Be it a Rafa Nadal style forehand topspin that kicks up off the back court or a Federer-esque backhand slice that keeps the ball low and your opponent on the backfoot, a strong spin game is essential these days.
If you’re looking to add more spin to your game of course you need to focus on technique primarily but your choice of racket is a huge factor.
That’s why we’ve put together a round up of the best rackets for spin on the market right now.
In our view the best overall is the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa but read on for a more nuanced look.
Our Top Six
Best Spin Racket Overall – Babolat Pure Aero Rafa
Best for Spin and Feel – Prince Phantom 100G
Best for Spin and Speed – Head Extreme MP
Best Spin Racket on a Budget – Dunlop SX300
Best for Spin and Power – Wilson Burn 100S v5
Best for Spin and Control – Yonex VCore 98
Before we start, a quick word on what we’ve looked for when making our recommendations. In other words – What makes a good spin racket?
Open String Pattern
String pattern refers to the number of main and crosstrings in the racket’s head.
An 18×20 pattern for example is tightly packed with strings and so is referred to as dense. Rackets like this are great for control as the strings barely move producing a consistent response.
More open patterns on the other hand such as 16×19 are more flexible and tend to ‘pocket’ or grip onto the ball a little longer. This grip allows the player to turn the ball as they whip the racket through, adding spin as they do so.
We’ll only be recommending rackets with an open string pattern.
To perfect your spin technique you need to be able to whip your shots with plenty of follow through. If your racket is too heavy that’s just not possible.
That’s why we’ve mainly avoided rackets that are too heavy or have a head heavy balance.
Of course, your own level of strength will dictate how much weight you can handle so be sure to bear that in mind when making your choice.
And so, without further ado, we present our favourite tennis rackets for generating spin.
Head Size: 100sq in | Unstrung Weight: 290g | String Pattern: 16×19
- Aerodynamic shaft
- Wicked spin
- Great all-rounder
- Bit garish!
When it comes to topspin, Rafa Nadal is the undisputed master and he’s been rocking the Babolat Aero for years.
No surprise. This is Babolat’s spin range with its aerodynamic shaft allowing for speedy, whipped groundstrokes.
Its open string pattern comes with Babolat’s FSI spin tech which prolongs contact with the ball making it satisfyingly grippy. It’s part of the reason for Nadal’s pretty incredible 3,200 average RPM (revolutions per minute).
At around 300g strung, this is lighter than Rafa’s stick the Pure Aero Origin so intermediates should have no trouble generating plenty of follow through. But if you need something lighter still you could opt for the Pure Aero Lite at only 283g.
All of those models come in a 100 inch head size which provides a really crisp and forgiving sweet spot.
For me the paint job’s a touch garish but that’s a personal opinion and there are more muted models available if you value your eyesight 😀
Head Size: 100 sq in | Unstrung Weight: 315g | String Pattern: 16×18
- Head light balance
- Extremely comfortable
- Whips through groundstrokes
- Lacking free power
Although the Phantom clocks in at a relatively hefty 315g unstrung don’t be fooled. That weight is concentrated in the handle so it’s really head light allowing for plenty of kick on serves and ground strokes.
It has a particularly open string pattern giving a good amount of pop and grip and lovely feedback on all shots.
The arm-friendly feel is complemented by a thin and super flexible beam but there’s enough stability there thanks to Prince’s recognisable cross-Bar throat design.
It may not be the most powerful racket out there but you’ll feel enough confidence to really let rip with your strokes, knowing there’s enough topspin to bring the ball back down again and keep it in the court.
Head Size: 100 sq in | Unstrung Weight: 300g | String Pattern: 16×19
- Extremely speedy
- Equally good on topspin and slice
- Easy and fun
- Lacks a little stability
This is the latest incarnation of Head’s Extreme MP, the brand’s well loved spin monster.
