How to Put Spin on a Pickleball? Learn Topspin, Back Spin and Side Spin

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Playing Pickleball might be easy, but acquiring the strategies to put pressure on the opponent is difficult sometimes. Putting a spin on a serve is such a pickleball strategy that is still a mystery for newbie players. That’s why beginners, even some intermediate players, most often ask, ‘How to put a spin on a pickleball?’

Some players just spin while serving, whereas others apply pace with their pickleball spin. However, very few players also apply prodigious spin with the pace!

How do they do it? What are the methods they apply? Well, you will get to know them after you finish this write up.

How Pickleball Beginners Can Learn To Hit Spin?

There are few types of spin in Pickleball. Which one do you want to try first? Before trying those, let’s try how to put a regular spin on a pickleball serve.

Spin occurs when you put some techniques with the paddle while serving. So, the paddle is everything to spin your Pickleball. Perfect use of paddle can get you a topspin, underspin/ backspin, and sidespin.

Type of spin in Pickleball

Typically, as a beginner, you may start Pickleball serve with no spin. However, a regular service is not challenging for the opponent. To put more challenge on returning and earning the mastery of serve, spinning can give you an edge over the competitor. Which eventually brings you a score. There are three types of spin in Pickleball.


When the served Pickleball rotates forward while flying towards the opponent, called topspin.

Back Spin:

It is also known as underspin. It is just the opposite of the topspin. In a backspin, the Pickleball rotates backward.

Side Spin:

When your Pickleball rotates continuously around a vertical axis, sidespin occurs.

How Do You Apply a Spin?

Applying spin techniques varies on the type of spin you want. Different types of spin need different techniques. Without any fuss, I am jumping into the techniques.

Apply a Topspin

Topspin means rotating the ball forward during the flight. As a result, the ball drops faster than a regular stroke. When you apply topspin, you may hit the ball harder as well as higher over a net because it will not stay in the air longer.

So, what is the aftermath of the topspin stroke?

When you apply force on your ball with topspin, it usually gets the power and drops relatively quickly. When landed, it bounces higher and puts a challenge on the opponent to hit.

To apply a pickleball topspin serve, move your paddle up while stroking. You can do it while serving as well as while returning. You will see the ball getting a higher arc and dives down. If the ball spins more, it will do the higher bounce.

Apply a Backspin

We have mentioned earlier that the backspin is just the opposite of topspin. However, the techniques are also the opposite.

In backspin ball rotates backward while the ball flight and bounces relatively higher than a no-spin hit. Moreover, in pickleball backspin, it cut or slices often. This means the ball may cut left or right while making the bounce. You just hit the ball, and it will do the trick itself. However, the server cannot put any tricks to cut.

Apply a Side Spin

Unlike top and backspin, side spin makes the ball spins sideways around the vertical axis. Furthermore, one side of the Pickleball continuously rotates as the ball moves forward through the air. It rotates until it drops.

The ball may rotate either to the right or left. However, side spin may also turn to the left or right, depending on the rotation. As a result, when dropped, it makes a surprising bounce and changes the direction when the opponent hits it back.

You can make the side spin pickleball serve by moving the paddle to a side when you stroke the ball. Later, the ball will create a sideways curve and drops with gravity. When dropped, it may combine with top or backspin.

How to Return a Spin in Pickleball?

To return a spin ball, you have to follow some process. First of all, you have to identify if the opponent is hitting a spin. For that, you have to keep eyes on the opponent’s hand.

If you see any unusual movements of the paddle, you may expect a spin. You can recall the spin applying methods and get prepared accordingly.

However, you may only keep eyes on serving. It’s tough to focus on the opponent’s hand during the play and get ready right away.

  • You may hit a topspin back or just hit neutral without any tricks for the topspin return.
  • For backspin defense, you can hit the backspin back or lift the Pickleball.
  • To return sidespin balls, it is better to use pickleball slice return, neutral, or the same spin towards the court’s center as the ball may kick sideways.

Do I Need to Practice Pickleball Spin Serves?

Yes! It is obvious that without practice, you cannot make a spin serve or even the return. The more you practice the spin serve, the more you learn and become an expert.

Let’s watch a video on How to Put and Return a Spin on a Pickleball


A few players with excellent skills can combine the spins mentioned above using forward motion on top and back or side. However, it is rare.

To hit an effective spin and return it, you will always need faster action with extremely precise hits. It would help if you did not ignore the necessity of practice to get the most out of a pickleball spin. However, you have to follow the basic pickleball rules for serving a spin, such as serving under the waist level.

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I'm Dave Ogden, a professional pickleball player from Ogden, Utah. When I'm not dominating the court, I pour my passion into writing a blog, sharing pickleball trips and tricks. Join me as I take you on an exciting journey through the world of pickleball. Let's improve our game together!