Pickleball Gear

JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus CFS Series - pickleball paddle review

picture of Brandon Mackie
Brandon Mackie

Updated on: Sep 22, 2023

The JOOLA Perseus Review pickleball paddle on a blue background

There was a lot of buzz around the release of the JOOLA Perseus, and I was as excited as anyone to try it out. As an upgrade to the most famous paddle of all time—the Ben Johns Hyperion CFS—it had a lot to live up to.

Check out my review below to see if I think the hype and price tag are justified.

My verdict4.5star iconThe Perseus is a top all-court paddle that'll win over many fans, but it's not for everyone. For beginners and early intermediates, it's just not worth the high price. You're going to find the sweet spot too small and unforgiving, and spin enthusiasts might want to look elsewhere, too. However, if you're a JOOLA fan already, I think you're going to love this paddle. It's got the same feel and control as the Hyperion without the head heaviness. Beyond that, I think that any advancing intermediate or high-level player who prioritizes their touch game should check this out. For you, the $250 investment is likely worth it as you're getting one of the best-built paddles on the market.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You want a premium all-court paddle.

    The Perseus gives you elite levels of control, with enough power and spin to boost your game.

  • You're looking to upgrade from the Hyperion.

    The Perseus plays like the Hyperion, but has newer tech and weighs less.

  • You need a long-lasting paddle.

    This one shouldn't break or flex, and will serve you for a long time.

Pass if:

  • You struggle with mishits.

    This isn't a forgiving paddle, so you'll have a hard time.

  • You're a spin wizard.

    I gave this 8/10 for spin. Check out the CRBN Power Series or Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power if you want an elite spin machine.

  • You don't want to spend $250.

    This is one of the priciest paddles on the market.

Paddle Weight

7.8–8 oz

Paddle Length

16 ½"

Paddle Width

7 ½"

Handle Length

5 ½"

Grip Circumference

4 ⅛ – 4 ¼"

Paddle Face Material

Raw carbon

Core Material

Reactive polymer core

Core Thickness

14 mm or 16 mm (0.55" or 0.63")

Sweet Spot

Small

Today's best deals

Pickleball Central logo
Save 10% with code PICKLEHEADS

Review summary

The JOOLA Perseus is arguably the most exciting paddle release of 2023. Ben Johns is playing with it, so naturally it's going to attract a ton of interest. After testing it on the court, I think that while it did solve many of the Hyperion's flaws, it created a few new ones too.

JOOLA fixed the head heaviness by dropping the weight to 8 oz, a full .5 oz lighter than the Hyperion. This made the paddle a lot quicker in my hands and helped me to load up more spin than I'd otherwise be able to generate. It felt as stable and solid as the Hyperion, but a lot lighter.

Check out my initial thoughts here:

Loading...

The lighter weight also makes this paddle a 'blank canvas', which can be good or bad depending on your skill level. If you like to customize with lead tape, you'll love the room the Perseus gives you to find your optimum weight.

Ben Johns himself adds tape to bring his paddle up to 8.5-8.6 oz (specifically the Yonex overgrip). Many recreational players will see this as a hassle, though.

Click here to get the same tape as Ben Johns

The Hyperion got a lot of flak for breaking at the throat. JOOLA claims to have fixed this by incorporating the same 'unibody' design we're seeing everywhere these days. The Perseus definitely felt stable and durable to me.

One new challenge with this paddle, though, is the smaller sweet spot. More advanced players won't mind so much, and Ben Johns clearly doesn't.

Personally, I was happy with the forgiveness. Most of my shots went right where I wanted them to, though I can see beginners and early intermediates struggling with mishits.

Brandon Mackie showing off the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie showing off the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle

The main strength of this paddle is its excellent control. I quickly got a really good feel for it and the more I used it, the more I felt it allowed me to play a complete game. I could hit drops, dinks, and resets with confidence and precise accuracy.

When you think of all-court paddles, you want something with outstanding control first and foremost. Then you need enough power and spin to complement the control. The Perseus nails it in that category, which is why I named it my favorite all-court paddle of 2023.

Pros:

Thumb up icon
  • Stronger and more durable than the Hyperion

  • New, improved grip

  • Used by the best in the game, Ben Johns

Cons:

Thumb up icon
  • Not as much spin and power as some premium paddles

  • May need modification to boost weight

  • Smaller sweet spot than most thermoformed paddles

Features

The Perseus is JOOLA's update to the Hyperion CFS. It was designed with Ben Johns, the GOAT pickleball pro, who now plays with this paddle.

The Hyperion was one of the most popular paddles ever created, but it had some flaws. It's known to break at the neck, and many people found it head heavy. JOOLA tried to address this with some new features, while keeping what worked.

Let's look at the main features of the Perseus.

Fully encased carbon paddle

This works the same as the popular unibody design. It wasn't used in the Hyperion, which had a lot of breakages, so it's promising to see this tech in the Perseus. Carbon fiber runs all the way through the paddle, which makes it a lot stronger and longer lasting.

Lower weight

When a paddle has foam and carbon in the perimeter, it usually brings the total weight above 8.2 oz. So, it's impressive that JOOLA managed to get the weight down to 8 oz.

The lightness makes this paddle a lot quicker than the Hyperion, fixing the main issue that the paddle had: its head heaviness. That said, sometimes fixing one problem creates a new one. With the Perseus, that's the smaller sweet spot.

Feel-Tec pure grip

JOOLA added a new grip for the Perseus, and it's way better than the Hyperion's. They swapped out white (which quickly scuffs and dirties) for gray, as well as replaced the unpopular ribbed design with something more comfortable.

