2021 Volkl Kendo 88
Radius 24m/17m/30m @ 177cm
In last year’s review of the Kendo 88 we predicted that it would be Ski of the Year and indeed it was, both for Realskiers and many other pundits. The quality that continues to distinguish the Kendo 88 from a very strong field is that it seems able to raise its game in every circumstance. No matter how or where the skilled pilot asks it to stretch its performance limits – go faster, react quicker, ride quieter, dice up bumps or cruise groomage – the Kendo 88 handles it all in stride. The single most important quality an all-mountain ski can possess is total indifference to terrain selection. On this score, the Kendo 88 has no peer. It transitions from wind-affected crud to crisp corduroy as if those two conditions were the same. On hard snow, it’s so quick to the edge the skier can’t even tell it’s rockered and it’s so stable in crud you can relax, drop the reins and let the boys run. The Kendo 88 uses a “3D Radius Sidecut” with a long radius forebody, a tight shape in the midsection and longest radius in the rear. This allows it to behave like a GS cruiser at relatively low edge angles and morph in a moment to a snappy SL when its tilted and pressured. An energetic turn finish isn’t unique to the Kendo 88, but it’s nonetheless a relatively rare commodity in today’s market.