Most Expensive Pickleball Paddle
There is a common idea that more expensive equipment equals better equipment, and pickleball paddles are no exception. Some people will pay an excessive amount of money for something expensive, believing it to be the best option out there. This could be so in some cases, but is this true for pickleball paddles? Which is the most expensive pickleball paddle, and is it worth the price?
The most expensive pickleball paddle is the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16, which sells for approximately $240. It is an impressive paddle, and nobody complains about the price tag, stating that it has excellent performance. But there are some complaints about sub-standard manufacturing quality.
There are many contenders for the most expensive pickleball paddle, but the JOOLA Ben Johns signature paddle stands out since it costs $30 more than the second-most expensive. But why is the paddle so expensive, and is it worth spending such a massive amount of money on it? Let’s find out.
Buy the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 on Amazon below.
The Most Expensive Pickleball Paddle Yet
Like other sports equipment, pickleball paddles aren’t cheap, and the general rule is that you get what you pay for. Settling for an unknown brand paddle just to save a few dollars usually isn’t worth it. Thankfully, the most expensive pickleball paddle doesn’t fall into that category – it’s not from an unknown brand and won’t save you a few dollars, either.
The JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16
The most expensive pickleball paddle you can find right now is the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16, and you can find it on Amazon for approximately $240. To put that price in perspective, you can get a kit with two pickleball paddles from Rally (which is a good and well-respected brand), with protective covers and four pickleballs, for $10 less.
The so-called Ben Johns Signature paddle is exceptional, though. It has many aspects and features that make it worth the price for any serious pickleball player. So, what makes it so expensive?
What Makes The Ben Johns Signature Paddle So Expensive?
No expense was spared when JOOLA teamed up with Ben Johns to design and manufacture this paddle. They aimed to make the best pickleball paddle ever, and for the most part, they succeeded.
The first thing to mention is that JOOLA is the official paddle sponsor for the PPA tour. JOOLA paddles are used in most (if not all) professional pickleball matches, so the company has an excellent reputation among pickleball players everywhere. Add to that the fact that JOOLA has made pickleball and table tennis paddles for over seven decades, and you have the makings of a brilliant product.
The second aspect is Ben Johns. As the world’s number one pickleball champion, he has the experience to know what makes a good paddle. JOOLA is also the paddle sponsor for Ben Johns, so it was a natural next step for the company and the player to team up. Johns was involved in the design of the paddle from the start, adding his experience to JOOLA’s expertise to make something great.
The paddle was made using only the most exclusive and high-performance materials.
At its heart, the paddle has a reactive polypropylene honeycomb core. This material ensures consistency in the way the ball bounces off the paddle, making your shots more predictable and easier to drive the ball exactly how you intend to. It also reduces the vibrations that bounce back into your hand, ensuring you maintain optimal control of your paddle.
JOOLA also injected a specialized foam into the edge wall of the paddle. This foam is intended to increase the paddle’s weight, which makes it an excellent paddle for aggressive and offensive players. This Hyperfoam edge wall is based on proprietary JOOLA technologies and patents, so you will not find this specific combination of materials in any other paddle.
JOOLA also added its CFS (carbon friction surface) technology to the surface of the paddles. This Carbon-Flex5 surface is more advanced and durable than other surfaces, which makes the paddle last longer. It helps to add power and spin to your shots.
It’s also worth mentioning that the paddle is approved by USAPA (the USA Pickleball Association), which means you can use it in any professional pickleball tournament or competition. It’s the least you would expect after paying so much for a paddle.
The last aspect that makes this paddle so expensive is, of course, in its nickname: Ben Johns’ signature. Most people recognize this as a marketing ploy, but adding the signature of a famous player, especially one of Ben Johns’ caliber, ensures that the paddle will have some value as a collector’s item many years from now.
Is The Paddle Worth The Price? What Do The Players Say?
In this scenario, the preconceived notion about the most expensive things being the best is true. The JOOLA Ben Johns pickleball paddle is the most highly rated pickleball paddle on Amazon and various other online stores that sell sporting goods. On Amazon, in particular, it is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from 241 ratings. But there are both good and bad things that players say about it.
As we can gather from the ratings, the overwhelming response is positive. 4.8 out of 5 people say that it’s an excellent paddle. Interestingly, even those few who gave one- or two-star ratings admit that the paddle is incredible, though they have complaints, too, but more on that in a little while.
Some of the aspects that people are impressed with are:
- The fact that it suits an aggressive and offensive play strategy. This type of paddle will help you get out of a defensive position and take the offensive in any match. It is ideally suited to fast power shots.
- The added spin. Even players who have used Engage paddles before rave about the Ben Johns Signature paddle’s ability to add even more spin than Engage, which is known for its exceptional spin. This will give you an easy advantage in any pickleball game.
- How solid it feels. You will immediately detect the exceptional craftsmanship of this paddle from the very first moment you pick it up. It feels solid in your hands and can almost seem like a true extension of your arm, which is what all pickleball paddles should feel like.
