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JOOLA Perseus 3 - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Published on: May 13, 2024

The JOOLA Perseus 3 pickleball paddle resting against a pickleball net post

Almost overnight, dozens of players at my local courts started playing with JOOLA's new Gen 3 paddles. Many of those players beat me, and I struggled to keep up with the speed and power they were playing with.

So, I got my hands on Ben Johns' new signature paddle and put together this JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 review. Read on to see if this paddle truly is worth the hype.

My verdict4.5star iconIf you play a fast, aggressive game, you won't find a better paddle than JOOLA's Gen 3 Perseus—it's easily one of my favorite pickleball paddles in 2024. I've never seen a paddle with power like this—I can easily overwhelm my opponents with hard drives and unreturnable putaways. Just be ready for the adjustment period as you'll have to learn to control all that extra pop.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You play an aggressive game:

    this paddle offers tons of pop and power, and you can easily win points with drives and speed-ups.

  • Power is your main priority:

    I'd give this paddle 11-out-of-10 for power if I could. You can put away any ball if you get the opportunity.

  • You're intermediate or advanced:

    the pop and power can be difficult to control—especially if you're a lower-level player.

Pass if:

  • You pop up shots easily:

    with so much pop, it's easy to hit drops high or sail the ball long. Try the Bread & Butter Filth for pop that's easier to control.

  • You need more control in your game:

    this is a power paddle that won't help your touch shots. Try the Selkirk LUXX Air Invikta for a top control paddle.

  • You're on a budget:

    at $280, this paddle is an investment. Check out the Vatic Pro PRISM Flash instead, one of my favorite paddles under $100.

Paddle Weight

8.0 oz

Paddle Length


Paddle Width


Handle Length


Grip Circumference


Paddle Face Material

Raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Polypropylene honeycomb

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot


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Review summary

The JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 is my current favorite pickleball paddle for power because it offers more pop and power than any paddle I've ever tested. If you're an aggressive player, you'll get a lot out of this paddle.

The Perseus 3 compares to the Gearbox Pro Power and the B&B Filth, two contenders for the top power paddle in 2024. I find this paddle more powerful than those two, with more control and forgiveness than the Gearbox Pro Power.

While I still prefer the Filth as an all-court paddle (it has better feel), the Gen 3 Perseus is in a class of its own when it comes to power.

Watch my first thoughts on the JOOLA Perseus 3:


The pop in the Perseus 3 is what I noticed first. On short shots like volleys and punches, the ball flies off the face. I can speed up the game and quickly win points at the kitchen that would otherwise take longer to set up.

That pop comes at a price, though. It's easy to sail balls long and wide if you don't watch your paddle angle.

Finishing power is also top quality—probably the best I've ever seen in a paddle. If you get any angle to work with, like a low lob, you can easily put the ball away. You can hit the ball right at your opponents knowing it won't come back. That's how much power you can put behind it.

It's great on drives, too. The power reacts almost exponentially to your swing speed. One of my drives was easily the best shot I've ever hit! It went right down the middle, the ball hitting the fence before my opponents could even react. That was a good feeling.

The spin is impressive, up there with top raw carbon fiber paddles like the Six Zero DBD and B&B Filth. Poor spin was my biggest gripe with the previous Gen 2 Perseus, so I'm glad to see JOOLA fixed that. You need plenty of topspin to reign in this paddle's power.

Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 pickleball paddle

I was surprised to find this paddle could hit touch shots once you adjusted. Especially on third-shot drops, if I watch my swing speed and put a little topspin on it, I can land drops pretty consistently.

One issue I found is that the paddle struggles when the game speeds up on you. It's really hard to reset against a hard drive or overhead because of how much pop it has. If you're blocking an aggressive shot, you can easily sail the ball long if you leave the paddle face open.

Be prepared for an adjustment period. I found this paddle had a "break-in" period and actually got more powerful after a couple weeks of practice. Past that, it took me a solid month to learn how to control it.

If power is your thing, I think you'll like this paddle. Win or lose, it's just a fun paddle to play with.


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  • Extreme power

  • Lots of pop

  • Much better spin than on Gen 2 paddles


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  • Pop is hard to control

  • Won't help your touch game

  • Premium-priced


I don't say this often but JOOLA's Gen 3 technology is a game-changer. These paddles speed up the game and can be challenging to play against. I suspect we'll see many brands racing to copy their tech.

Let's look at the features that make this paddle unique:

Propulsion core

This is the tech that gives the Gen 3 Perseus such high pop and power. The propulsion core creates a trampoline effect that increases acceleration off the face.

The unique core is a thin layer of foam around the edge that extends toward the center, connecting with a traditional polymer core. This adds flexibility to the core, allowing it to behave like a trampoline.

Carbon friction surface

JOOLA introduced a new carbon textured surface to the Perseus 3 and I'm happy to report it now has the grit and spin to match other top carbon fiber paddles like the Bread & Butter Filth.

