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Volkl Kendo or Kastle MX88???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just got back from a trip to Big Sky.  While out there, I had the chance to demo a pair of K2 Aftershock and Volkl Kendo skis (177cm.)  The Aftershocks were nice, but kind of "flat."  By that I mean not very responsive.  The Kendo's, on the other hand, were fantastic - very quick from edge to edge and busted through anything.  (The picture in my avatar is of me on the Kendo's.)


So, now I am thinking of buying new skis.  My list is down to the Kendo's or MX88's.  I have not had the opportunity to demo the MX88's, but every review I've read raves about them.   The two skis appear very similar in shape and construction.  Do the Kendo's and MX 88's "behave" the same?  If the MX88's are a notch up in performance, are they worth the price difference?


My profile:  I am 51 and started skiing when I was 16.  My height is 6'1" and I weigh 210 lbs.  Live in Minnesota and get out west once a year.  In Minnesota, I can ski anything.  Out west, I ski the front side - mostly blue squares and black diamonds.  I do not ski in the trees or bumps.  I ski with my 14 year old son and have no problem keeping up with him - we both ski from 09:00 am to 04:00 pm with about a half hour lunch stop. 





post #2 of 13

Well, you already know you enjoyed the ride on the Kendo. Why risk making a purchase on a ski like the MX88 without a demo, especially given the price tag?


Anyways, IMO, based on your stated terrain preferences and where you ski. if you are skiing groomers exclusively, don't ski trees or any off-piste conditions, and spend most of yuor time at smaller midwest hills, skis like the Kendo and MX88 likely will be serious overkill and you would probably have more fun on something like a Progressor, Motive, or some of the narrower Nordica's. Then again, my defintion of fun may not be somethig that belongs to someone else.



post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

MojoMan...........Thanks for your quick reply.  I agree with you in that either ski is serious overkill for skiing in Minnesota.  I am not concerned so much with over performance in Minnesota, but rather under performance out west.  For example, I own a pair of K2 Recons that I was happy with until I skied at Big Sky.  It was like driving a sedan on a race track.  I guess what I'm looking for is a ski that has sports car like performance, but can be driven on the highway.  My summer daily driver, for example, is a Corvette Z06.


So, my real question is:  Are the MX88's that much better than the Kendo's and if so is the price difference justified? 

post #4 of 13

I haven't skied the Kendo but I do own a pair of MX88's. Phenomenal, fun ski, sweet spot is a mile long, excellent build quality and I do ski it here in Minnesota. Works great here if you get a day where you've got the room to let them run. Worth the extra ? If you're summer daily driver is a Vette, get the 88's :)  88's mounted flat with Jesters or Griffins.  Couple of regular reviewers here associated with shops will give you a competitive deal on the 88...

post #5 of 13

I've skied them both (a day on the Kastles, a  couple of runs on the Volkls) and I think that, side-by-side, you'd like the MX's better, but not by much.   So I agree with MojoMan.   (Except that, since you aren't skiing groomed runs exclusively, no ski would be "overkill").

post #6 of 13

It is like comparing A VW Jetta to a BMW 3-series. While dimensions are similar, the feel is totally different. I will say teh Kendo is the best ski Volkl has made in a while and a much better application of the Mantra construction, it is not the MX88 and it is not the price either. The Kendo is snappy and fun but it is stiff and not as good off piste or in bumps as the more compliant and refined MX88. The Kendo is a fine choice but the MX88 is a better one. 

post #7 of 13

It's funny you use the car analogy to compare these ski's, because I've actually been searching for a good car analogy to pair the Kendo with.  


But don't you think it's a bit disingenuous to compare a ski like the Kendo with VW Jetta?  Really?  A ski that's built with the exact same construction as Volkl's race ski's, all of which happen to be renowned for their legendary edge hold, precise on-piste predictability, multiple World Cup titles, etc. etc.?


If you ask me, that sounds more like a BMW to me, who are also renowned for their amazing "steering feel" and sports car like personality--a car built for the true "driving enthusiast"--not to mention the shower of accolades from the automotive press, year after year.  Outside Magazine names Kendo "2011 Ski of the Year."  Sound familiar?


I haven't skied the MX88's, but the price alone would seem to put them more on par with something like a Porsche, in comparison to a BMW.  And in comparing All Mountain ski's you are really looking more at comparing something like a BMW X5 to a Porsche Cayenne. 


The X5 and Cayenne are going to perform very similarly on the track, and handle them with sportscar-like finesse, but you might give the nod to the Porsche for being slightly more refined, slightly more responsive, etc.  Off piste, the Cayenne might get the edge because it actually has a 4 wheel drive low, unlike the Bimmer which is just all wheel drive.  However, for the deepest of powder days, you'd likely bring out the vehicle that is better suited to the task at hand anyway, a wide "ski" like a Land Rover or Landcruiser maybe.  


Okay, it's not a perfect comparison, but you see where I'm going.  There's plenty of skis that I can think of comparing Volkswagon's to, and K2 comes to mind, in particular.  Not to pick on K2 or belabor the point, but most K2's seem to be built and marketed more to the Intermediate to advancing skier, rather than the expert level "skiing enthusiast" from the get-go--hence VW "consumer friendly" territory and definitely not BMW or Porsche.  Fun to drive, yes, track worthy, no.


So anyway, it's probably more of a BMW to Porsche comparison, rather than a VW to BMW comparison when looking at these two skis, IMO.  Will you get your money's worth out of the Porsche?  Quite possibly.  Will you be just as happy with the BMW considering the money you saved? Probably. :-)









post #8 of 13

Well said, lovethesteeps!

post #9 of 13

So, more a Z4 3.0 to a 911, feel better? 




post #10 of 13

Nice one Phil! haha how bout a 335i to a 911...? Hope winter is treating you well- I'm getting waves and sun burn biggrin.gif

post #11 of 13

It all might be a moot point, the comparison... I wouldn't take much more tine deciding....there might be 15 pair of MX88 178's available..in the country? The Kendo is a really nice ski, maybe the best all mountain Volkl currently available, not a slug by any means. 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

After weighing all the factors, I decided to "pull the trigger" on a pair of Kendos.  Probably the biggest deciding factor was the opportunity to actually ski them.  Before going to Big Sky, I almost bought a pair of Aftershocks.  After demoing them, however, I'm glad I didn't buy them.  Not that the Aftershocks are bad skis - rather that they weren't what I thought they would be.  At the suggestion of the ski shop, I tried the Kendos.  First run and I knew these skis were what I was looking for.  Honestly, I was considering the MX88 because of all the raving reviews here on Epicski.com.  But, as MojoMan said: "Well, you already know you enjoyed the ride on the Kendo. Why risk making a purchase on a ski like the MX88 without a demo, especially given the price tag? "



The car analogy was very helpful.  I am a huge car enthusiast.  I've owned a M3, 911, and about 10 different Corvettes.  All of the cars are fantastic cars, but different.  To find out what you like, you need to take test drive.


Thanks, everybody, for your advice.

post #13 of 13

Congrats Tom!  I love my Kendo's too.  What size did you buy?  


You all have me intrigued about the Kastle's though, definitely need to ski those one day! 

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