Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin – Think Past the Paddle 

The best pickleball paddle for spin is a lead in question to an answer you cannot technically get. Maybe that should be ‘get technically’! Intrigued? Don’t be and here is why.

A pickleball paddle is not a tennis racquet. It does not have strings and has a surface that is universally regulated. What does all that mean?

Let’s first understand how the head of a tennis racquet works and then we will compare that to a pickle paddle to see why the answer to the best pickleball paddle for spin lies in looking past the paddle.

A tennis racquet has a moving membrane that we call strings that literally move (stretch and rebound) when we hit a ball. This action, what the strings are made of and how tightly they are strung and how hard or soft we hit the ball and in what direction of motion the racquet is traveling when the ball is hit all contribute to the spin and power developed from the racquet.

Incidentally and quite fascinatingly it has been found that strings made of polyester blends can create more topspin than other types of string and when used to its capability can enable a player to swing harder while still keeping the ball in court and extend rallies. A huge advantage!

The more top spin you put on a ball the less will be its flight distance – which is why you can hit a ball harder with a polyester blended stringed racquet to have the ball travel faster and still have it drop inside the baseline to win a point! Another telling factor on spin effect is string pattern. 

It also goes without saying that the only similarities between a tennis ball and a pickleball is approximate same size and sometimes the same color. The ability to apply spin to a compressible furry surface on a tennis ball with a stringed tennis racquet is monstrously more than the ability to apply spin to a hard smooth surface with the smooth hard surface of a pickleball paddle.  

The last factor to consider is the human affect – and that means the ability of the player to use the tool that they hold in their hand to fully utilize the ingenuity of the technology of the racquet. - (racket if you are from the USA) 

So how does this compare to a Pickleball paddle?

Obviously a paddle does not have strings but how about movement in and out from the face of a paddle when a ball is hit? Does it have a similar but different effect to the stretch and rebound of the strings in a tennis racquet and more importantly could one INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PICKLEBALL (IFP) “approved” paddle claim to be the Best Pickleball Paddle for spin?

Looking at the IFP rules 2.E.1 for paddle specifications it says in addition to the material allowed for paddle manufacture, the paddle surface limits for roughness, the restrictions applied to painted paddles and any depictions, the paddle size and any weight limits, the most significant and relevant rule says this:

2.E.6. Prohibited Surface Features and Mechanical Features

2.E.6.a. Anti-skid paint or any paint textured with sand, rubber particles, or any material that causes additional spin.

The relevant (prohibited reference) in the text is this: “any material that causes additional spin”

And while the power and speed of a paddles potential comes from a combination of many things, like weight and weight distribution in the paddle head and handle, what the core of the paddle is made of, the size of the honeycomb compartments inside, and the various paddle face compositions, the spin potential technically is the same and therefore primarily has to come from not the paddle, but the ability of the player to use the tool that they hold in their hand to fully utilize the ingenuity of the technology of the paddle.

Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin

And now we know according to the IFP rules, if you purchase a commercially manufactured paddle, it will comply to the rules and limitations of IFP approved paddles which are exacting and allows for absolute minute differences between allowances.

This means by default that if you are happy with the paddle that you use now in reference to it’s variables such as weight, grip, its touch, control and hitting power that you have and of course its look and cost, then the Best Pickleball Paddle for Spin is the one you are using right now.

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