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Volkl Kendo

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, pretty simple post here.  Have heard amazing things about the Kendo (i.e. every member of the Skis.com crew gave it 5 stars, which doesn't happen too often) and just wanted to know who has been on them, what did you think, what have you heard etc.  Any experiences or opinions are greatly apprecited.  From what it sounds like it might be my next ski, but figured I'd ask you guys first.  Hopefully they'll be available this Saturday at Holiday Valley, as I'm going to demo day.

 

Tyler

post #2 of 23

I reviewed that ski pretty extensively here:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/98203/2011-mid-fat-ski-reviews-80-100mm-waist-skis

 

It is a great ski. I slightly preferred my Elan Apex, as it was a touch more damp and predictable, and also a little softer in flex (I don't weigh a whole lot) but overall, they were as close to the same ski as any 2 skis I tested. It is a great high-performance all mountain ski that does everything relatively well, and how I wish the Mantra skied. 

post #3 of 23

I'm going to give it a few more days, got a pair sunday night and skied a few hours in the pouring rain. Was a little disapointed in the way it initiated compared to my ac50's and didn't seem to want to buy into a shorter turn but, I'm going to give it some time and report back.

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

Hi guys, pretty simple post here.  Have heard amazing things about the Kendo (i.e. every member of the Skis.com crew gave it 5 stars, which doesn't happen too often) and just wanted to know who has been on them, what did you think, what have you heard etc.  Any experiences or opinions are greatly apprecited.  From what it sounds like it might be my next ski, but figured I'd ask you guys first.  Hopefully they'll be available this Saturday at Holiday Valley, as I'm going to demo day.

 

Tyler


You had better get in line behind me as I will be there as well and the Kendos are one of the boards I want to try out the most.

Rick G
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Haha nice, I just hope they'll bring enough, as last year the companies seemed to only bring the 80mm and under waisted skis.  But yeah, I'm really anxious to get on those things.  I was waiting for a narrower Mantra and alas, here it is.  Who knows maybe I'll see ya there.

 

Tyler

post #6 of 23

  If you find you like them PM me I may have decided they aren't turny enough for me, we'll see.

post #7 of 23

I was able to demo the Kendo alongside the Sultan 85 and the Nordica Enforcer in July.  Conditions were mostly hardpack, but I was searching out whatever softer stuff I could find.  I preferred the Kendo to the Sultan, which felt like a perfectly competent ski out of its element.  The Kendo was exactly what you'd expect from a narrower Mantra - stable and grippy at any speed I hit (not particularly fast) as well as moderately forgiving - they'd make a great 1 ski quiver.  I'm confident I could have bought a pair then and there and been perfectly happy, although I'd like to have given it another test drive two weeks later when the snow finally arrived.  However, my fave of those three by far was the Enforcer which, whilst still torsionally stiff, seemed to flow with the terrain rather than bash over or through it.

 

They were also offering up the Kastle line for demo and, over an entire day, I never found the MX88 available in the tent.  People were staying on them beyond their allotted two runs and others were waiting to snap them up immediately they were returned.  Rave reviews.

 

Oh!  I'm also 6'4" and 210lbs, so take my views with that in mind.


Edited by sinbad7 - 12/14/10 at 6:30pm
post #8 of 23

If you ski mostly Eastern groomers like myself, I don't know if this would be a good first--or even third--choice.

 

Most all Volkl's I have tried, I found it to be pretty stiff and tiring for short turns. On groomers, it also lacked any character or spunk at the speeds I normally ski at--20-30mph. It takes a lot of effort to inititation turns at slower speed. I know this model gets a lot of rave reviews but my humble and less than expert impression, from just spending 1/2 an hour on the ski, was that it's designed for high-speed or aggressive skiers who want to tear up a groomer at Mach 1 or have something to blast through crud. I found it to be entirely dead and lifeless in the speed range I normally find myself in(20-30mph). On groomers, it likes to make long and fast turns of the same size . For me, one word described it -- boring. For others, it might be the opposite, depending on your preferences and comfort with high speeds on groomers.

 

I also tried the Fischer Motive 84 and my only question now is, should I wait until they go on sale or buy a pair now? 

post #9 of 23

Well, I certainly didn't find them boring, but skis are a "horses for courses" type of thing.  Think of the Kendo as a hard snow biased all rounder.  Lots of chat about them in various concurrent threads, so you should get a decent idea from reading a number of opinions.  The OP didn't specify the snow conditions being targeted, but the threads and reviews have laid it all out. 

post #10 of 23

I demoed the Kendo last week, and I will probably own a pair as soon as I can find one for a reasonable price.

 

I'm 5'11", 180, ski pretty aggressively, but mostly groomers, because that's what's available in SoCal.  My daily driver is Volkl Tigershark 10ft, I also ski a Volkl Racetiger (SL) quite often.  These are both torsionally stiff, short radius skis, so you can probably guess that I like to carve rails on groomers.

