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EpicSki › Ski Equipment and Resorts  › Ski Gear › Alpine Skis › All-Mountain Skis › 2011 Volkl Kendo Ski

2011 Volkl Kendo Ski


Pros: Incredible grip on groomers, busts through crud, stable at high speeds

Cons: Could be more forgiving (you feel every bump)

I bought this ski at end of 2011 season after trying many skis.  I had not owned skis since the days before shaped skis were the norm, and had gotten back into skiing thanks to taking the kids out for a spring break trip some years previously.  As I got used to the new paradigm of skiing with your feet (as opposed to swinging my weight from the hip) I was starting to develop enough technique and was skiing frequently enough that I wanted to look into getting something better than the "performance" rentals I had been using.


I tried skis from Volkl at the time including the Tigershark series and the AC series, as well as skis from Blizzard and Salomon Enduro.  The Salomon skis were probably the closest in feel.


I was heavily influenced by an instructor at Okemo, with whom I had several lessons.  He was previously a competitive racer, and recommended the Kendo's, saying how they were incredibly stiff, and especially that they were torsionally stiffer than the other skis I had tried.  What I came to understand was that the result is a ski that is incredibly responsive in all conditions.  The relatively wide tip with the waist of 88 lets one bust through the crud that one often sees in the northeast (I'm typically in VT) and the edge grip handles icy conditions with ease.


I have now owned them for 2+ years, and have continued to progress in technique, now carving turns at will at speeds up to 50+ (according the Ski Tracks app).  The Kendo's have never let me down.


I'm 5'7", 165 lb, and own the 163 cm length. For bindings I have the Marker Griffon (90 mm wide brakes). I've been very happy.


Pros: intutitive

Cons: soft tip

I have been on this ski for 2 years now, I have a Salomon Ti binding on it. This set up is very light weight. I tune them myself at 1 and 3 the skis have over 60 days on them and have never been to a shop except to be mounted.


I paid a $1000 for the skis, bindings, TNF jacket and pants. I went into the shop to buy light gray pants. Came out with everything. Damn good salemans. LOL


I have not skied them in deep snow, I have skis for that. But have skied them in everything else.


These are the full camber ones,(first year).


The only con is the soft tip at high speeds if your not where you should be on the ski. The soft tip is a big plus in the bumps, trees and un-groomed snow, which is where I tend to stay.


I have not found a speed limit for these skis yet and I tend to ski pretty fast.


Last season a saw one of the regulars at Okemo who over the past years has been on Rossi's. We have seen each other around the hill and town but never really spoke much. I noticed in a lift line he has Kendo's on. I asked him how he liked them. He told me, I've seen you on your's and figured I try them, these things are great, were his next works.


I got turned on to these skis when I saw the ski school director on them in Nov 2010. Yea, they are that good.




Pros: Precise, light and nimble, quick, versatile

Cons: it is a Volkl, none if you don't lay back; you end up chasing the ski, if you sit back.

Ski Review by Faripour Forouhar March 2011


I am 5’8’’, 145lb, level 9 and higher, moderately aggressive skier. Spend 65% of my time off piste (back side) and 35% on piste (front side) on the groomers and bumps.  My present skis are Volkl Mantra (177, 4 yrs old 130/94/116) mostly for west and Blizzard Magnum 8.7 (174, 128/87/113) for east coast skiing. I also use racing slalom and GS skies (volkl) and Rossi bump skis, on occasion.

Last week I demoed three pair of skis in Snow Mass. Co., Volkl Kendo (170cm, 127/88/109mm; R19.9), Salomon Sentinel (170cm- 129, 95,121mm) and KastleMX 88, 168cm length (128,88,113mm; R17.5m). I skied each pair for approximately 2 hours and did exactly the same thing with all three: starting with groomers, then wind packed crud, then frozen chunky crud, then steep densely packed large bumps with zipper lines of descend and then super steep EX-EX tree runs off  Sheer Bliss lift to the right. Below is the results of my experience:


Volkl Kendo 170 cm (127,88,109mm; R19.9m): Very precise, surgical, “treading the needle” ski; surprisingly light and nimble feeling; quick edge to edge. Versatile and well balanced. Felt shorter than 170 cm. Felt much like Blizzard Magnum 8.7 (174cm) except it was lighter, quicker and softer which made it more versatile, better in bumps and irregular turny tree runs but a bit less solid feeling under the foot on high speed GS turns on groomers or in crud.  Softer, more forgiving and quicker than Mantra (177cm). Very comfortable and quick on bumps, stable and solid in crud and in high ( # 40 mph) speeds on groomers (I typically ski with loading the shovel decisively at initiation and follow with high degree of angulation and skis are on high edge angle- good for Volkl and Austrian skis), it makes clean carve, if you want that. Any radius is good, you can change turn shape and radius at will. The demo skis were a bit over tuned and sharpened so that the edges were a bit grippy/catchy on side-slips and skids/smears (necessary for steep tree skiing). Nonetheless, they inspired confidence in trees and were easy to change direction quickly (again provided you were forward at the turn initiation) I did not try them in significant amount of powder; however, with the flexible shovel I would think they would be better than most of the stiffer verity such as my Blizzard Magnum 8.7 with very close dimensions. All and all, excellent all mountain skis except perhaps in deep deep pow where you may want something wider or longer like Mantra 177. I talked to some of the experienced instructors in Snow Mass who owned them, they raved about how well they skied the powder.


Footnote; generally, all Volkl skis and most Austrian skis, are designed so that the skier got to load the shovel at turn initiation and be forward and on top of the ski and do not sit back to get proper performance out of ski. Trust the shovel and ski will do for you what ever you want.


Pros: stiff for an all mtn, full sidewall, damp, carves

Cons: none

I am 6' 155 and went with the 72's.  I can easily ski longer but the 72's are easier to throw around and at my weight they flex truer so I am glad I didn't get the 77's.


They are expert boards that need speed and pitch to be happy but if you want a light ski with a lot of snap out of your best turns - this ski should fit the bill for sure.






Pros: damp, good edge grip, round flex, medium stiffness

Cons: none

I only demo'ed them for a couple of runs, but they have a round, medium-stiff flex and carved nicely.  Pretty damp.  They'd probably be one of my fave 50-50 skis (50% on piste, 50% off)

2011 Volkl Kendo Ski

Slice, dice, and carve manicured corduroy with the power of a turbo-charged, industrial strength food processor when you lay the Volkl Kendo Ski on edge. A full-length wood core snaps out of turns, loads with energy when the snow is firm, and floats with forgiveness when you venture into the freshness. With a revamped waist that's 8mm narrower than last season's Kendo, this titanium-topped plank lays trenches where others merely scratch the surface.

Lengths170cm, 177cm, 184cm, 191cm
Turn Radius[170cm] 19.9m; [177cm] 21.9m; [184cm] 24.1m [191cm] 26.2m
ConstructionPower, titanium
Core MaterialSensorwood
Binding SystemNo
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended UseIntermediate to expert all-mountain skiing
Manufacturer Warranty1 Year
Recommended BindingNo
Sidecut127 / 88 / 109
Recommended LevelAdvanced
Model Year2011
Binding Type
Recommended use
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Size: 191cm110368-191
Size: 184cm110368-184
Size: 177cm110368-177821264440032
Size: 170cm110368-170821264440025
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