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Your feet are the foundation of your body. If you don’t feel strong in your foundation, how will you be able to show your best at the pickleball court?
We’ve got your back since we are now going to introduce you to what we think are the best pickleball shoes on the market for men and women. And without further ado, let’s get started.
If you are just starting out in Pickleball, then maybe you’d like to check out our Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners guide first.
The Best Pickleball Paddles For Spin
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1. Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle
6. Onix Composite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
7. Gamma Atomic 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
8. Selkirk Amped Epic Pickleball Paddle
10. Paddletek Phoenix Pro Pickleball Paddle
Our Reviews Of The Best Pickleball Paddles For Spin
Engage Encore Pro Pickleball Paddle
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Up first on our reviews of best pickleball paddles for spin is Encore Pro by Engage. This is a pricier pickleball paddle, so one would have some high expectations from it.
And we can say that it certainly does deliver for the price.
The thing that interests us the most is ball spin. Encore Pro spins the ball thanks to its textured hitting surface which, according to Engage, “maximizes the allowed limits of surface roughness.” In other words, Engage designed the hitting surface of Encore Pro as rough as USAPA regulations allow.
What this textured surface allows for is increased time of contact between the paddle face and the ball, which makes controlling the ball easier. In addition, the paddle face is rather wide in this paddle – 8-1/8 inches – which makes it suitable for people who feel that their older paddle lacked width.
The rough hitting face isn’t the only thing in this paddle that contributes to spin though.
The Encore Pro paddle has a rather narrow 4-1/4-inch grip. Generally, narrower grips allow for increased wrist mobility and thus increased ball control. Paired with the hitting surface’s texture, this should allow one to control the ball spin easier.
The grip is also perforated and has a rough surface, which obviously makes it more comfortable for use in longer games.
The core in this paddle is also notable. It is made from polymer, which is a material that imparts softness and control to the Encore paddle Pro. In addition, it makes the paddle quieter.j
And speaking of quietness, Encore Pro has been specifically designed to meet stringent community noise requirements. So if you were looking for a paddle to use in a community center, then this one may be the right choice. But before spending money on it, make sure that it is indeed going to be allowed in the community.
Be sure to check out our list of the best Pickleball Sets for more great items like this.
- Optimized to meet community noise requirements.
- Roughly-textured face allows for an excellent spin.
- 8-1/8 inches wide paddle face.
- 4 color options.
|Size||15-1/2 x 8-1/8”|
Pro-Lite Rebel PowerSpin
Pro-Lite Rebel PowerSpin resides in about the same price category as Encore Pro, but it is a rather different pickleball paddle.
The main difference lies in the paddle face. The Rebel PowerSpin paddle has a slightly elongated face that is designed to deliver increased reach. This face is about half an inch longer than that of the Encore Pro paddle, which is enough to make a huge difference.
Short-handed players would certainly benefit from the elongated paddle face. As for long-handed players, they might be able to just become better with this paddle.
On the other hand, in terms of paddle face width, Rebel PowerSpin is noticeably narrower than Encore Pro. Rebel PowerSpin’s face is 7-13/16 inches wide versus the 8-1/8 inches of Encore Pro. If you have had issues with paddle width in the past, this paddle may not be the correct choice for you.
When it comes to spin characteristics, this paddle appears slightly less aggressive than Encore Pro. Rebel PowerSpin likewise has a textured fiberglass face, but it seems to have slightly subtler texturing.
Lastly, the core of this paddle is again made from polymer, so it should be comparable to that of Encore Pro in terms of control, softness, and noise characteristics.
Make sure you also check out our guide to the best Pickleball Equipment.
- 5 color options.
- Has good texturing for spin.
- The elongated paddle face delivers increased reach.
|Size||16 x 7-13/16”|
Pro-Lite Crush PowerSpin
Like the Rebel paddle, the Pro-Lite Crush paddle also belongs to the Pro-Lite PowerSpin series. However, the Crush paddle differs from the Rebel quite a bit.