 

The conditions were basically very hard groomed man made, before it had a chance to soften up.  The Kendo's grip was amazing - I felt as secure as on the Tigersharks.

What I found most amazing about the Kendo is how smooth it is when you tighten the turn radius.  Despite the 22m turn radius at the 177cm I tested, the Kendos were able to handle short radius turns very well.  Basically, the feel like a GS ski, but they are happy at slower speeds, too.

 

I only wish I had a chance to test them in powder, but I can't see that at 88mm they wouldn't be a major improvement over my Tigersharks.

 

I also tested a couple of flavors of Salomon Tornados, and Blizzard G.Power and M.Power, and the Kendo was a clear winner for me.  The Tornado Ti and M.Power were as good at higher speeds, but didn't like slower speeds.  The Kendo is the closest thing to a one-quiver ski I ever tested.  (Given my skills, size and location).

 

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

Demoed the Kendo on Saturday at Holiday Valley.  Very well groomed corduroy and a little fresh snow in the woods.  It was the first ski I tried, unfortunately, so I might not have been 100 percent  ready for this big of a ski, but I wanted to try them and they were first on my list.  The first thing I noticed was that the ski was significantly more difficult to get on its edge than my 80 underfoot CX80's, despite the highly acclaimed wide ride bingings.  Once I got used to them though, THEY RIPPED.  Amazing edge hold, super stable, very very powerful ski, typical Volkl.  The downside was it really didn't seem like it could be a viable option for anything other than your typical on-piste runs.  Could they get through the trees?  Yeah, but not well.  Could they handle some pow?  Yeah, but only a limited amount.  And despite what you've heard, it's NOT an all-radius ski, meaning it would much rather be busting long GS turns at speed than anything else.  As if the angle required to turn these monsters wasn't enough, you need even more edge angle to even have a shot of executing some short-radius turns.  Lastly, crud busting was very good.  That's really about it.  Basically a really wide race ski that can dabble in other areas.  Probably an ideal groomer ski out west.  Check out my complete post on my day of demoing.  I demoed Fischer Progressor 10+, Fischer non-FIS slalom, Fischer Motive 80, Kastle MX78, Head iMagnum (no chip unfortunately), and even the Anton Gliders I've been hearing so much about, along with the Kendo.

 

Tyler

post #12 of 23

For those who ended up buying the Kendo, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts now that it's later in the season... anyone?

post #13 of 23

i was just browsing through looking up on here about the kendo and i found this.  I work at a ski shop in southern new hampshire.  last year i was unable to ski due to a couple knee surgeries.  however, i sold more of this ski and its older brother (mantra) than you would expect.  One of the best selling points on this ski was that it is a great ski for people that are used to a system ski/binding.  People will often walk in and assume that because you have to put a binding on it, it is for tricks and younger kids looking to go insane on it.  but that is not true and in my opinion, this is the direction that skis are headed.  at the shop there are 7 guys that ski the mantra.  I however will be purchasing the kendo for this season.  I'm a little guy (5'8, 130 pounds) and the single sheet of titanium used in the kendo will be best matched to me.  the idea of these ski's is to be a single ski quiver.  though the ski is wide, the initiation of turns is not as difficult as one may think (this is interesting trying to convince people coming off of skis less than 70 mm at the waste) but it is true.  it is designed to shred groomers and float over pow, and rip through slush and ice.  the titanium used in the construction of the ski allows it to be tortianlly stiff as well as helping it cut through the ice.  

 

all around this ski and the mantra are great ski's and perfect for anyone looking to just cruise around or do some shredding in some light pow

post #14 of 23
I needed a new pair of skis and just placed an order for the 2012 Kendos. I live in the New England area and I never had a chance to demo them because they were never available anywhere. Every pair was always sold out. One of my friends got a pair and loves them. I talked to others who had them and they also have only good things to say. I did get a chance to demo a 2010 Mantra last year and I really liked that, but I found it a little tough to turn as I was going over some rough terrain. The concensus seems to be that the Kendo is the east coast Mantra. I can't wait to get on these skis!

Also, a little off topic, but I just got my GF the Volkl Fuegos. She tried them last year and liked those over everything else she tried. Volkl is definitely doing something right.
post #15 of 23

That Kendo is such a nice ski. I ended up ordering a pair for the coming season, along with a couple of others in that width range, as my narrower firmer snow ski; groomers, trees, and bumpos.  It handles crud better than almost anything around in that width range, probably because the tip is stiff enough and can hold up.  Great ski; similar to the Sentinel, but a little lighter underfoot. The Sentinel also has a "rockered" tip (quotes because it seems like a marketing rocker; you wouldn't know that one had rocker and one didn't on a blind ski test) but in terms of how they actually perform on the snow, the Kendo's tip is a bit more compliant and just perfect for crud busting and faster skiing in bumps.  Looking forward to comparing it to the Head Rock n' Roll (which is a very impressive ski), my Apex from Elan, and the Kastle FX94. 

