Putting spin on the ball can be advantageous when playing pickleball. It’s a great tactic for keeping the ball low when dinking or hitting a third shot drop. Players who hit heavy top spin have an advantage when trying to keep their opponent deep in the back court. When I chose my first pickleball paddle, I had no idea it is one of the better ones for putting spin on the ball. However, you almost always see the Onix Z5 in the list of top pickleball paddles for spin. I tend to naturally hit a lot of under spin or slice from my days of playing racquetball and trying to keep the ball low. Now, that I’m in a search for new paddle I researched the best pickleball paddles for spin.
The way a pickleball paddle is manufactured makes a huge difference in how much spin it can create. I noticed my Onix Z5 has a very gritty or textured surface. This allows the paddle to put a significant amount of spin on the ball if desired. Here are a few other things which impact how much spin a pickleball paddle can generate.
First, is the sweet spot. This is the most important characteristic of a paddle when it comes to generating spin. The larger the sweet spot, the more ball control and feel you will get from the paddle. This allows you to fire those spins when required.
Whether the paddle is head heavy or not also matters. Using a head heavy paddle will create the necessary torque required to spin the ball.
The core and surface material are major determinants. Polymer cores are great for putting spin on the ball while maintaining that balance between ball control and power. They also give you an excellent feel which helps to place your shots more accurately on the court. Composite surfaces are also much better at generating spin than most other surfaces.
Finally, the grip length of the paddle plays a significant role in the amount of spin you’re able to generate. A longer, thinner grip will give your wrist the necessary room to ‘twist’ and ‘flick’ during returns. This is essential if you want to put enough spin on the ball to make a difference during a game.
Here, we’ve listed nine paddles that we consider as the best pickleball paddles for spin. We’ll examine some of the features that make them ideal for spin. Below is a quick summary of each paddle. Keep reading below the table for a more detailed look at each pickleball paddle.
The Engage Encore Pro was designed using input from the top players in the game. Additionally, the entire Encore line of paddles from Engage is quite popular among the champs. This includes players like Brian Staub and Marcin Rozpedski.
While the Encore Pro imbibes the high-level control and spin offered by other Encore paddles, this one comes with enough deflection to put the ball away as well. This added power coupled with uncanny ball control and spin makes for a really unpredictable paddle that can keep your opponent guessing.
The Encore Pro is a slightly heavier paddle, lying in a weight range between 7.8 and 8.3 oz. This creates a head-heavy feel to the paddle which is imperative when trying to put more spin on the ball.
When hitting a topspin forehand , your arm moves in an upward motion with your wrist ‘flicking’ close to the end of the shot. This ‘flick’, if done correctly, is what allows the paddle to generate plenty of spin on the ball. If you have a paddle with a heavy head, it becomes a lot easier to generate spin every time you flick the ball.
Aside from this, a head heavy paddle adds considerable momentum to your returns, giving your spin shots an added dimension of power that makes it difficult for the opponent to retaliate.
The size of the sweet spot is another major determining factor when it comes to spin. A larger sweet spot improves ball control. But it also allows you to ‘feel’ the ball with more precision, no matter which part of the paddle it contacts.
The large sweet spot also improves the accuracy of advanced shots like deep top spins. This is important because if your shots aren’t accurate, it doesn’t matter if you’re able to generate enough spin.
The Encore Pro by Engage has a fairly large sweet spot. Plus it has enough room to accurately return the ball in any way that you want.
Core and Surface
The Engage Encore Pro comes with a special polymer honeycomb infused with ControlPro technology. Polymer is the ideal material for generating plenty of spin on the ball. However, the Encore Pro also comes with vibration control technology which helps dampen the vibrations when receiving the ball. This technology allows for the ball to be returned with uncanny accuracy and control. Plus it gives you a while longer to put a considerable amount of spin on the ball.
Along with this core, the Encore Pro comes with a special proprietary fiberglass skin. It is an extremely gritty surface that allows for exceptional spin. Plus the paddle face offers enough deflection to put the ball away easily.
A length of 15.5” and a width of 8.125” makes for the large sweet spot mentioned earlier. Aside from expanding the sweet spot, this shorter, stout paddle allows for more feel and control throughout all extremities of the paddle.
These dimensions also help to create the ‘head heavy’ effect that is so essential in paddles that generate adequate spin.
