Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Among the many skills struggling pickleball players yearn to learn is mastering the spin put on the ball after playing the shot. Perfecting the ball handling increases their chances of holding their ground against professional players. For the viewers, it makes for a fun, challenging and interest-piquing game.
To be able to do so, you need skills, sure, but also a great paddle which compliments spinning more than other techniques. To help you with choosing the best paddle for putting that insane rotation on the ball and confusing your opponents, we’re here to explore my top 5 picks for pickleball paddles!
Last update on 2023-01-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Pickleball Paddles for Spin
Engage Encore Pro
Engage Pickleball is a leading, commonly-known brand that designs pickleball paddles. The Engage Encore Pro pushes the limits of surface roughness and deflection, set by USAPA to provide you with insane spin and utmost power. With all its features, it lies on the expensive end of the cost spectrum.
With weight, it is in the mid-weight category, with a range of 7.8 to 8.3 ounces. The paddle has a medium sized 4.25-inch grip. It is 15.5 inches long and 8.1 inches wide. A balanced centralized weight allows for an expanded sweet spot and “pop”. The length and width of the paddle allows you to easily hit difficult shots and add a lot of power.
The Encore Pro has a specialized polypropylene core with honeycomb texture, which is tucked between textured fiberglass surfaces. The ControlPro Technology harmonizes core and surface to work together. The ball sticks to the paddle for the maximum time and the roughness helps in adding significant spin and rotation through brushing. Overall, it’s an absolute nightmare for your opponents in terms of amazing spin shots.
ProLite Rebel PowerSpin 2.0
The ProLite Rebel PowerSpin 2.0 is a quiet high-performance racket. The racket is a bit expensive due to comfort, spin, and technology it embeds.
It is 16 inches long and 7.6 inches wide. It weighs between 7.5 to 8.2 ounces, making it a long & narrow mid-weight paddle. It has an extensive range to cover all shots in long clever rallies; however, it’s quite narrow. With its medium-size, ProLite’s comfort contour, 4.25 inch, grip, and sleek design, you get a more aerodynamic and controlled movement, allowing for great spin in tight situations. Its handle is 5 inches long, so former tennis players with big hands will easily adapt to it.
The Rebel PowerSpin has a patented special Quad Core polymer core covered by texture PowerSpin™ fiberglass high-quality faces. So you get all the features, from tuned pop, slick spin, speedy top-spin rotation, effective control, touch, power and so on!
ProLite Crush PowerSpin
For the ProLite Crush PowerSpin, the name advocates the purpose of the racket, “CRUSH!”
It’s a powerful mid-range paddle in terms of cost, which is used by beginner to advanced players.
The head weighs around 7.4 to 7.8 ounces. The paddle has ProLite’s trademark Magnum shape which allows for an enlarged sweet spot rooting from the middle. The paddle is 15.5 inches long with a width of 7.9 inches. Its grip measures around 4 inches. The paddle is carefully designed to have lightweight, small grip and voluminous face, to provide top-notch all-around control, maneuverability and wrist snap spin capabilities.
It has ProLite proprietary Quad Core polymer core, with honeycomb cell technology. Its surface embeds state-of-the-art durable SPINtac fiberglass impression to enhance spin control. The CRUSH widens the realm of touch and feel of the ball for players, for extreme spin finesse with responsive yet quiet play.
Onix Composite Z5
The Onix Z5 has two versions, composite and graphite. For spin enthusiasts, you’d be looking to buy the composite finish. It’s a very common and easily accessible paddle, at a reasonable cost. This paddle is best if you have a tennis background and prefer to play with strength as it does require some effort to add proper spin and play shots with adequate finesse.
The Z5 lelans toward the heavier side coming in between 8.4 to 9.2-ozs . It has a standard length of 15.5 inches with 8.3 inches width. The 5-inch handle has a cushion grip and 4.25-inch grip size. It’s great for professional players who don’t mind the extra overall beefiness and increased width. On the bright side, the larger sweet spot and wide face, play a fine role in paddle placement for tricky rallies and allow for a good spin with constant control.
