Test 2020: Volkl Kendo
BEST FOR: Skiers looking for a forgiving platform to improve on.
LENGTHS: 163, 170, 177, 184
SUGGESTED RETAIL: $800
OTHER MODELS: 92
To give the Kendo (and women’s Kenja) as much all-mountain versatility as possible, Völkl loaded it with a variable sidecut, lightweight tips, a Titanal frame, and tip and tail rocker. It’s a slight but important shift from the old Kendo that makes this one more forgiving, but no less sporty. “A beautiful carver on-piste, with surprising versatility and ease,” said Ian March. “The Kendo is happiest in the middle, both in turn radius and speed, where the ski feels very responsive to skier input and very natural.” Aiming for a freeride, all-mountain feel, Völkl gave the Kendo three sidecuts: long at the tip and tail and shorter underfoot. Push out of the centre of the ski and the Kendo snaps short turns. Drive it from the tip and through the tail and it rails bigger GS turns. Titanal around the edges helps with edge bite in firm snow, while the lightweight tip and healthy rocker give it a nimble feel. March figures the Kendo is forgiving enough for intermediates, but has performance for experts. “A great ski to improve on,” he added.