Thermoformed design

The Perseus keeps the thermoformed design from the Hyperion. JOOLA prefers to call this technique "hot pressing". While this does make the paddle stronger, it also feels stiff and has a poppier face.

Personally, I like the mix of power and control this gives me. However, it'll challenge beginners and early intermediate players.

Hyperfoam edge walls

Like the Hyperion, the Perseus has foam injected around the perimeter. While this is meant to add stability and extend the sweet spot, I was surprised to find it was less stable and had a noticeably smaller sweet spot than the Hyperion.

Performance

8/10

Power

10/10

Control

8/10

Spin

8/10

Forgiveness

9/10

Weighting

9/10

Grip

10/10

Durability

9/10

Aerodynamics

Power: 8/10

While this isn't exactly a power paddle, it does have plenty of power to deliver an aggressive game. I could routinely hit hard, deep serves and drives, but I found myself playing more of a classic touch and control game.

If you want a really heavy hitter, I'd recommend the Bread & Butter Filth or even the Selkirk Power Air Invikta if you're an advanced player.

Control: 10/10

When it comes to control shots, this paddle can do it all. I almost took a point off because the face is a bit poppy and I had a few flyers. However, after a couple of testing sessions, my drops, dinks, and resets were all on point for me. I ended up really impressed with the overall control.

That said, I still think the Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power and Vatic Pro PRISM Flash are slightly better picks if you want a pure control paddle. But when it comes to thermoformed paddles (known to have more power and pop), the Perseus is one of the best performers on control.

Spin: 8/10

A common complaint about the Perseus is that it doesn't get enough spin. After testing it out, I have to agree.

That said, I definitely felt there was enough spin to play an advanced game. I could hit backspin and hard topspin pretty routinely, but it's nowhere near the spin levels I'm seeing from some modern paddles.

The Perseus offers the same amount of spin (more or less) as the Hyperion. The problem is that the tech has improved so much since the Hyperion came out that it should be better.

Spin machines like the CRBN-2X Power Series, the Gearbox CX14E Ultimate Power, and the Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control blow the Perseus out of the water in comparison.

Forgiveness: 8/10

I got good feel on this paddle and it did what I wanted it to most of the time. That said, the sweet spot is smaller than the Hyperion and other thermoformed paddles like the Six Zero DBD Control and the Legacy Pro.

Weighting: 9/10

One big improvement from the Hyperion is the weighting. JOOLA took 0.5 oz off to give the Perseus a lot more maneuverability and control on touch shots.

Plus, it has a faster swing and is quicker in kitchen exchanges. More advanced players will appreciate the lower weight, which gives you the opportunity to customize with lead tape.

Grip: 9/10

Another area of improvement is the grip. I was happy to see JOOLA swapped the Hyperion's white grip, which gets dirty fast, for a gray one. Even better, they replaced the ribbed grip that many players complained about.

Brandon Mackie demonstrating the grip on the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie demonstrating the grip on the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle

Durability: 10/10

Top marks here. The materials used are second to none, and I felt it right out of the box. I can already tell this paddle will last a long time.

They've kept the hyperfoam edge walls from the Hyperion while adding more stability with the unibody carbon design. This should fix the snapping issue people reported with the Hyperion.

Aerodynamics: 9/10

The lighter weight and round top shape boost the Perseus' aerodynamics, while also helping to make up for some of the paddle's lack of spin.

Thanks to this paddle's aerodynamic design, I was able to swing fast and load up more spin. If the paddle was slower, I'd have struggled with my spin game.

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 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

Pricing

At $250, this is one of the most expensive paddles ever. It's $30 more than the Hyperion, which was already a premium-priced paddle. Before you spend that kind of money, you have to know what you're looking for.

Value for money

In a sense, the Perseus is worth its price tag. It's made from the best materials, so it's going to last you a very long time. It's a top-tier paddle from one of the biggest brands in pickleball. However, you're paying at least a $20 premium just to have Ben Johns' name on it.

As we head into 2024, so many great paddles are now on the market at much lower prices. The Six Zero DBD Control, the Bread & Butter Filth, and even the CRBN Power Series are all cheaper. Depending on your game, I'd say they could even be better options for you.

Brandon Mackie shows off the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle
Brandon Mackie shows off the JOOLA Perseus pickleball paddle

However, if you already play with a JOOLA paddle and love how it feels, you'll love the Perseus. It's got the same solid feel but is much lighter. It's a super-durable paddle that ranks among the best control paddles in the game.

If you're looking to advance your game and want an elite all-court paddle, check this one out. If it performs for you, it justifies the $250.

Professional use

This is the signature paddle of the men's world #1, Ben Johns, who designed the paddle alongside JOOLA. It replaced the Hyperion as his paddle of choice.

Other JOOLA pros like Mark Redding and Zack Taylor have upgraded to the Perseus, too.

Bottom line

This is our top pick for all-court paddles in 2023, ideal for advancing intermediates all the way up to the best players in the world. If you want a serious control paddle that feels sturdy in your hands, it's worth checking out.

Just know that you might have to play around with lead tape until you're happy with how it feels. If you're at a lower level, you can find better paddles straight out of the box.

If you're on a budget, I'd recommend trying the Legacy Pro, the Six Zero Double Black Diamond Control, or the Bread & Butter Filth. These perform just as well but are priced in the $150-180 range.

Today's best deals

This article contains affiliate links from which we receive a small commission from sales of certain items. As a brand associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you!

FAQs

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.
Share this article

Join the fastest growing pickleball community

...

members

Join a community of pickleball players and find new friends to play with.

...

games

Browse games and open play sessions anywhere you go.

...

locations

Find every place to play pickleball in your local area.

...

cities

Available now in the US and Canada. More countries coming soon!