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volkl aura vs kenja - womens [Colorado intermediate]

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for new alpine skis to replace my k2 sweet luv's. I'm an intermediate skier, 5'4". Wight 93lbs.

I'm considering the volkl aura and kenja, and would welcome any thoughts on these and others that might be suitable.

post #2 of 22

Welcome to EpicSki!  Since you are a lightweight, what makes you think that Volkl is a good brand for you?  Have you demo'd those or any other skis?  I'm 5'0", 115 pounds, advanced but not aggressive.  Every time I check a Volkl, I find that I don't like them.  The brands that I like are Rossignol and Blizzard.  I've found that Dynastar, K2, and Nordica are okay.  My all mountain are Rossi Attraxion 8.

 

You might get ask the women on TheSkiDiva.com.  There are more female intermediate skiers over there.

 

Where do you usually ski?  How well do you like your boots?

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Some women I ski with have them and like them. However they are not as light.

I really don't know which would be best, I'm just starting to look around. I plan to demo some but have not yet.

I do not ski aggressively but do want to be a better skier and do more steeper terrain.

I'm in CO.

Your comments were helpful. Thanks very much.

post #4 of 22

I also think there are other skis out there for you that will suit you much better, according to your weight, height and skiing style. Unfortunately I didn't demo any of these skis as well, but reading the reviews you could look at the Rossignol Temptation 82/88, Fischer Koa 88, Nordica Belles to/Hell's Belles, Blizzard Black Pearl. The Volkls are for stronger and/or heavier women with good technique (they're not very forgiving). If you still want to try one of those: the Kenja has a narrower waist and is a bit less stiff. 

post #5 of 22
I know two women who ski Auras. One is about 98 pounds soaking wet and in her 50's and will ski ANYTHING, although to look at her form you wouldn't think she skied that well, but she just gets down again and again no matter what the conditions or the trail rating. She's in fantastic physical shape and spends her summers bagging peaks in Glacier. The other, my daughter, is a former ski racer, and more recently, a coach. Weighs 115. Terrific form and a charger. So you can be tiny and love those skis, but you may need to compensate for the lack of weight with more skills. Personally, I am not nuts about a lively ski like a Volkl, just another thing to have to control.
post #6 of 22

Sibhusky, OP mentioned that she is an intermediate skier (her words). Generally, I would suggest a softer ski than one of the Völkls, simply because I think one would have more fun and the skier and the ski should match. I skied a ski that was too stiff and to much of a handfull when I was a beginner/intermediate and it certainly doesn't help one's ski technique, IMHO. On the contrary, I think that a ski that rides you (instead of the other way around) makes you insecure and throws you in the back seat (especially in tougher terrain, crud and bumps). Just my opinion, of course.

post #7 of 22
Totally aware of that, just responding to the statement about weight, but clearly stated a higher skill level needed to achieve this.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by j4248 View Post

I'm looking for new alpine skis to replace my k2 sweet luv's. I'm an intermediate skier, 5'4". Wight 93lbs.

I'm considering the volkl aura and kenja, and would welcome any thoughts on these and others that might be suitable.

Where do you normally ski ?

 

You want a fairly soft flexing ski that has good torsional stiffness. I'm  a 5'11" 200lbs male and ski the volkl Kendo, I have agreat time on the ski. It dose have a easy flex and lot's of torsional stiffness and is very light. I have it with the Salomon Ti binding.

 

I think the aura it a stiff ski and you may not be able to flex it.

 

Salomon makes some soft skis but I'm not a big fan of them here in the east. You want a ski with metal in it onthe firmmer snow.

 

FWIW, my buddies wife, about your size, loves her K2, Tuff Lov's. She is a high level skier. I haven't flexed her skis, but just finished tuning her old Burn-in Lov's which I bought for my GF, The Burn-in Lov's have a soft flex with good torsional stiffness.

post #9 of 22

I have the Kenjas and I'm 5'4" and 110 lbs . . .and I consider myself an intermediate skier. I don't find them punishing or exhausting. 

