pickleball paddles

Spin Kills – The Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin – 2018

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What is the best pickleball paddle for spin?  That's a very common question in the rapidly growing world of pickleball.  Is there one paddle that is without a doubt the best?  No.  Finding the best pickleball paddle for spin can be very difficult because there are literally hundreds of paddles to sift through and choose from.  This can be overwhelming.  That brings us to the goal of this article.  We've done all the research for you, so you don't have to.  Our goal for this article is to provide you the most accurate, most up to date list of the best pickleball paddles to improve your spin.  We didn't just look at online retailers and choose the ones that are bought the most. Many paddles are popular on sites like Amazon because they are cheap.  Just because a paddle is popular and inexpensive, doesn't mean it's a good one.  In our opinion, the paddles listed below are the very best paddles to choose from when it comes to putting spin on the ball.  We've compiled all the information on all the best paddles for spin, so you can make the most educated purchase.

Some Spin and Slice Technique Help From Mark Renneson:

Video Source: Third Shot Sports

Pickleball Paddles for Spin:  Paddle Chart

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Composite or Graphite?

We can make a case that the most important piece of equipment for any new pickleball player is a good pair of court shoes.  Aside from that, a good paddle tailored to your type of game is the next best piece of equipment.  In the game of pickleball, the right paddle can help you improve certain types of shots dramatically.  Currently constructed in graphite and composite materials, pickleball players remain divided in their preference in one material over the other.  

Composite pickleball paddles are starkly contrasted with their graphite counterparts. Graphite pickleball paddles generally have smooth, polished, light weight carbon fiber faces that are free of texture and any kind of grip. The perfectly even and flush surfaces of graphite pickleball paddles are more tailored towards control and feel.  Despite being slightly lighter than composite paddles, graphite paddles provide players more pop, great accuracy but slightly less "grab" or "ball control" because of the smooth surface.

Seasoned pickleball players understand that paddles constructed of composite materials usually represent the best option for putting spin or english on the ball - along with fantastic levels of touch, feel and durable strength.  In short, if you're looking for the best pickleball paddle for spin - you cannot go wrong with a composite paddle!

Why Composite Pickleball Paddles are Great for Spin

Pickleball paddles constructed of composite materials are highly sought after for four main reasons:

  • Great for Power and Touch
  • Highly Durable
  • Big Sweetspot
  • The exceptional ability to give any level of player opportunities for precise SPIN

The classification of composite material is a misnomer since the material these paddles are constructed from are unique blends typically consisting of carbon fiber, resin, fiberglass, and vinyl in addition to new and advanced aerospace materials such as polymer cores and polycarbonate.  Bolstering the level of performance that composite paddles provide are textured tactile paddle surfaces that facilitate the best spin possible due to its ever-so-slight grab of the ball.

The ​textured surface of the paddle's face, allows players to momentarily "grab" or manipulate the ball midair.  This gives players unparalleled precision and control when wanting to execute shots that require putting english on the ball - like top spin or back spin.  

The Exception to the Rule

Advances in new types of graphite paddles tailored towards spin and ball manipulation have begun to trickle onto the market.  Pro-Lite will have a monster of a graphite paddle out soon designed to give players ultimate spin. Engage Pickleball has also released an updated line of their Encore paddle series that includes a "liquid graphite" option.  This is a proprietary skin-like overlay that provides touch, spin and quieter play.  We've included both the best Engage Encore Composite paddle and their new liquid graphite option called the Encore X.  This may be a new trend in the world of graphite paddles.  We'll be watching closely if other manufactures offer similar products and if they overtake composite paddles as the best pickleball paddle for spin.

For more info on other paddles, and the best NEW paddles for 2017, click here.

Read below to see the absolute best options when it comes to finding the best pickleball paddle for spin.

Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin - 2017

1. The Rebel PowerSpin by Pro-Lite

Video Source: Total Pickleball

The Rebel PowerSpin Composite Paddle by Pro-Lite Features a striking, eye-catching facade with its black, red, and white color scheme.  Brimming with style, this paddle has all the high-end performance features you're looking for.