This version retains its predecessors’ open, grippy string pattern but enhances it with what it calls Spin Grommets, allowing the strings greater snap back, more movement and bigger spin potential.
The shaft feels a little bit more aerodynamic than previous models meaning you can really whip through your strokes and it feels great hitting shots on the run.
It’s equally quick at the net, reacting as fast as you can although it suffers slightly with softer, more cushioned strokes. There’s a slight lack of stability there which can let you down if you’re not punching through.
Head Size: 100 sq in | Unstrung Weight: 300g | String Pattern: 16×19
- Moveable grommets increase spin
- Whippy ergonomic design
- Often great value
- Not a great deal
If you’re after a similarly spin friendly and aerodynamic frame to the Babolat Pure Aero but you don’t quite have the funds you should definitely take a look at the Dunlop SX300.
Like the Aero this has been designed specifically for spin fiends with its open string pattern and moveable grommets that provide a really pleasingly grippy feel, particularly from the baseline.
Also like the Aero this has an ergonomically V-shaped throat which adds a really fun amount of whip to your shots.
If anything it’s actually a little more comfortable than the Babolat with its more flexible frame although that can make it feel a touch less solid and stable.
Still, if you search around, the SX300 is often available at a really reasonable price point so definitely worth considering if you’re on a budget.
Head Size: 100 sq in | Unstrung Weight: 300g | String Pattern: 18×16
- Fierce drives
- Spin Effect tech grips the ball
- Huge power
- Harsh on the joints
Wilson’s Clash, Blade and Pro Staff ranges are the ones that usually take all the plaudits but if you’re after a spin machine the Burn is where it’s at.
The first thing you notice when you pick it up is how stiff and unforgiving it feels. This is not a racket for the newbie or anyone with aching joints.
But if you like to play fierce, powerful, spin heavy tennis this is a great racket.
The open 18×16 string pattern features what Wilson call their Spin Effect tech. Essentially more main strings than cross strings which it claims creates better topspin and slice. It definitely feels true especially on a kick serve and a booming cross court forehand.
Its stiffness makes it strong at the net, allowing you to put away volleys with little effort.
Head Size: 98 sq in | Unstrung Weight: 305g | String Pattern: 16×19
- Large, forgiving sweet spot
- Oiled grommets for snappier strings
- Flexible and comfortable
- Some may prefer a stiffer frame
Yonex is one of those manufacturers that seems to make great strides with their frames with every new generation.
This latest version of the VCore features a tweak to their Isometric head shape giving an even larger sweet spot making it extremely forgiving and minimising bum shots.
Its 16×19 string pattern is complemented by a tech we hadn’t seen before – SIF grommets. Essentially the grommets are filled with a silicon oil, lubricating the strings for more snapback and extreme spin.
It really seems to have an effect as the racket allows plenty of whip, kicking the ball up off the surface to give your opponent a ton of problems.
This model has a more flexible feel than before so it’s a comfortable swing although that does come at a cost in terms of stability although it’s marginal.
How to Choose a Spin Racket
If you’re after a more general, in-depth guide to how to choose a tennis racket be sure to have a look at our article here.
But when specifically choosing a racket for spin there are a few things to consider.
How’s your technique?
If you already produce plenty of whip on your strokes you’ll benefit from the choices presented here but beware!
If that technique is under-developed and you tend towards flatter strokes you may struggle to keep the ball in the court. If that’s the case you might be better off choosing a racket with a slightly more dense string pattern to give an added sense of control.
What’s your budget?
As ever here our advice is to go with the best racket you can afford. These are all solid, well-made frames that should last.
If money is tight always look for slightly older versions of the rackets recommended which often come in much cheaper. Alternatively the Dunlop SX 300 is definitely worth looking out for.
Take one for a spin
As usual, where possible we would advise you to always try rackets out when you can. That said, if you’re looking for a great all rounder with the benefit of some monster spin you should be very happy with the Babolat Pure Aero Rafa.