2023 Volkl Kendo 88

Brian Finch

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Doesn't the Deacon V. Werks have the Kendo tip (technology)?

Not sure I understand what you mean about fitting one's body habitus. How far forward or back the binding is on the ski? I think adjusting this is possible with the standard binding, no?

Also, and maybe I should know this (despite being new here), but "stivot"?
The Deacons have more of a blunted tip, like the SL race skis. Kendos have a free ride style that surfs lil more & cuts lil lesser. More like that Mantra.

Body habitus is one’s occupied space and build. Some ppl need bindings of varying lift and delta. I like a lot of heel lift & some lift personally- just me, but ya can’t adjust this with a track binding.

Stivoting is a controlled skid of the top of the turn & bending of the fore body of the skis. Ya can let the binding area to tails catch and carve after. The Kendos seem to do this reall well without needing to going 60 mph.

Hope this is helpful.
 
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Brian Finch

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My takeaway from this recent discussion is that the Kendo has distinct advantages on soft snow and off-piste. And that's of course why I'm interested in it. I'm still wondering, though, if I wouldn't be disappointed in it on hard snow on piste when the alternative is the Deacon 84.
Do you see yourself carving tight cross over turns at slow-moderate speeds on groomers -> D84

Rather ski moderate to faster over cut up terrain & mores swooping cross over & under -> K88

Wanna ski warp speed -> RaceTiger GS
 

Tony S

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My takeaway from this recent discussion is that the Kendo has distinct advantages on soft snow and off-piste. And that's of course why I'm interested in it. I'm still wondering, though, if I wouldn't be disappointed in it on hard snow on piste when the alternative is the Deacon 84.

And thats why Volkl offers both skis.

Yeah, @ondra you're not waffling between two ski models, you're waffling between two ski categories. If you take the Völkl blinders off and look across brands you'll see that.
 

anders_nor

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I spent friday night skiiing deacon 84 v-werks and kendo 88 (2022 both) back to back. Both had a fresh tune, 87 for deacon, 88 for kendo. Will put a 87 on kendos before next outing, because I feel it could make them more fun on piste and still quite easy to ski due to how they are built.

yes tips on kendo are nicer for choppy snow, yes it stivots easier

But for everything else ON PISTE including chopped up on piste, refrozen piste and skied out, the deacon is better imho. I dont agree deacon is for slow & moderate speeds, I find it pretty much has 0 speed limit on good snow. for straight ice, yes the rocker can't quite hang, you need a fully camberd 65mm ski then. you dont buy a 84mm to ski straight ice though.

The people who favor a lot of heel lift, really hates the delta on the deacon 84s bindings. imho they could have made a flat one or xcomp 16/18 version so you could have fixed that, since this "kills" the ski for a lot of advanced skiers/ex racers.

The kendo 88 is super friendly , but it feels more like a tiny friendly mantra 102, and much slower edge to edge on piste. As for turn radius, you can ski them both doing long, & medium, but when you try to make short turns especially on hard piste the kendo can't hang, while the deacon can hang with everything except pure 65-70mm conditions.


if primary use is on piste, I'd take deacons,
if primary use is off piste, groomed piste etc, kendos.

I agree with the others saying theese are 2 different category skies.
 

Stev

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I got to demo these on March 6th at the Village Ski Loft demo day Diamond Peak. Here is my mini review:

Volkl Kendo 88, 177
They are grippy, stable, and a heavier ski.
The Volkl Kendo 88 thrives when directed with some pressure.
 

Kyle

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Thanks to @SkiEssentials I am now the proud owner of some 184 2023 Kendo 88s. Got them yesterday, waxed them up last night, and skied them for 1 hour this morning before I had to leave for work. While it is hard to draw definitive conclusions from 1 hour of skiing, I really like the ski and I think it will be exactly what I was looking for in in a narrower, all mountain ski. This is the first time I have been on one of Volkl's 3D radius skis and (I think) it is a really cool concept. The difference is noticeable to say the least and you can really feel which part of the ski you are pressuring--could be an interesting learning tool for some. You can really snap off some short, energetic carves with the middle 17m radius. Like a lot of recent Volkls, the skis are a little noisy.