It’s built with Nomex honeycomb core so you will get powerful hits and pops. Combine that with the added control and bite due to composite finish on the surface,
You get an all-round pickleball paddle great for spin as well as speed.
Gamma Micron 2.0
Gamma combines power, control, and affordability all in one with the Micron 2.0 paddle! This paddle is the least expensive paddle from our list but it keeps up with the best of them!
It weighs around 7.5 to 7.8 ounces and has a honeycomb soft & comfortable grip, securing it firmly in your hands. It has a length of 15.8 inches and a narrow width of 7.7 inches. It’s ideal for beginners all the way through advanced players.
Through quick maneuverability in the air and great handling, you’re sure to create magic on the field in terms of spin!
Its core is Aramid Nomex Honeycomb-based with textured fiberglass covering on both sides. It’s rough on the surface and hard on the core, to provide a solid combination of spin and power with pop.
Pickleball Paddles for Spin: What to Look For
There are many different characteristics of pickleball paddles you’ll want to learn and research before making your final choice. However, when focusing on the spin part, there are certain features that are sure to enhance the rotation and control you need.
Here are some features you’ll want to consider when buying a pickleball paddle that excels at spin.
Weight is the most important aspect and the first thing you notice when picking up the paddle. Pickleball paddles generally weigh between 7 ounces to 9 ounces, with the sweet spot for beginners being the 7.6 to the 7.8-ounce range. This is obviously a personal preference and subjective thing based on your strength, however, there is a quick rule you should remember.
Lighter paddles allow for higher maneuverability, quick reactions, and greater plow through for spin.
Heavier paddles allow for more power and general stability in your shots.
Pickleball paddle handles generally have a 4 inch to 4.5-inch circumference grip range. Smaller hands naturally perform best with smaller grips and vice versa. The wrist snap action for a spin is most readily available through grip size perfect for you and thus it also allows for a bigger range of motion.
To figure out your perfect grip size, we recommend testing different paddles. To check if it fit your hand perfectly, place your index finger from one hand between the finger and palm end of the gripping hand. Also, look at my guide for tennis grips! Although it’s a different sport, the same method still applies.
If it fits, you’re good!
Paddle Core/Hitting Surface
The cores are made from either wood, Nomex (a cardboard like lightweight material), aluminum or polymer. Generally, polymer cores are best for the spin and Nomex is best for power.
The surfaces are available in graphite or fiberglass. Fiberglass is usually rough enough to add good spin to the ball; graphite, on the other hand, is good for sweet spot and strength due to it’s smoothness. The surface and cores can be combined in potent combinations to deliver a balance of power and spin.
Polymer paddles are typically the most expensive and provide the best control and spinning capabilities. Second in line is Nomex, for strength and speed.
A general rule of thumb: You get more features, quality, spin and power as the price increases.
The aluminum and wood ones are basically a no-go if you’re serious about the game BUT they are the cheapest. But please avoid the low range as they’re usually for recreational players wanting to have fun only.
Having all the features that add to the spin of a pickleball paddle may seem like the best choice, however, it’s not. A good paddle excels in spinning the ball, without neglecting the power, maneuverability, surface hit area, and overall quality. Your choice relies upon your budget, your skills, and your priority.
Daisy Johnson says
Hi, Julian! I’m a beginner in pickleball. So, trying to understand the spin & How to choose a paddle for better spin. I found your post! Nice reading! You wrote it in a very orderly way. I had no difficulty in understanding. I am going to use your advice regarding the polymer cores.
I’m a beginner, played for just less than a hour but might jump into the sport. Are these paddles for extra spin meet the USAPA rules for surface roughness? Or are they just used in non sanctioned games? I.e. 2.E.2. Surface: The paddle hitting surface shall not contain … rough texturing, … or any objects or features that allow a player to impart additional spin on the ball. Paddle roughness … allowable limits for roughness shall be no greater than 30 micrometers (µm).
Hey Steven, good question! I actually just wrote an article about Illegal Pickleball Paddles here. \\
That is something I considered when writing this article and YES all of these paddles are USAPA APPROVED.