A Complete Review of the New 2013 Volkl Kendo // Ski Reviews
Just as the Volkl Mantra's redesign exploded in popularity last year, the 2013 Volkl Kendo is set to dominate the stage in the 2012-2013 season. The big story with the 2013 Volkl Kendo is the introduction of Volkl's Tip Rocker which will give the ski more float in soft snow. Additionally, the tip rocker will encourage tighter, quicker turns when you want to really put the ski on edge. Combined with a just slightly wider waist, the Volkl Kendo improves it's performance in loose snow while maintaining a grip on the groomers.
I myself had the opportunity to ski the 2013 Volkl Kendo skis last season and absolutely loved the new Tip Rocker! While last years Volkl Kendo was a thrill to ride, the addition of Tip Rocker has made the ski just that much better. A lot of people who are skeptical of rocketed skis might question why the Kendo has tip rocker if it's still meant mostly for groomers. Well the short and easy answer is that the tip rocker actually helps the ski enter and exit turns, even on groomers. Think of the arc of a circle. The way that the tip of the ski bends into the turn encourages lively turn initiation. Still, the tip rocker could cause some to worry about the Kendo's stability at higher speeds. Thanks to two layers of Titanal, the Kendo remains stiff from tip to tail, with little room to chatter. With these added layers of metal, the 2013 Volkl Kendo also has the torsional stiffness to provide great edge control. The way these things roll from edge to edge makes it seem like you're just effortlessly gliding down the trail.
Due to the Titanal layers in the Kendo, this ski is an excellent choice for all-mountain skiers that have already have solid ski ability and technique. While the Kendo is a versatile ski that can handle almost any condition, I wouldn't recommend it to the beginner or intermediate crowd. This ski is simply too stiff for those who haven't developed the proper skiing techniques yet. That said, the new Tip Rocker encourages skiers who are already comfortable on groomers to start playing around a little more off trail, and get used to making turns in light powder. The 2013 Volkl Kendo skis alleviate any anxieties you have about powder, and increase your confidence as you learn to maneuver in the softer snow. Instead of worrying about catching your edge on a turn, you're completely lost in making effortless, perfect turns! Seriously, you will feel like you are cheating.
It's hard today to find a good ski that has the shape to make both short and long radius turns. On the 2013 Volkl Kendo, the turn radius is 22.6 meters. This puts the Kendo right in that middle range of sidecuts. Combined with the Tip Rocker, you ultimately end up being able to control your turn radius. Want a nice tight turn? Simply carve hard and include that rocker in the turn. Want some nice long GS turns? Just barely get these things on edge and you'll initiate a long, arcing turn. The 2013 Volkl Kendo is an incredibly versatile ski that will allow good skiers access to parts of the mountain that they used to be scared to enter. Essentially, the Kendo will give you the ability to jump into the bumps, go off-piste, or bomb the steepest trail on the hill without worrying about hooking your turns, sinking in the snow, or chattering at high speeds. If you've ever noticed yourself having any of these problems, you might consider stepping up to the 2013 Volkl Kendo. Match them up with a pair of the Marker Griffon 13 Bindings and you're ready to conquer the mountain!