The surface is super gritty. I even saw a video online where the paddle stuck to a player's shirt because of how gritty it was.

The carbon face in the Gen 2 Perseus was a flop in my opinion, and delivered subpar spin. The new Gen 3 carbon face marks a big upgrade.

NFC chip accessible

You can tap your phone against the Perseus 3's handle to authenticate and unlock a unique product experience (like your warranty).

This tech might seem gimmicky, but it's still innovative and will help prevent counterfeits. Given the price point and how hot this paddle is, I can see fakes being a real problem.


















Power - 10/10

I've never seen power like this before. I feel it most on drives and overhead putaways. Shots that my opponents are used to getting a chance to reset suddenly have no hope.

I've had many points off my opponent's errors on drives because it's really hard to react to the speed you can play with. I often use the "shake-and-bake" strategy with this paddle where I hit a hard drive hoping my opponent can take an easy pop-up return.

Control - 7.5/10

This is the Perseus 3's biggest drawback—all that extra power means a compromise in control. My biggest frustration is how easy it is to sail the ball long or wide. If you put just the slightest bit too much angle on your paddle face, the ball goes out.

I've had a few long drives that usually my opponent would have taken out of the air, but even lower-level players could tell they were going way out. I'm still not used to this extreme pop and prefer more traditional Gen 2 thermoformed paddles like the Six Zero DBD Infinity.

Spin - 9.5/10

As soon as you unbox the Perseus 3, you'll notice that it has a ton of grit on the face. The spin you can generate is top tier. I can get great topspin on my serves, drives, and volleys.

I'd put the spin on par with top carbon paddles like the Six Zero DBD Control and Bread & Butter Filth. Trust me when I say you'll need to use this paddle's spin to balance out the extra pop and power.

Forgiveness - 8/10

Forgiveness was a pleasant surprise, especially after testing the Gearbox Pro Power, my #2 power paddle of 2024.

The Gearbox has major dead spots, especially near the edges. In comparison, the Perseus 3 has a nice-sized sweet spot and I have far fewer mishits with it. If you want a Gen 3 JOOLA with even more forgiveness and a bigger sweet spot, check out the Scorpeus 3.

Like all new JOOLA paddles, the Perseus 3 does have a stiff, hollow, almost wood-like feel. It's not plush or soft, which makes it feel less forgiving and more difficult to control. You can expect a lengthy adjustment period.

Weighting - 8/10

The Perseus 3 has the highest swing weight (123) and most head-heaviness of any paddle in the new JOOLA line. While this gives it extra power, it does make it slower at the kitchen and harder to control.

Check out the Scorpeus 3 if you want a paddle that still offers big power but with a lighter swing weight.

Grip - 9/10

There's no change here from the Gen 2 Perseus, and that's a good thing. The grip is tacky and premium-feeling. I also like that it's grey, so it won't dirty like a white grip will.

Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Perseus 3 pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Perseus 3 pickleball paddle

Durability - 10/10

Just like all JOOLA paddles, this is made with premium materials. With the carbon build and edge guard, I'm confident this paddle will hold up well over time.

Aerodynamics - 7.5/10

The Perseus 3 is the least aerodynamic in the new Gen 3 line, with its high swing weight and flat top. The good news is you don't need a fast swing speed to unlock the power. In fact, too much swing speed can be a bad thing and make it easy to sail balls out.

Is this paddle right for you?

Before buying a paddle, it's important to make sure it fits your game. That's why I created a 30-second quiz that recommends the best paddles for your play style and budget.

Give it a try and see if the JOOLA Perseus 3 makes the list:

Find the perfect paddle

Find the perfect paddle

I've personally tested over 80 paddles. Take the quiz to see which ones fit your game best.

Take Paddle Fitting Quiz


The Perseus 3 currently retails for $280, which is a significant increase from the $250 Gen 2 model. So, is it worth the extra $30?

Value for money

I think JOOLA has justified the price premium, especially over the Gen 2 model. The propulsion core is unique and offers pop and power like I've never seen before.

If you're an aggressive player and can handle the extra pop, I recommend checking out this paddle. It's a lot of fun to play with.

However, if you're all about the soft game or you struggle with popping up the ball, I don't think this is for you. I'd suggest sticking with the Gen 2 Perseus if you play with it currently or choosing a more well-rounded Gen 2 thermoformed paddle like the CRBN-3X Power Series.

The JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 pickleball paddle on a court
The JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus 3 pickleball paddle on a court

Bottom line

The JOOLA Perseus 3 is a breakthrough in paddle technology. It's the most powerful paddle I've seen yet, and I'd say it's a must-try if you have an aggressive play style.

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About the author
Brandon Mackie
Brandon is an avid writer and co-founder of Pickleheads™. Once a competitive tennis player, Brandon can now be found these days honing his dinks on pickleball courts near Phoenix, Arizona.
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