Utilizing Pro-Lites special proprietary QuadCore polymer core, this paddle is immensely durable and strong but remains quiet during play for players who dislike the noise associated with lesser-quality paddles.  The PowerSpin’s high quality, textured fiberglass face gives players the ability to easily add spin to their shots, while a generous 16” overall length provides copious amounts of reach to effectively return tougher shots. The polymer core adds a good blend of touch and power like we'd expect from any polymer based paddle.  While the face of this paddle is long (we like that feature), the width is slightly more narrow compared to "widebody" paddles like the Z5 below.  A low-profile edge guard that doesn't get in the way during frantic dink play provides additional surface area.

best pickleball paddle for spin

Coming with a long yet comfortable 5" grip, former tennis players will feel right at home and maybe even try the familiar two handed backhand shot.  The PowerSpin is a medium weight paddle coming in at 7.8-8.2 ounces. This, combined with the versatile polymer core, and you've got a very well rounded, balanced paddle. The Rebel PowerSpin by ProLite provides medium weight comfort, a myriad of performance features and a distinctive, serious look to set any player apart from the crowd.

Product Dimensions16"x 7 5/8"
Product Weight7.8-8.2 oz

2. The Z5 Composite Widebody by Onix

Video Source: Pickleball Central - Pro Player Steve Wong talks about both the Z5 Composite & its graphite cousin.

In the world of pickleball, the Z5 Composite paddle has been a favorite by many players due to it's widebody shape and extra hitting surface.  It's known as a very forgiving pickleball paddle because of it's size - think less "swing and miss" scenarios.

best pickleball paddle for spin

With its heavy hitter feel and comfortable tennis style grip, this paddle will feel great in the hands of anyone coming from a tennis background. It also features well balanced construction using a nomex core - perfect for added "pop".  It's one of only two Nomex core paddles on our list which means balls will burst back off of this paddle.

Due to the it's widebody "hit anything" style of paddle face and it's 8.4oz weight, the Z5 is beefier than some paddles.  This is perfect for those wanting a side of "oomph" with their spin shots.  We would consider this a power paddle that has plenty of spin attributes tied to it.  It's heavier weight means you need less arm swing to see a response and the Nomex core allows the ball to essentially leap off of your paddle.  These features along with a textured composite face make the Z5 one of the best pickleball paddles for spin on the market today.

A bold, bright, and distinctive color scheme is screen printed onto a woven composite face with a honeycomb graphic background for an eye catching design that is unique to Onix and the Z5.  

Product Dimensions15 1/2” x 8 1/8"
Product Weight8.4 to 8.7 oz

3. The Encore Pro Composite by Engage Pickleball

Video Source: Total Pickleball

The Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle is advertised by Engage as “an outstanding choice for players wanting the best of both worlds—power and control.”

The original Encore paddle has been a highly successful paddle for Engage. With the "Encore Pro", we get all the same features of the standard Encore but in a heavier paddle boasting a larger, more centralized sweet spot.  The standard Encore weighed in at 7.5oz while the Pro is a little thicker at 7.9-8.3oz.  This give players more "plow through" and pop.  Offering players the ability to hit with power and spin, the Encore Pro is a great choice for those looking for peak surface texture.  Engage designed this paddle for maximum surface roughness, even the USAPA has designated this paddle as having the highest amount of surface roughness allowable in match play!  This gives players exceptional control - perfect for those looking to put more rotation on the ball.  In addition, it also has the highest deflection rate by the USAPA!  Deflection is the biggest measurement of power for a pickleball paddle, so this gives you a good idea as to how responsive the Encore Pro is at the net.

best pickleball paddle for spin

Engage engineered this paddle with it's "ControlPro Technology" which is designed to have the paddle's skin and core to work together.  The polymer core gives the Encore Pro it's touch, the special coarse skin gives the paddle it's control and "grab", while the large sweet spot and heavier weight give this paddle it's power.  ControlPro Technology makes that work harmoniously giving the everyday pickleball player a high performance paddle!

