Burton Barracuda 2015 - 2012 Review by The Good Ride
The Burton Barracuda is a very nice blend of the positive qualities of the discontinued Supermodel and Malolo. It’s a great choice for anyone who lives for surfy directional riding in powder and surfing good soft morning groomers after the powder stoke is gone.
The 2015 Burton Barracuda added squeeze box core profiling which means it’s thinner in some places and thicker in others to give the board a more natural flex when the bindings are on. So squeeze box tech isn’t as noticeable with a Powder/Freeride board like it is with the Barracuda as it is with a board like the Burton Process Flying V. So it does have a better flex and a little better ride but it’s still pretty similar to the 2014 Barracuda and the same review still stands.
Size: 157, 161 & 165
Condtions- Shin to Knee High Pow, Packed Pow, hard pack with a little loose snow.
Riders: James, Mary and a few people not on the site.
Stance Width: 21″,23″ and 23.5
Stance Angles: Mary- 18 front and 6 back. James and the other riders 18 front and -3 back
The Burton Barracuda is a nice combo of the Burton Supermodel and Burton Malolo. We felt the Supermodel needed a hybrid camber upgrade to make powder riding a little more effortless but if it did it would be very similar to the Malolo. So we liked that Burton brought these two boards into one and created many sizing options. It really offers the best of both worlds. It’s surfy without being too washy and makes for a perfrect powder 1st Groomer 2nd board. It’s for those that like to get surfy but don’t want to be super surfy/off the tail like you do with the Burton Fish. It also has more groomer appeal for those that can’t always ride powder but take a surfy style approach to riding at all times and conditions.
On Snow Feel: The Burton Barracuda is stable between the feet and stable when its set all the way back. It’s got camber in the tail but it’s not catchy. The design is made to excell in powder but still do a pretty good job when it comes to directional groomer riding. It’s very easy to one foot off the chair and flat bases very well across a long cat track. It’s definitely a surfy ride even on a groomer day. There is a pronounced bit of camber over the back foot that then transitions rather quickly to a mild rocker before front binding. As it gets closer to the nose the rocker becomes more pronounced. It gives you a nice traditional camber feel of pop off the tail while also giving you the same kind of easy float that rocker boards do without feeling loose between the feet or better yet catchy. Here is a pick of the camber profile to get an idea of how much rocker there is and how back seat the camber is.
Powder: In my humble opinion this is about one of the best directional rides you can get in powder. It’s surfy but not so off the tail surfy that it feels awkward. It’s hard to explain but here is an attempt. It feels like a surfy snowboard where some super set back powder boards feel surfy like sufrboards. When it’s too surfboard it can be a little awkward steering from the tail when there isn’t powder or on your way to powder. This never has that feel. The Burton Barracuda can handle just about any depth of snow and it’s got a quick turning easy float. From between the bindings to the Nose it’s all rocker and from between the bindings to the tail it’s a medium camber so there is pop off the tail. This has more rocker than the Notch and many other S-Rocker type boards which makes for an effortless rear leg burn free directional ride in powder. It also has nice pop off the tail when it comes time to ollie off natural terrain. If you get the right size t’s the kind of board that increases your confidence in tight tree runs, steep chutes and wide open faces. It’s one of my favorite boards to ride when it gets deep.
Turn Initiation: The tapered shape makes it ride very different from a board that has the same nose and tail width. That, combined with a substantial setback gives you a surfier feeling that’s off the back foot, and it’s a lot easier to turn compared to boards that aren’t tapered with the same specs. If you like a surfy kind of turn initiation then this might be a great call. It makes it a whole lot easier to slash through and negotiate trees. It’s got all you need to slash up the mountain and the turn initiation is very quick. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t get the board where I need it in tight spots. Medium to wide radius turns are fun too and you get a little spring out of that tail on all turns. If you know how to turn well then this could be your board.
Speed: The Burton Barracuda isn’t a bomber board but it’s far from slow. It rides comfortably and confidently at most speeds, but if you’re into bombing everything then there are better boards out there. Bombing through a few tracks isn’t a problem and you will feel a little bit but it’s not bomb proof like the Burton Landlord or Flight Attendant.