The main difference lies in the length of the paddle. First off, this paddle is half an inch shorter than the Rebel, which means that it is going to have a shorter reach. But if you don’t have any issues with reach, then this paddle may be a better choice for you.
Secondly, the width of the paddle face in Crush is slightly wider than in the Rebel paddle. This width difference is very subtle, but if width matters to you, then the Crush pickleball paddle is a bit better than the Rebel.
Lastly, the Crush paddle has a longer 5-1/2-inch handle, which is a thing that players with wide hands would want to have. In addition, if you often hold your paddle with both hands, the longer handle will make it easier for you.
In addition, the Crush pickleball paddle has a narrow 4-1/8-inch grip, which would provide you with more wrist control. And it is generally more suitable for shorter individuals.
In terms of spinning performance, the two PowerSpin paddles are pretty close to each other. The Crush paddle may deliver a slightly less aggressive spin since it seems to have a subtler texture.
Our handy guide to the best Pickleball Nets features more great products like this.
- The narrow 4-1/8-inch grip increases wrist control.
- Long 5-1/2-inch grip.
|Size||15-1/2 x 7-7/8”|
Pickleball, Inc. Venom
All the paddles we reviewed prior were mid-weight paddles that had a good balance of control and power. Venom by Pickleball, Inc. is a completely different deal.
Weighing 8.1 – 8.7 ounces, the Venom paddle is a rather heavy boy. Thanks to this, it is going to be superior to lighter paddles when it comes to power. If you have good control over the ball but feel that you lack the power to send the ball deep into the court, then this one may be the right choice for you.
What’s also notable about this paddle is that it has a tennis-like paddle head which has most of the paddle’s weight in it. This is another thing that allows this paddle to deliver plenty of power.
This isn’t all that this paddle has got, however. The last thing that contributes to the Venom paddle’s power is its Nomex core. Nomex cores are the best out there when it comes to speed and power, which makes them excellent for singles.
On the other hand, Nomex cores usually make paddles pretty loud, so if you’ll be playing in a community center, you’d need to make sure that this paddle is approved by it.
The paddle face in Venom is 8-1/8 inches wide, so if you have issues with paddle width, the Venom paddle may be a good option for you. The grip in this paddle is rather long as well – 5-1/4 inches.
And the last thing that should be mentioned about this paddle is that its fiberglass head – which has good grip for spin, by the way – is covered with a UV-resistant coating.
Overall, we think that this paddle is a better choice for experienced players who are looking for something new in pickleball. The weight distribution of the Venom paddle is very unique, and we feel that brand new players should go for something more traditional first.
Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best Pickleball Shirts.
- Delivers a lot of power.
- UV-resistant vinyl cover on the fiberglass.
- 8-1/8 inches wide paddle face.
- Long 5-1/4-inch grip.
- 3 color options.
|Size||15-3/4 x 8-1/8”|
Amarey Pickleball Paddle
Amarey pickleball paddle is a great choice if you are looking for an inexpensive paddle for spin. But in spite of its cheap price, this paddle had a couple of things to surprise us with.
First of all, its paddle face is made from graphite, which is a very durable yet lightweight material. This graphite is very subtly textured, so it isn’t going to deliver the best spin among the paddles reviewed. On the other hand, this may be just the right amount of spin for beginners.
Thanks to the graphite, this paddle is rather light, even though it is a pretty large model. Measuring 15.5 x 8.3 inches, it only weighs about 7.8 – 8 ounces, which places it in the mid-weight category. And given that this paddle’s head is rather wide, then Amarey paddle may be a good pick if you’ve ever felt that your old paddle was too narrow for you.
The core in this paddle is made from the traditional polymer, which, as you already know, imparts a softer, more controlled feeling to the paddle, as well as makes it quieter.
Lastly, Amarey kindly includes a cover with this paddle to allow you to protect it when in storage or transport. If you don’t have a cover or were planning to get one anyway, the included cover will be a nice bonus.
We have also reviewed the Best Shoes For Indoor Pickelball, so check them out as well.
- Includes a cover.
- Wide paddle face.
