Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin

Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin at Pickleball Central

Spin has become an important weapon in the game of pickleball. As players have developed the ability to produce more topspin, these types of shots are more common than ever. A player with a great cut shot often sees their opponents return the ball into the net, and the spin serve is used with equal efficacy.

The creation of spin always starts with the stroke. If a player does not have a topspin stroke, sandpaper-like texture won’t be any help. What a paddle can do is accentuate spin. The two ways this can happen are with friction and adhesion. 

Friction is when a rough surface makes contact with a pickleball, preferably a ball that has already gotten a bit scuffed from use. The friction of the paddle moving across the ball creates spin. This is similar to the grooves on a golf club creating spin when the ball is struck properly.

Adhesion is when the ball sticks to the surface of a paddle as the player moves through a complete swing. The paddle essentially grabs the ball and imparts spin. This is akin to a smooth drag race tire heating and sticking to smooth pavement.

If you’d like to make more use of spin, we’ve selected a group of paddles that are ideal for incorporating these two methods into your game:

Top 5 Paddles for Spin

(In no particular order!)

Electrum Pro

(Type: Friction) from Electrum Pickleball

The Electrum Pro was revered for its spin from day one thanks to the gritty Toray T700 carbon fiber used for the face. Its other benefits include the broad 8-1/2″ width which results in a large sweet spot and the fact Electrum only uses full polypropylene cells in the core, meaning it feels consistent across the entire surface.

Engage Pursuit

(Type: Friction) from Engage Pickleball

Engage’s Pursuit line is excellent for spin thanks to the proprietary omni-directional graphite used in their design. The material provides a long-lasting texture that doesn’t wear away so you can rely on enhanced spin even after many games. The Pursuit paddles also come in a variety of shapes so that you can select a model that best suits your play style.

Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16

(Type: Friction) from JOOLA Pickleball

The “CFS” in this paddle’s name refers to a “carbon friction surface” which uses Carbon-Flex5 material developed by JOOLA to improve power and spin. It’s currently #1 pro player Ben Johns’ paddle of choice, so you know it can reliably perform in the most demanding scenarios. It has many exciting features, but one of the best is the unique Hyperfoam Edge Wall which enhances stability and the sweet spot.

Diadem Icon

(Type: Adhesion) from Diadem Pickleball

Diadem was one of the first manufacturers to focus on the rarer adhesion style of surface using their proprietary “Spin RP” polyurethane coating which creates a tacky texture. Where many brands have focused on making paddles with thicker cores, the Icon features a slimmer design which is ideal for retaining speed and feel. It also has another rare but highly desirable quality: a replaceable edge guard.

Supernova Pro Hyperweave LX

(Type: Adhesion) from PROLITE Pickleball

This paddle is one that both figuratively and literally shines thanks to its triple-layered carbon fiber face interwoven with gold or silver fibers. While it doesn’t have the typical “scratchy” feel, you’ll still notice the enhanced spin it offers when following through on shots. The special Aero Channel edge guard reduces drag despite its thicker 0.55″ core that serves to dampen vibrations and improve control.

We know there are more paddles that impart spin with either friction or adhesion, what are your favorites? If you’ve tried and loved any of these models let us know about your experience, or if there’s another paddle that’s helped with spin, our visitors would love to hear about it in the comments.

Do you think spin can make or break a match against tough opponents?

12 thoughts on “Top 5 Pickleball Paddles for Spin

  1. To be legal for tournament play, all these paddle MUST conform to the USAPICKLEBALL paddle surface standards. So, whatever spin these “Wizz-bang” paddles produce CANNOT be significantly more that what ANY paddle in the Pickleball Central’s sales inventory! So, I would think that PC would not want to be encouraging the idea that only these high-end paddles are capable of delivering SIGNIFICANTLY MORE SPIN with these paddles, when the paddle trajectory and targeting of the ball is consistent with producing spin. I have spent the better part of 8 years researching ways to hit the ball with paddles I bought from PC. years ago. I found, if you hit the BOTTOM of the ball with lateral paddle motion, with any of the paddles in my bag, you will get that “hard to return” lateral hop that is the goal of spinning. I have a sales background; am one of your Sales Rep, know all about “selling the sizzles, not the steak” idea, but are we wise to risk potential customers not buying a lesser-priced paddle that will, if used properly, produce all the spin LEGALLY POSSIBLE given a particular dynamic, because they cannot afford the higher-priced one…or be dissatisfied with the higher-priced paddle because it didn’t compensate for their poor ball manipulation technic? I my be wrong here, but it looks like a no-win situation for PC sales strategy.

    • Hi Steve, you’re right that all paddles must be approved by USAP if they’re to be used in official tournaments, however there are certainly paddles more oriented towards spin than others. There is a range of acceptable texture and friction allowed, and the ones listed here are on the higher end if not at the maximum allowable levels, providing greater ease of spin than those on the lower side. (You can find the means of testing these traits in the Equipment Standards Manual.) It is possible to put spin on a ball using any paddle with proper technique, and it’s important to prioritize that, but these options make the process easier. Our site has a good amount of customer reviews from higher-level players who say they find spin is enhanced by these paddles in comparison to others, and we feel confident that they (and our own play testers, who are tournament competitors as well!) know the difference behind empty marketing promises and real benefits to performance. We would never lead a customer to believe they can’t use spin at all without purchasing a high-priced model; that’s not what we’re intending to do here. We just wanted to express that if spin is a big part of your game, these are some of the best paddles to support that play style.

      We also have our 30-day test drive policy where if a customer feels there’s not enough of a noticeable difference in the quality/effects of these paddles compared to their old one, they are free to send them back for a full refund. Ensuring we find the right fit for each player is our primary concern.

  2. CRBN paddles, both the 1 & 2 models are approved for tourney play – check on the USPA and you’ll see them there.

    • Hi Ann, you are correct that the CRBN paddles have been re-approved. We are happy to hear it as we’ll be carrying them eventually, but we didn’t want to lead customers to an out-of-stock product page in the meantime. We do have a wait list for anyone wanting to try them!

  3. If you want spin, control, AND power, you might want to check out CRBN pickleball paddles. Gave up my Electrum and Selkirk after playing with CRBN2 & the elongated CRBN1. Both totally awesome!

  4. Of all the new hyperweave paddles- is their anything on particular that makes you choose that has the best most spin option? would love to see some rpm data tests others do or The best you can do with even video movement analysis (say off serve as example)~

    Same w electrum pro versus pro 2 & E2?…. Which I hear you’ll have in stock again very…very soon Or even E1 or CRBN post ban?

    • Hi Trudy, we agree that all the Hyperweave paddles are good for spin. However, the Supernova Pro is the widest of the paddles at 8” giving players the most space to generate spin.

      All three Electrum paddles have a T700 carbon fiber surface with plenty of texure. Like the Supernova from PROLITE, the Electrum Pro is the widest paddle which offers more surface area. With CRBN, the 2 shape is the widest. (We do know some players prefer elongated instead of wide shapes to generate spin, so it does somewhat depend on your play style.)

    • CRBN is a great recommendation! Unfortunately, since their paddles were pulled from the USAP-approved list a couple months ago and are currently unavailable in their reapproved state, we thought it was better to include a similar alternative for now in the Electrum Pro (which also uses T700 carbon fiber). They’re ones to look out for on their return, though!

      • The company has replaced everyone’s paddle with a new CRBN that contains a serial number stamp (similar to Electrum when they had the same issue). If you check the USPA, you will see both CRBN models are approved and allowed for tourney play.

  5. The new Head Radical CO. A major change has improved on this paddle and it’s spin characteristics.

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