Have you heard about the Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle? It’s causing quite a buzz in the pickleball community! Ben John’s excitement about this paddle started back in 2022 when he got his hands on the prototype.
He couldn’t wait to share his experience, and on January 12th, 2023, he took to Instagram to tell everyone about it. Alongside a dedicated team of testers, Ben worked closely with Joola’s research and development experts to fine-tune this extraordinary paddle.
Finally, on June 12th, the much-anticipated Perseus paddle hit the market, quickly becoming one of this year’s hottest releases. What sets the Perseus apart is its innovative design. It’s Joola’s first paddle made using unibody thermoformed technology, a process they call “fully encased/carbon-wrapped.” This means it’s a powerful paddle with exceptional control all over the court.
The unique thermoforming and the introduction of a “charged carbon surface” give it a firm feel, distinguishing it from the Hyperion. However, like its counterpart, the Perseus maintains a solid sweet spot thanks to the foam-injection perimeter weighting.
At first glance, you might not notice a significant difference between the Perseus and the Hyperion. They share a 5.5″ long handle and have the same overall length. But on closer inspection, you’ll see that the Perseus boasts a more traditional elongated face with a squared-off shape, while the Hyperion has a rounded/hybrid top.
What’s truly impressive is that despite the more square-topped face, the Perseus feels lighter and more agile in your hand compared to the head-heavy Hyperion.
In this Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle Review, we’ll delve deeper into what makes this paddle a game-changer for pickleball enthusiasts. So, let’s jump in and explore the remarkable features that set the Perseus apart from the rest!
Technical Specifications of Joola Perseus Pickleball Paddle
- Shape: Elongated
- Core thickness: 16mm & 14mm versions
- Face: Raw Toray T700 raw carbon fiber textured finish
- Average weight: 8.0 oz
- Grip length: 5.5”
- Swing Weight: (116 – 16mm) (112 – 14mm)
- Twistweight: (5.87 – 16mm) (5.77 – 14mm)
- Grip size: (4.25” – 16mm) (4.125″ – 14mm)
- Core: “Reactive” polypropylene honeycomb
- Total length: 16.5”
- Width: 7.5”
- Warranty: 6 months for manufacturer defects
Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle Review
The face of a pickleball paddle plays a crucial role in determining how the ball interacts with the paddle. In the case of the Joola Project Perseus, the paddle face boasts a Carbon Friction surface. This specially treated surface provides a unique texture that enhances performance on the court.
The Carbon Friction technology on the Perseus paddle offers a balance between grip and power. It provides an advanced, durable, and longer-lasting textured surface known as Carbon-Flex5. This feature harnesses raw power while maximizing spin capabilities. With this innovation, players can expect a paddle face that not only delivers consistent performance but also holds up to the rigors of competitive play.
The core of a pickleball paddle is the foundation of its performance characteristics. The Perseus paddle boasts a Reactive Honeycomb core, specially tuned to meet the demands of high-level play.
The Reactive Honeycomb core is engineered to provide a level of consistency in bounce and feel necessary for executing precision shots. This core design ensures that players can rely on the paddle to deliver the performance they need in crucial moments of the game. Whether it’s a powerful drive or a delicate touch shot, the Perseus core is finely tuned to respond to the player’s intentions.
Dimensions and Weight
The dimensions and weight of a pickleball paddle are key factors in determining its playability. The Perseus paddle is designed with specific measurements to strike a balance between power, control, and maneuverability.
The Perseus paddle measures 16.5 inches in length and 7.5 inches in width. This size provides a versatile platform that allows players to excel in various aspects of the game. Whether it’s executing powerful drives or precise finesse shots, the dimensions of the Perseus paddle cater to a well-rounded playing style.
Weighing in at approximately 8 ounces, the Perseus paddle strikes a balance that caters to a wide range of players. It’s not too heavy, allowing for quick maneuvering, and not too light, ensuring that players can generate power when needed. This average weight is designed to provide a comfortable and effective playing experience for players of different skill levels.
Handle and Grip
The handle and grip of a pickleball paddle are critical aspects of player comfort and control. The Perseus paddle is equipped with features designed to enhance both.
The Perseus paddle features a Feel-Tec Pure grip, offering players an optimal combination of tackiness for enhanced grip and comfort for extended play sessions. This specialized grip material ensures that players can maintain a secure hold on the paddle, even in high-intensity moments of the game.