- Lightweight and strong graphite face.
|Weight||7.8 – 8oz|
|Size||15.5 x 8.3”|
Onix Composite Z5 Pickleball Paddle
The Venom paddle we reviewed above was good for people who lacked power. If you didn’t quite like that paddle, then Onix Z5 paddle may be an alternative good enough for you.
The build of Onix Z5 is highly oriented on power, which is its strongest suit.
First of all, this paddle has a Nomex core, just like the Venom paddle did. So in terms of power and noise level, the two paddles should be close to each other.
The fiberglass face of Onix Z5 is another thing that contributes to this paddle’s power. Fiberglass sure is good when it comes to power delivery, but it isn’t the best out there in terms of durability. Fortunately, for players concerned with durability more than with spin, there is a graphite-face Onix Z5 available. However, the graphite face won’t be as suitable for spin as the fiberglass option, so keep that in mind.
And the last thing that contributes to the enhanced power characteristics of this paddle is its heavier weight that stands around 8.4-9.2 ounces. Needless to say, you’d need to be in the right shape to be able to play with this paddle for a long time.
The grip of the Onix Z5 paddle isn’t that wide though. Standing at 4-1/4 inches, it should be good for around 5 feet 3 inches – 5 feet 8 inches tall individuals. In addition, since the grip is rather narrow, it delivers increased wrist control, which is great for ball spin.
Check out our review of the Best Pickleball Paddles For Beginners for our top picks.
- Delivers excellent power characteristics.
- Wide 8.3-inch paddle face.
|Size||15.5 x 8.3”|
Gamma Atomic 2.0 Pickleball Paddle
Onix Z5 was a heck of a paddle. Gamma Atomic 2.0 is also a very interesting pickleball paddle, but it is quite a bit different from Z5.
In fact, this paddle is different from all the paddles on our list.
Let’s begin with the paddle head. The faces in this paddle are made from fiberglass which, as we already mentioned, delivers a lot of power. However, what’s more remarkable about the faces is that they are pretty roughly textured, which may make this paddle ideal for you if you are looking for as much spin as possible.
To be fair, when we first had a look at this paddle, we thought that it wasn’t going to be approved by the USAPA. Its texturing looked too rough for us. But apparently, Atomic 2.0 is perfectly okay and is approved by the USAPA as of February 10, 2019.
Next comes the core. In Atomic 2.0, it is made from aramid, which, as claimed by Gamma, blends power and control in it.
In terms of power, this paddle seems to be good enough, given that it is a midweight paddle weighing 8 ounces. But when it comes to control, it should also be great since it has a thinner 4-inch honeycomb-textured grip.
Now, this grip will certainly provide you with increased wrist control, which is great for spin. On the other hand, it is rather narrow, so big-handed players won’t feel too comfortable with it.
What should be also noted in this paddle is its flush-fit bumper that replaces the edge guard. This allows for a larger playing surface but, on the other hand, makes the paddle more susceptible to impacts. With Atomic 2.0, you would need to be really careful.
Before you leave, why not check out our Best Court Shoes For Pickleball guide – and see what our top picks are.
- Narrow 4-inch grip.
- Roughly textured fiberglass face.
- The flush-fit bumper instead of an edge guard allows for increased hitting surface.
|Size||15.5 x 8.3”|
Selkirk Amped Epic Pickleball Paddle
Selkirk Amped Epic is a rather pricey paddle for more experienced and serious pickleball players. Beginners may also opt for it, but we think it is the more skilled players who will truly appreciate what this paddle has to offer.
First comes the fiberglass face. The most remarkable thing about the faces in the Amped Epic paddle is that they have a slightly flexing surface designed to increase the power and control of your hit. Such a design should also make spinning the ball easier.
Again, we were a bit doubtful about this paddle being USAPA-approved due to the flexing face. But like it was with Gamma Atomic 2.0, it indeed is approved by the USAPA.
Amped Epic can also boast the X5 core that Selkirk engineered for their Amped paddle series. This core basically is a thicker polypropylene polymer that is designed to amplify the performance benefits delivered by a regular polymer.
