2018 Volkl Kenja Women's Skis 2018 Volkl Kenja Women's Skis

2018 Volkl Kenja Women’s Skis

The Volkl Kenja has developed a following over the past few years among advanced and expert women skiers who want a powerful and versatile all mountain ski. With tip and tail rocker and two sheets of metal the Kenja has both a fun, maneuverable side and a more serious, high speed charging side. The ski’s 90 mm waist width gives it solid ability both on and off the groomers. While it’s not a ski for timid skiers, many of our testers found them to be easier to ski than they had expected. It’s a popular ski at our local ski resort, Stowe, and the majority of our female testers really enjoyed their time on the Kenja as well.

Kristi Brown has had some experience on a 170 cm Kenja before, which makes a lot of sense considering she refers to skiing the Kenja as “like putting on your favorite, go-to pair of jeans. The Kenja fits like a glove, moves with ease, and makes you ski and look good.” For advanced skiers it’s a very confidence inspiring ski thanks to its impressive amounts of stability combined with a relatively maneuverable, playful feel. In fact Kristi gave the Kenja 5 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness, as well as playfulness, and it’s also important to mention that Kristi didn’t give it a score less than 4 in any category. She described them as “spunky and reactive.” Wait a minute… that’s how we would describe Kristi, so there’s no wonder why she likes them so much.

Katrine Wolfgang also loved the Kenja after testing the 163 cm length. How do we know? She just wrote “Loved” all over her tester form and drew a line through the “5” column for every single category. Okay, okay, she wrote more than just a series of “Loved.” She went on to describe the Kenja as a “fun ski” that “turns easily” and “feels great letting it run.” The fact that Katrine describes them as fun and easy-turning says a lot about the approachable nature of the Kenja considering its two sheets of titanal metal and relatively advanced target market.

Chloe Wexler was most impressed by the edge grip and torsional stiffness of the Kenja. She tested the 163 cm as well, gave it 5 out of 5 for both torsional stiffness and stability, and commented that the ski felt “stiff and had very low chatter.” She thought it excelled at making “GS turns” and also thought it felt “quick edge to edge”. Chloe is a very precise skier so it’s nice to have her feedback they’re relatively quick. She did say that they prefer making “medium to big radius turns” over shorter turns, but this isn’t a surprise due to the 18.7 m turn radius (at 170 cm) and two sheets of metal in the construction of the ski.

Ali Berlin, who also skied the 163 cm, really enjoyed the Kenja as well and gave it consistently high scores across the board. We think Ali did a really good job describing the ski, so we’re going to leave you with her entire response:

“Solid pair of skis. It was my last run of the day with tired legs in the chop and they were effortless. Absorbed the bounce in the uneven snow and responded well to changes in turn shape throughout the run. A good choice for an advanced skier looking for an adventure on the mountain.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Ali!


Julia Gill Ski Tester Headshot Image

Julia Gill

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Developing intermediate surrounded by a bunch of ski enthusiasts

Kristi Brown Ski Tester Headshot Image

Kristi Brown

Age: 48Height: 5'9"Weight: 136 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, precise, very smooth and skis with a lot of finesse

Maggie MacDonald Ski Tester Headshot Image

Maggie MacDonald

Age: 39Height: 5'3"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Advanced skier that loves woods and steep ungroomed terrain

Katrine Wolfgang Ski Tester Headshot Image

Katrine Wolfgang

Age: 53Height: 5'5.5"Weight: 168 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth carving

Chloe Wexler Ski Tester Headshot Image

Chloe Wexler

Age: 26Height: 5'4"Weight: 115 lbs.

Ski Style: Ripping mogul skier, very precise, hard to keep up with

108 Comments on the “2018 Volkl Kenja Women’s Skis”

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  1. I own two pairs of the Volkl Kenja’s . One pair for telemark skiing and the other for Alpine skiing. The Kenja’s have an incredible spectrum for delivering performance. On one end of that spectrum, for the fearless you can keep pushing the envelope and they keep delivering. The harder you push the better the ride. And for that other end of the spectrum the Kenja’s do not need constant input allowing the rider to just hang and enjoy the ride. From Ninja death rocket to a magic carpet ride – it’s one sweet ski 🎿

    1. Hi Catherine! Thanks for sharing your experiences on the Kenja. It’s definitely a favorite among a lot of women we know.

    2. Catherine,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience – it has helped me to make up my mind after 24 agonizing hours of analysis paralysis! I went in yesterday to have my custom Full Tilt boots fitted and after bringing in my old skis to have the new boots fitted to my bindings, I was told that my equipment was too old to fit and I would have to buy new skis. My skis were about 11 years old, so I wasn’t upset at the prospect of buying new skis, I just didn’t come prepare to make the decision on the spot … I like to do research before making such a purchase.

