Atomik Barbwire XL Review: The RTR Brushless RC Boat

atomik barbwire xl review

The end of summer and beginning of fall are the perfect time to race, no matter what type of racing you prefer, perhaps especially if you’re trying to get in those last few days of R/C boating before winter sets in. To that end, we have decided to review a racing boat today. Atomic R/C has been in the R/C vehicle industry for over twelve years.

Click here to check the price of this boat on Amazon

They make R/C cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, boats and sailboats as well as selling hundreds of batteries and chargers for any need you could possibly have. They took the world by storm when they introduced the Atomik Barbwire, and now it’s back and improved. With its improved size allowing for better control and more stability, this boat promises to be an unparalleled R/C boating experience. How well does it deliver on its promises? That is what we’re here to find out with this Atomik Barbwire XL review.

What is the Atomik Barbwire XL?

 The Atomik Barbwire XL is the newest incarnation of the Barbwire from Atomik. This boat is bigger, faster, and still pretty affordable. It promises to be able to carve a smooth line and handle choppy water at blistering speeds. It also has a self-righting hull design, meaning that rough waves won’t be a problem. The Barbwire XL has even more power than the original Barbwire, making it possibly the best racing boat you’ll ever have.

 What’s in the box?

  • Atomik R/C racing boat
  • 11-volt LiPo battery
  • AC and D/C chargers for charging the battery pack
  • Instruction Manual
  • Quickstart Guide
  • Spare parts for making repairs such as an extra prop, hatch tape, double-side tape, velcro, and a balloon
  • Boat stand for displaying your boat when it isn’t in the water

 First Thoughts

 The Atomik Barbwire XL comes in a really awesome package. The sides list features and specs as well as having production shots of the boat in action.

The box is relatively easy to open. Simply snip open the tape on one end, and pull out the Styrofoam inner package. Everything is held in with twist ties, so you will need to cut those to free the boat and accessories. The Styrofoam keeps your boat safe on its journey from the warehouse to your home, and prevents chipping, dinging and broken parts as well. We were very happy with this packaging.


 The Barbwire XL is a sleek boat. It is white, with lettering on the side that spells out Barbwire. The boat measures twenty-four inches long and weighs approximately 5.2 pounds. There is what at first would seem a counterintuitive design flaw, however. There is a large hole in the back of the boat. However this section is water-tight and sealed off.

If your boat ever tips over, this bladder as it is called will fill with water, causing your boat to flip right-side-up. When you give more power to the throttle, the water will be expelled, and the boat will again pick up speed. This feature is only available on Atomik R/C boats and is brilliant for those of us who don’t have a canoe or a kayak to go retrieve our boats when they flip.

This boat’s larger size also adds to its stability and ease of control, making for a fun, enjoyable driving experience.

 How does it Drive?

 The Barbwire XL has an estimated top speed of twenty-five miles per hour, and we found it really did live up to that claim. If the surface of the lake was glassy and there was no wind, the boat could even push thirty. It tracked well through turns, was very responsive, and we had absolutely no problems controlling it. The few times we flipped it, it righted itself just fine and we didn’t have to either swim or kayak out to get it. This saved us a lot of time and frustration.

There are some cons and advice we’d like to share though. Use the included hatch tape. The seal may look good, but some water will still get in. Also, use the included balloon to waterproof your receiver.

Your new racing boat can get only three and a half minutes on a single charge. The stock charger is slow and you might want to upgrade to a faster charger. With stock charger, this boat will charge in two and a half hours. The transmitter takes four AA batteries. These are not included.

Despite those cons, this boat is still a lot of fun to drive, and meets all of its claims.


 The Barbwire XL is ready to race. All you need to do is pull it out of the box, charge the battery and you’re off. The boat also features a durable molded hull.


The radio system in this boat is 2.4 GHZ and 2 channel. The transmitter has trim controls, steering controls and a reverse up top and works with a trigger-stile grip.

 Self-Righting Hull

 As previously discussed, if the Barbwire XL flips, it will simply right itself again, using the self-righting ballast system. A sealed bladder fills with water, causing the boat to flip back over. Then simply give it some power, and the water flows out again and the boat picks up speed.


 The stock battery for this awesome boat is a LiPo 2200 50C battery that is 11 volts. This battery will power the Barbwire XL with absolutely no problems whatsoever. If you want to upgrade the stock battery, however, it will be necessary to do a full hull upgrade.


 The motor on the Barbwire XL is a 2800KV brushless water-cooled outrunner. This means that your boat will have blazing power and precision and will slide through choppy water with ease while running smoothly due to the water pulling the heat off the motor.

The ESC on the Barbwire is a 30A. This is a bigger ESC than is in the regular barbwire which provides for smoother throttling. Like the motor, the ESC is also water-cooled.


 So, that’s our Atomik Barbwire XL review! Over all, this boat is a lot of fun to drive. It turns on a dime, slides through choppy water with ease and precision, and can even right itself when it flips. Also, the speed is absolutely fantastic.

However, there are some cons. The seal sometimes leaks, and it is necessary to use hatch tape to strengthen the seal and you need to also waterproof your receiver. However, Atomik sends the necessary supplies to you with your boat. The batteries for the transmitter aren’t included and for the price we feel they should’ve been, but it’s just AA batteries which are easily found almost anywhere.

This boat would be amazing for almost any R/C boater, but especially if you’re a first-timer and we sure had a lot of fun with it.

3 thoughts on “Atomik Barbwire XL Review: The RTR Brushless RC Boat”

    • Hey Andrew! Thanks for reading. The ESC does in fact have a low voltage cut off. Also, I think I might have forgotten to post it but the manual has some good information as well.
      You can check it out here Just scroll down until you find Atomik Barbwire

  1. Other comments. U believe that Atomik should have made the servo water resistant or made some device to waterproof it. And they also should have made the battery pack watercooled. All this information is from experience. Other than that awesome boat.

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