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4 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

I've tried Baracuda red and black, max versions. They are a bit heavy but can be used to after few training sessions. If you want to have a baby T05, that is having excellent spin abilities and high throw, then Baracuda is for you. This rubber, however, lacks speed compared to Tenergy resulting to a more control version of Tenergy05. The dwell time is excellent in this rubber and services are really spinny. Baracuda is too spin sensitive in my opinion, same as Tenergy 05, but Baracuda wins here because it is less jumpy than Tenergy 05. Durability of the rubber is good even after 3 months of 3hours/6 days/week training regimen.

IN DETAIL: Review based from Setup Review with Timo Boll ALC(you can find the thread here)

Rubber: Donic Baracuda
The Donic Baracuda is well known for its spin-abilities. Donic boasts of its spin abilities and it's really true that the spin is vicious, however, for the speed, I guess it's not that faster compared to Tenergy 25 (in return you have control). It is by far the spinniest rubber that I have used, excluding Haifu Blue Whale 2 National and Hurricane 2. I have tried Tenergy 25 and I felt the spin it produced was lesser in potency than Baracuda.

Holding the rubber gives you this feeling that you're holding a heavy and wobbly jelly in your hand, haha. I guess that's the proof of the tuner in the rubber. The rubber is not really that heavy, at least for me. Sorry I can't give you exact measurements regarding the weight.

For short service, the grippy top sheet of Baracuda helps especially for side-top and underspins. In making the pace faster, long serves can still be done but will be reliant from the ALC's carbon to catapult the ball. You can do surprise service to your opponent, like a long and wide forehand service. But it is not that faster compared to when I used Tenergy 25. If you have strong wrist movements, you can vary your serves like you can do with Chinese rubbers, but watch out for the springiness of the Baracuda, even if it is one of the slowest tensor, it's springier than say Sriver and certainly Chinese rubbers. For the service department, the setup is excellent. The grippy top sheet paired with a dwelly but fast ALC offers variety of options (spinny, no spin, fast, slow, short, long) for service.

If you know the Ma Lin ghost serve, you can do that here.
It is a little tricky but doable, still less potent than Chinese rubbers like Hurricanes.

Looping Underspin
Looping underspin is quite easy with the setup. The slowish speed of the rubber as well as the dwell of the blade help in giving a good amount of contact time (even if we're talking of half seconds here it's very important). It gives you this feeling of bite-the-ball-and-send-it-to-the-opponentstable
Anyway, the high throw of the rubber helps a lot in lifting underspins. But ofc skills will come first. If you are consistent then the setup will reward you with beautiful arching shots. But if you're not, you can still have those occasional wonder shots.

For driving, the setup is okay. I felt more confident in driving with the Hurricanes though, the harder sponge helps. But in this particular setup, the medium sponge of the rubber will give you a bit more control on where to direct that drive. The carbon of ALC will help compensate for the slowish speed of Baracuda. Generating speed however is more player-dependent than setup.
The added bonus with the setup is the spin generated by Baracuda, combine that with a sufficient speed by the blade and you'll produce excellent shots.

Flicking services is quite tricky with the setup. Baracuda is spin-sensitive and if you have slow wrist movements then it will send the ball into the net immediately upon contact against a heavy underspin. The catapult one needs will come from the player but add to that the carbon of ALC. The arylate also helps in making the blade a bit flexible in receiving and flicking serves. This is good for producing varied returns.

Touch Shots
The dwelly rubber helps in keeping the ball low and close to the net. However, the blade and its springiness because of the carbon will make this tricky. But practice will cure this.
The blade is pretty stable in touch shots, apply the needed force and you can keep the ball low and short. For this department, the setup is okay, but using Chinese rubbers like the Hurricanes in this blade will yield better results.

I never do chops, unless it's my only option to save the ball
Chopping is fine, controllable with huge spin.

Blocking is excellent. The stiffness provided by ALC and the springiness,albeit not that springy compared to other tensors, of Baracuda helps in blocking topspin balls. With the setup, you can use the speed and spin of your opponent to your advantage. Punch blocks are a little harder though. When using the setup, because of the high throw of Baracuda, one should punch the incoming ball towards the net to compensate the arc that will be produced by the rubber. But overall for this department, it's excellent.

When compared to using hurricane 2 with the blade, the setup will give you easier play. But I do not like automation, so regardless of whether you use tensor or chinese you need to commit for every shot.