      We are leaving for St. Anton in Austria at the end of February so I wanted to take a quick local trip next weekend to make sure my new boots are comfortable before our big trip. Long story short, I purchased the Kenja 163 without knowing much about them or their competition. My decision was based on conveying my ability level (advanced intermediate) and what was available on the spot. I came home and did my research and was a bit afraid that the Kenja may be too much ski for me. I am 52 years old, 5’8” and about 185 lbs and I have skied most of my life except the past 6 years (health issues which are mostly resolved). I have always been athletic, but the past few years I was unable to work out much and have gotten a bit “soft” as they say. I know I could handle the Kenja, but am not sure if I could ski comfortably all day if they require as much input as others have suggested. I really appreciate your comment that it covers both ends of the spectrum! I will definitely hit it hard in the beginning of the day, but as late afternoon rolls around, I would like to be able to go on the magic carpet ride you mention.

      Again … thank you for your input. I think I will keep them and end the process of over analyzing!!

  2. I have been skiing on Atomic Metron B5 for too long and I have heard great things about the Volkl Kenja. I like to ski trees and moguls then onto hard fast groomers.
    Is there any significant difference between the 2016, 2017 or 2018 Kenja’s. And are they good on ice? Do they turn fast in the trees?
    What bindings would you advise?
    I am aggressive skier.

    1. The 2017 and 2018 Kenjas are different than the 2016 version. 2016 was narrower at 87 mm underfoot and had a flat tail. The newer version is 90 mm underfoot and uses tail rocker; those are the major differences. It makes them a little easier to pivot and turn quick in tight terrain like moguls and trees. Both versions have great edge grip on ice thanks to the wood core and two sheets of metal. Some might say the 2016 version finishes a carving turn with more power, but it’s at the expense of some versatility. I would say the newer version is going to be better for what you’re looking for: performance across trees, moguls, and firm groomers.

      We have a lot of customers choosing bindings like the Marker Griffon or Tyrolia Attack 13 for their Kenjas. If you don’t think you need a 13 DIN range the Marker Squire and Tyrolia Attack 11 are both good bindings as well. Right now we have the Kenja packaged with the Attack 13 as a “Killer Deal.” Some skiers like to match brands (Marker is the associated binding company for Volkl), but that’s not really necessary.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Hi Deirdre!

        I think 163 cm would be a good length for you. It will be just slightly shorter than you, which is typically a good length for relatively advanced skiers.

        What do you think?


  3. I have been an advanced skier for many years, but now have a total knee replacement. Still love to ski powder, tight trees and high speed on the groomers. What ski length would be best for me? Age 67, 165 lb.

    1. Hi Pamela! How tall are you? Weight definitely is a factor, but height has an effect on your leverage ratio. Let me know how tall you are and I’ll let you know what I think. I do think you should be able to handle the Kenja considering you’r an advanced skier, even with your recent knee replacement.


  4. Today I tested Kenja 170 cm. I liked it a lot but I wonder wich length I should buy? I am 167 cm tall and my weight is 66 kg. I prefer prepared slopes before off pist.

    1. Hi Petra!

      Did you find the 170 cm length challenging at any time during your testing? If you never found it difficult or challenging to maneuver I’d say go with the 170 cm. If you wanted a slightly more maneuverable feel I do think the 163 cm could work too.

      What do you think?


  5. I am looking for an all mountain ski to replace my Rossi B2 Bandit skis. I have skied Rossi skis for over 30 years but based on my research it appears that the new Rossi’s do not compare to the Bandits (a side cut of 113-76-103 and turn radius of 13.5 m). I am an aggressive expert skier but not a racer. In the East Stowe and Mad River Glen are favorites with their narrow, challenging and many un-groomed runs. I would like skis that turn well in the moguls and trees, carve well on hard pack and ice but also behave on open steeps. Favorite trails are Goat, Chin Clip, cruising on Lift Line, playing on National and exploring the Glades. I also enjoy Hay Ride and Gulch, even when groomed. I would like a ski that I can trust on Starr, haven’t been there when the snow is good enough to ski it in years but hoping to catch it some time when it is. I do ski Alta, Snowbird and Powder Mt. in Utah and have a pair of Rossi Saffron #7 skis for my western adventures. I am female, 5’3″, weigh 130 lbs. and I do ski all day even though I will confess to being 72 yrs. old. Looking forward to getting your recommendations. Thank you, Nikki Welsh

  6. Hi – I have been skiing the Kenja’s (163) For the last 4 years and loved them. I ski in the NY catskills with an annual trip out west or northern NY/Vt. I am a mostly aggressive skier, and mostly ski hard pack to icy groomers since that is what we have, but like bumps and trees and ski them when they are around or we get some snow. At times I found the kenja a little shaky on ice. I am 5’7, 162 pounds. Looking at getting kenja again in 170ish, but also looking at the kendo, enforcer 90, or kore. Thoughts and recommendations?

