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Would Volkl Kendo 164CM 2012 - 2013 be a good ski for me?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all. New to this site. Looks like a great deal of good advice here. Looking to upgrade to a better ski, so any advice I can get would be appreciated. I am a 5' 7", 140 lb., 62 year old male, who has been skiing for about 10 years. I live in the midwest, so the only ski area relatively close to my home is basically a hill with mostly man made snow. Obviously, that means that the runs are typically hard and icy. I usually ski there about 10 times in a season, but, each year I travel to the west and ski about 8 - 10 days. When I travel to the west, I particularly like skiing off piste ( crud, bumps, trees, and powder thats not to deep ). I realize that there isn"t one ski that does everything great, but, I would like to find a ski that I can use here at home, and will perform reasonably well for the type of skiing I enjoy when I travel to the west. Actually, since I ski as much, or more out west than I do here at home, I may even prefer that a ski be more suited for that type of skiing. I have skied at most areas located in Montana and Idaho, and have skied most all of the single black runs, so I guess I consider myself to be an intermediate to advanced level skier.  Will pretty much ski anything if the snow conditions are just right. I know that it would be good to demo skis, but that just isn"t possible here. There are  few resources available here with regard to skiing. I have specifically asked about the Volkl Kendo, but, would love to hear about any other skis that may work well for me. Also, if the Kendo would be a good ski, would a 164cm length work well for me. I currently ski an old Atomic Beta Carv C9+ at 160 cm. Thanks for your input.

post #2 of 10

Lot of folks here don't like the Kendo, because: (a) it's a Volkl; (b) it's popular with non-cognescenti, non-cool skiers; (c) it's not a Blizzard or an Indie ski; and (d) it has a waist under 100 mm.  Just sayin' this so you can put it in perspective when/if you get other comments. 

 

I demo'ed the 2013 Kendo last month at Jackson Hole and also demo-ed the 2010 Kendo (before it had early rise tip)  a few years ago at Stowe.  I'm 2 inches taller than you, 10 pounds heavier and 3 years younger.  I think it would be a great ski for you.  People will tell you it's strictly an East Coast  carver but, if they do, ask them (1) how much they weigh, and (2) if they've ever actually skied it in the West.  It's true that the Kendo carves precisely and reassuringly on ice and hardpack, but the recent (early rise tip) model will also take you over (rather than into) crud, bumps, etc.  It's quite maneuverable in moguls and trees.  And, for your weight, it has enough width to give some "float" (granted, this is a relative term) through soft snow and powder (if you see any).  

 

On one point though: before getting it in 164, you might want to try the 170 length.

 

Hope that helps.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I'm also considering the Nordica Steadfast, Volkl RTM84, and the Kastle LX82 & MX88. Do you know anything about these? One other thing I didn't mention in my original post is that I prefer not to have a ski that requires you to ski it fast for optimum performance. Thanks again.

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJoe View Post

Thanks. I'm also considering the Nordica Steadfast, Volkl RTM84, and the Kastle LX82 & MX88. Do you know anything about these? One other thing I didn't mention in my original post is that I prefer not to have a ski that requires you to ski it fast for optimum performance. Thanks again.

I have skied the RTM 84. I like them very much, very responsive edge to edge, excellent edge hold, works in powder (not too deep of course) too. Good stiffness so I do not have to worry about overpowering them (I'm 6', 200 lb advanced intermediate so my heavy ass overpowers some of the softer skis like some Kastles rather easily when going fast on harder surfaces). I like them for the versatility and I bought a pair myself for my speed and front side all mountain. The only thing that one may need to be cautious about is the low edge (close to flat) stability. When I tuck down and gain speed, the skis, with full rocker profile, have a tendency of going off course if I do not pay attention and actively control them. It is like driving a sports car with toe-out setting. If you don't grab the steering wheel firmly the car will go to a god-know-where location (that may be the best analogy that I can come up with...sorry). It is a bad pair of cruising skis but for me it is an acceptable trade off. A little stability loss for some deeper stuff maneuverability (definitely more agile in powder when compare with a pair of cambered skis with similar waist).
post #5 of 10

I've spoken to a number of good skiers about the Kendo, they're super popular back here for good reason. I'd say the 164 would work, but also the 170, depending on whether you want to emphasize maneuverability or stability. Of the other skis you mention, the MX88 is the class of the class, a 168 would fit perfectly, if you have the $$ you won't be sorry. The LX82 is a nice all-around, less power and stability than the MX88, a little forgiving but otherwise a smaller envelope. Cannot speak to the Steadfast, but you might do a search, it's been reviewed and posted about quite a bit here, seems like a nice ski. RTM84 has attracted a lot less attention, not sure why. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I've spoken to a number of good skiers about the Kendo, they're super popular back here for good reason. I'd say the 164 would work, but also the 170, depending on whether you want to emphasize maneuverability or stability. Of the other skis you mention, the MX88 is the class of the class, a 168 would fit perfectly, if you have the $$ you won't be sorry. The LX82 is a nice all-around, less power and stability than the MX88, a little forgiving but otherwise a smaller envelope. Cannot speak to the Steadfast, but you might do a search, it's been reviewed and posted about quite a bit here, seems like a nice ski. RTM84 has attracted a lot less attention, not sure why. 