- The weight. The paddle is heavy, and there’s no doubt about that. But in most cases, people compliment the paddle on its weight because it helps you to deliver better power shots without putting too much force behind the paddle. You just move, and the paddle’s weight does the rest.
- Balance. Some players say they’ve never played with a more perfectly balanced paddle than the Ben Johns Signature. These players love the fact that it’s balanced with a preference for the front of the paddle, which adds to your power shots.
- The grip. A less common compliment, but one that does pop up a few times, is that the paddle has an excellent grip that feels comfortable, doesn’t require too much strain, but is still easy to grip in your hand without slipping.
Generally speaking, professional players recommend this paddle for any players with a rating of 3.7 or above that want to improve their game. Even people who’ve been playing for years suddenly found that their game improved exponentially when they switched to the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 paddle. It’s incredible that such a tiny thing could make so much difference.
Unfortunately, there are also some complaints, and especially if you’re planning to buy such an expensive product, you should be aware of these potential pitfalls before you put any money forward.
- The weight. This aspect is both a compliment and a complaint, and the comments appear slightly inconsistent. Still, it’s worth mentioning that a number of players complained about the paddle being so heavy that it hurt their wrists or reignited a tennis elbow. And these comments aren’t from inexperienced players but people who play four times per week.
However, we should also mention that most of them talk about how you do eventually get used to the weight. So, even though it’s a challenge in the beginning, especially if you’re used to lighter paddles or if you’re new to the game, it will get better eventually as you grow accustomed to the paddle’s weight.
- There are some manufacturing quality complaints. Some players have experienced that the paddle starts to show damage within a few weeks of playing with it, including chips in the surface material and the carbon face peeling off in certain areas.
These complaints are not common or frequent at all, so it’s possible that these players were simply unlucky enough to get a few duds, but it’s important to know what you might be getting yourself into when you buy the paddle.
- The fact that the warranty only allows replacement paddles for 30 days after purchase. Some players only noticed defects in their paddles after a month, and by then, it was too late to exchange the paddle since JOOLA only allows 30 days for exchanges.
- The price. Since we are discussing the most expensive pickleball paddle, this should be no surprise, but a few players complain about the price. Many of them say that the Ben Johns Signature is similar in performance to the JOOLA Essentials paddle, and even though the Ben Johns is still better, they find that the difference doesn’t justify the extra $180.
- The fact that it’s nearly identical to much cheaper paddles. The CRBN1 pickleball paddle, for example, uses similar materials and is almost identical in shape and quality to the JOOLA Ben Johns Signature, but it’s about $60 cheaper. In terms of performance, the difference between the two paddles is slight, but in terms of price, the difference is quite sizeable.
So now you know which pickleball paddle is the most expensive at the moment. What if you don’t want to spend so much money right now but still want an excellent and expensive pickleball paddle? Maybe one of the runners-up will be perfect for you.
Number 2: Engage Pursuit MX And EX
The Engage Pursuit range is popular with players of all caliber and skill levels. The Pursuit MX and EX, in particular, are almost perfectly matched with the JOOLA Ben Johns Signature paddle in most aspects, including materials and size. The Pursuit’s weights and shapes are different, and they are much lighter paddles to play with.
At approximately $210, the Engage Pursuit is $30 cheaper than the JOOLA paddle but almost every bit as good. Engage is a reputable pickleball brand, and the Pursuit MX and EX are both USAPA-approved, so the paddles are good enough for the pros.
Number 3: Gearbox CX14E
Some professional players regard the Gearbox CX14 and CX14E as better paddles than the JOOLA Ben Johns. The Gearbox paddles are similar in weight, but they have better balance which makes it seem like they weigh less, making them easier to control.
Depending on the model you’re going for, the Gearbox CX14E sells for around $200, which is a considerable saving of about $40. For a paddle of this caliber, played by so many professionals and with such excellent reviews and ratings, the CX14E might be a better option than the JOOLA Ben Johns Signature.
Number 4: Diadem Warrior
This paddle is a diamond in the rough. The name is relatively unknown because Diadem is a small business that privately manufactures pickleball paddles. However, the company also owns several proprietary technologies that make for a very impressive paddle.
The Diadem Warrior has a so-called 3X L-Core. This means that its 19mm core comprises three layers – two layers of polypropylene honeycomb that surround a central layer of aramid honeycomb. This mixture leads to exceptional stability and power.
Apart from that, the Warrior also boasts a carbon fiber surface just like that of the JOOLA Ben Johns. It has a Grit Paint surface to add some extra spin to the ball and give the player more control.
Its price is almost exactly the same as that of the Gearbox CX14, at approximately $199. However, this is an even better paddle based on player reviews and ratings. If you’re the type of person who likes to support small businesses and explore relatively unknown brands, the Diadem Warrior is a great paddle that’s still expensive, even though it isn’t as well-known as some others.
The most expensive pickleball paddle you can buy today is the JOOLA Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16mm. Despite its slightly outrageous price, it is an exceptional paddle that is widely regarded as the best paddle to up your game. There’s some debate about whether it’s worth the extra costs, but sometimes it’s best to try and play a game with it, then decide if it’s the right paddle for you.