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Volkl Kendo vs Volkl Unlimited AC30

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm moving up from an old pair of Intermediate Volkl Supersport 4 in 168. I've had them for 5 years now and need a new pair.


Doing research on this site and others(I actually haven't demoed yet), I think I've come down to two Volkl pairs the "Kendo" or the "AC30" in 170. I'm 5' 8" and 150 lbs. I'm an Advanced skier who prefers hard packed groomed runs. I ski on the west coast mainly Big Bear, Ca. or Mammoth Mtn. At Mammoth I prefer chairs like 5 or 3 (sometimes chair 23).


Many reviewers are giving the "Kendo" waving reviews. Such things as the edge control is good enough on groomed runs but it's also good in some powder.


Some say the AC30 is a less forgiving ski so you must be aggressive at all times.


I'm looking for one "do it all" ski for out West skiing. Any help would be appreciated.



post #2 of 18

The AC-30 is a better groomer ski with better grip and dampening. The Kendo is a touch better in softer conditions due to its width but it is pretty stiff especially in the back half so the advantage is not as great as you might imagine. While neither is a great choice as a "do it all" ski for the west, either one might work for you given your preference for groomers.


Just pick your priorities.



post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply. I was reading some of your post(s) regarding next year's Volkl models and I was wondering a few things.


You mentioned


AC series are gone and replaced with RTM (Ride The Mountain) ski that incorporate minimalist tip rise and barely visible tail rise along with (important!!) a softer flex on the 84mm version. The 80mm is stiffer and may be a lost soldier.


the 80mm is stiffer. Are you referring to the AC30 with that quote?? Does next year's 84 have a softer flex than this year's 80(AC30)??


Also, what other ski(s) would you recommend as a one ski does it all ski for out West?? Again, I believe I'm probably looking for 70/30 hard packed groomed single diamond ski.

post #4 of 18

First of all welcome to EpicSki.


Why are you limiting yourself to only Volkl skis?  Volkl makes some good stuff, but so does just about all of the other big ski companies.  There are also a number of small manufacturers making great skis.


Read some of the "all mountain" ski reviews here and see if there are other brands/models that may fit your needs.



post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks MikeC


I've done a little research on other skis too but I was trying to keep my length to perhaps 170 and the availability of buying closer to my local "ski" store vs online(although I'm not opposed to that). 


I looked at the Rossi Avenger 82 carbon, Blizzard 8.1(although it's 172 - I'm sure I can ski but who knows), and a few others. I'm still researching. I've been watching videos on youtube(I think skisdotcom) and listening to their reviews too.


I'm heading to Mammoth at the end of this February and would like to either buy me a pair there(after a demo) or right before and take them up :o).



post #6 of 18


Also, what other ski(s) would you recommend as a one ski does it all ski for out West?? Again, I believe I'm probably looking for 70/30 hard packed groomed single diamond ski.


When a skier says "does it all" that generally refers to a wide mix of conditions. For a wider mix of conditions, that generally suggests a ski that is a little softer overall than either of the Volkls that you referenced. However.......it really sounds as if you don't ski off the groomed trails very often and thus those two Volkls are adequate for your needs as both are pretty stiff and grippy. B/C neither of those two really shines in softer or mixed and broken snow, they are not the best choices for those conditions. 


Among skis that bias toward firmer snow, the Blizzi 8.7 and 8.1, the Fischer Motive 84 and the Nordica Firearrow 80 are all better choices than those two Volkls for mixed conditions.


Among skis that have a more even split of conditions capabilities, three standouts.....Dynastar Sultan 85, Rossi SC 86 and K2 Aftershock immediately come to mind as winners. None of these will be as damp and grippy as the hard snow biased skis but all will be more forgiving in the mixed and broken conditions and the windbuff that Mammoth is famous for.



post #7 of 18

I'm about your size, ski the west and have been very happy with my K2 AfterShocks.
FYI, I have the 167cm and they seem to be the same physical length as my wife's old 170cm Volkls.
Guess K2 and Volkl measure them differently.

good luck with your decision, rickp




post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

I heard from a ski store today that the Blizzard 8.1 in size 172 is probably about the same size as the 170(Volkl) so I shouldn't worry to much about the size difference. Does anybody know the main difference between the 2010 and 2011 8.1?? I'm reading specs on each and it seems that the bindings and maybe construction are different.


