The new JOOLA Ben Johns Perseus Pickleball Paddle is out. Here are our thoughts compared to the previous Hyperion version.
Joola Ben Johns Perseus Pickleball Paddle vs Hyperion Pro 16mm Pickleball Paddle
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The dimensions of the new Perseus paddle remain the same (16.5 x 7.5 x 16mm). There is no difference if you lay one paddle atop the other. The grip length at 5.5in also remains the same. Plenty of room if you use two hands for your backhand drives or volleys. The grip circumference at 4.25″ also is the same, however it feels thinner in your hand due to the FEEL-TEC PURE grip. It’s soft and tacky – really nice. The paddle is not going to be slipping out of your grasp, and you won’t need to add grip tape, unless you want to make it thicker.
Interestingly, JOOLA states that the Perseus has an average weight of 8oz compared to the Hyperion which comes in at an average weight of 8.4oz. I’d agree that the paddle feels slightly lighter. The knock against the Hyperion has been that it is “head heavy” where much of the weight is felt in the head of the paddle. This is great for baseline drives but not as great on fast net battles that require more paddle agility. The Perseus is clearly more balanced than the head heavy Hyperion, so it is suitable for both net and baseline play.
Power and Spin
I put these two categories together because I felt that in terms of power and spin, both paddles are about equivalent. It was pretty easy to rip shots that had generous topspin. Perhaps the difference in the paddles here lies in what you don’t see. The Perseus Paddle uses Charged Carbon Surface Technology (Carbon Flex5) which seems like a lot of jargon that I particularly don’t understand. Visually, this translates to a finer carbon fiber texture as compared to the Hyperion. It is designed to not wear down as much over time. That remains to be seen.
Control and Feel
This is where I noticed the most differences between the paddles. The Perseus paddle makes a vastly different sound than the Hyperion on both drives and dinks. It is more of a higher pitched yet hollow sound. It feels more wooden – and it’s not as satisfying when you connect with the sweet spot. Perhaps this is the “poppier” response that JOOLA alludes to. The Hyperion has a softer feel when making contact with the ball. Overall, the Perseus paddle does feel noticeably stiffer to me. This is likely due to the fully encased carbon frame. The paddle carbon core material goes all the way into the handle, making it all one piece. It does feel like a tighter paddle than the Hyperion (which has a separate handle fused to the paddle core).
The Perseus is about a 65 dollar premium over the previous Hyperion CFS model. Am I ready to upgrade from the Hyperion CFS? Not yet. However, if you haven’t tried hitting with either Ben Johns Joola paddles, I’d say go for the Perseus as it seems like it is built to last longer.