So who will like this setup?
For those who play offensive with emphasis on spin and control. Baracuda will give you huge amounts of spin that will be aided by the dwell of the ALC. The slowish speed of Baracuda and the dwell and flexibility of the ALC will give you the control you'll need. Speed play is not the specialty of this particular setup.
I'll be giving this setup a solid OFF, despite of the bit-lacking speed.


4 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

I tried this Barracuda on Stiga Maplewood NCT V CPen. My previous blade is Yasaka Musashi Deluxe JPen with Yasaka Mark V.

Although some reviews say this rubber is slow, as I have been using a more orthodox rubber Yasaka Mark V I feel this Barracuda is not that slow (although this could partly be due to the fast Maplewood.

I find the high throw is a big problem to me as the ball tends to go over the table even if I try to hit the ball very lite. This might be somewhat compensated by reducing the thickness to 1.8mm.

I usually mix some various directions of side spin when I drive, and it is obvious that this Barracuda provides better spin than the previous Yasaka Mark V. However this at the same time means I will also be more sensitive to incoming spin from opponent.
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Oct 2014
Read 17 reviews
5 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

This is one of the best looping rubbers out there with a very high grip topsheet. It is a good Tenergy 05 precursor and up to even the USATT 2400 level can replace Tenergy if the focus of the looper is on doing specific things. While it is a relatively slow rubber, it is still an offensive rubber. The benefit of relatively slow rubbers like Baracuda is that the lack of catapult makes the linearity of the response to a power stroke easier to predict. This is very helpful when drive looping the ball.

The rubber is spin sensitive enough that one still has to learn to play actively with it, but it is similar enough to Tenergy 05 in that department, though Tenergy requires a better touch because of the power of the spring sponge.

The catapult makes it harder to hit winners from behind the table and to engage in topspin rallies away from the table. However, for someone who plays closer to the table and tries to win more of his points with short game control, Baracuda is a better choice than many rubbers if the player is not practicing often enough to radically improve their touch and timing. Depending on how you play and what you do, I would recommend it to anyone with a looping stroke or who wants to loop between 1200 and 2400 USATT on either forehand or backhand. That said, it requires effort only to generate pace - the spin is easy to generate and blocking is controlled once the racket angle is set.

It also works well with some boosting though the speed isn't radically improved.
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5 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

It is my new favorite rubber for BH. It helps with the looping and even being bouncy, it's very easy to block with this rubber. It's a little bit slow compared to other offensive rubbers, but i like them that way in my BH.

I believe i found my Holy Graal for my BH and i would only change this rubber if in the future i feel i need more speed in BH.

After 2 months playing with this rubber i didn't feel much degradation.
says Ok. If you're interested tell me something. Regards
says Ok. If you're interested tell me something. Regards
May 2013
Read 3 reviews
5 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

It's a great looping rubber with good grip. To me feels better than tenergy 05 to drive the ball.
It's fast enough with 2 layers of booster, it has a linear behavior and due to my tendinitis is way lighter than a MX-P (my previous rubber)
It's a little bit spin sensitive at passive blocks put if you counter top ou usea little wrist it'll be fine.
It's specially good at near the table attacks.
If it was 1 or 2 degrees harder it would beeven better
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Dec 2014
Read 3 reviews
4 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

Spinny, quite slow with good control, using it on my backhand and has been useful to improve my backhand loop. It has a high throw which takes some getting used to. I have this in max, it is quite heavy which is important to keep in mind as it can make your setup quite head-heavy depending on the blade and other rubber you have.
says Hi there Tompa8888, Thank you for asking my opinion. It...
says Hi there Tompa8888, Thank you for asking my opinion. It...
Mar 2015
Read 37 reviews
5 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

Hi All!

I have read many reviews on this rubber and I saw many people like this rubber big time. So I bought one myself. Baracuda product line from Donic was the first answer to the famouns Tenergy 05 and 05 FX. This first generation of ESN tensors really did the trick. The overall speed is one tempo slower. The spin with the throw angle is just like T05. The rubber is a bit less spin sensitive. Nowdays I can compare this feeling with the JOOLA MAXX series, which has a bit less speed and spin, but generally a very pleasant looping rubber.

Altough hardness of the sponge is not known it is said to be around 45-47 degrees. The rubber is average weight 0,22 g/mm2 in max thickness (like the lighter T05 sheets).

With boosting the rubber comes more lively and a bit more aggressive, the speed can be increased to match the T05. But this rubber is a first generation tensor, it truly needs VOC based glue to shine. With water based glue and boostering only the speed will increase bigtime, not really the spin.