2010: Binding = IQ B 4.12 TT and no mention of Titanium

2011: Binding = IQ Max TP 12 with Titanium


Are the 2011 bindings much better and does the lack(if any) of Titanium give the 2010 more forgiveness??


Thanks, Larry

post #9 of 18

I think they're the same binding, and I think the metal changed from magnesium to titanium.  I haven't heard of much of a difference, but then again, I haven't skied them.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

OH, I guess the 8.1 Blizzard skis  I was looking at was a 2010 "Special Edition"(a European) version.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm leaning toward the Blizzard 8.1(there seems to be 2 versions) but I also noticed the Blizzard 7.6. Looking at this site



So, I'm still confused :-(


What are the pros/cons of the different 8.1??


Is the 7.6 "big"(seems like all skis are getting bigger & bigger waists) enough or is the trend to get a bigger waist. I noticed the 7.6 also has a smaller turning radius.


Again, most(70/30 on/off) of runs will be on hardpacked Black diamond Far West(Mammoth Mtn) coast skiing.


Any more advice??


Thanks, Larry



post #12 of 18

One has a titanium insert.  The 8.1 Ti should certainly be stiffer or it's a pointless addition. I wouldn't take a ski smaller than 80 west if I skied  most of the mountain or in a variety of conditions. The 8.1 will just give you more flexibility and still be a very good groomer ski.

post #13 of 18


As I always hear on this site, demo. A few of the guys in my ski club were demoing a bunch of skis last week, so for $55 a day check them out and see what you think. If you like Volkls skis, as I use to, then buy what you like. The AC30 is likely a great ski for the groomed runs at Mammoth. As I try and ski of piste whenever the snow is soft, I have really come to like my Dynastar skis and would encourage you to try the Sultan 85 if you could demo it.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

I might demo the Sultan 85. They do have that ski at Mammoth to demo but there are NO Blizzard's to demo (as far as I know) up there. If I choose the 8.1 it's because of the other reviews and a "gut" feeling...



post #15 of 18

Hey Larry,

I just purchased a new set of Volkl Kendo 177s;  I highly recommend them.  I am an advanced intermediate and ski primarily hard pack groomers in the East.  I demoed the skis in Vermont a month ago in fresh powder and decided to buy them.

The skis carve with confidence and ease on icy hard pack yet are nimble enough to handle off-piste and light powder duties.  I am planning on taking a few trips out to CO and I wanted something that would cut the mustard up there while not costing me performance on my home turf.  The Kendo is going to do great with that.

I would not put them out of the running.


PS I mounted them with Marker Griffon bindings at the center.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey Kevin, I decided after much research and contemplating, to go with the Sultan 85. I hope to get them next week and hope to try them out some time after that :o)


Thanks to all on this site for valuable insight...


I'll give my review soon after trying them.



post #17 of 18

Check you PM's

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

OK, I finally took the new Legend 85 out for a ride. I ended up buying the 2010 version because I thought the graphics were cooler....


The snow out west right now(March 15) was melting fast. The coverage is still good but by 10:00 it was pretty much soft to slush :o(


That being said the skis did well. The skis made good cuts and seemed very stable. I think I know what people mean now when they the ski is "damp". At least in these conditions the skis just seemed to roll/crush through the soft snow. With the bindings, each ski weighs 2.5 lbs heavier than my old ones. This is very easy to notice but they are much bigger(size/waist) so I did expect a heavier weight.


Overall, I like the skis. I hope to try them out on firmer snow soon.




I'm a high intermediate to low advance skier

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