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Joola Perseus 14mm Paddle Review: Touchy with a Focus on Aerodynamics

This paddle is better than what I’ve seen in the past, but is the price justifiable?

(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Update as of December 14th, 2023: This paddle has held up better than the Joola Vision after months of hard play. It has remained my #1 choice because of its power and the way the grip feels in my hand. Even though the sweet spot is smaller than average, I end up being able to defend well at the net because it is so easy to move around. It’s a very snappy & punch paddle that I still would recommend today.

Verdict
It’s not for everyone, but it does shine in certain hands. It’s well suited for intermediate to advanced players who know their way around the court. They’ll have the skills to compensate for its lack of spin and to make the most of its power and speed. Its design makes it a fit choice for players who love to reach out and nab those shots that seems just out of touch. However, if you’re just starting out and you rely heavily on spin and a big sweet-spot to befuddle your opponents, I’d look elsewhere because the Perseus can be a bit unforgiving for newbies. There are better picks out there. In my book, the Perseus is a decent paddle, but for the price tag, it could have been a bit more than just decent.

View at Just Paddles
SpecsDescription
Paddle Weight7.8 oz
Paddle Face MaterialCharged Carbon Surface Technology
Paddle Core MaterialHoneycomb Polypropylene Core
Paddle ShapeElongated
Paddle Length16 1/2″
Paddle Width7 1/2”
Grip Size4.125”
Handle Length5 1/2”

First Look

After waiting months, it’s finally hit the streets, or at least my streets, and of coarse it’s the talk of the town. The handle caters to a two hand back hand, perfect for those who have larger hands, which I love. There is not a noticeable boxy feel when you grip the handle either, which is an undesirable thing that I see in many paddles. I can tell there is much less swing weight resistance in the Perseus 14mm compared to my old 16mm Hyperion or Vision, which I swear has a hidden backwards air dam somewhere on it.

(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Background Research

Joola has been a game-changer in the pickleball industry for some time, with its tech features and quality. As the brains behind the much-loved Joola Hyperion CFS, they’ve demonstrated that they can bring remarkable products to market. The Perseus is Joola’s most recent creation and has been highly anticipated. Aimed at players who favor a combination of power and speed, it has an elongated shape, raw carbon fiber face, and polymer core. But can it match the hype?

Build Quality and Design

Enhanced Handle Durability & Thermoforming

We all remember how fragile the handle of the Hyperion was, right? Fortunately, Joola has made a real effort to fix this. They’ve used a process called thermoforming – a fancy way of saying that the entire paddle, including the handle, is one solid piece. Chances are you won’t be snapping this one anytime soon.

Improved Swing Weight: Power without Strain

The Perseus also got a swing weight upgrade, meaning it is much easier to swing and has less drag, enabling you to generate more power without having to sling your arm out of the socket.

The Perseus features a raw carbon fiber face, which is almost the new norm because it provides a lot of texture to influence the ball response. It has foam edge walls that help with stability and I’m glad to see they included a standard edge guard design as opposed to an edgeless design that isn’t functional.

I think the 4.25 inch grip circumference and 5.5′ length feels very nice, I never complained about how the grip while I was using it. The Perseus has good maneuverability and power, but a little short on control. If this paddle was any lighter I think controlling it would be a nightmare.

shows handle is good
(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Managing Expectations

Keep in mind, pickleball paddles in general are just not that durable. If you play often you’re going to need to replace paddle eventually, even if you spend $250.

Not sure what this line is that I noticed towards the handle, it almost looks like two different layers of raw carbon fiber were forged. You need really good eyes to see it…

(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Performance Review & User Experience

Inconsistent Grit and Spin

There’s an issue of ‘grit’ on the surface of the paddle. In simple terms, the roughness is inconsistent from paddle to paddle. It’s a bit of a gamble whether you’ll get a rough one or smooth one. Also the spin doesn’t quite cut it compared to some others. It’s not bad, it’s just not wow. If you’re someone who plays aggressively, doesn’t mind a bit of inconsistency in the amount of ‘grit’ across the paddle face, and money is not a big deal, then the Perseus could be your new partner.

