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Frontside Skis

The No.1 Men’s Frontside Ski of 2022: Völkl Kendo 88

The Völkl Kendo 88 was nearly perfect at SKI Magazine's annual SKI Test. Get all the details about this Best in Test Frontside Ski.

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Brand: Völkl

Model: Kendo 88

Overall Ranking: #1

Overall Score: 4.15 / 5



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

129-88-111

Lengths (cm)

163, 170, 177, 184

Radius (m)

17 (177 Length)

Waist Width (mm)

88

Gender

Unisex

Level

Advanced/Expert

Rocker Technology

Yes

Core Material

Wood, Titanal

Sidewall Construction

Sandwich

Stability at Speed

4.61 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

4.14 / 5

Playfulness

4.04 / 5

Forgiveness

3.86 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

4.54 / 5

Crud Performance

4.07 / 5

Balance of Skills

4.18 / 5

Flotation

3.5 / 5

2022 Völkl Kendo 88

Testers were enamored with the Völkl Kendo 88 at Solitude Mountain Resort this year, praising its near-perfect overall performance on groomers, moguls, trees, and beyond. While most of the crew noted that the Kendo is pretty stiff compared to some others in the category, it rewards a capable skier who can drive it in dividends. “A great combination of energy, quickness, and stability,” comments tester Nick Loomans. “Skis well in all conditions. Maybe not be as forgiving as some, but more forgiving than expected.”

Built with Völkl’s 3D Radius sidecut, the Kendo 88 provides a shorter turn radius at slower speeds and a longer one when going fast. The result is that the ski is easier to get on edge at any speed and especially maneuverable when pivoting in the steeps and the moguls. “The edge engagement is precisely accurate,” exclaims tester Bob Gleason. “They are an invigorating delight to ride.”

Testers of all styles and sizes loved the Kendo 88, giving the ski a unique universalism in an increasingly fragmented category. The carvers carved it, the freeriders charged it, and the do-everything skiers did everything, and they did it all with smiles. “Outstanding ski,” says tester Mike Rogan. “Amazing in every aspect, this ski can handle it all and you can adjust your turn at any moment. Just outstanding.”

  • Strengths: Overall Impression (1st in category), Hard-Snow Integrity (2nd)
  • Weaknesses: Flotation (6th), Forgiveness (5th)

Buy the Völkl Kendo 88: evo | Skis.com

The Best in Test Skis of 2022

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Völkl Kendo 88 – 2021 Men’s Frontside Ski Review

2021 Volkl Kendo 88 Men's Frontside Ski
The 2021 Völkl Kendo 88 Men’s Frontside SkiPhoto courtesy of Völkl

Review originally published in the 2020-’21 Gear Guide

Compared to the other skis in this category, Völkl’s 3D radius sidecut technology takes some time to figure out, but once testers got the hang of it, they were smitten. The tech provides a variable turn radius dependent on speed and turn shape, and, when combined with the ski’s stiff demeanor, the Kendo 88 separates the thrashers from those who know how to bend a ski with proper technique. Those who found the sweet spot didn’t want to put it back on the rack.

  • STRENGTHS: Stability at Speed, Hard-Snow Integrity
  • WEAKNESSES: Forgiveness, Crud Performance
Völkl Kendo 88 - 2021 Men's Frontside Ski Scores
OVERALL RATING 3.85 / 5
QUICKNESS / MANEUVERABILITY 3.78 / 5
PLAYFULNESS 3.83 / 5
FORGIVENESS 3.33 / 5
HARD SNOW PERFORMANCE 4.22 / 5
CRUD PERFORMANCE 3.67 / 5
BALANCE OF SKILLS 3.78 / 5

Völkl Kendo 88 – 2020 Men’s Frontside Ski Review

2020 Volkl Kendo 88
The 2020 Volkl Kendo 88 Frontside ski. Photo courtesy of Völkl

Review originally published in the 2019-’20 Gear Guide

Taking notes from the wider Mantra M5, Völkl added the forked Titanal frame construction to the beloved Kendo this year, upping the ante for playfulness and energy in and out of turns at speed. But what really makes the redesigned Kendo unique is its 3D radius sidecut, a modified shape that allows for a shorter turn radius at slower speeds, and a larger radius that stretches from tip-to-tail as speed increases. Testers found it to be a very capable ski with dependable German engineering.

STRENGTHS: Stability at Speed, Overall Impression

WEAKNESS: Forgiveness

Völkl Kendo 88 - 2020 Men's Frontside Ski Scores
OVERALL RATING 3.58 / 5
FLOTATION 3.35 / 5
QUICKNESS / MANEUVERABILITY 3.7 / 5
PLAYFULNESS 3.45 / 5
FORGIVENESS 3.15 / 5
HARD SNOW PERFORMANCE 3.5 / 5
CRUD PERFORMANCE 3.6 / 5
BALANCE OF SKILLS 3.65 / 5