For me it was not demanding to play with it at all. When I was testing it I was playing with MX-P. What I lacked in the boosted and the unboosted version of the rubber is the pure uncomfortable aggressiveness, which is transferred to the ball in modern short strokes with modern ESN tensors. Did comparison games with many opponents, they clearly stated, that my balls were more predictable and less disturbing with my Barracuda FH (Big Slam on BH). While on my main blade I used MX-P (FH) and M2 (BH). Usually I achieved 2-4 more points in a set against a similar opponent. With Barracuda I felt I can't attack with enough spin/speed to force an error from my opponent. Don't get me wrong I could get all balls to the other side due to the high throw, the feeling of my game vas generally good and safe, but my balls came back too many times.

It was nice to see DONIC reinventing the Acuda series (which I did not like personally), but the blue sponge definetly has it's advantage. I love the bluefire series (M & JP) so I would love to see the reinvented Baracuda series, the same topsheet with the new blue sponge... I would definetly buy one. Until then, I can only recommend this rubber to every aggressive allround player or to kids, who are still learning the technique and developing their game, because this is a very reliable rubber without insane catapult effect.
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Mar 2014
Read 34 reviews
4 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

The Donic Baracuda weighs 49 grams when cut to a 157x150 mm blade. The Baracuda has a neutral feel on FH drives - not too disengaged/numb but also not the most responsive rubber on the market. The first couple of FH drives quickly revealed that the Baracuda is not a speed monster. However, it still has sufficient power to enable mid-distance play. There is plenty of clearance over the net when looping against heavy backspin. However, the Baracuda’s moderate speed means that the rubber best is coupled with faster arm action and more leg power than with Tibhar’s Evolution EL-S, Xiom’s Omega V Tour or Nittaku’s Fastarc G-1 to ensure that the ball has sufficient depth and penetration. Read our complete review.
4 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

Good BH rubber, using max on Tibhar Stratus Power Wood. Not very impressed with the speed, but control is very good. Good for defensive play, no doubt. For fast offensive strokes - well, I may be missing some things. Will continue for some time though as trying few things defensively. Probably, will go to Sriver (was very impressed with the EL version 2.1 max on Donic Waldner Allplay).
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Sep 2020
Read 3 reviews
3 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

I've used this rubber quite long ago (probably around 2011), it was second in my list of potential Tenergy 05 substitutions that day. Used it on a BH side for approximately 6 month, replacing it with a new one every 3 month. Blade: Timo Boll Spirit

I could play with it and it was better than the one I tried as T05 replacement before (Palio Macra Era 47.5 was a complete disaster for me). It had quite a high throw, not as high as T05, but not bad, just enough I didn't miss about T05 throw angle. It was quite good at blocking, pushes, and close to the table game in general (probably due to high throw and its small speed)
But I often go to the middle zone and trying looping from distance wasn't good for me. Moreover looping in general was far from being perfect: first of all it lacks speed and I wouldn't call spin extraordinary. Combining those two resulted that my bh loop was not as dangerous as I used to. And the worst thing about it was that sometimes ball was simply falling of the racket without any apparent reason and going to the net. Usually I feel quite well a part of stroke that failed: either it was body position or wrong attack angle or wrong wrist movement or wet rubber or anything else. I always know what I must change in the next ball to make it work. That was the only rubber where I didn't: I thought that my position is right, that racket angle is good, wrist doing right movement: everything was good, maybe not perfect, not sure, but definitely good. And as a result ball goes well into the net. Every other rubber I've ever tried would produce normal trajectory, maybe slightly lower than ideal one, maybe not as fast as usual, but good enough to go over the net for sure. That not always happened to me, just let's say 1 out of 5 would be that weird. But still that was really frustrating (so frustrating that I decided to write a review 9 years after I stopped using it :) )
Also recently I had ~10 training sessions with a guy who uses Baracuda on his bh too, but on Korbel blade. And it looks to me that he has very similar problems. He has problems with the first loop regardless spin it has and he simply doesn't understand why. If his first loop goes into the table then he can produce 2-3-5 without problems. But the first one is a disaster, like if he hits 1 out of 3, then it is a great result.

It was not that bad as I might described, definitely not bad enough to force me to order something else just after 1 training session and even good enough for me to give it a second chance (which didn't work unfortunately). Maybe rubber is not that forgiving for my bh, maybe it simply lacks catapult (and probably nowadays I would try to use some booster first before switching to another rubber), but switching to Acuda S1 made me happier those days
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Sep 2022
Read 3 reviews
5 out of 5 rating for Baracuda

The Donic Baracuda is one of the greatest rubbers I've ever tried. It can generate very good amounts of rotation, but it lacks a little bit of speed. It is a very bouncy rubber with a high throw angle.