Unless you were on the moon last year, you know the M5 Mantra and its Titanal Frame design had a wildly successful debut. What’s all this Mantra mention got to do with the new Kendo 88? The new kid has finally stepped out of its sibling’s shadow. In the most hotly contested category, All-Mountain East, that’s loaded with star products, the Kendo 88 earned the highest score for every Power attribute as well as for Finesse/Power balance, the catchall criterion for overall excellence. 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. Jim Schaffner of Start Haus knew the new Kendo 88 was a winner from the first turn. “Let me begin by saying, this ski is going to end up being a category killer. A very well-balanced ski, easy to stay centered on and get pressure to the tip. A quick, lively ski that really held in the turn.”
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.