Our Story – Barracuda Swimming

Our Story

An industry pioneer in innovation and design, Barracuda is passionate about designing and producing products that enhance the swimmer’s experience in the water.

From triathletes in Kona and seniors at the Y to swim team members grinding through their daily workouts, all rely on the comfort, fit, and effectiveness of Barracuda’s remarkable breakthroughs.

Dr. John Runckel, founder and inventor of Barracuda, began swimming for fitness in 1978. The only swim goggles he could find depended on suction and dug into the soft tissue around the eye. Ordinary suction goggles were — and still are — shaped like small cups with flat rims. They don’t fit nor do they feel good; they leak and leave red circles around the eyes.

A dentist and inventor who had marketed a line of dental products, Dr. Runckel combined his knowledge of plastics and facial anatomy with some casting techniques similar to those used in dentistry. The result was a goggle frame that fits because it follows the bone contour around the eye socket. The frame was patented in 1979.

He made the frame compatible to every face by creating a fully adjustable nosebridge system, also patented. Finally, the goggle frame was lined with comfortable foam to compensate for small variations in facial structure and to ensure a leakproof fit. This closed cell foam actually has a “memory” and conforms to the face after just a short period of wear.