Shot making tips: The Slice

Looking to up your pickleball game? Add a slice. So what is a slice? It’s a shot that puts backspin on the ball when you hit it. This backspin occurs by slicing your racket underneath the ball in a downward motion as you return it. 


In addition, when you hit a slice and impart backspin on the pickleball, the ball will float a little longer in the air as the backward rotation creates extra lift on your shot.  

One of the best times to hit a slice is when you return your opponent’s serve.

As we mentioned, a slice puts backspin on the ball and causes it to float in the air longer. And because of the two-bounce rule, the server is going to have to stay back since they can’t play your return out of the air. This makes the slice a great return for a serve as it creates time for you to move up toward the kitchen and position yourself for your opponent’s return – and potentially play a shot out of the air with velocity as your opponent approaches the net. 

In addition, the spin from a slice makes it harder for your opponent to return with accuracy. A slice applied at various angles can cause the ball to bounce unpredictably off the ground, and cause an errant shot off your opponent’s paddle. This variability in bounce can also result in a pop up, or a poorly placed shot for you to put away.  

Don’t believe us? Next time you watch a pro pickleballer on the court, we bet you’ll see plenty of slices when they return the opposing player’s serve.  

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