Looking for a new pickleball paddle? Check out our thoughts in this week’s breakdown as we dive into the In-depth Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CFS16mm Pickleball Paddle Review
Joola’s Explosion into The Pickleball World
Joola made quite a lot of noise in the pickleball world recently.
Rumors were circling in December of 2021 that Ben Johns, typically viewed as the best pickleball player in the world, was leaving his paddle sponsorship with Franklin.
Although many knew he had signed a three-year contract with Franklin in 2019, where his next contract would lie was a topic of great interest in the pickleball rumor mill: would he choose a traditional choice such as Engage or Selkirk, one of the newer kids on the block like Electrum or CRBN, or something completely off the grid?
In what was breaking news, Ben signed with Joola Pickleball – yes, the 70-year-old table tennis (ping pong) manufacturer.
Details of the agreement aren’t yet publicly known, but Joola, whose American tag line is, “Next Generation Equipment,” surely couldn’t be happier to gain such a high-profile athlete as it makes its debut into the pickleball market.
The initial demand for the Joola Ben Johns pickleball paddle was staggering. We originally were unable to get our hands on the signature paddle because it sold out so quickly.
Within two weeks, however, the Joola Hyperion Ben Johns CFS 16 was back in stock and we got ours at the MSRP, $220. Looking today, several websites have the paddle in stock, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find moving forward.
Joola Hyperion Ben Johns CFS 16mm Pickleball Paddle
Weight: 8.5 ounces
Grip Circumference: 4 1/4″
Handle Length: 5.5″
Paddle Face Material: Carbon Friction Surface (CFS)
Core Material: Reactive Polymer Core
Core Thickness: 16mm (0.63″)
Our Thoughts: The Joola Ben Johns Pickleball Paddle Review
Writing paddle reviews generally fall in one of two camps: tedious and cumbersome, or joyful and refreshing.
If the long introduction doesn’t give away the type of paddle review this is, I will come right out and say it: the Joola Ben Johns Pro Series Hyperion paddle is an absolute joy to play with.
Out of the case, the paddle has a simple design. The traditional rectangular face gives way to a slightly rounder contour at the top. The handle is extended, with a ribbed tacky grip.
Our Joola Hyperion CFS 16mm paddle weighed a hefty 8.5 oz in stock form. With slight modifications to increase playability, our paddle now weighs 8.8 oz. We added a bit of weight added at the rounded bottom of the face to increase control, tape to protect the edge guard, and grip tape on the handle to decrease the depth caused by the ridges.
Make no mistake, however, this comes to you heavy, and you feel the weight instantly.
The 16mm paddle has a “Carbon Friction Surface” (i.e., gritty plastic face) and imparts moderate spin. While similar to Ben’s previous Franklin model, it doesn’t compare to the Electrum or CRBN paddle face for grit and consequent spin.
However, the surface plays true, and after just two times sampling the paddle, we had to clean the face because the grit was biting at tiny pieces of the pickleballs.
The control of the paddle is simply unmatched. Every dink, drop, and drive felt natural and complete. The only two paddles we have used with similar control are the Prince Response Pro (Simone Jardim model) and the Selkirk Vanguard S2 (with the Quad Carbon face). Even these two paddles seem to be a downgrade from the control offered by the Joola Hyperion.
The power is more than adequate, even if the Joola Ben Johns is not the most powerful paddle we have used. Overheads, when struck precisely and accurately, were a done deal.
The Selkirk Mach 6 Vanguard Power and the Joey Farias model Gearbox GX6 Power offer truly unmatched power, but neither offer much else in the categories of control, touch, or spin.
At the net, we initially felt a little lost in hands battles. More than anything, the stock weight of the paddle kept us a half-step behind. However, one drill session later and we were able to find all the weapons in our arsenal.
Attacks, resets (simply unmatched with this paddle!), roll volleys – all turned into the expected positive results.
We would be remiss not to mention two reported quality concerns of the Joola Hyperion Ben Johns CFS 16mm.
- The first is a quickly loosening end cap on the handle, where a home fix seems to be all that is needed.
- The second is a loosening of the edge guard that can occur with a simple mishit.
Reports have it breaking away from the frame in as little as a couple of hours of play, but it should be noted that this frustrating tendency can happen with all paddles with an edge guard and isn’t unique to the Ben Johns CFS model.
Our handle and edge guard are still intact, and we have tested it rigorously thus far.
Final Thoughts: Joola Ben Johns Pickleball Paddle
In conclusion, we find this paddle to be the favorite we have used. The only potential negative characteristic of the Joola Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 is the stock weight.
If you are used to playing with something closer to 8.0 oz, this paddle’s mass will be noticeable. However, it is an excellent paddle in every other way we can imagine.
With new paddles on the horizon, we will continue to test and review them as we are able (we especially look forward to the Electrum Pro II and the Diadem Warrior 2 – both in the near future). In the meantime, this paddle will be our paddle of choice for both recreational and tournament play.
- Unparalleled touch
- Admirable spin
- Notable power
- Attractive & unique design
Playability Score: Joola Hyperion Ben Johns CFS 16mm Pickleball Paddle
- Price ($220)
- Stock weight (8.5 oz isn’t for everyone)