If you plan on demoing, give them a try if you think they are of interest to you.

Everyone's taste is different in how they like a ski to "feel" so why not give them a try?

Intermediate level can span a very wide range of abilities though, so maybe it will depend on if you are lower intermediate or higher intermediate as to how  they "fit" for you.

Agree with some of the other suggestions to also try: Blizzard Black Pearl, Rossi Temptation 82 or 88, Fischer Koa 88, or maybe the Salomon Rockette 90 or K2 Superstitious or Dynastar Eden

post #10 of 22

j4248: Since you are in CO, certainly should be relatively easy to do a personal demo day.  Best to do a run or two on the same runs with a variety of skis.  I find that I learn as much from skis that I do not like as those that I have a good time with from the start.  Try a couple different lengths in the same ski too.

 

Click on the Tags (on the right of Post #1) as a quick way to get to the EpicSki info about those models.  Scroll down for related threads.

 

Have fun shopping!

Quote:
Originally Posted by j4248 View Post

Some women I ski with have them and like them. However they are not as light.

I really don't know which would be best, I'm just starting to look around. I plan to demo some but have not yet.

I do not ski aggressively but do want to be a better skier and do more steeper terrain.

I'm in CO.

Your comments were helpful. Thanks very much.

post #11 of 22

I don't know if you've made your decision yet or not, but I would not recommend either of those skis for an intermediate skier.  They are very stiff.  I am 5'2" 120 lbs and a very aggressive 40-50 day a year expert level skier.  I ski a 163 Aura and absolutely love them, however, they demand aggressiveness to perform.  If you try to ski them without being really aggressive, it is hard to get them to respond and you'll probably hate them.  When your charging hard and fast on a steep chute, they will hold like nothing else and won't give out on you.  For an intermediate skier, you would probably enjoy a much more forgiving ski that matches your skiing style.  Having a ski that is too much will not make you a better skier, it will probably slow your progression.  

post #12 of 22

It's been a year since your plea for advice and you must have something by now, but in case you're still on your quest ...

 

Don't get too hung up on getting light skis as some suggest, just because you're an intermediate skier.  If you ever have to ski crud you'll hate light skis, because the crud will throw you around a bit until you develop good technique ... however you will trust a beefier ski in crud.

 

My personal opinion (as a longtime level 2 almost level 3 instructor) is that you can actually limit your progress with a too-easy ski.  You don't want to get ridiculous with a super stiff high performing ski necessarily, but do allow yourself to look at and try out beyond-intermediate skis ... because whatever you get, you'll get used to them soon enough, and grow with them.   Besides, you'll always have a good ski for taking out west with you (not sure where you live, but I'm in the east, so I think like that!).   

 

I have the Auras, and tried out the Kenjas recently for a couple of days, and absolutely loved the Kenjas.   The Auras are a little too wide under foot for a comfortable ride home on steep groomed terrain, once you're off the high alpine powdery areas ... steep groomed hard packed terrain is not what the Auras are built for, but sometimes you can't avoid dual conditions.   

 

Don't be afraid of Volkl, it's an awesome brand.  I don't have brand loyalty necessarily, and have owned many different brands over the years, however, my husband (a level 3 instructor), absolutely swears by Volkls.  (He has skied other brands too, but Volkl has always made up the majority of his quiver).   

 

If you found a ski, I hope you've been enjoying it!

post #13 of 22

You've probably made a decision by now, but since I am also shopping for new skis, and the Aura's are at the top of my list I felt the need to comment..

 

I am an intermediate level skier.  I didn't ski last year because I had a baby in January 2013 and have only been out twice so far this year and am currently pregnant again - I demo'd the Volkl Yumi's the first time out this year and the Aura's this past sunday.

 

So with all that said, my leg strength is not where it should be/normally is.  Neither is my stamina.  I'm also skiing slightly more cautiously than I normally would.  I am 5'7 and 140ish at the moment. 