I think the issue with RTM is the radical full rocker design. Although there are many praises, many people I have spoken to automatically 'hate' it as soon as they hear 'full rocker' on a pair of front-side before they even tried it. But OTOH, many liked them and bought once they tried them. I would suggest demoing all of those that you mentioned. One man's meat is another man's poison.
post #7 of 10

I haven't skied the Kendo, but I have skied the RTM 84 and the Steadfast has been my daily driver for the past two seasons.  I was prepared to hate the RTM when I tried it because my previous experience with full rocker skis was that I couldn't wait to get rid of them, but I was surprised by the RTM.  It handled very well and seemed to be a ski that was capable of doing a lot of stuff pretty well.  It does not have the edge grip of the Steadfast on groomers and I really wouldn't want to use it in icy conditions.  It might be a bit easier to handle in the trees than the Steadfast.  For skiing both in the midwest and Rockies I think the Steadfast is a better choice than the RTM 84 because of the edge grip.  I've skied the Steadfast in 18-20" of powder without trouble, handles nicely in the trees and works for me in the bumps. I'm about an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier and ski the 170, the shortest length made.

 

My suggestion is that you demo some skis on your next trip west.  Not every ski is right for every person.  The Steadfast works well for how I ski, but it might not work well for you.  

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I've spoken to a number of good skiers about the Kendo, they're super popular back here for good reason. I'd say the 164 would work, but also the 170, depending on whether you want to emphasize maneuverability or stability. Of the other skis you mention, the MX88 is the class of the class, a 168 would fit perfectly, if you have the $$ you won't be sorry. The LX82 is a nice all-around, less power and stability than the MX88, a little forgiving but otherwise a smaller envelope. Cannot speak to the Steadfast, but you might do a search, it's been reviewed and posted about quite a bit here, seems like a nice ski. RTM84 has attracted a lot less attention, not sure why. 

Thanks for your input.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I haven't skied the Kendo, but I have skied the RTM 84 and the Steadfast has been my daily driver for the past two seasons.  I was prepared to hate the RTM when I tried it because my previous experience with full rocker skis was that I couldn't wait to get rid of them, but I was surprised by the RTM.  It handled very well and seemed to be a ski that was capable of doing a lot of stuff pretty well.  It does not have the edge grip of the Steadfast on groomers and I really wouldn't want to use it in icy conditions.  It might be a bit easier to handle in the trees than the Steadfast.  For skiing both in the midwest and Rockies I think the Steadfast is a better choice than the RTM 84 because of the edge grip.  I've skied the Steadfast in 18-20" of powder without trouble, handles nicely in the trees and works for me in the bumps. I'm about an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier and ski the 170, the shortest length made.

 

My suggestion is that you demo some skis on your next trip west.  Not every ski is right for every person.  The Steadfast works well for how I ski, but it might not work well for you.  

Thanks. I appreciate the information.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I haven't skied the Kendo, but I have skied the RTM 84 and the Steadfast has been my daily driver for the past two seasons.  I was prepared to hate the RTM when I tried it because my previous experience with full rocker skis was that I couldn't wait to get rid of them, but I was surprised by the RTM.  It handled very well and seemed to be a ski that was capable of doing a lot of stuff pretty well.  It does not have the edge grip of the Steadfast on groomers and I really wouldn't want to use it in icy conditions.  It might be a bit easier to handle in the trees than the Steadfast.  For skiing both in the midwest and Rockies I think the Steadfast is a better choice than the RTM 84 because of the edge grip.  I've skied the Steadfast in 18-20" of powder without trouble, handles nicely in the trees and works for me in the bumps. I'm about an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier and ski the 170, the shortest length made.

 

My suggestion is that you demo some skis on your next trip west.  Not every ski is right for every person.  The Steadfast works well for how I ski, but it might not work well for you.  

Ohh you was prepared to hate it wasn't you~~~~~~~~~~~lol just kidding. Yeah I agree. Demo for sure. I have not tried the Steadfast to compare. Full rockers can be a bit unstable especially when you are skiing short. My own is 181 and today I borrowed a pair of 175 just for the sake of trying, and immediately noticed the decreased stability. For me the top sheet of all the Nordicas just an immediate turn off...sorry I do consider how skis look too...please do not despite me...

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