The Lab: Top 6 Paddles for Spin in 2023

by Joseph Sutton on Dec 1, 2023

The Lab: Top 6 Paddles for Spin in 2023

The way pickleball is played has changed over the years, and increased spin potential with new paddle technology is likely the most impactful evolution of all. These days nearly every brand is producing paddles with elite spin potential. While it was tough to narrow it down, today we are laying out our top 6 favorite paddles on the market for generating spin.

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Diadem Edge 18K Carbon Fiber Paddle

Starting off is the innovative Diadem Edge 18K that features a special kind of “Raw Carbon Fiber”. The first thing you notice about this paddle is the geometric aesthetic, but it’s for more than just looks. This triaxial weave carbon fiber face layer is stronger than typical unidirectional carbon fiber and demonstrates the same strength in every direction allowing for spin production from any angle. Now this sounds like marketing hype, but on court we experienced a noticeable improvement in spin from the already impressive Diadem Warrior Edge making this evolution an easy choice for the list. The Edge 18k Power Pro features the same surface with the addition of a longer handle and thermoformed construction perfect for players looking for a little more put away power.

Shop the Diadem Edge 18K Carbon Fiber Paddle

ProXR Zane Navratil Signature 14mm

While the featured perimeter foam and an extra-long handle are some of our favorite features on modern paddles, it’s the unique weave texture on Zane’s signature model that allows it to spin the ball so aggressively. If you want some proof you can feel, next time you need to file your nails, give it a shot on the face of this paddle and you’ll be sold. Players capable of producing their own put away power will appreciate the connected ball feel and shot shaping Zane’s signature paddle unlocks.

Shop the ProXR Zane Navratil Signature Pickleball Paddle 14mm

adidas Metalbone

adidas is figuring it out, in a big way. The Metalbone is unlike anything on the market, and I have a hard time putting it down every time I play with it. While the textured surface feels less “gritty” than the other paddles on this list, elite tier dwell potential from the PMI foam core grabs and throws the ball back across the net with incredible power and spin. Edgeless construction and an industry leading removable weighting system make the Metalbone stand out, but it’s the performance on court that earns it a spot on our list.

Shop the adidas Metalbone Pickleball Paddle

Engage Pursuit Pro

Engage has always been known for impressive power and a unique feel, but they have jumped into the elite spin arena with the launch of the Pursuit Pro. As one of the few companies producing paddles in the United States, the team at Engage has invested heavily in their manufacturing capabilities to be able to produce paddles with a Raw carbon fiber peel ply woven texture. The best-in-class surface on top of a few internal paddle improvements make the Pursuit Pro a joy to serve, drive, and speed up aggressively, and from my perspective it’s an easy contender for paddle of the year.

Shop the Engage Pursuit Pro Pickleball Paddle Series

Gearbox Power Pro Series

You can’t talk about innovation in pickleball without mentioning Gearbox, and their newly launched pro series is no exception. Gearbox paddles have produced impressive spin from a seemingly smooth surface for years to the surprise of texture junkies like myself, but they may have become the top spinning paddle on the market introducing a unibody, edgeless design with a built in Peel Ply raw carbon fiber surface. Best in class dwell time keeps the ball on the gritty face longer allowing for spin generation on dinks, drives, serves, and drops. If you can handle the power of these paddles, the reward of ultimate ball bending potential will be at your fingertips.

Shop the Gearbox Power Pro Pickleball Paddle Series

Selkirk Luxx Control Air

Last but certainly not least is the Luxx Control Air from Selkirk. While power paddles take most of the spotlight in the spin category, Selkirk has introduced a thick control core with a durable textured surface to the market, and players are already loving the result. The Luxx makes me feel like I can bend any shot in my arsenal without the fear of popping the ball up or sailing it out the back of the court. Players who can create their own power or who want to better develop the fundamentals of their game without sacrificing spin production shouldn’t look past the Luxx as their next paddle.

Shop the Selkirk Luxx Control Air Pickleball Paddle Series