Völkl Kendo (2014)
When Völkl released the Kendo a few years back, it became an instant classic among discerning skiers in the East and Midwest. It’s basically a narrower Mantra (see page 44). Both are freeride-inspired and sold flat, and both appeal to technically strong all-mountain skiers. The groomer-centric Kendo is a precise but playful carver that’s plenty loose and maneuverable for excursions off-piste. On the trail, it coaxes you into a forward position and rewards you with polished arcs of all sizes.
The returning Kendo makes a lot of Eastern and Midwestern skiers happy, serving up a freeride mentality in a width that doesn't intimidate the fat-averse (they're still out there) or ever feel planky on hard snow. Volkl's Freeskiing All Mountain collection includes two keystone models in the Volkl collection - the Mantra (98 mm wide) and Kendo (89 mm). They're aimed at skilled skiers who spend most of their time skiing lift-served terrain - that is, most skiers. With classic laminate constructions, wood cores, and vertical sidewalls, they'll arc like fat race skis on all but the hardest snow - especially the speed-greedy Kendo. And with tip rocker and ample width, they love powder as much as you do - especially the Mantra. A third model in the group, the Bridge, goes a little deeper into the freeride mindset with a twintip, metal-free design.
|Lengths||163, 170, 177, 184|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.93 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.59 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||4.08 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.58 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||2.90 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||3.42 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||3.52 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.58 / 5|