Volkl Kendo (2017)

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Völkl Kendo

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Rating: 3.62 / 5
Price: $825.00
Year: 2017
Level: 2
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 90
Tip/Tail/Waist: 127-90-110
Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184

Stability at speed: 4.11 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.11 / 5
Crud performance: 3.70 / 5
Flotation: 2.65 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.20 / 5
Overall: 3.62 / 5

The Kendo, which returns unchanged for 2017, has long been part of the Volkl collection, but it was updated last year to keep up with the times. Like the Mantra the year before, the Kendo was widened slightly (from 88 to 90 mm), and the tip was tapered to give it a looser, slashier, more modern feel. Still, with its moderate (90-mm) waist width and two sheets of metal, it's the knifiest of the All-Mountain Freeski series skis, and doesn't mind a bit if it's been a while since the last storm. 

It's part of Volkl's All-Mountain Freeskiing collection, which includes five midfat models built for all-conditions versatility and ranging in width from a modest 89 mm (Kink) to a powder-ready 108 mm (100Eight). Along with the newer models, the 100Eight and the 90Eight, the series includes two longtime Volkl stalwarts, the Mantra and Kendo. All are built with wood cores for snappy performance and durability. All but the relatively narrow-waisted Kink have tapered tips, where the widest part of the ski is pulled back toward the foot, giving them a looser, more maneuverable feel, especially in deep snow. All are sold flat (no binding). The Mantra and 100Eight are fully rockered for maximum buoyancy and shock absorption. The 90Eight, Kendo and Kink have rocker tip and tail with camber underfoot for positive edge grip and more traditional feeling rebound energy.

Volkl is based in Straubing, Germany (Bavaria), where it has been making skis since 1914. Affiliated brands include Dalbello and Marker. Like K2 and Line, Volkl is a subsidiary of Jarden Corp., which itself became a subsidiary of the Newell Rubbermaid consumer-products conglomerate in 2016. -JC.

Völkl delivered a slightly kinder, slashier version of the venerable Kendo last year, and the German brand wisely brings it back unchanged this year. Testers again admired its blend of go-fast stability and go-anywhere versatility. A burly, full-metal, full- sidewall, wood-core layup gives it the dampness, power, and accuracy you expect from a Kendo. A touch of taper in the tip and tail gives it an ease and quickness that pleasantly surprise. Its long sidecut radius loves GS arcs at high speed but doesn’t insist on them. Its skill set, like its flex, is as well bal- anced as any in the category. Larsen: “Easy to engage, but plenty of strength to rip it around. Lots of fun to run on groomed, but definitely still has off- trail ability.” 

Notes: The Kendo, which returns unchanged for 2017, has long been part of the Völlkl collection, but it was updated last year to keep up with the times. Like the Mantra the year before, the Kendo was widened slightly (from 88 to 90 mm), and the tip was tapered to give it a looser, slashier, more modern feel. Still, with its moderate (90-mm) waist width and two sheets of metal, it's the knifiest of the All-Mountain Freeski series skis, and doesn't mind a bit if it's been a while since the last storm. 

It's part of Völlkl's All-Mountain Freeskiing collection, which includes five midfat models built for all-conditions versatility and ranging in width from a modest 89 mm (Kink) to a powder-ready 108 mm (100Eight). Along with the newer models, the 100Eight and the 90Eight, the series includes two longtime Völlkl stalwarts, the Mantra and Kendo. All are built with wood cores for snappy performance and durability. All but the relatively narrow-waisted Kink have tapered tips, where the widest part of the ski is pulled back toward the foot, giving them a looser, more maneuverable feel, especially in deep snow. All are sold flat (no binding). The Mantra and 100Eight are fully rockered for maximum buoyancy and shock absorption. The 90Eight, Kendo and Kink have rocker tip and tail with camber underfoot for positive edge grip and more traditional feeling rebound energy.

Völlkl is based in Straubing, Germany (Bavaria), where it has been making skis since 1914. Affiliated brands include Dalbello and Marker. Like K2 and Line, Volkl is a subsidiary of Jarden Corp., which itself became a subsidiary of the Newell Rubbermaid consumer-products conglomerate in 2016. -J.C.

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