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Second Thoughts About Volkl Kendo - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snodayz View Post

It's funny, but I see a lot of negative comments about the Volkl Mantra's on these pages.  Maybe they lack the "cool' factor these days.  I'm 6'1', weigh 200lbs, ski 40 - 50 days per year and am a lower end expert skier.  I have the Mantra's as a one ski quiver because I travel by air a lot to ski - no chance of taking two pairs.  I haven't skied the Wailers and a lot of the wider skis suggested here.  But I have skied Pontoons, Coombas, Obsethed and a couple of the wider Icelantic skis extensively.  I've found all of these wider skis great in deep powder, but they absolutely suck in anything else.  The thing I like about the Mantras is that they make a very good fist of powder (I've skied them to about 18" of fresh), but are brilliant just about everywhere else - groomers, bumps, crud, you name it.  Maybe there're other skis out there that are just as good one ski quiver, but I doubt there are any that excel it in this role.  When these skis die, another pair of Mantras will be in my bag quick-smart.



Snodayz..............I agree with you 100%  I, too, have noticed the "least than positive" comments about the 2012 Mantra.  "To each their own" - I guess.

 

greenlander..........Like you, I bought a pair of Kendos after demoing them at Big Sky last year.  This year, however, I am skiing on a pair of 2012 Mantras.  Although I respect Philpug's advice very much, I disagree with his thought that the Mantras are like "Going from the frying pan to the fire" statement.  The 2012 Mantras out perform the Kendos in every way.  Again, "To each their own."

 

Before you rule out the Mantras, demo a pair.  If you like the Kendos (I did,) you'll LOVE the 2012 Mantra.  I'm 6'1" 205 lbs. and ski the Mantra in a 177 (the Kendos were 177, also.)

post #32 of 51

I think peoples dislike of the mantra has to do more with the individual's weight than the actual ski. I think someone who is bigger will have a better time on the mantra and not feel as if they have to muscle them down the hill. I am 5'10" and 150 and was able to demo the 2012 mantra and kendo 170 back to back and the kendo was better for me at my weight as the extra width (same construction) made them seem stiffer and harder to bend than the kendo's. I still enjoyed the Mantra and thought it was a great ski; I just like the Kendo much better as it was more workable with my mass.

post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastcoastdad View Post

I think peoples dislike of the mantra has to do more with the individual's weight than the actual ski. I think someone who is bigger will have a better time on the mantra and not feel as if they have to muscle them down the hill. I am 5'10" and 150 and was able to demo the 2012 mantra and kendo 170 back to back and the kendo was better for me at my weight as the extra width (same construction) made them seem stiffer and harder to bend than the kendo's. I still enjoyed the Mantra and thought it was a great ski; I just like the Kendo much better as it was more workable with my mass.

One of dawgcatching's most useful (to me) observations is that Volkls tend to be friendlier skis for heavier people. The lighter the skier, the smaller the sweet spot and the tougher to get the ski to flex longitudinally. I agree with dawg's observations on Elans vs Volkls in this respect and bought (and ski) the 888 and 1010 instead of the Mantra and Kendo because the Elans actually flex for me at speeds below 30mph. I weigh 145-150 and ski fairly fast, and still found the Volkls a handful most times. If dawg says the Kendo is a bit friendlier for lighter skiers I believe him! For every ski I've owned and skied extensively that he's reviewed, I've found his reviews on the money. Probably because I weigh nearly the same as him.
post #34 of 51
Bigger guys have bigger feet. It occurrs to me that the op may like the Mantra better as daily driver. I have size 8 feet wear 24 shell. Off the deep and softer phases back on the firm with Mantra I can feel the width detracting from the precision. The Kendo at 88 is fine. So Mantra soft & deep, Kendo soft & firm up to hard then jump to narrower ice carvers. Or if you are a one ski person riding real world conditions: big guy, big feet = Mantra, avg. to small guy, small feet = Kendo. S'il vous plaît 
post #35 of 51

There is a lot of information, personal choices and wisdom, but the skis will be dancing on your feet and once you find the ski(s) you like.  You will have "fast feet" and the confidence to ski any line. 