The Perseus paddle comes with a 5.5-inch grip length and a 4.25-inch grip circumference. This provides players with a comfortable and customizable grip that caters to different hand sizes and preferences. A well-fitted grip enhances control and reduces the risk of mishits during gameplay.
Performance Rating of Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle
In this section we will evaluate the performance of Joola Perseus, how it performed on the court.
The Perseus paddle packs a punch, delivering impressive power on speed-ups and drives. Serves come in fast and deep right from the start, thanks to Joola’s cutting-edge unibody thermo production methods.
This innovation brings a level of power previously unseen in their models. The Perseus stands out with its firm, stiff, and poppy feel, distinguishing it from the softer Hyperion line. It’s a top choice for singles play, offering a significant boost in power output.
While the Perseus is a powerhouse, it doesn’t quite match the raw power of some recent prominent thermoformed paddles. It doesn’t hit as hard as the Six Zero Black Diamond or CRBN 1X.
Compared to the Hyperion, the Perseus offers a firmer and poppier feel. While it excels in dropping, blocking, resetting, and dinking, it may not outshine some other thermoformed paddles.
The Hyperion still holds the crown for controllability, offering a more forgiving sweet spot. The Perseus, however, has a slightly smaller and less forgiving sweet spot, demanding a touch more precision in play.
The size of the sweet spot on the Perseus may leave some players wanting more, especially on the 14mm version. In contrast, other thermoformed paddles boast generous sweet spots that forgive off-center hits. The Perseus tends to yield a clunkier response and a less lively ball when struck off-center.
While the Perseus offers good spin, it doesn’t quite reach the top-tier level. Its surface texture resembles that of the Hyperion, which, though effective, doesn’t match the friction-focused surfaces found in leading spinning paddles. These high-spin options often rely more on subtle grip and friction rather than aggressive grit.
Some top spinning paddles maintain their spin capabilities longer than gritty surfaces. The Perseus exhibits slightly more spin than the Hyperion, providing ample topspin and effective backspin, but it doesn’t achieve the highest echelons of spinning prowess.
The Perseus takes the crown as the poppiest among Joola paddles. The ball swiftly departs the paddle face, especially when compared to the Hyperion. While it boasts high pop, it falls slightly short of the Black Diamond and CRBN Power series. It aligns closely with the Vatic Pro Flash, delivering a potent blend of power and precision.
While the Perseus excels in fast-paced play, it requires a touch more finesse for soft game shots like dinks and resets, compared to the Hyperion.
A significant upgrade from the Hyperion, the Perseus is notably lighter and easier to swing. Its reduced swing weight and improved balance make for faster, more agile gameplay.
Unlike its predecessor, the Hyperion, the Perseus features a unibody thermoformed design, enhancing handle strength. Initial signs suggest a promising shift away from the handle durability issues experienced with the Hyperion.
At $250, the Perseus is a premium choice. While it delivers exceptional performance, there are comparable options available at a lower price point. Thermoformed paddles like the Six Zero Black Diamond, Legacy Pro, Ronbus Pulsar, and Vatic Pro provide excellent alternatives, often at a more attractive price.
Choosing the Thickness: 14mm vs. 16mm
Opting for the 16mm version offers increased stability and a larger sweet spot, making it ideal for touch and resets. Meanwhile, the 14mm prioritizes speed and power, making it a solid choice for players seeking an aggressive playstyle.
Stability: A 16mm paddle typically offers more stability due to its slightly larger size. This can be advantageous when it comes to blocking, volleys, and returns as it provides a larger hitting surface.
Forgiveness: The larger sweet spot on a 16mm paddle can be more forgiving of off-center hits. This means you have a bit more room for error when making contact with the ball, resulting in consistent shots.
Control: A 16mm paddle may provide better control, especially for touch shots, drops, and dinks. The added stability helps in making precise placements.
Weight: These paddles may have a slightly heavier feel due to their thicker core, which can provide more plow-through on the ball.
Speed: A 14mm paddle is generally lighter, which translates to quicker hand speed. If you prefer a paddle that allows for faster reactions and agility, the 14mm option could be more suitable.