 

I demo'd the Kendo's 2 years.ago  they were great.  I really liked them.  (men's of the Kenja's)

 

I didn't like the Yumi's at all.  They were too light.  I didn't feel like they were holding their edge as they should be and I didn't feel like I had the control I like. 

 

The Auras?  I LOVED.  They were not difficult to maneuver at all.  Even going slow to follow my 10 year old daughter.  My fiancé is an expert level skier and loves the backcountry and waist deep pow and I have to keep up with him... so needless to say I am always trying to improve my skills and I found that the Aura's gave me the ability and confidence to do just that.  I was keeping up with him much better than usual, they scrubbed over any ice without losing any stability and once I found my edge they were incredibly easy to hold.  I didn't find them overly stiff as he drug me through some double black crap that was rather bumpy... usually I would butter my way through the edge of that stuff but I was able to make some turns with confidence and actually ski through it instead of wrecking it for everyone else. 

 

Did I have to get down a bit lower than on my other skis when I wanted to go fast?  Sure.  But it was still comfortable and a great experience.  They were super responsive when I was working on my quick turns and I found the rocker made them more responsive than something with a camber. <-- just MY experience.  I think your weight wouldn't matter because the skis have a bit of weight to them that helps them perform on their own.

 

All in all, I was originally after the Kenja's because I really liked the Kendo's but now I've changed my mind and will probably be investing in some Aura's before the season is out and before I can't fit my snowpants anymore.

post #14 of 22

I say if you want to try the Aura and the Kenja than by all means do so.  My boyfriend and demo guy at our local resort did nothing but try and dissuade me against trying the Kenja and the Charisma for that matter.  They had said I needed to be a little more of a seasoned skier before taking on these guys.  They said the charisma is an advanced ski and the Kenja is wide, stiff and a lot of ski. 

Demo guy said he'd seen me ski and these are too much ski for me.  I am not one to listen when someone tries to dissuade me because I felt I could do it.  I tried the Charisma in 149 right away but it took me a while to get the courage to try the Kenja because I was scared of it given what I'd read and what I was told.  I tried the Charisma in 156 for a few runs and loved it and the Kenja in 156 for a couple runs.  The charisma in 156 got my attention right away, this ski rocks on ice.  Many others were sliding around and I was do di do just going along as if I was on a rail track.  My 2 runs on the Kenja left me a little nervous but excited and wanted to try it again. 

 

I then took out the 156 Kenja again for a full day.  Second time is a charm as I quickly learned that this ski likes bigger GS style turns and you have to be on the tips to get optimal performance.  Once you are on those tips you are rewarded with a ginsu hard packed digging in machine. 

 

Last weekend it was a powder day in Vermont so I decided to put my big girl pants on and demo the Kenja in a 163cm.  OMG, this ski can handle a more than decent amount of power.  I felt fearless.  I felt like I was driving a car with a turbo under the hood.  I felt very much in control but this Kenja wanted to go, you could just feel the power.  I liked the Kenja in 156 but this huge empowering feeling of I can ski on anything with the 163 told me this was my ski so I bought it.  

 

I am 5'6" and my experience with the Kenja might be because I am not a lightweight and a heavier gal but who knows.   All I know is I love this ski and If I listened to people I would have never gotten on it and now I own it.

 

I now always say try any ski you want, worst case is you don't like it and then you swap it for something else.


Edited by surfsnowgirl - 2/19/15 at 1:58pm
post #15 of 22
I'd try one of the Nordica skis (wild bell, nemesis), or the Head 'Great Joy'. Yes, I'm a 200-205# man and have skied the 177 Great Joy... It's a great ski with good edge grip and plenty of width/float/nimbleness for a light skier without needing the body weight or strength for a lighter skier that the Volkls you mention thrive on.
post #16 of 22

I second what Mark said.  The Head Joy series are great skis.  M wife went with me to the demos at Copper Mountain and tried the Total Joy, 85mm waist, and this is the first time ever that she said "I want that ski."  They're quick, they're light and they're fun.  Head has a similar series for men, Instinct, and I plan to buy one of those for myself.

post #17 of 22


I have heard fabulous things about the Head Joy Series and the total joy is on my radar for a demo when I am somewhere that has it.  Its slightly narrower than the Kenja but its getting rave reviews.  I am thinking in a year or two of getting a mid fatty like the Atomic Elysian but I am very curious about the Total Joy. 