Have only skied east coast inverted ice rinks a few times, but have skied "ice".  Being "old school" I choose a giant slalom ski as my "all round" ski, never shorter than 207cm and I am 5'10" and 200+/-, and have skied my 184 Mantras and longer "torsion box" skis in waist to chest deep pow......... chalk it up to years of skiing or luck, but I have had many powder days of stupid-foolish-grins that cracked my ear lobs off my face with a narrow waisted ski.

If I may suggest, try the beginning of next season driving your Kendos without poles, it will help you find that sweet spot on you ski for easier and quicker feet.  Next, see if you can ski in areas on days when there is a Ski Demo taking place that you may try a number of different skis and find the pair(s) you like. And if you have not noticed, this time of year usually has the best priced skis.  Renting has its pluses, but even the top end demos are tuned to perfection and remember a demo binding changes the flex of many skis.  Please remember as you get better, the response you will want from your skis will change...

 

And please think about your days skiing, there may be those "Epic" days of powder everywhere, but you will have to spark-an-arc on groomed or through death-cookie mashed potato crud to get back to a lift.  Oh yeah, I have a 177 Kendo, still learning its quirks, good luck in finding that pair of skis to which you wished you had bought a second pair.

post #36 of 51

The volkl kendo was never intended as a specialty ski, either ice or deep snow.  It's an all mountain ski, ans as such is kind of like an all season tire - reasonabley good in all conditions, but excels in none.  I agree with others that if you already have the kendos, get a specialty ski for what you may encounter out west, and remember what you've already been told about the west skiing - you won't hit the huge powder days very often unless you ski out here every day.  Therefore, even if you are buying a ski for the west, it needs to be somewhat accomplished in hard, soft pack and crud as well as powder.  Once you get up to 112 under foot, you begin to lose some of that versatility.  Every skier out there will give you a tip on the best ski based on their experience, so you need to look into reviews on skis and see what the testers say to help you make up your mind.  To that end I'm going to offer my choice - The Line Influence 105.  It has a little early rise on the tip, is awesome in powder and crud, and holds on well on hard pack.  At 6ft 1in. and 235, there is no way the Kendo will hold you up in powder.  I think the Influence would, and not leave you wishing for more ski on harder conditions.  I ski out west, and in an area renowned for powder, but we get everything from that to ice, hard pack, wet rain soaked snow, chop, etc.  I have tried the wider (115 under foot) skis, and although fun in the fresh stuff, they just don't cut it in hard conditions unless powder 11's are your technique.  I think you would really like the ski I recommended - I certainly do because it skis everything I encounter well (I actually have the Line Prophet 100) - the Influence will be my next ski.  It will be as close to a 1 ski in the quiver ski you can get for skiing out west. I also agree with others that having 2 skis if you are an easterner who comes west as much as you do makes sense.  If your bank account says no, remember that if you buy a second ski now, you won't need any new ski for years to come, so if you average it out - cost is not prohibitive.  Also, now is the time to buy online.  If you shop around there are great deals on last year's skis.  Good luck.

post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidel View Post

At 6ft 1in. and 235, there is no way the Kendo will hold you up in powder.  I think the Influence would, and not leave you wishing for more ski on harder conditions.

May also depend on speed you ski. I've sunk like a stone on plenty of 105's in tighter terrain at moderate speeds, and I weigh 70 lbs less. 

post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

May also depend on speed you ski. I've sunk like a stone on plenty of 105's in tighter terrain at moderate speeds, and I weigh 70 lbs less. 