 

 

post #16 of 23

After demoing a pair of Kendo's over Christmas last year, I bought a pair .  Very quick, stable ski that cruised through crud like it was soft butter.  This year, I bought a 2012 pair of Mantras (sold the Kendo's.)  I've only skied the new Mantra's once this year, but overall they significantly out performed the Kendo's in every category.  Although wider than the Kendo, because of the rocketed tip, the Mantra's feel quicker.  I have been skiing for over 30 years and am 52, 6'1" and weight 210 lbs..  I like Volkls because they are a stiff ski and I like a shorter ski (my Mantra's and Kendo's are 177s.)  If there is a trend, it seems like heaver aggressive skiers like Volkls, but lighter skiers think they are to stiff.

 

Before you pull the trigger on the Kendo's, demo the 2012 Mantra's.

post #17 of 23

The 2012 Mantra sounds like it has the nimbelness of the Kendo in the more burly Mantra package- What I loved about the Kendo (I skied the Kendo 177 for a day, the 177 Mantra for a couple seasons) was it's quickness and lively playfulness- what I missed was the Mantras rock solid stability- the Manta can be quick and playful too, just more work. This looks like a really good design combining both skis strengths. I almost bought Kendos last year, but waited too long and they sold out. It'll be interesting to demo them both, back to back.

post #18 of 23

Couldn't be happier with my Kendo purchase this year.  

 

I'm coming from an AC40 that in three seasons I probably put 150 days on.  

I loved that AC40, but after 8 days on the Kendos, I think I love the Kendo even more.

 

Both skis absolutely rip, but the Kendos feel both faster and more nimble than my AC40s.

With less sidecut, I can choose where I want to laydown a big turn, instead of being automatically in the middle of one.

In tight places I feel more in control than I did with my AC40s - l have every bit of the power, but without the heft.

I'm not a jumper, but I've found myself looking for more for ways to catch some air.  

And its easy to say that the  Kendos definitely float better than the AC40s did,  (but since the AC40s were such a submarine, I'm still very

excited to pick up a more powder specific ski, although I might not get to do that this year, so I'll try to demo something soon).  

 

I'd say overall the Kendo feels both aggressive and playful, in that order.

 

Slash, slash, rip.  Zoom.  Goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #19 of 23

 I got a chance to ski the Kendo and the new Mantra back to back today in 177.  Perhaps a more even comparison might be a 184 Kendo to a 177 Mantra given the Mantras wider platform. New Mantra initiates instantly with the early rise. Quicker than the Kendo, the same liveliness yet burly and stable as the old Mantra.  Great ski. Confident.  

 

(Alta, mostly man made hard pack groomers)              

post #20 of 23
What bindings are recommended for the Kendo? I am looking at purchasing one more pair of skis out of a narrowed down choice of like five. Two of them come with integrated bindings - Kendo, Twenty Twelve and Lord skis do not.
post #21 of 23

http://www.epicski.com/search.php?search=what+bindings+should+i+get

 

Only 9 thousand threads to choose from (literally).  Take your pick.

post #22 of 23


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMT View Post

After demoing a pair of Kendo's over Christmas last year, I bought a pair .  Very quick, stable ski that cruised through crud like it was soft butter.  This year, I bought a 2012 pair of Mantras (sold the Kendo's.)  I've only skied the new Mantra's once this year, but overall they significantly out performed the Kendo's in every category.  Although wider than the Kendo, because of the rocketed tip, the Mantra's feel quicker.  I have been skiing for over 30 years and am 52, 6'1" and weight 210 lbs..  I like Volkls because they are a stiff ski and I like a shorter ski (my Mantra's and Kendo's are 177s.)  If there is a trend, it seems like heaver aggressive skiers like Volkls, but lighter skiers think they are to stiff.

 

Before you pull the trigger on the Kendo's, demo the 2012 Mantra's.


 

  Got that right... I demoed the Kendos twice and really liked them for their lively, energetic personality...  but I missed the burlyness of the old Mantra. They're almost a Mantra-... Skied an hour on the new Mantras with the early rise and was really impressed with the quickness and ease of turn initiation it gave them. They retain all the energy and pop combined with the rock solid authority of the old Mantras.  Bought the Mantras.

post #23 of 23

I tried my new Kendos yesterday in a 170.  I'm an advanced EC skier 5' 11" 182lbs so these are a notch short for me but I didn't mind at all.  My initial impression was vague because I felt that they gave very little feedback.  What they did do, however, was anything I told them to.  They were strangely effortless to pilot, so much so that I couldn't get a grip on the personality of the ski.  I've demoed 2 different generation of Mantras before with positive, yet different, impressions.

 

The terrain was shallow, boring, manmade snow so that probably contributed.  I'm still nursing a knee injury from last season but I think this'll be a good ski for my recovery season as it just doesn't seem very demanding.   

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