The Prince Response Pro is is perhaps the best pickleball paddle for spin. This is the paddle that pro player Simone Jardim used when she won her triple crown. Using the Prince Response Pro, she managed to bag gold at the 2018 US Open in the Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, and the Mixed doubles championships. So yes the Prince Response Pro has been tried and tested by one of the best in the world, and you can bet that it delivers!
The Prince Response Pro is available in two weight categories:
A lightweight model between 7.2 and 7.7 oz and standard weight between 7.8 and 8.3 oz. Both these versions come with the same high-quality specs. But of course, if you’re taking pickleball seriously, the standard model would be a better investment considering the additional power it offers.
Here’s where the Prince Response Pro outdoes every other paddle when it comes to spin. This paddle has the largest sweet spot compared to almost every paddle on the market. This is partly due to the fact that it comes in a unique oval shape that you won’t find anywhere else. This accentuates the sweet spot, ensuring that you rarely have any mishits when sending the ball over to the other side.
And considering the fact that a large sweet spot is essential for spin, the Prince Response Pro definitely takes the cake.
Core and Surface
The Response Pro comes with a much thicker polymer honeycomb core than most other paddles with polymer cores. It’s not really that much thicker, but thick enough to notice the difference. However, this thick core does not in any way make the paddle heavier, so you’ve still got all that maneuverability to work with. The extra layers of polymer really help the ball ‘sink’ when receiving it, giving you an unmatched feel and the ability to put ample topspin and backspin on the ball.
The Response Pro also comes with a textured fiberglass face, which is gritty enough to add to the torque you can apply on the ball. This fiberglass face also offers ample pop for you to add a bit of power to your spin shots.
At a length of 15¾” and width of 8¼”, the Prince Response Pro offers a massive surface area for receiving the ball and enough room to generate the ‘flick’ action effectively. These dimensions coupled with the oval shape result in a sweet spot that spreads over virtually the entire paddle face, making returns surprisingly accurate, no matter where the ball lands on the paddle face.
To add to this control, the Response Pro comes with a grip length of 5.5”, giving you enough room to work your wrists freely. This grip also offers ample space for double-handed spin shots for those players more familiar with this maneuver.
The Tempest Wave Pro from Paddletek is an upgrade from their previous Tempest Wave model so you can expect the same control and feel from the previous model. Only here, Paddletek used their Smart Response Technology to strengthen the sensitivity of this paddle. And what’s more, this technology even lets you transfer a fair bit of power into your shots!
The Tempest Wave Pro comes at a weight range of 7.2 to 7.8 oz, with the paddle averaging out at 7.6 oz. This makes the paddle light enough for easy movement and wrist action, but heavy enough for when you need to deflect one of those powerful smashes.
The sweet spot on the Tempest Wave Pro spans over a fairly large area, considering that the paddle comes at a width of 8” with plenty of length as well.
Core and Surface
Here’s where things get really interesting.
Just like most other pickleball paddles for spin, the Wave Pro comes with a polymer honeycomb that provides optimal forgiveness and feel and allows for retention of the ball of the paddle. This helps players to focus their shots exactly where required.
However, unlike most other paddles designed for spin, the Tempest Wave Pro doesn’t use a composite face. Instead, Paddletek uses a graphite face in the construction of this paddle. The fact that a lightweight graphite paddle makes it on a list of best paddles for spin is quite unbelievable.
Composite paddles have a rough texture on their paddle face. This roughness allows them to ‘grip’ the ball longer on the surface, giving players more room to generate spin and place the ball accurately.
Graphite surfaces, on the other hand, are generally smooth, and made primarily for touch and feel.
The Tempest Wave Pro, however, combines the best of both worlds, with Paddletek’s unique ‘textured graphite’ surface. This surface acts much like composite paddles, giving you ample ‘grip’ on the ball, while the graphite enhances touch and feel to the next level.
Additionally, the core of this paddle isn’t a regular polymer but a special ‘graphite polymer’. Paddletek has managed to compress into a honeycomb shape in the design of the Wave Pro. This combination makes for a paddle that lets you truly enjoy a smooth, high-accuracy game of pickleball.
The Tempest Wave Pro Comes at a length of 15⅞” which is ⅛” shy from the maximum allowed length on a pickleball paddle. This length offers incredible reach while maintaining the control and solidity offered by shorter paddles.
A width of 8” adds to this reach and enlarges the sweet spot, giving you plenty more opportunities to place the ball where you want to.