As an aside, @SkiEssentials are the best I have ever seen when it comes to packing skis and other ski equipment for shipping.

Here is a pic:
 

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NE_Skier

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It seems like the 2023 Kendo might be a little easier to maneuver in bumps than previous year models. Anyone have experience w/ that or is it wishful thinking? Also, there's a pretty big jump from 176cm to 184cm for Kendo so any thoughts on the better length for East coast skiing for 6'1"/190lb intermediate/advanced skier, skiing groomers (high speed) and moguls?
 

Philpug

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It seems like the 2023 Kendo might be a little easier to maneuver in bumps than previous year models. Anyone have experience w/ that or is it wishful thinking?
Very perceptive, it is easier.
Also, there's a pretty big jump from 176cm to 184cm for Kendo so any thoughts on the better length for East coast skiing for 6'1"/190lb intermediate/advanced skier, skiing groomers (high speed) and moguls?
177 cm to 184 cm. For your size, I would say the 184 cm.
 

anders_nor

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184cm (which measures 182? actual)

At 6'1/190 your kinda always stuck at longest length in any ski pretty much, they dont really make skis for tall'ish people.
 

Brian Finch

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I’m on the 184 here for reference @ 5’8.5” & 155 pounds. I sorta wish it was a lil stiffer, because I like the length of a 177- yet it excessively soft. Hope this helps. I plan on running 2 identical sets of Kendos for 22/23 as a primary ski.
 

anders_nor

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View attachment 167322
I’m on the 184 here for reference @ 5’8.5” & 155 pounds. I sorta wish it was a lil stiffer, because I like the length of a 177- yet it excessively soft. Hope this helps. I plan on running 2 identical sets of Kendos for 22/23 as a primary ski.
the "I wish it was a little stiffer" is a thing at6'3/240.... even a lot of frontside skis seems to be noodles.

Why did they soften up the 2023? :|
 

Brian Finch

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^ there’s no solutions only trade offs. I think the 184 solves a lot of issues for folks wanting to ski longer arcs at speed and still have a supple board that has some torsional stability. The 177 is a little tury’r at a smaller radius, but to maintain the supple feel- some stability must be sacrificed.

I would love a 180 Kendo with the Mantra build- got to have some trade offs :)
 

NE_Skier

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View attachment 167322
I’m on the 184 here for reference @ 5’8.5” & 155 pounds. I sorta wish it was a lil stiffer, because I like the length of a 177- yet it excessively soft. Hope this helps. I plan on running 2 identical sets of Kendos for 22/23 as a primary ski.
If you're handling 188cm at your size then you're definitely and expert skier. I'm just an intermediate/advanced which is why I have reservations about the Kendo because several reviews tout them as being for advanced/expert skiers and needing a lot of power.

Separately, out of curiousity, what does your last statement mean? It sounds like you have or will have two identical sets of Kendo skis and use them for upcoming season. I've never heard of this. Is this so the skis last longer?
 

Tony S

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If you're handling 188cm at your size then you're definitely and expert skier. I'm just an intermediate/advanced which is why I have reservations about the Kendo because several reviews tout them as being for advanced/expert skiers and needing a lot of power.

Separately, out of curiousity, what does your last statement mean? It sounds like you have or will have two identical sets of Kendo skis and use them for upcoming season. I've never heard of this. Is this so the skis last longer?
If you're the kind of player who breaks a lot of strings you never have just one racquet in your bag. Brian hits a lot of balls.
 

GregK

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Wondering if the 23 Kendo 88 owners have weighed them yet? Soothski.com measured the 23 Kendo 88 177cm and Kenja 156cm lengths and the flex was just a HAIR softer but very close but weight was UP 245gr in the 177cm version(over 2200gr) and even up 180gr in the 23 Kenja 88 156cm vs the 22 Kenja 88 156cm.
That makes the 177cm 23 Kendo 88 the same weight as the 177cm 22 Mantra 102!