No doubt about it - 105's WILL sink at slower speeds at any weight.  Some of that has to do with technique.  What I'm saying is that to get a ski that will turn effortlessly in powder at any speed, you would need to go up to a rockered ski at 115mm. or more under foot, but then you don't have "one ski that does it all".  I have seen a few skiers that put a wide rockered ski on edge and make it hold on hard pack, but I have seen many more who just survive getting down in harder conditions.  Anyone skiing on a reverse cambered ski just flat out can't turn in hard conditions - so they don't - and that becomes a concern for us all.

post #39 of 51

A bit of a sidetrack. What is this thing about not sinking in powder? Isn't that the idea? To ski in a three dimensional plane rather than just be on top like some kind of soft groomer. I can understand if the person lacks powder skills and needs a crutch to get down the hill but expert powder skiers who started pre-rocker, pre-wide, pre-shaped know that it's not about being on top of the snow and rather IN the snow to get that magical ethereal sensation.

post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

A bit of a sidetrack. What is this thing about not sinking in powder? Isn't that the idea? To ski in a three dimensional plane rather than just be on top like some kind of soft groomer. I can understand if the person lacks powder skills and needs a crutch to get down the hill but expert powder skiers who started pre-rocker, pre-wide, pre-shaped know that it's not about being on top of the snow and rather IN the snow to get that magical ethereal sensation.


If you're such an expert that is looking for the "ethereal" feel, then why do you ski a cochise?

post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

A bit of a sidetrack. What is this thing about not sinking in powder? Isn't that the idea? To ski in a three dimensional plane rather than just be on top like some kind of soft groomer. I can understand if the person lacks powder skills and needs a crutch to get down the hill but expert powder skiers who started pre-rocker, pre-wide, pre-shaped know that it's not about being on top of the snow and rather IN the snow to get that magical ethereal sensation.

Congratulations, you've just accessed a series of old wars on powder technique. Suggest a search. Basically, two way overstated schools on this: Surf the top of the pow (meaning you're just in it a few inches), so that it feels smooth and silky but not bottomless. Or get down in it (meaning calf or higher) and do some porpoising. Which provides a unique sensation also, very different from just smoothing out chop, but loses the surfing/banking feel. OTOH, both of these extremes bear almost no relationship to being in real snow. Where you do both and more.

 

If you're lucky enough to find a real dump, you'll be in it up to your knees or hips if you're skiing trees or anywhere tight at a moderate speed, then plane up more if you open up the throttle. Or where even a 140 mm waist will sink in northern Rockies smoke, while a 98 mm will come right up if you're maching a big bowl. It's more about the density of the snow, the flex of the ski, and the speed you're traveling than whether the ski is 105 or 115. 

 

So ethereal, definitely. But that means different things to different people. Personally, if that's what you're aiming for, I'd go buy a moderately soft 110-115 fat pure powder ski with some mild rocker in front (not sure about rear, would depend on how you ski but I have a hunch you're like a somewhat traditional tail) and then pick up an 88 something like a Kendo or Apex or Magnum 8.7 for everyday driver. Great prices right now on both genres. Because eimmortal's dead on: A Cochise is a great daily driver for big mountains, but it's in no way a dedicated-to-providing-ethereal-sensations powder ski. And if you can find two skis for nearly the price of one, why compromise?

post #42 of 51

Here! Here!
 

post #43 of 51

The kendo is the right ski for 90% of the skiing you are going to do.  Since you have the kendo if you want a second pair of skis find a nice pair to skis that are 110 to 120 under foot for powder.  I live in Colorado and ski the Scott Punisher 110 under foot on everything but bumps and ski my old 2003 Gotomas 103 under foot for pumps these are old skis with a narrow shovel.  I am considering the kendo to compliment my Punishers.  Or if you only ski out west a few times a year rent powder boards when you need them like you did in JH.  I am 6' 4" and 250 and the Punisher work great  for even deep 18 inch days.  Even my old Gotomas at 103 under foot with a narrow shovel would not give me much float in over 6 inches.