These dimensions are well-balanced by a grip length of 5¼” which gives players enough room for maneuverability and wrist action during your spin shots. This larger grip also makes it easy to return shots from the baseline when required.
With the large ‘Z5’ logo emblazoned on the paddle face, the Onix Z5 graphite is a paddle you’re sure to find in the hands of many players at tournament games. It’s what picklers call ‘the comfort paddle’ thanks to its solid feel, light touch, and ease of use and maneuverability.
These characteristics make the Z5 a paddle for players at all levels of the game.
The graphite version of the Z5 comes in a mid-weight range, with the paddle weighing in at an average of 7.9 oz. This weight ranges from 7.5 to 8.2 oz, for players opting for a heavier, more powerful playing style. But unlike the composite version, which weighs a whopping 8.8 oz on average, the Z5 graphite offers unmatched maneuverability and control.
With a length of 15.5” and a width of 8.125”, the Z5 graphite offers a fairly large sweet spot that is much accentuated by the sturdy feel of the paddle.
Core and Surface
Paddles built for spin are usually built with a polymer honeycomb core. However, unlike most other paddles today, the Z5 graphite uses a Nomex honeycomb core. This offers a fair bit of pop to the paddle.
This power is immediately counterbalanced by the graphite face of this paddle which offers incredible spin, feel, and responsiveness. Graphite happens to be the best material for putting spin on the ball, and the Z5 graphite was built specifically with this characteristic in mind.
The surface offers plenty of opportunity for topspin and backspin from all positions on the court. And if you’re just starting to learn the tricky art of spin, the Z5 graphite can help accelerate your learning.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that while the Z5 may be excellent for spins, it lacks the power normally found in most other paddles.
The length of 15.5” and width of 8.125” results in a paddle with a large surface area and plenty of reach and maneuverability. And most players will agree that the Onix Z5 Graphite is great for playing shots that normally put you off balance thanks to its sturdy feel and quick responsiveness.
Additionally, the Z5 graphite also offers a grip of 5” which provides enough room for ample wrist action and gives you time to place the ball exactly where you want to. This is essential when you’re playing spin shots because no matter how nuanced the shot is, without the right placement it’s pointless.
The following paddles are also great choices for spin. While they did not make the top of our list, they are still ones to consider based on the brand you prefer and price.
The Crush Powerspin paddle is one of Prolite’s latest designs. It is modeled off one of their most successful paddle design – the Magnum. Unlike the Magnus, this one isn’t graphite so it’s a perfect pickleball paddle for spin.
The Prolite Crush comes at an average weight range of 7.6 oz. This means it is heavy enough to help players generate enough spin on the ball while remaining light enough for easy handling.
This medium paddle weight also means less fatigue on your hands during long rallies and tournaments. As a result, even shots played later in the game retain the accuracy experienced early on during the game.
This accuracy is extremely important when determining where to place spin shots. It’s not enough to generate adequate spin on the ball. It’s imperative that you can place the ball where required to put your opponent off balance.
The dimensions of this paddle at a length of 15.5” and width of 7⅞” make for a sweet spot that isn’t extremely large but remains contained and highly sensitive at all points on the paddle face. This sensitive sweet spot is ideal for returning shots with heightened control, spin, and accuracy.
Core and Surface
The Prolite Crush comes with Prolite’s patented QuadCore Power polymer honeycomb core which gives you the advantage of facing any kind of challenge on the court. Aside from the control and responsiveness offered by polymer, the QuadCore technology gives players enough power to add a deadly element to all your spin shots.
But power isn’t the main reason to select this paddle. The surface of it is made from Prolite’s patented SpinTac material. This is a specialized surface that’s optimized for incredible spin and control when you need it. This polymer core combined with Prolite’s SpinTac surface makes for a paddle that offers unbelievable spin with a heightened sense of control to place the ball exactly where you want.
Along with this, the paddle also comes with Prolite’s MicroEdge guard. This guard provides a thin, unobtrusive layer of protection around the paddle, ensuring that it doesn’t get in the way while giving the paddle a feeling of ‘solidity’.
At a length of 15.5” and width of 7⅞”, the Prolite Crush offers a fairly large sweet spot to generate adequate spin. However, the surface is a little smaller than most other paddles designed for spin. So unless you’re a player who has practiced their spin shots enough times to understand its nuances, it can be difficult to wield this paddle properly.