Trade-Offs

Achieving spin with the Perseus is generally satisfactory but not at the absolute top-of-the-line level. The weight distribution and balance are definitely well-calibrated. The Pursues has a reduced soft game performance compared to the Hyperion. While it offers good control, the stiffer feel and smaller sweet spot make it slightly less forgiving and requires more precision. But after I dialed it in, I actually LOVED this paddle in the kitchen, until someone speeds it up, then having a small sweet spot turns into a downfall.

(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Adjustment and Adaptation

The predictability of shots may vary, as hitting off center can result in a less consistent and slightly dead feel that sounds like a clunk… You have to be precise and focused for every shot, so If you are accustomed to the Hyperion or any paddle that has a plush feel, you may need some time to adjust, but I think it’s worth it.

Power

The core has a considerable amount power if you use it correctly. My friend noticed it immediately saying,

“your serves are definitely faster.”

David Bell

I was previously using the Vision. With the Vision or something of that nature it was impossible for me to intimidate anyone with my serve, but the 14mm Perseus has a firm, stiff, and poppy feel that has better output than most, and I’d say it’s a great paddle for singles.

Endurance Test in Florida’s Heat

I tested this paddle outdoors in Florida, sheltered under a canopy of oak trees. Despite the temperature hovering around 95 degrees with high humidity, I was pleasantly surprised that the Joola Perseus paddle showed no signs of bending even after several hours of play. This was in stark contrast to my previous experience with the Joola Vision paddle, which would noticeably bend and soften up after extended use.

Comparison

I wanted to stack the Perseus up against the Vision, which is half the price.

full photo of Perseus paddle
(Image credit: Dan Langston)
(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Durability and Performance

If durability is your main concern, the Perseus stands out due to its thermoforming process that creates a one-piece paddle, and is less likely to snap compared to other models. On the other hand, the Vision, while not a one-piece design, holds up well under rough play and doesn’t show significant flex, even in warmer climates.

Power and Spin: Perseus vs. Vision

In terms of performance, the Perseus is designed with power in mind, due to its swing weight upgrade and stiffness. This makes it a strong choice for intermediate to advanced players who value power shots and serves. However, the Vision excels in its ability to produce a high amount of spin on the ball, adding an extra flair to your shots and making it a fun choice for players at any stage of their pickleball journey.

Sweet Spot and Precision

The Perseus’s smaller sweet spot demands precision from the player. Conversely, the Vision impresses with its forgiving large sweet spot and consistent performance, making it easier for players to master their shots.

Cost and Value

When considering cost and value, the Perseus may seem a bit pricey for what it offers. It’s a powerful and durable paddle, but its less-than-optimal spin and sweet spot may not justify the cost for some players. On the other hand, the Vision, while also not cheap, provides a reasonable price for its combination of soft feel, accuracy, control, and spin, making it an attractive option for a larger pool of people.

About Dan Langston

With experience in the ecotourism industry and time well spent as a fly fishing guide in the remote absaroka mountain range for 6 years, Dan brings a unique perspective on customer service to the digital world. As the operator, Dan is now committed to revitalizing Pickleball Portal and plans to build a digital support system for content creators and provide helpful information for the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

2 thoughts on “Joola Perseus 14mm Paddle Review: Touchy with a Focus on Aerodynamics”

  1. You should have been a politician. You sound more like somebody that doesn’t want a ruffle any feathers than somebody who wants to give the layman some sound advice. A reviewer without integrity is not much of a reviewer.

    Reply
    • Hi Will, I understand that you may have found my approach to be overly cautious or lacking in directness. I encourage you to share your insights in the comments if you believe there’s anything negative I might have missed.

      I value integrity and take it seriously in my role as a reviewer. While I understand that my style may not resonate with everyone, I hope that you can appreciate the effort I put into providing thoughtful and unbiased guidance. I’m always open to constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement, so if you have any specific concerns or topics you’d like me to address, I would be happy to consider them.

      Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. I believe diverse opinions contribute to a healthy discussion, and I’m committed to continually refining my content to better serve the pickleball community.

      Reply

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