post #44 of 51
One set of skis does not do everything, this is why most of the people who ski a lot have a few pairs. Keep what you have and consider what you wil be skiing for another pair. Fat skis are not as easy to turn on the groomers, or hard pack. The closes ski I have been on that does most things well is the Volkl Katana.
Some of my friends and my wife ski on Rosii S7's, they are more forgiving as they are softer but if you want to ski 50 mph or more on the groomers they wil vibrate being soft.
The one thing about skis is it is hard to tell someone what would be good for them without knowing how they actualy ski. As you said this was your first ski I would say as you gat better your taste in skis will change.
The area We have our pass at has a demo-day in December, if you can go to a demo-day you can try out lots of skis.
What Colorado Kid said about renting is good advice as you do not get lots of deep powder days back east, I know as I grew up in NE.
Edited by tomfifield - 1/28/14 at 9:57am
post #45 of 51

If you're travelling, I highly recommend talking to the pros and the shops where you're heading.  They can figure out your style and find a ski that works for you and the conditions you're going to be skiing on.  I don't bring my skis on my trips unless I know for sure the conditions will be fairly similar.  I am happy if I get a 75% fit, otherwise I rent for local conditions.

 

Enjoy your next trip West!

 

My home mountain is Whistler.

 

Best,

 

Ole

post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

A bit of a sidetrack. What is this thing about not sinking in powder? Isn't that the idea? To ski in a three dimensional plane rather than just be on top like some kind of soft groomer. I can understand if the person lacks powder skills and needs a crutch to get down the hill but expert powder skiers who started pre-rocker, pre-wide, pre-shaped know that it's not about being on top of the snow and rather IN the snow to get that magical ethereal sensation.

I don't know but I think I know what I am doing in powder, I feel powder skis are not a crutch, they are called powder skis for a reason. If you want to see the change they have made watch Warren Miller movies over time. and see the difference in the way the skiers ski and what they do. I must admit I am no kid any more and what skiers are doing on big mountains are way beyond anything I have done, or anyone before, they are all on fat skis, I think they have the skills. I however have been lucky to have a number of very good skiers to ski with, one of them was in an older W/M movie skiing on the thin skis of the day, know what skis he skied on after fat skis came out; hint, fat skis. Do you think a guy who was a star in a W/M movie lacks the skills? Every person I see in the powder on thin skis is going slow making wide turns and stopping often, they rip up the snow with their zig zagging. It may be you are the exception, I know there must be a few hold outs, this is just what I have seen.
I skied for ever and a day on old fashion GS skis in powder, I dove off off many a cliff and cornice on them just fine, I skied with all mountain skis in deep powder and did old school air tricks off of cornices and rocks with them as well. When fat skis came out I made the change and I am so happy I did, you still sink in some but, it is so much better skiing powder on fat skis. Do as you wish but don't try to convince people that sinking in deep on thin skis in deep powder is better. For one you don't get the speeds out of thin skis you can on fat ones, if you want to work harder and ski slower as sinking deeper on thin skis will slow you down, go for it. Of course this is just IMHO.
Edited by tomfifield - 1/28/14 at 1:40pm
post #47 of 51

Get a pair of Line Prophets 98... same under foot as a Mantra but softer. Great ALL MOUNTAIN ski.

post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfifield View Post


 When fat skis came out I made the change and I am so happy I did, you still sink in some but, it is so much better skiing powder on fat skis.

 

Can you put out some numbers to define what you mean by "fat"?

post #49 of 51
I don't know what the official measure is for fat, but I would say 110 or more under foot. How fat you go would be adjusted for what you are skiing.
post #50 of 51

That was my thought from reading your post but wanted to check with you that you were thinking upwards of 110 to qualify as a fattie.

post #51 of 51

I skied the Kendos out in Snowbird last season a few days after a storm.  I found them to be really good in all the conditions I found out there.  They were quick and nimble in the soft, bumped up trees and chutes.  They held at speed railing groomers.  And when we found some 3 day old settled powder stashes they were fine there too.  I am an EC'er, so I have race skis for daily driver for typical east coast days, and will break out the Kendos for the occasional trip to Jay Peak, or when it snows.  I'm 5'7", 150 lb. and I'm on a 170 Kendo. It's the right length for me.

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