The EX-L paddle from Bantam is what some players call ‘the sweet spot’ in pickleball paddles thanks to its perfectly average weight and feel. Many pro players who have used the paddle claim that ‘it helps you win gold’ thanks to its versatility.
And while the Bantam EX-L may not be as famous as most of the other popular paddles out there, it definitely deserves a spot on this list thanks to the fact that it offers incredible spin to players who know what they’re doing.
As mentioned earlier, this paddle has been called ‘the sweet spot’ in paddle weight and it weighs in the range of 7.7 to 8.4 oz. At this weight range, this paddle is easily maneuverable and does not cause quick fatigue on the arm. At the same time, this makes the paddle heavy enough to give your spin shots a fair bit of pop.
The dimensions of the paddle offer a large enough sweet spot (15⅝” length of 7⅞” width). But this sweet spot is also utilized fully thanks to a grip length of 5⅛”. This offers a fair bit of reach and is yet short enough to not overextend during returns.
The newest version of this paddle, the one made in 2020, comes with torsional vibration control technology. This technology helps to extend the size of the sweet spot in all directions, making for a much larger area for feel and responsiveness.
Additionally, this makes it easier to play good shots, even putting spin on the ball, when you’re forced into off-center mishits.
Core and Surface
Like most paddles built for spin, the Bantam EX-L from Paddletek comes with a polymer honeycomb core. This core helps to retain the ball on the paddle surface for longer. This makes it easier to hit the shot exactly where you want. The core offers ample control and opportunity to add topspin and backspin to the ball. This paddle uses a fiberglass face that has the grittiness required to add spin.
The Bantam EX-L comes at a length of 15⅝” and a width of 7⅞”. These dimensions make for a paddle that isn’t too large or small and yet lightweight enough to maneuver easily. Aside from a decent-sized sweet spot, this surface area coupled with torsional vibration control technology sets you up for some deadly spin shots.
The grip length of 5⅛” further lengthens the reach and improves maneuverability making it a lot easier to play to your strengths.
The Rebel Powerspin is the perfect companion for every tennis player switching over to pickleball. The name says it all, and this paddle from ProLite is built for both power and spin. That’s right, with this paddle, you can enjoy those topspin forehand smashes to the fullest!
Players claim to feel the ball literally jump off their paddles while the textured surface offers enough feel to place shots accurately.
The Rebel PowerSpin has an average weight of 7.9 oz. It can range between 7.7 and 8.4 oz so it is the perfect weight for easy maneuverability while remaining heavy enough to pack a solid punch.
The weight of this paddle, coupled with the low-profile edge guard, allows for full use of the paddle’s power.
The Rebel Powerspin offers a large sweet spot with a length of 16” and width of 7⅝ ”. But the size is only a part of the control and feel that this paddle has to offer. The paddle face is lined with a low-profile edge guard. This allows players to make full use of the sweet spot, giving you control even when the ball is off-center.
Core and Surface
The Rebel Powerspin uses Prolite’s QuadCore polymer honeycomb core in its design. This core offers plenty of feel and helps give players an edge when it comes to accuracy. Additionally, this polymer core is also extremely durable and hard allowing players to transfer sufficient power into smashes that put the ball away.
The surface of the paddle face is covered with rough, textured fiberglass. The grittiness of this surface provides the opportunity for unbelievable ball control and responsiveness. This textured fiberglass also happens to be Prolite’s own patented design and they call it the ‘Powerspin’. So the gritty surface maximizes spin, but coupled with the QuadCore polymer core, it gives players enough pop to send the ball flying.
At a length of 16” the Rebel Powerspin meets the maximum length allowed for paddles by the USAPA. This length offers incredible reach while allowing players to maintain balance and stay in position. The length also enlarges the sweet spot, which is stretched out over a width of 7⅝”.
Also, keep in mind that the longer the paddle, the more spin you can generate with it. This is because you’re able to generate greater force while whipping the ball. With the 16” surface on the Rebel Powerspin, you’ve got plenty of space to cut loose.
These dimensions along with the polymer core and fiberglass face make for a powerful, well-balanced paddle that can do some serious damage at a pickleball tournament.
The Z5 Composite by Onix is a slightly heavier version of the Z5 Graphite mentioned earlier on this list. While the lightweight graphite paddle offers excellent maneuverability and a fair bit of pop, the composite version adds to the ball control and feel while pumping up the power.