Namely, since polymers have good control characteristics, you’d expect even better control from the Amped Epic paddle. And yeah, Selkirk also claims that this paddle has a very large sweet spot.
The 5-1/4 inches long grip should be noted as well in Amped Epic. It would allow you to hold the paddle in a wider variety of ranges, which may help you get the most out of this paddle.
Selkirk also offers two weight options for the Amped Epic paddle – 7.3-7.7 and 7.9-8.3 ounces. Needless to say, the lighter model would be better for those players who need more control, while the heavier is better for those who want more power.
And the last notable thing in this paddle is that it has a low-profile edge guard. This edge guard allows for a bigger hitting surface, but at the same time, it most likely will deliver less protection than a regular edge guard would. Again, this paddle will require special care, especially given that it is a rather expensive one.
|Size||15.75 x 8”|
Selkirk Sport 20P XL Epic
This one is a slightly different Epic paddle by Selkirk. While it seems to be identical to the Amped Epic paddle, there are two important differences between the two.
First of all, 20P XL Epic weighs slightly less than Amped Epic on average. There is about 0.1-0.2-ounce difference between the two Selkirk paddles, which may make 20P XL Epic a bit better in terms of control and softness.
Aside from that, it seems that this paddle doesn’t have a flexing hitting surface. But it’s still slightly textured, so it will be able to deliver quite a good spin.
As for the rest of the features, 20P XL Epic and Amped Epic are pretty much identical. Namely, they have a similar core, the same dimensions, as well as the same grip length and circumference.
It should be noted that 20P XL Epic is currently discontinued by Selkirk, but it is continued to be sold via Amazon. It is a cheaper paddle though, which may make it more attractive to you than the Amped Epic paddle.
- 8-inch wide paddle face.
- 5-1/4 inches long grip.
- 4 color options.
|Size||15.75 x 8”|
Paddletek Phoenix Pro Pickleball Paddle
Paddletek Phoenix Pro paddle is a bit simpler paddle, but it also has a couple of things to surprise you with.
The most notable thing about this paddle is that it is specially designed for use in noise-restricted communities. This is due to the ProPolyCore polymer core, which is designed to reduce noise, vibration, as well as increase control over the paddle. But before rushing to buy this paddle, do make sure that it is going to be allowed in your community center.
The second noteworthy thing about this paddle is that it is a rather hefty model. It weighs 8.4 – 8.85 ounces, which means that it is going to deliver increased power but less control. Again, if you think that you don’t have any issues with control and instead want power, then Phoenix Pro may be the right pick for you.
The hitting surface of this paddle is made from a composite material, which is commonly used in middle-end pickleball paddles, which Phoenix Pro is. What’s important about the hitting surface in Phoenix Pro is that it has a slight texture to it. It isn’t as dramatic as in some other paddles on the list, but it still can be very useful in helping you with adding some more spin to the ball.
The grip in Phoenix Pro is perforated and has ridges on it, which should make it comfortable for longer games. And yeah, its 4-1/4-inch circumference should make imparting spin to the ball easier.
- 9 color options.
- Specially designed for use in noise-restricted communities.
- Delivers a lot of power.
|Weight||8.4 – 8.85oz|
|Size||15.75 x 7.75”|
Pickleball Paddles For Spin Buyers Guide
Things to look for in pickleball paddles for spin
There are plenty of things to look for in pickleball paddles. However, some things are going to impact the spin more than the others. So let’s have a look at features that you’d want to have in your pickleball paddle if you wish to spin the ball.
We also have another material describing other features of pickleball paddles like weight, grip size, and whatnot. Check it out as well if you need some more general info on paddles.
Textured hitting surface
The only thing that affects a paddle’s spin potential directly is the texture on its hitting surface.
All the paddles we reviewed had a textured hitting surface, which is the main prerequisite of making the ball spin. The texture bites into the ball, prolonging its contact with the paddle face and thus increasing control over it.
Paddles with fiberglass faces are usually the best when it comes to spin. Fiberglass paddles usually have a good texture to them, which is the thing that you’d want to have in a paddle for spin.
