Expert Review: 2023 Volkl Kenja 88 Skis [with Video]

Curated Ski Expert Jessica Whittam tested the 2023 Volkl Kenja 88 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.

Curated Ski Expert Jessica Whittam on the 2023 Volkl Kenja 88 skis in foggy conditions
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Curated Ski Expert Jessica Whittam tested the 2023 Volkl Kenja 88 this spring at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the Kenja 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 there are three primary changes of the Völkl Kenjas this year. They have a tailored Titanal frame and a tailored carbon tip. They also have a shorter turn radius than the years prior.

Overall Impressions

What is your overall impression of this ski? My overall impression was that this is a really playful directional. This is a really playful groomer ripper. My overall impression of the ski is that it's a really fun intermediate-to-advanced groomer ripper. These are reinforced with the Titanal frame, which means that these are going to be a bit stiffer than other groomer beginner-to-intermediate options. So, that is why these are going to be an intermediate to advanced ski. They are going to be stiffer, a little bit heavier, but still perform really well.

Something that Völkl did really well this year is reduce the Titanal, the metal in each size of the ski. So as you go down in size, there's going to be less metal, which is why it's tailored. It's a tailored Titanal frame for each skate. I was expecting these to be a bulldozer of a ski more than a playful ski. These were a lot more lighter, nimble, and playful than I was expecting them to be.

Carving

How is its edge hold? These edged really well. They went edge to edge. No problem. I could get through tight spots, no problem on these skis. Turn initiation was great. They don't have early rise.

How is its dampness? Is there chatter?

Völkl describes these as being chatterproof because of that Titanal frame, which means that no matter what you throw at them, they will not chatter in any condition. I definitely felt that I had no problem with chatter at all on these skis in any conditions. And again, this morning, we didn't have the best snow, and it was pretty icy and a little bit of variable conditions. And they did really well and plowed through everything. Really stable, really fun. I felt very in control on these skis, which I really liked. . How does it turn? Yeah, I would say that these just excelled really well on the groomers. I could make tight turns. I could make GS turns. I could make as big or small turns as I wanted. And they responded to exactly what I wanted them to do, which is why I felt really, really comfortable on these and really liked them.

How does it perform at speed? How easy is it to control? What about it makes it harder to control if not?

Really easy to control at speed. As I said, these skis are chatterproof, and I agree with that. They felt really great at high speeds. I didn't feel out of control at all, which is what I value. I value being in control, which I'm sure everybody does.

Freestyle

How playful is it, and how is the pop? I would say there's a lot of skis that are more playful than this one, but I was decently surprised in that they were so responsive and poppy and playful. I thought they were going to be really, really stiff and just crud chargers, but they weren't. They could hop really easily, edge to edge really easily.

Freeride

How would it be in powder? These skis would not be so great in powder conditions. These are going to be skis that are going to be mainly used for groomers. You can venture a little bit off, but they wouldn't do as well as something a little bit wider underfoot. If you're going to want to ski more powder, these are not going to be the skis that you're going to want.

How about uneven terrain and chunder? In uneven terrain and chop, these skis, at 88 underfoot, are not ideal for getting through really, really heavy chop. But again, these do have the chatterproof construction. And I thought that they were. They performed just as they're advertised. I thought they performed just as well as they're advertised in that they will get through any crud because they don't really chatter that much. When we were skiing through tree chatter, which is four inches of powder that is frozen, that's a little bit tougher on these skis because you're going to want something a little bit wider for conditions like that.

What would be the best location for it? These skis are really good for all over. I wouldn't say that these skis are just good for the West. I wouldn't say these skis are just good for the East. Because of that, they're just groomer bulldozers. They really are great for a skier looking for something just to rip up groomers, or you could go as slow or as fast as you want on these skis, which is why they're really cool.

Recommendations

Who would you recommend this ski to? I would recommend these skis to an intermediate-to-expert skier. What's cool about these skis is that they reward aggression, which means that if you are an intermediate skier, you go as slow or as fast as you want, and you will be able to control these skis.

You will be able to control these skis as an intermediate skier, but what's cool about these skis is that you'll be able to keep these skis for as long as you want to progress. These skis can go all the way to expert skier. You go, again, as fast as you want on these skis, and they'll perform really, really great.

Who should avoid this ski? I would say beginners should avoid these skis. This is a burlier groomer ski, so it's not going to be as light and nimble and responsive as some other beginner options. But a lot of beginner options don't offer that progression. You would be able to stick with these skis until you're an expert.

I also wouldn't recommend these skis for people who ski a lot of powder. These are going to be 88 underfoot. So you're going to want to get these skis if you are skiing primarily groomers.

Skis work differently for different types of people. If you want help finding the best skis for your needs, reach out to Jessica or any other Ski Expert here on Curated. They’ll help you find the right skis for you.

Selling Volkl on Curated.com
Volkl Kenja 88 Skis · Women's · 2023
$699.99
Ski Expert Jessica Whittam
5.0
Jessica Whittam
Ski Expert
Jessica here! How can I help?
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Written By
From the moment I learned how to walk, my parents had me on skis. Growing up I raced on the east coast, traveling to Upstate NY, NH, and VT. Once I got into highschool my love for racing started to fade as I was introduced to the park. Skiing in the park gave me a freedom like no other. This new fou...

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