Spin is the not-so-secret sauce that top table tennis players use to get ahead of their opponents (and I’m not talking about the synonymous ping pong club owned by Susan Sarandon).
If you’re looking to up your ping pong skills and add more spin to your game, you’re going to need a ping pong paddle that’s built for spin.
In this post, we’ll go through exactly what affects the amount of spin you can put on the ball and how to choose the best paddle to apply just the kind of spin you need.
Let’s get to it.
Quick answer: Best Ping Pong Paddles for Spin
- Best for beginners: STIGA Evolution
- Best for offense and defensive play: The 2-faced Butterfly 303
- Best for spin and speed: Butterfly 603
Table Tennis Bats For Spin Compared
Want to quickly browse the top table tennis paddles for spin? Take a look at the comparison table below.
Click the “+” icon to expand each section.
|Top Top||STIGA Evolution||6-ply wood||2mm||6oz (170g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Butterfly 401||5-ply wood||Yuki 2.1mm||5.8oz (165g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Killerspin JET 600||5-ply wood||Nitrx-4Z 2mm||6oz (170g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||JOOLA Omega Strata||5-ply wood||2mm||6.2oz (175g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Butterfly B303FL||5-ply wood||Yuki 2.1mm + Magnitude 1.9mm pips out||5.8oz (165g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Butterfly 603||5-ply wood||Wakaba 2.1mm||5.7oz (163g)||Flared||Buy on Amazon|
What is spin in table tennis?
In table tennis, spin is a turning motion applied to the ball by the paddle that causes the ball to change direction after it bounces or makes contact with an opponent’s bat.
Spin is essential for competitive table tennis, as it allows the ball to be hit hard when at or below net height, and is difficult to defend against.
Types of spin in table tennis
- Side spin
- Spin serves
The most commonly used spin shot is a topspin shot, which applies a forward spin as the top of the ball is brushed with the top of the paddle. You can apply topspin both forehand and backhand.
How does a table tennis paddle affect spin?
We covered how the different components of a ping pong paddle can affect your game in our post on how to choose the best paddle, but here’s what you need to know about spin specifically.
Paddle blades made from 100% wood give you greater spin and control over the ball. For example, the STIGA Evolution paddle is made with a 6-ply wood blade, which allows for greater spin than rackets made with carbon blades.
Wood = more spin
Carbon = less spin
Why are wooden blades better for spin? Wood has better elasticity than carbon (which can make a paddle more rigid). The more flexibility your bat has, the more spin you can put on the ball. Blades with more ply layers will also help increase spin.
More ply = more spin
There are no rules about how many ply your ping pong paddle needs to be, but most have between 5- and 7-ply.
Thicker table tennis rubber and sponge allows you to put more spin on the ball.
Thick rubber/sponge = more spin
Thin rubber/sponge = less spin
Offensive players that use spin need at least 2mm of sponge/rubber, while defensive or beginner players should aim for between 1 and 2mm to reduce spin and aid control.
The more tackiness or stickiness the rubber on your bat has, the more spin you can put on the ball.
Tacky rubber = more spin
Tackiness refers to how much the ball sticks to the paddle’s rubber surface. Usually, rubber tackiness will diminish over time so it’s a good idea to wash your paddle after each game and keep it in a case maintain its stickiness.
Paddles with the pimples (also known an pips) facing inwards allow you to give the ball more spin.
Pips in = more spin
Pips out = less spin
If you want to defend against spin, a paddle with long pimpled rubber facing out will help the most.
You can get 2-faced rubber paddles with different rubbers on each side (for example, one for applying spin, and one for defending against spin).
For example, the Butterfly B303FL racket is designed for both applying and defending against spin: one side is covered with 2.1mm pips in rubber (black) and the other has 1.9mm pips out rubber (red)
Don’t forget that you can make or customize your own table tennis paddle with 2 different types of rubber, just make sure that your rubbers are different colors (usually red and black) to follow ITTF rules if you’re competing in a tournament.
A word of warning about “spin” performance ratings
You may see that most ping pong bats for sale have ratings, with scores for “Spin”, “Speed” and “Control”. While these may help you choose between different paddles from the same manufacturer, there’s no universal paddle rating system, so it’s impossible to know how, for example, a STIGA bat compares to one from Killerspin.
