The classic in classic design: The Barracuda manages the balancing act between speed freak and soul surfer.
For the Y25 anniversary collection, the Italians offer the Barracuda by shaper and Cape Town local Ralf Bachschuster in two construction methods: Classic PU and the slightly cheaper LTE construction. In the review, we look at the Classic version.
A surfboard feeling as authentic as possible is the goal of RRD's Classic PU construction. Various layers of fiberglass mats are laminated around the polyurethane core in different grammages and layering directions. In between, a thin layer of bamboo gives the board additional stability. The standing surface is reinforced by biaxially laid 200-gram fiberglass. The construction is said to offer a balanced mix of flex and durability. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that due to the construction of filigree PU glass boards, the plus in feel and ride characteristics is accompanied by increased susceptibility to damage to the outer shell. The outline of the Barracuda has been slightly widened towards the nose, while the combination of the pintail and the lightweight wings is intended to improve grip and turning characteristics at the same time. The mono concave runs throughout the board and the medium rocker line is said to deliver a good balance between speed and smoothness in choppy water. Add to that a little more volume in the middle for higher lift and narrow rails for biting grip.
Once you have come to terms with the somewhat coarser and quite hard pads of the Barracuda, you quickly gain confidence in the board. Due to the higher volume, it jumps greedily even in the lowest wind range. It accelerates effortlessly and immediately impresses with its easy to retrieve and very free gliding behavior. Even in rough choppy water, you feel like you're smoothly ironing over the gravel road in a full-suspension rally Quattro with your foot on the gas pedal. Although it sits a bit higher than the Duotone in the water, it offers no less smoothness, damping and excellent ride comfort. It is also enormously forgiving in the stance position and only stutters late. The Barracuda scores with its great feel. It feels significantly softer than the UC design from last year and provides very defined feedback. The setup is comfortable, but by no means sluggish. For speed freaks, the edge offers high grip even on choppy slopes, but doesn't bite uncontrollably and can be used in a controlled manner. The speed potential of the Duotone is in the medium to high range. The slim speed-needles offer a bit more top speed, but are more demanding and nervous to ride and less versatile. With straps in the wave, one is immediately inclined to do the same as Shaper Bachschuster. The Barracuda likes to be nailed into the wave with a lot of pressure in explosive turns, so that meter-high walls of spray rise from the lip. Its high agility helps it do this. Edge changes require hardly any power and only the blink of an eye. It can also be carved smoothly in large radii and at high speed. If you feel stylistically more like a surfer, the Barracuda is a very good strapless board that absorbs the energy of the wave very quickly and can be surfed with a lot of flow and little effort in pretty much all wave sizes.
One of the best all-rounders - with and without straps. The Barracuda offers a successful mix of surf feeling and full-throttle down-the-line baller. At the same time it scores with its sporty character paired with pleasantly easy handling and a lot of control and comfort.
For the anniversary RRD has released a Kiteboard Collection. This collection includes the following 5 kiteboards.