Uneven Terrain: As the day goes on and the conditions get a bit choppier, the Burton Barracuda is soft enough to not cause too much trouble when making turns through rutted up or even bumpy snow. It’s also a quick turner so bumps are pretty easy to deal with. It absorbs shock very well. The bigger board size isn’t ideal for this but if you get a size right for your boots the softer flex and easy turn initiation makes it really good for a board of this type.
Approximate Weight: The Burton Barracuda comes in big sizes so while it might not sit in the light category, but its lighter than most boards its size.
Carving: If you’re into carving out a turn this is pretty fun but it’s not all time. Like all tapered boards, the Burton Barracuda can wash out on harder pack if you carve like you would on a board with the same nose and tail width (double ender). However, in better conditions, this can lay out a surfy off the tail carve that is really fun. You just have to lean into the carve a bit differently and let most of the pressure sit on the back foot over that camber. For us, the Burton Barracuda was really fun when it came to laying into a nipple scratching carve as long as the conditions are good and you treat it more like you are making a hard bottom turn off the bottom of a steep barreling wave.
Edge Hold: The added edge hold from Burton’s Frostbite tech isn’t a game changer but it does add to the edge hold. This seems more appropriate for boards like the Barracuda and for other camber boards but it doesn’t seem to help much with Flat Top, V Rocker and Flying V boards. It doesn’t grab the snow when it’s hard like some of it’s competitors do in harder snow but that’s not a real problem for this mostly powder board.
Flex: The Burton Barracuda has a flex that is on the softer side of medium and is like a slightly softer flex than the Burton Custom. The 2015 Burton Barracuda has a more natural flex that’s easier to butter.
Jumps: The mini camber in the tail makes for a little more spring off natural terrain and much easier to create your own air. It isn’t for taking off switch in the park but it will be perfect for a method off a rock or cliff drop.
Switch: Not ideal switch. It can be done, but it’s just not that easy.
Pipe: The Burton Barracuda isn’t terrible in the pipe if you are into directional riding there and don’t want to land switch.
Rails and Jibbing: Not the best board for this.
All in all, the Burton Barracuda will make for a good mostly powder freeride board. It’s a fun ride that makes powder riding easier for the advanced to expert rider. If you live for powder but also like to ride in a surf style when the conditions are good this is one of the better boards out there for that.
Advanced - Expert
Setback over 20mm
On Snow Feel
User Reviews of the Burton Barracuda
Great Powder Board
I bought a 2012 Barracuda 161 for a 2012 trip to the BC Interior and have ridden it in different conditions. Great board for powder and well groomed runs, just like the review says. Stable and controllable on icy slopes, but it could use more edge grip for those. Not great on flat, hard cat tracks - I really have to sit on my back leg for those. Pretty good on soft bumps of any size, too big for hard bumps. I really like this board and plan to keep it a long time for riding in softer conditions.
This board simply does it all!
I mean sure its not the best board riot the park with oder jib some rails in the streets, but thats not what its supposed to do anyway.
I live in Innsbruck, Austria and so far i spend two complete seasons having a Barracuda in my quiver. i simply love it!
This board is definitely not meant to be a powder only stick, but it feels like it just is one. Compared to the Burton Fish, its way more freestyle and "every day use" driven. Its a fantastic powder board, but you can still hav a s**t load of fun riding groomers and riding fast.
Thanks to the lil camber the tail feels super stiff and gives you bunch of stability with sacrificing float. I took this baby up to 71mph last winter - it doesn't feel great and its definitely not the board i´d pick to do it again but its absolutely doable if your a good rider. At the same time its not too stable and you still have a lot of rocker to play around in the pow - theres just no other board i enjoyed doin some cornice jibs and slides on than i did with the barracuda.
It might be a little bit narrow for bigger guys but i rode a 161s for the most time and i felt totally ok. Maybe you don´t wanna take it all the way up to icy, steep lines where you want a a lot of grip on your edges or crank your carves too far down but hey: thats not what this board is meant to do!
I mean it does it all pretty good - that´s why it´s one of James favorites - but you better pick a solid camber board like a Custom X or a Salomon Burner to really coarse it up.
Take care and enjoy,