The Z5 Composite happens to be much heavier than all the other paddles on this list. It comes at a weight range between 8.4 and 9.2 oz, with average weight of the paddle as high as 8.8 oz! This makes for a really head-heavy paddle, and paddles with heavy heads are ideal for hitting spin shots.
The extra weight coupled with the superb grip gives you a paddle with unmatched accuracy that becomes deadly when combined with the power that the Z5 has to offer.
The 8⅛” width of the paddle offers a large sweet spot stretching over the length of nearly the entire paddle. This sweet spot is accentuated by the design of the Z5 Composite which allows very little room for bad shots and off-center mishits.
Core and Surface
Most of the top pickleball paddles for spin come with a polymer core. However, the Z5 Composite uses a Nomex honeycomb core that offers a solid, steady foundation for your pickleball game. This core is durable and will last you through the ages. Nomex does happen to be a little louder than polymer in terms of the sound made when the ball hits the paddle face. So you need to check sound-level restrictions before using the Z5 on certain courts.
Just like most paddles with a composite face, the Z5 Composite offers excellent responsiveness and feel when you come in contact with the ball. The Z5 composite uses a textured fiberglass face which gives you unbelievable ‘ball grip’ and the ability to generate an enormous amount of topspin and backspin when returning the ball.
A paddle length of 15.5” allows you enough room to reach for the ball even when you’re seemingly off position. Thanks to the superior grip offered by the Z5, even these ‘out of the way’ shots can be returned easily and without any loss of balance.
The Z5 Composite also has a width of 8⅛” which, combined with the length creates a large sweet spot. As such, this large surface area makes it a lot easier to return shots at the kitchen line and the baseline whenever necessary.
Most customers claim that the Z5 Composite offers great feel and solid returns even from the most powerful shots. Of course, you’ll have to play with it to actually experience the advantages offered by this paddle.
I added the Gamma Micron 2.0 to this review of the top pickleball paddles for spin due to its price. Coming in under $60, it is affordable for beginning players. Yet, it offers plenty of spin when hitting on the court.
The Gamma Micron 2.0 comes at a weight range between 7.5 and 7.8 oz. The ideal medium-range paddle weight that makes it easier to handle. While the lighter weight of the Micron 2.0 does reduce the power of the paddle considerably, it also allows for free movement and expert maneuverability.
The only downside with this paddle is that the length and width are quite average. In fact, the width is slightly smaller than most spin paddles. This results in a smaller sweet spot. However, the ability to control the paddle allows you to get the ball to land precisely on the sweet spot during matches.
Core and Surface
The Gamma Micron 2.0 uses a special Aramid Honeycomb core made from Nomex material. The Nomex combined with a lighter paddle means reduced power. However, the Micron 2.0 more than makes up for this with its excellent responsiveness and ball feel.
The Gamma Micron 2.0 uses a textured fiberglass surface with a sort of honeycomb pattern to add to the roughness of the paddle. This unique pattern gives the paddle a whole new level of ‘feel’ and ball grip which is essential when putting spin on the ball. This textured surface coupled with the Nomex core creates unmatched precision on the court, giving you the upper hand when it comes to ball placement.
The Gamma Micron 2.0 comes at a length of 15¾” which is squared off with a width of 7¾”. This tighter width concentrates the sweet spot on the paddle, making it smaller than the sweet spot on most other paddles.
But on the flip side, this concentrated sweet spot, if wielded correctly, can help you put an enormous amount of spin on the ball. The Gamma Micron 2.0 may be more prone to off-center mishits, but once you get the hang of it, this paddle can drastically improve your pickleball game and teach you the fine art of spin.
The Micron 2.0 also comes with a grip of 5” which offers ample room for free wrist movement. And the more maneuverable the paddle, the easier it is to put spin on the ball. Of course, you may not be able to make your favorite two-handed shots with this paddle, but the grip is long enough to help you focus on your accuracy and ball control.
I honesty never thought about spin when buying my first pickleball paddle. Now, I know it is key for me when purchasing my next paddle. After trying out the Encore Pro by Engage Pickleball, I’m leaning toward this paddle. I definitely have more power with the paddle and at least as much spin as my Onix Z5. While this may be my choice, I would also consider the Prince Response Pro and Paddletek Wave Pro. After reading hundreds of reviews, I found these paddles also are well liked by players and are definitely some of the best pickleball paddles for spin.