Volkl Kendo (2015)

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Rating: 3.43 / 5
Price: $775.00
Year: 2015
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 89
Tip/Tail/Waist: 126-89-110
Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184

Stability at speed: 3.69 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.68 / 5
Crud performance: 2.66 / 5
Flotation: 2.51 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.88 / 5
Overall: 3.43 / 5

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The Kendo, frankly, sparked disagreement. It’s a narrower version of the highly decorated Mantra (see No. 13). Kendo means “way of the knife,” and with a sturdy, race-ready construction and two sheets of metal, that’s an apt image for its performance on groomed. Its lightness surprised us, and there was consensus regarding its Quickness (No. 2). But some testers saw it as a burly carver most at home on hardpack; others enjoyed it more in bumps and crud. One of our pickiest testers was its biggest proponent. “Rips the heck out of the hill in every facet: pow, crud, bumps, carving,” said Elling.