Interesting as flex and weight on the Mantra M5 vs M6 are very similar but assume the swing weight lower in the 23 versions.
Looks like another case of the Enforcer 100/94 updates that ski lighter yet they actually gained weight.

Liked my 184cm Kendo 88 from 21 but wished they were heavier and stiffer. So they at least might have the heavier part now.
 

Brian Finch

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If you're handling 188cm at your size then you're definitely and expert skier. I'm just an intermediate/advanced which is why I have reservations about the Kendo because several reviews tout them as being for advanced/expert skiers and needing a lot of power.

Separately, out of curiousity, what does your last statement mean? It sounds like you have or will have two identical sets of Kendo skis and use them for upcoming season. I've never heard of this. Is this so the skis last longer?
Couple thoughts-

The Kendo for ‘23 is a remarkable ski & id not shy away from skiing it as an intermediate. It’s smooth & will help you get better. I may step you down to the 177 - that’s just my thoughts; the ski should be able to handle you unless you are skiing stupid fast. Learning to better use the dynamic stability of the turn will help you much more than being on a longer ski that will need more attention to pilot. I have also only skied the Kendo in the Tecnica Mach1. Ended up cracking the shell on the Mach1 in a handful of days- it’s not the most hefty boot. Historically I’ve gotten a good deal of shade for testing skis in highly customizable, beefed up boots & I tend to have a consumer model on hand for demos & shows. I’ll be using a much more substantial boot next season- this should make the Kendo all the better.

Actually really want 2x 184cm & a 177cm for shorter turns. But for now- I am planning on picking up at least another 184cm & have exact same bindings (STH2 16 WTR for the ramp I like, mounted at traditional mark).

My thinking on the 184 for myself is that I picture old school Jeremy Nobis SG as the style I want to emulate. I find the 184 is perfect for ripping groomers (& better than a GS or frontside ski) as the taper in the shovel let’s you ride over all the inconsistencies on ‘groomed’ slopes without getting twitchy at speed. Frontside & GS skis are great when it’s a closed hill or first thing in the morning, but we usually accumulate lips, ice patches, chicken heads, piles, clumps, bumps….. by mid morning in the East & I want to blast thru that stuff all day at speed.

Now as to multiple pairs - I get to ski with my clients a bunch & never wanna have to say to a WC skier ‘hey I can’t do that 60 mph GoPro follow, my edges are $#*^’. To get this perspective, I’m about 2 meters off the athlete & they are diving in front of you every turn.

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And ya never know when the MegaPass Overlords will send photogs out to capture you for their latest promotion.

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(*Everyone owes me a beer for helping keep Ikon passes affordable by providing uncompensated media)

In a good week, I can be on hill 3-4 days “working” & I’ve always had multiple sets of SL & GS skis to ensure that I never go beyond 2 days on a ski prior to tuning. Having multiple sets makes sharpening/ waxing far easier as you don’t have to recover much. After 3 days untouched the work to recoup the skis goes way up. We’re also rather finite & there are days - I just don’t want to tune. Another thought behind this is that I tend to turn my skis over after 1 maybe 2 seasons for most sets & actually run ski saver on em. Keep ‘em tuned up & pull the ski saver & they retain re-sale value & everyone wins. Hope this helps.
 

Brian Finch

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So, I’ve gotten some questions/queries about my take on the tips/shovels & why I’m geeking out so much on this ski + “C’mon man whatta bout a frontside ski?!”

We’re looking at my 165 Slaloms, 193 GS & the 2023 184 Kendo above. I’ve gone & marked the widest point in the shovel with some arrows.

My take is that once your on ‘packed powder’ you encounter a lot of stuff not in the snow report that can make a stiff shovel of a race / frontside ski twitchy. The Kendo’s tapered tip allows you to ‘catch the sidecut’ a lil further down the ski & thus doesn’t get as out of control despite being a way lesser aggressive ski. So you can rip groomers with enough mass (88 seems to be the Magic number for not too wide to hurt knees or be slow; not excessively dainty to get bounced for many brands).

Cheers!
 

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