Expert Review: 2024 Volkl Kendo 88 Skis [with Video]Published on 11/23/2023 · 5 min readSkiing Expert Hayden Wright tested the 2024 Volkl Kendo 88 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Expert Hayden Wright got his hands on the 2024 Volkl Kendo 88 this spring. 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 Kendo 88 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Volkl claim about this ski? Volkl claims that this is your directional, frontside, on-piste, freeride jammin’ ski - and it checks out!
What is your overall impression of the ski? We tested these at beautiful Copper Mountain in mid-April. You couldn't ask for a better day here! My overall impression of the Volkl Kendo 88 was exactly what they claim. It’s a very, very fast edge to edge ski.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? The 3D turn radius is really intuitive. It allows you to have options: if there's nobody on the run and you want to open up the throttle these are awesome for long, GS, fall line, arc style turns. If it’s a little busier where you're skiing and you're making some tighter turns in either bumps or on groomed runs, the 3D turn radius really allows you to do that.
How does the ski turn? The Volkl Kendo has the 3D radius sidecut - what is that? In the 184 length, it’s a 31m turn radius up in front of the foot, 17m turn radius under the foot, and in the back it's a 26m turn radius (every ski in the line is a little bit different, those are the stats for this one). This is very unique. Volkl has been playing around combining this, and it essentially creates a very easy turning ski!
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? This ski's got a multilayer wood core, a bit of carbon fiber weave in the tip, and the tailored titanal frame. If you actually touch the skier in person, you can really see where the titanal is beefing up the sides of the shovel, all throughout underfoot, and then even out into the tail. This creates a very, very stable, damp, and responsive ski. I found that there was zero chatter.
How is its energy/acceleration? These were such a blast carving - it’s where these things thrive! I have a more freeride/freestyle kind of skiing, so it’s really fun to jump on a carving ski like this. It just ripped on the corduroy here at Copper!
How is it for freestyle skiing? This is definitely more of a carving ski! I wouldn't really classify this as a buttery or forgiving ski.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? It's not the most playful ski. Volkl and some other brands have skis that are playful and that just goes to show you that every ski is a little different.
It does have a good amount of pop. If you're a heavier person, you could, load up that titanal. But again, the camber is more for stability and edge hold rather than pop since it's not a freestyle designed ski.
Is it good for skiing switch? You do get a little early rise in the tail, so if you're new to skiing switch (backwards) and you want to give it a go, you can ski these switch on groomed runs. Now for any ungroomed runs or powder, I definitely wouldn't recommend riding these switch.
How is it in powder? There's not a lot of early rise here, and you're only working with 88mm underfoot, so it’s not going to be the best off trail ski in 5+ inches of powder.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? In uneven terrain, moguls, chop, and trees, the Kendo 88 did well. Today, it was still a little bit more firm off trail, and I think it did fine.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? If you're in some super tight technical trees, some spring tree runs when it's soft, or moguls, these are going to be a great option.
Who would you recommend these skis to? I'm recommending the Volkl Kendo 88 to anybody that's staying mainly on the groomed trails and is an intermediate to an advanced level skier. If you like skiing bumps every now and then, but it's not your main jam, then the Kendo 88 is for you!
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? If you’ve only skied a few times or you're just getting off rental skis, this might be a little bit too much ski for you. Or, if you already have a narrower ski for staying on the main trails and you're looking for something that's good on and off trail, these just aren't going to be the ski for you. The Volkl Mantra M6 or even the Mantra 102 would be a better option.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Kendo 88 is the right ski for you, chat with Hayden or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.