Power: While 14mm paddles can generate power, they may not be as powerful as their 16mm counterparts. If you rely on aggressive drives and smashes, you might want to consider whether you’re willing to sacrifice some power for speed.
Maneuverability: The reduced weight of a 14mm paddle makes it easier to maneuver at the net, especially during fast-paced exchanges. It’s a preferred choice for players who value agility and rapid responses.
Touch Shots: For players who excel in soft game shots, such as dinks and resets, a 14mm paddle’s lighter and quicker nature can help in achieving precise touch shots.
Choosing between a 16mm and 14mm pickleball paddle depends on your playing style and priorities. If you value stability, forgiveness, and control, a 16mm paddle might be your choice. On the other hand, if you prioritize speed, maneuverability, and agility, a 14mm paddle could be more suitable. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference and finding the right balance that complements your game.
Pros of Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle
Great Power: The Perseus paddle is known for its exceptional power, making it an excellent choice for players who prefer aggressive and dynamic playstyles. It delivers authoritative shots and strong serves with ease.
Excellent Control: Despite its impressive power, the Perseus maintains a high level of control. Players can execute precise shots, including drops, blocks, resets, and dinks, with confidence.
Exceptional Spin: The paddle’s Carbon Friction surface technology enhances spin capabilities, allowing players to add finesse and spin to their shots, providing an extra layer of control and strategy.
Impressive Hand Speed: With a reduced swing weight compared to its predecessor, the Hyperion, the Perseus offers exceptional hand speed. This allows for quicker reactions and more agile movements on the court.
Durable Construction: The unibody thermoformed design of the Perseus addresses previous durability concerns, particularly in the handle area. This enhancement provides players with a paddle that is built to last.
Cons of Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle
Sweet Spot Size: Some players may find the sweet spot on the Perseus to be slightly smaller compared to other paddles in its class. Off-center hits may not yield as consistent results.
Price Point: The Perseus is priced at a premium level, which may be a consideration for budget-conscious players. There are some other options at lower price point.
Grip Aesthetics: Some users have noted that the handle area of the Perseus may have an uneven appearance. While this may not affect performance, it could be a minor aesthetic concern for some players.
Alternative Options: Depending on individual playing styles and preferences, players may find other paddles on the market that better suit their specific needs, especially in terms of sweet spot size and spin capabilities.
Who Should Buy the Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle?
The Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle is a high-performance paddle that caters to a specific set of players who can fully leverage its features. Let’s explore who should consider adding the Perseus to their pickleball arsenal.
Advanced and Intermediate Players
If you’re an advanced or intermediate pickleball player looking to take your game to the next level, the Perseus paddle offers the ideal blend of power and control. Its power-focused design and responsive technology make it a natural choice for players who are comfortable with the nuances of the game.
Aggressive Playstyle Enthusiasts
For those who prefer an aggressive playstyle characterized by poaching, driving, and speeding up the game, the Perseus is an excellent fit. Its ability to deliver authoritative shots and quick hand speed makes it a formidable weapon for players who like to dominate the court.
Those Seeking Enhanced Durability
If you’ve experienced durability issues with previous paddles, particularly handle breakage, the Perseus addresses these concerns. Its unibody thermoformed construction ensures that the handle area is robust and less prone to breakage, providing peace of mind for players who want a durable investment.
Players Transitioning from the Hyperion
If you’ve been using the Hyperion paddle and are looking for an upgrade, the Perseus offers a harder-hitting, quicker-moving, and more durable alternative. While it may require a bit of adjustment due to its stiffer feel, the added benefits in power and durability make it a compelling choice for Hyperion users.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle?
While the Joola Project Perseus Pickleball Paddle excels in various aspects, it may not be the ideal choice for every player. Let’s explore situations where the Perseus may not be the best fit.
Novice players who are new to pickleball may find the Perseus paddle to be too advanced for their skill level. Its power and responsiveness could be challenging to control for beginners who are still honing their fundamental skills.
The Perseus paddle is priced at a premium level, which may not align with the budget of some players. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option without compromising on performance, there are competitively priced paddles available.
Players with Specific Aesthetic Preferences
Some players have noted minor aesthetic concerns with the handle area of the Perseus, such as uneven shaping material. If the aesthetics of the paddle are a significant consideration for you, and you prefer a paddle with a flawless appearance, you may want to explore other options.