioned, sweat-absorbing handle to optimize your performance. The size of the grip is also crucial because if you don’t have a comfortable and secure grip on your paddle, you’re unlikely to be able to execute spin shots.
Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin
Adding a spin to your shots in pickleball can do a lot for you as a player, and both technique and equipment are important for generating spin. We’ve talked about technique. Now, it’s time to look at our top 5 pickleball paddles for spin.
1. Selkirk Amped Pickleball Paddles for Spin
We’re starting off the list with the Selkirk Amped pickleball paddle for spin that is great for competitive players. Crafted in the United States and USAPA-approved, this spin paddle is the choice of top-level players such as Tyson McGuffin, Kaitlin Christian, Enrique Ruiz, and Joanne Russel.
The Amped unit features a unique FiberFlex fiberglass surface and a thick X5 polypropylene core. This combo of materials delivers an amazing spin while maintaining maximum control and accuracy. Not to mention, the paddle’s core allows for high durability, which is a must to back you up throughout serious matches.
Just keep in mind that it’s more expensive than other options and is a bit on the heavy side. Beginners might have a hard time using this paddle.
2. ONIX Graphite Z5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin
Among the pickleball paddles for spin on this list, the ONIX Graphite Z5 provides players with professional-grade spin performance, without breaking the bank. This is possible thanks to the impressive combination of materials featured on the surface of the paddle and its core.
If you have excellent ball control and are searching for additional baseline pop, the ONIX Composite Z5 may be the perfect choice for you.
It’s a midweight paddle, coming in at 7.5 to 8.2 ounces. The core of the ONIX Graphite Z5 is made out of paper honeycomb and Nomex. This increases the power of your shots and pairs perfectly with the graphite surface, which effectively maximizes the contact time between the ball and the paddle to generate the needed spin.
The Z5 also comes with a wider design of about 8 inches, and improved grip. So, you can avoid balls coming towards you from weird angles and have better control during games. A wider body does mean a larger sweet spot on the hitting surface, but it also leads to greater wind resistance that you need to overcome using more effort.
3. Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro Pickleball Paddles for Spin
If you don’t mind paying a premium price, your money will be well spent on the Paddletek Tempest Wave Pro. This pickleball paddle for spin is probably the best choice if you want to create ball spin at the net when playing dink.
Not only will this beast add more spin to your shots, but it’ll also equip them with amazing speed that’s deadly against your competition. This is thanks to the polymer honeycomb core and the textured graphite face that help to make great spin shots.
The Tempest Wave Pro uses smart response technology that delivers massive force without compromising on control. This is one of the best pickleball paddles for spin that really shines when employed in a soft game. The lighter paddle structure improves agility in defensive mode and enables players to withstand the pressure of powerful opponents.
Players who are looking to step up their game to the professional league or aiming to find the perfect pickleball paddle for spin that offers great power and unmatched forgiveness will do good using the Tempest Wave Pro.
You’ll also appreciate the balanced weight of this unit and the high tack grip it features, especially during long games. You’ll be spared the fatigue that can cost you the match.
4. Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddles for Spin
Another one of our favorite pickleball paddles for spin is the Engage Encore Pro. We consider to be a true all-rounder. This means that whether you’re looking for excellent quality, masterful performance, or competitive price—this paddle has it all!
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the Engage Encore Pro is the premium materials featured in its construction. The wide body textured fiberglass surface with Skin Dimensioning technology does the following:
- extends the contact time between the ball and the paddle to improve accuracy and boost the spin of your shots
- provides a larger sweet spot to ensure you deliver the right amount of power in every swing
The Engage Encore Pro is proudly made in the United States and approved by the USAPA for tournament play. It is also equipped with a polymer core to enhance control and an ergonomic handle to help maintain a comfortable grip for a long time.
Engage has created “liquid graphite”, a chemically bonded skin that is applied to the paddle face. It allows this graphite paddle to provide outstanding levels of ball grip throughout play.
The downside to this pickleball paddle is its weight, as it may be a bit too heavy for some beginners. Its grip is also on the thicker side, measuring 4.25 inches.
5. Gamma Sports Micron 2.0 Pickleball Paddles for Spin
Last but not least, we found the best possible option for pickleball enthusiasts shopping on a tight budget. The Micron 2.0 pickleball paddle is a midweight paddle that proves that you don’t need to put a dent in your wallet to enjoy max spin, decent quality and performance. As pickleball paddles for spin go, this one is definitely bang for your buck!
It’s equipped with an Aramid honeycomb core that supports impressive power and remarkable control along with reliable durability. The textured fiberglass finish of the surface allows you to deliver the spin level you need to perfect your shots.
We particularly love the featured grip on the Gamma Sports Micron 2.0. It’s cushioned to provide ample softness for maximum comfort and also absorbs sweat to ensure a firm hold with every hit.
Approved by the USAPA, this unit comes in 7 different colors to match your taste. It’s a terrific choice for newbies and intermediates, but it doesn’t offer the largest sweet spot out there.
Which Is the Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin: Composite Paddles or Graphite Paddles
Certain types of pickleball shots may be greatly improved with the right paddle. A lot of paddles are currently built from graphite and composite materials. So, pickleball players are split as to which pickleball paddle material is best.
Graphite paddles are known for their lightweight properties. They are very responsive and easier to control, so players can better generate spin. The paddle face of graphite pickleball paddles are typically smooth, polished, lightweight carbon fiber that lacks texture and grip.
The flat and smooth surfaces of graphite paddles are better suited for control and feel. They are somewhat lighter than composite pickleball paddles, but also offer players more power and accuracy, with slightly less “grip” or “ball control”.
On the other hand, composite paddles are slightly heavier and not as easy to maneuver. Instead, these paddles are known for their durability and power, which can effectively create spin when used skillfully.
Here’s a table to help you compare between the two:
|Feel||More responsive and easier to control||Less responsive and harder to control|
|Spin||Can generate spin, but less than composite paddles||Can generate a lot of spin with skillful use|
|Power||Less powerful||More powerful|
|Durability||Less durable||More durable|
|Control||Better control||Worse control|
|Forgiveness||More forgiving for learning spin shots||Less forgiving for learning spin shots|
|Best for||Players who prioritize control and finesse.||Players who seek a balance between power and spin.|
Ultimately, the choice between graphite and composite pickleball paddles for spin depends on your playing style and personal preferences.
A spin serve in pickleball is a special move that can make it difficult for opponents to return the ball. It puts pressure on your opponents and gives you the upper hand in games, helping you win points.
Though tough to do, anyone can learn how to do a spin in pickleball with enough practice. And don’t be afraid to invest in one of the best pickleball paddles for spin. They’re worth it!