Expert Review: 2023 Volkl Kendo 88 [with Video]

Published on 08/28/2023 · 4 min readSki Expert Rob G. tested the 2023 Volkl Kendo 88 skis at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Rob G., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Rob G.

Curated Ski Expert Rob G. got his hands on the 2023 Volkl Kendo 88 this spring and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed as an all-mountain ski, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the Kendo 88 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.

One final point before we dive in: It's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.

Brand Claims

What does Volkl claim about this ski? So the brand calls the Volkl Kendo 88 a narrow all-mountain ski. It has Titanal throughout, and it is a stiff all-mountain charger.

Overall Impressions

What is your overall impression of this ski? I really like these skis. I spend a lot of time skiing on the east coast, and this would make a fantastic quiver of one for an east coast skier who spends a lot of their time carving on groomers. It was stiff throughout. It held an edge like nobody's business, and it was fun. It had a lot of energy in and out of the turn.

Carving

How is the shape of the ski and the ski profile? So this ski has a little bit of tip rocker to help with turn initiation and float and softer snow. It's got an 88-millimeter waist and a fairly mellow side cut.

What is the edge hold like? The ski has a 16-meter turn radius, which is great for short to medium turns. It's perfect for the kind of turns you're going to want to make on groomed Eastern terrain.

How does it turn? This ski has a medium 16-meter turn radius, so it is a solid carving ski, but I wouldn't call it a pure carver. It has a fairly stiff tip, so it's good for an expert skier in the bumps and great for an advanced-to-expert skier who likes skiing in groomers.

How is the stability in the turn? The Kendo 88 is very stable in the turn. It's a very damp ski that can handle a range of conditions. It's great in hard snow, good in soft snow, and a little bit too stiff for super manky snow.

What about dampness? Any chatter in the ski? I felt no chatter while I was skiing these skis. There was a very damp construction. The Titanal layer on foot was absorbing the vibration.

All-Mountain Performance

What kind of terrain does it perform well on? I'd say these skis are ideal for groomed terrain in the east or anything firmer in the west. They are a solid mogul ski for an expert mogul skier. I wouldn't recommend them necessarily for an intermediate mogul skier.

What kind of terrain does it not perform as well on? I think these would not be my first choice in deep powder. The same thing that makes them so composed and so good on firmer snow is going to make them heavy and sink a little bit in heavier snow. Also, in sort of manky snow, you'd want a ski that has a little bit more float.

Recommendations

Who would you recommend this ski to? I'd recommend these skis to advanced or expert skiers in the east. For expert skiers, it'll make a really great all-mountain ski. For advanced skiers, it's a great front side-oriented ski. This is probably not going to be your daily driver if you're west of the continental divide. But if you wanted a ski for hard snow days or for low tide days out in Tahoe, this would be a really fun ski to make trenches on firmer snow.

Who should avoid this ski? This is not a good ski for a beginner skier. This is a fairly stiff demanding ski. If you have a tendency to get knocked into the back seat, this ski is going to punish you.

Skis work differently for different kinds of skiers. If you need help finding the best skis for your needs, reach out to Rob or another Ski Expert here on Curated. They’ll help you get unstuck and find the right skis for you. Note that the 2024 version of the Volkl Kendo 88 is linked below - same tech, just different graphic:

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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