Product Dimensions15 1/4” x 8"
Product Weight7.9 – 8.3 oz

4.  The Encore X Series by Engage Pickleball

Video Source: Total Pickleball

The Encore X represents the only graphite paddle on our list.  Graphite paddles are known for their light weight, exceptional touch and soft feel at the net. However, the Encore X adds to that recipe!  Engage has developed a chemically bonded skin they place over the paddle face called "liquid graphite" that enables this graphite paddle to deliver elite levels of ball grip during play.  We're extremely exited about this paddle and the potential trend it represents in the graphite paddle market.  If you've always played with a graphite paddle but want more spin and ball control without having to leave the touch and feel graphite paddles deliver, then this could be the perfect paddle for you.

best pickleball paddle for spin

As you'd expect from a graphite paddle, the Encore X weighs in at a graceful 7.5 ounces.  Underneath the chemically bonded lion tongue-like paddle skin is a honeycomb woven polymer core making it quiet, reducing contract vibration and providing remarkable levels of touch!  If you want a heavier version for more power, the Encore X does come in a Pro version that pushes the weight up to 8.3oz.  

​The X Series comes in six attractive color options and is quickly becoming a next level option for pickleball fans looking to upgrade their paddle and performance.

Product Dimensions15 1/2” x 8 1/8"
Product Weight7.5 - 7.8 oz

5. The CRUSH by Pro-Lite Sports

The CRUSH PowerSpin is the second and newest installment in Pro-Lite's PowerSpin line of composite paddles.  It's lighter than its big brother, the Rebel PowerSpin and takes advantage of Pro-Lite's trademark Magnum paddle shape. The original Magnum paddle has a long history and was one of the game's original composite paddles.  So, the CRUSH comes from a proven lineage of paddle templates.

best pickleball paddle for spin

It's also chalk full of new paddle tech.  QuadCore, SPINtac, and MicroEdge are the high-end materials used.  The QuadCore polymer core enables players to focus on touch and feel - perfect for more accurate finesse play at the net.  Pro-Lite's state-of-the-art SPINtac fiberglass panels sandwhich the polymer core and are engineered with texture for players desiring big spin and quieter play.   Finally, the MicroEdge guard extends the playing field on the face of the paddle, taking advantage of every square inch of the already highly successful wide body Magnum paddle shape.

It should also be noted that the grip size on the CRUSH is on the smaller side. This is by design.  The smaller grip and lighter paddle weight compliment each other perfectly and provide players faster reaction times at the net and better all-around control.  Players with smaller hands will appreciate the small grip but love the wide body paddle face with it's extra large sweet spot.  It'll feel like every shot hits the mark!

Product Dimensions15 1/2” x 7 7/8"
Product Weight7.4oz - 7.8 oz

6. Our BUDGET PICK - The Micron 2.0 by Gamma

Video Source: Gamma Pickleball

The Gamma Micron 2.0 pickleball paddle is ideal for those players seeking a midweight paddle with an large face and smaller grip, well under the $100 price range. It's not a prototypical wide body paddle but it's no slouch either.  With a length of 15 and 3/4 inches, you get plenty of shot making real estate and the textured fiberglass face is there for great ball grip and control.  The Aramid Nomex featured in the core of the paddle is there to provide loads of power and pop.  Paddles with a composite fiberglass face and a Nomex core are known to deliver in the power department and the ultra affordable Micron 2.0 is no exception.  

best pickleball paddle for spin

Gamma went with a relatively small contoured grip style and circumference to allow for greater paddle control and deflection response.  This is ideal for players with smaller hands.

For those looking for a great paddle for spin, but need one that is on the small-ish side, lightweight and well under $100, this could be the paddle for you.

Price$ - The Budget Pick
Product Dimensions15 3/4” x 7 3/4"
Product Weight7.6 oz

When looking for the best pickleball paddle for spin, there are many different options to choose from.  They come in a wide array of styles, colors, weights and price points.  This is a good thing because it allows you to choose one based on the style of pickleball you like to play and the features you want.

If you've already got a good pickleball paddle for spin, send us your recommendation in the comments section below!  We'd love to hear from you!

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