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2023 Völkl Kendo 88 Skis Review

By: Gordon Johnson, evo Denver | July 5, 2022

2023 Völkl Kendo 88 Skis

The Lowdown

The Volkl Kendo is a bit like a fine German automobile. Very well-made, great performance, and excellent graphics. I have flexed many Volkl skis over the years, and my first impression was that these Kendo’s felt a little soft. But the first day that I skied them, I was pleasantly surprised! It was a typical groomed packed powder day at Loveland Colorado. I started out linking some short turns down the fall line and was very impressed with the 3D radius sidecut. Easy turn initiation, stable platform and great variety of turn shapes.

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Technical Details

At first, I was curious about the 3D radius sidecut: three different turn shapes in one ski. I really appreciated the quick response as I pressured the tips. Then, as I opened it up to an open face, the ski responded well to a medium radius turn. However, the tip of the ski felt light due to the carbon in it. Less stiff than the Mantra, due to less metal and more carbon fiber. This ski is a great updated version to Kendo’s from the past. Super fun, snappy and playful. 


Sizes (cm)  163, 170, [177], 184
Dimensions (Tip, Waist, Tail - mm) 129  - 88 - 113     
Turning Radius (m) 29​ / 1​6 / 25
Weight (g) 1898
Camber Profile Rocker / Camber / Rocker 

Ride Impressions

I started the day at the top of Chets dream at Loveland. I was anticipating good but firm conditions.  As I headed down the cat track, I made some fun snappy short turns with great rebound and energy. I opened it up to medium radius turns on a smooth steep groomer, and I was very impressed with both the stability and the edge grip on firm ground conditions.

The second day I tried these babies, it was dumping fresh snow everywhere and limited visibility. So I shifted to auto pilot and charged through some broken powder. For their size and width, the Kendo’s were unfazed by the chopped-up pow and blasted through to the surface time after time. For sure not a powder ski, but they proved to be solid and stable.

Day three proved to be the most challenging conditions. Wet snow falling on the lower mountain, and light powder at the peak. This is when I noticed the most unique feature of the Volkl Kendo: they sound different than any ski I have ever ridden. On hard snow, they sound sort of hollow. I know this is hard to believe because I am used to heavy metal skis. They have a light snappy feel with a burly platform underfoot. An interesting and unique contrast. This left me wanting more. For the next few runs, I really played with different speeds and turn shapes. My overall impression is that 3D makes the ski super versatile and fun. They are now part of my quiver. And I’m stoked! 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


  • Versatility of turn shape
  • Liveliness and quickness when executing short snappy turns down the fall line.


  • Lacked high speed stability
  • A little narrow for untracked powder
  • A little chattery on harder snow

Who Are They For?

The Volkl Kendo is a great ski for someone who is looking for a quick lively ski to spend most of their time skiing on the groomers. I would rate it best for a high intermediate to strong advanced skier. It is also a great ski for someone who likes to ski the fall line on firm snow. I also would highly recommend them to a former racer that wants a ski that is fun for both short and long turns.

The Bottom Line

These skis really surprised me! I felt that they excelled in many conditions all over the mountain. I loved the quickness and responsiveness in short turns as well as the stability and power as I picked up speed and powered them through some GS turns. Without question, these would be a great ski for someone who likes to spend most of their time on the groomers and firm snow adventures. Because of the 88mm waist width, it’s obvious that they are not designed for deep powder expeditions or backcountry missions. However, the 3D radius side cut and titanal frame construction combine for a true luxury ride.

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2023 Völkl Kendo 88 Skis Reviewer

About the Reviewer

Name: Gordy Johnson
Age: 66
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 225lbs
Size Reviewed: 177cm
Location(s): Loveland, CO: Groomed, pack powder, chopped up powder ,and untracked powder
Mount point: Forward 1cm (from Factory Recommended)
Bindings: Tyrolia Attack 13 Ski Bindings
Boots:Nordica Speedmachine 3 120 Ski Boots
Riding Style: Former racer, coach, instructor, and rep. Grew up riding race stock skis at Mammoth Mountain.

From the Brand


Whatever your style of descent – piste or terrain – the Kendo can do it.

This is an all-mountain freerider with a state-of-the-art build that can be used for so many different things by experienced skiers who relish powerful turns on any terrain and on any piste. Like the new Mantra and Kenja, the Kendo 88 comes with revised geometry and a one metre shorter centre radius in its 3D Radius Sidecut. The key is that the three different radii combined in one ski make for enormously versatile cornering. The new 16 m radius in the middle further increases its radius variability. Thrills await if you love tight turns cut fully on the edge. This ski encourages a sporty, intuitive style on groomed slopes, but also provides the manoeuvrability you need to get through challenging terrain. Less force is required too, thanks to a shorter centre radius. This season, the Kendo 88 also features Tailored Carbon Tips and a Tailored Titanal Frame. So if it wasn’t clear already, there can now be no doubt that fun is the Kendo’s middle name.

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