In our opinion, you should pay attention to the paddle’s construction, and not these arbitrary ratings when making a choice about which bat to invest in.
Top 3 Ping Pong Paddles for Spin
1. STIGA Evolution
Why is the STIGA Evolution paddle good for spin?
- Thick rubber for spin – 2mm rubber and sponge construction
- 6-ply wooden blade – more layers than most paddles, giving extra elasticity to help aid spin
Why is the STIGA Evolution paddle good in general?
- Heavier than most wooden bats (6oz, 170g) due to 6-ply design – makes it easier to handle for beginner and intermediate players
- Flared handle – for easy grip and focus on forehand play
The STIGA Evolution paddle is ideally suited to spin shots, thanks to its wooden blade and thick rubber. While not as tacky as the Butterfly 303, it’s got more layers than most wooden bats (6-ply), and comes in a little heavier, making it easier to handle.
We recommend the STIGA Evolution paddle for players looking to get started with learning spin techniques, as the extra weight will help you maintain control.
The downside is, STIGA paddles don’t come with their own cases – you’ll need to buy one seperately. Storing the paddle in this STIGA table tennis racket cover will help keep the rubber tacky and last longer.
2. Butterfly 303FL
Why is the Butterfly 303 paddle good for spin?
- Thick, tacky rubber for spin – the Yuki 2.1mm pips-in rubber is designed to make it easier for you to put spin on the ball
- 100% wooden blade – the wooden blade gives more flexibility than a carbon blade, adding extra spin
- Pips-out rubber for defense – the Magnitude 1.9mm pips out surface allows you to take the spin out of your opponents’ shots
Why is the Butterfly 303 paddle good in general?
- Affordable price-point
- Flared (shakehand) handle
- Comes with a case
- Beginner-friendly paddle
- ITTF approved for use in tournaments
The Butterfly 303FL (the FL means it has a flared handle, suitable for a shakehand grip) is a great entry-level spin-friendly bat. What makes it unique is the 2-faced rubber construction: on one side you get tacky pips-in 2.1mm rubber for adding spin, and on the other you get 1.9mm pips-out rubber for defending against spin.
The downside of the Butterfly 303 is that, as a fairly cheap paddle, it’s not going to last you forever.
Overall, we recommend the Butterfly 303 for beginner and intermediate players who want to experiment with a 2-faced design and practice both offensive spin shots and defensive techniques.
3. Butterfly 603
Why is the Butterfly 603 paddle good for spin?
- 2.1mm Wakaba rubber – very tacky rubber for extra spin
- 100% wooden blade – more flexible than carbon for added spin
Why is the Butterfly 603 paddle good in general?
- Comes with a full case – keeps your rubber protected for longer
- ITTF-Approved for tournament play
Another Butterfly paddle makes it into our list, this time the more advanced Butterfly 603. What makes the 603 worth the extra cost on top of cheaper Butterfly bats is the use of Wakaba rubber. This is a very tacky rubber that accentuates the amount of spin you apply. In addition to spin, you’ll also find the Butterfly 603 to be very fast, thanks to its thick rubber layer and lightweight wooden construction.
Ping Pong Paddle Spin FAQs
Still got questions about how to choose the right ping pong paddle to add more spin to your game? Have a look if we’ve covered it below.
What table tennis rubber has the most spin?
The Andro Rasanter R48 rubber is one of the best rubbers for spin. It’s available in red or black at an RSP of €59.95 and comes from German table tennis company Andro.
What is anti-spin rubber?
Anti-spin rubber has a low-friction shiny topsheet and a hard sponge layer which helps players defend against spin shots and return spinning balls effectively.
The best way to use anti-spin rubber is to have it on one side of your paddle, and use an offensive rubber on the other side. For example, Butterfly Super Anti is available in black and red so that it is suitable for either side of your bat.
How can I make my existing paddle better for spin?
Add more spin to your existing paddle by swapping out the rubber topsheet on one or both sides. A high-spin rubber like the DHS Skyline TG3 NEO (as used by three-time World Cup champion Wang Hao) will help you make stronger power topspin shots.