Pickleball paddles with graphite faces are usually not the best for spinning. That’s because the surface of graphite is usually glossy and slippery, which means that the level of control over the ball is reduced.
However, there are some rare exceptions to graphite paddles. For example, the Amarey pickleball paddle had a very subtle texturing on its graphite face. While this paddle is going to be less good at spinning the ball than fiberglass paddles, it still is a good paddle for beginners thanks to its price.
Of course, some fiberglass paddles are going to be textured more, others less. And the rougher the texturing of the paddle face, the more it is going to bite into the ball, and the better the spin will be.
However, USAPA limits how rough the paddle face may actually be. Therefore, before getting a paddle, make sure that it has been approved by the USAPA for use in competition.
A narrower grip is a thing that may help you impart some additional spin to the ball.
Even if you have a paddle with the narrowest-in-the-world grip, you still aren’t going to spin the ball. The grip can’t affect the ball trajectory directly. However, a narrow grip allows for more wrist mobility. And if you can perform shots at a wider variety of angles, making use of the textured hitting surface on your paddle may become much easier.
Needless to say, the narrowness of the grip is very relative. You shouldn’t just go for the paddle that has the narrowest grip on the market. Instead, you may want to go for the paddle that has a narrow grip relative to your hand size.
For some people, 4-1/4 inches is going to be very narrow, while to others, it may be too much. All pickleball players have unique grip requirements, and that’s why you need to keep your needs in mind when choosing grip.
For some perspective, have a look at the following chart:
|5’3” to 5’8”||4-1/8” to 4-1/4”|
These are the sizes that people of indicated weight would generally be okay with. But there may be a lot of other variables in play, so you shouldn’t fully rely on this chart. The best way to go about picking a good grip is to test a couple of paddles on your own.
Beware though: the increase of wrist mobility with a narrower grip may result in wrist strain. If you’ve had wrist pain or injuries, you should go for a thicker grip and instead only rely on the texture of the paddle face.
And the last thing that may impact the spin capability of a paddle – albeit again indirectly – is the weight of the paddle.
Weight is similar to grip width – it isn’t going to impact the spinning capability of your paddle directly. Rather, it is your ability to use the paddle weight that may help you get more out of the textured surface of the paddle face.
Heavier paddles are more powerful, but they are more difficult to control. Needless to say, if you don’t have good control over the paddle, your ability to guide the spin of the ball will be limited.
Thereby, you need to get a paddle that has just the right weight to allow you to impart good spin to the ball while not hampering your overall control/power. But you would also need to consider your own physical capabilities to pick a weight that won’t be too light or too heavy for you.
Why buy a pickleball paddle for spin?
Pickleball equipment has advanced significantly over the years, and so has the skill of pickleball players. Nowadays, you probably won’t meet a good player who doesn’t know how to spin the ball.
Skill combined with better paddle technology has allowed experienced players to become even better at controlling the ball. In addition, enhanced technology has made it easier for beginners to begin learning to spin the ball.
In addition, as pickleball grows as a sport, it attracts an increased number of former tennis players. And those players are often very skilled at controlling a tennis ball, including spinning.
What do you think, would those seasoned tennis players be able to spin the ball in a pickleball match? They would indeed be able to do so since pickleball is very close to tennis.
So to summarize the above, the increasing competition in pickleball is the thing that is making ball spinning more important than ever. And if you are serious about pickleball, you need to master the spin to stay competitive.
But that’s not quite all. Spinning the ball also helps you make your shot less predictable for your opponent. In pickleball, your goal is to make your opponent commit a mistake, and spinning the ball could be a very powerful tool in your arsenal.
In our guide on pickleball strategy, we described why it is important to keep your shots varied. If your opponent figures out your playstyle, it will be very easy for him or her to outwit you and learn a point.
There are plenty of ways to add more diversity to your shots. And while putting a spin to the ball may be very difficult to learn for you, it opens plenty of new opportunities for making your game less predictable for your opponent.
When we describe different types of spins a little later, you will understand how exactly the ball spin can fool your opponent.