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsnowgirl View Post
 


I have heard fabulous things about the Head Joy Series and the total joy is on my radar for a demo when I am somewhere that has it.  Its slightly narrower than the Kenja but its getting rave reviews.  I am thinking in a year or two of getting a mid fatty like the Atomic Elysian but I am very curious about the Total Joy. 

 

I actually tried the Head total joy ski and it wasn't for me.  It was slushy spring conditions out and it didn't do it for me.  It felt sluggish and wasn't very turney.   I demoed the Atomic Elysian and it was a different story, very turney and a ton of fun.  Perhaps I weigh too much for the total joy, perhaps its better on hard snow and not spring slop but either way I didn't feel the ski love so its not the ski for me.  Its gotten a lot of rave reviews so there are folks out there who like it.  My Kenja is my current ski and I love it a lot.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsnowgirl View Post

I actually tried the Head total joy ski and it wasn't for me.  It was slushy spring conditions out and it didn't do it for me.  It felt sluggish and wasn't very turney.   I demoed the Atomic Elysian and it was a different story, very turney and a ton of fun.  Perhaps I weigh too much for the total joy, perhaps its better on hard snow and not spring slop but either way I didn't feel the ski love so its not the ski for me.  Its gotten a lot of rave reviews so there are folks out there who like it.  My Kenja is my current ski and I love it a lot.

Great Joy for the slop... Ski it Head height if you're heavier than a drink of water and a strong skier. You just skied the wrong 'joy' for the job is all, and like all 'series' skis, some will be hits, others misses.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Great Joy for the slop... Ski it Head height if you're heavier than a drink of water and a strong skier. You just skied the wrong 'joy' for the job is all, and like all 'series' skis, some will be hits, others misses.

 

I have no doubt the joy series is good, just figured the total joy n me didn't bond yesterday.  I have my Kenja at 87 underfoot so the total joy isn't a serious ski for me anyway at 85 underfoot, I merely tried it out of curiosity.  I will be in the market to demo skis in the 95-100 range so will include the great joy in the list.   I am a strong skier and currently ski my Kenja in a 163 so I'll try the great joy in 168.   Thanks.

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsnowgirl View Post

I actually tried the Head total joy ski and it wasn't for me.  It was slushy spring conditions out and it didn't do it for me.  It felt sluggish and wasn't very turney.   I demoed the Atomic Elysian and it was a different story, very turney and a ton of fun.  Perhaps I weigh too much for the total joy, perhaps its better on hard snow and not spring slop but either way I didn't feel the ski love so its not the ski for me.  Its gotten a lot of rave reviews so there are folks out there who like it.  My Kenja is my current ski and I love it a lot.

Great Joy for the slop... Ski it Head height if you're heavier than a drink of water and a strong skier. You just skied the wrong 'joy' for the job is all, and like all 'series' skis, some will be hits, others misses.


For what it's worth, I'm on the other side of the fence.  I'm a petite older skier, advanced (level 8 on 9-point scale).   Liked the Total Joy and Absolut Joy at a Jan demo day in the mid-Atlantic.  Liked the Great Joy yesterday at Alta.  Did not like either Atomic I tried yesterday (relatively narrow) and have never liked a Volkl.

 

In general, demo days are the best way to learn not only what works well for someone but also what doesn't suit them.  Do not need to be an advanced skier to be able to tell the difference between skis that are fun and those that are not.  No fault of the ski . . . different strokes for different folks.

post #22 of 22
Agree 110%, marz. smile.gif. Venue also counts a great deal. If I were back in the midwest, I'd own one 98-100 for travel and the occassional big storm, but nothing else wider than 80 and carvy.
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