A great paddle won’t make you a master of spin
High-end equipment certainly is a prerequisite to becoming a good pickleball player. However, having good equipment doesn’t automatically make you a good player.
Buying a pricey paddle for spin doesn’t make you a master of spin. You will need to acquire the skill to be able to take advantage of the textured surface on your pickleball paddle.
So, the very first task for you becomes practicing a lot of shots. If you are a newbie, then don’t rush to start learning the spin: practice the basics first. Spinning the ball is an advanced technique, and you should have the basics in order to proceed on to it.
Should you put a spin in your every shot?
Putting spin into the ball indeed does make your shot less predictable. However, doing a spin every time is going to have the opposite effect.
Experienced players read movements and can anticipate where the ball is going to go pretty successfully. And if you are going to spin the ball all the time, your opponent will know how to deal with you.
On the other hand, if you spin the ball just occasionally, you are going to become less predictable for your opponent. Your opponent will have no other choice than to just guess what your next shot is going to be.
And keeping things varied doesn’t apply only to spinning. You should develop your entire playing style to be less predictable. Spinning the ball is just one way of doing so.
How to put the ball into a spin?
Now comes the hard part – putting the ball to spin. Theoretically, spinning the ball is very straightforward. But when it comes to practice, things can get pretty difficult.
Let’s begin with types of ball spin:
- Topspin. The ball rotates forward.
- Backspin. The ball rotates backward.
- Sidespin. The ball rotates to the right or left.
The differences in rotation direction make the behavior of the ball very different when spinning.
With all types of spin, what changes is the trajectory of the ball while in the air, as well as the ball’s bounce off of the ground. Let’s start with the trajectory.
During the topspin, the ball bites into the air and descends quicker. The topspin, thereby, would be useful when you need to drop the ball down into the non-volley zone over the net, for example. Without the quick descent of the topspin, it would be much more difficult to do.
As for bouncing off of the ground, topspin tends to produce lower bounces. After such a bounce, the ball is going to fly longer than with a flat shot.
And returning a low bounce is quite difficult, mind you. Add to that the unexpectedly long flight, and your opponent may miss the ball entirely or make an unbalanced, weak return.
The backspin essentially mirrors the topspin.
In contrast with the topspin, the ball will experience a short rise when hit with backspin. Needless to say, this will make the ball carry farther. But it’s pretty easy to send the ball out of the court with backspin, so a softer shot would be required for it.
The bounce of the backspin is higher than that of a flat shot and much higher than the bounce of the topspin. The backspin may initially appear to be easier to return, but since the forward motion of the ball is slowed down considerably relative to the bounces of flat and topspin hits, your opponent may, again, miss the ball or make a bad return.
If hit with a sidespin shot, the ball will rotate left or right, depending on which direction the shot was made in.
If the ball rotates towards the right, then its trajectory is going to be curved towards the right, and vice versa.
As for the bounce, the ball in the sidespin tends to just bounce off of the ground. Since the ball is slowed down considerably after contacting the ground, it is most likely going to move in a straight line after the bounce.
How to do a spinning shot?
The logic here, as we’ve said above, is very easy. You just make a slicing motion with the paddle when hitting the ball.
For example, if you want to make a topspin (the ball rotates forward), you would need to slice the paddle from low to high as you hit the ball. For a backspin (the ball rotates backward), you’d need to slice from high to low. And for a side spin, you would need to slice from left to right (left sidespin) or right to left (right sidespin).
Simple, right? Indeed, but when it comes to actually performing the shot, beginners will most likely have difficulties. It is all about timing and putting the right amount of force into the slice, and to learn the perfect balance, you will need to practice a lot.
By the way, it should be mentioned that it is rather easy to know what kind of a hit your opponent is making. Pay attention to how their paddle moves. If it, for example, moves from high to low, then your opponent is doing a backspin.
This will again require practice. So you should not only practice spinning the ball but also understanding which shot your opponent is doing. If possible, train with someone experienced.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post – if you want to find our more about the great game of Pickleball, discover some unique strategies or just read more equipment reviews then head on over to our Pickleball Home page here.