    1. Hey Kim!

      With its two sheets of metal it’s somewhat tough to get an all mountain ski with better edge grip than the Kenja. I do think going with the longer length will likely help you out a lot. The Kendo is actually the same exact ski as the Kenja. I actually think the Kenja is also going to have better edge grip than the Enforcer 93 and the Kore 93, so if that’s your major concern I’d probably still stick with the Kenja as you’re familiar with it. I’ll think about it and let you know if any other skis come to mind, but it really is hard to outperform the Kenja in terms of edge grip (for an all mountain ski, that is).


  7. Tried the 2018 Kenjas yesterday in chunky thick powder and/or groomed with nice fluff slopes … My heart was so happy! These skis were Jedi amazing!!!! Icy day with some variable conditions. The connection between the ski on snow was spot on! They held an edge and moved between ice and soft powder as if the ground was uniform. They also handled thicker powder effectively, with easy movability a combination of floating while responding quickly with just a hint of a request. The Kenjas were also very stable and grounded yet zippy through the mogels with an ability to absorb energy when needed yet fast and dynamic when challenged. I’m an expert skier and I’m dreaming of the next time I get to take these skis out for a play date!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience on the Kenja! It’s definitely a ski that experts gravitate towards and can really appreciate. I hope you’re able to get out on them again soon!!


  8. I tried the 2018 Kenja at Kirkwood today. I was thinking I wanted the black pearl 88, but just wanted to try something else for comparison. I only skied 3-4 runs on them, but really felt solid on them, especially on the firm snow! I liked them better than the black pearls! How are they in powder conditions? I want an all mountain ski, but can’t afford to also get a powder ski. I am a fairly aggressive skier, 5’7” 155lb and 53 years old. I have been skiing on Rossi bandit X length 184 for the last 10-15 years. I tried the 163 kenja but wonder if 170 would be better. I kind of like the 163 for quick turning in moguls and narrow chutes but wonder if they will be stable at speed. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Janet!

      There is definitely a different feel between the Black Pearl 88 and the Kenja as the Kenja uses metal in its construction, which makes it exceptionally smooth, a little more powerful, etc. I think at your size and considering your experience on the Bandit X in a 184 cm the 170 cm Kenja is perfectly appropriate. It will also give you a little better float in powder and a little better stability later in the day on those powder days when the snow starts to get chopped up and bumpier. I think you’ll still find the 170 cm maneuverable enough for moguls and chutes, especially compared to your Bandits!

      Hope that helps!


  9. Hi! Thanks for all your great information. I am a 57 yo 5’9″ 142 pounds, advanced skiier who prefers to ski off piste in trees or on advanced/expert runs, steeps and bowls with sometimes gnarly access points (I don’t really like just skiing groomers). I am not a speed junkie, but I am definitely strong and fit. I live in the Pacific Northwest which means we can have 12 inches of fresh snow, and the next day it might rain, and then freeze again. Plus, our ski areas can get crowded, and new snow can quickly get skied out, even off piste. I have one pair of skis: 2015, 170 cm Volkle Auras. I like them, but sometimes I wish I purchased the 163 cm skis instead because in tight situations like a chute, moguls or in the trees, I have trouble maneuvering, espiecially in less than ideal conditions. But on the other hand, they are probably more stable in other places, so it is a trade off. I am considering purchasing a second pair of skis for days when we do not have new snow and what is there will be compact, icy and more varaible off-piste, and I am considering the Kenja. What do you think? If I decide on the Kenja, I am not sure I want to get the 170 cm length like I did with the Aura, but maybe in this ski, it won’t be as much of an issue? Any advice on if you think this ski is appropriate, or what length you advise would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Carol!

      I do think you’ll find the Kenja feels a little bit more maneuverable than the Aura, mostly because it’s a little quicker edge to edge, although I wonder if maybe you’d prefer having the shorter length in the Kenja just so it’s a little bit more of a compliment to your current skis. Especially if you’re going to be skiing them in less than ideal conditions, you’ll get that extra bit of maneuverability you sometimes feel like your Auras lack. I think it’s definitely a bit of a toss up, as 170 cm does seem like a fairly appropriate length for your size and how you ski, although considering you don’t call yourself a speed junkie I don’t think you’d feel unstable on a shorter length ski.

      Let me know what you think!


      1. Hi, thanks for the reply, I forgot to check back! So you agree with the Kenja as a good compliment to what I have?

        So as long as I don’t care about going really fast, the shorter length might be easier to maneuver. When I got the Aura they thought it was a toss up but thought I might be able to regain my balance easier with the longer skis if a were to almost fall. (I think that was their logic anyway). I must say, I think this is true because at times I cannot believe it when I almost wipe out, but don’t. Still, I’d rather have extra maneuverability.

      2. Hi again Carol!

        Yeah, I do think you’ll enjoy having them, especially if you go with that 163 cm length. It’s just going to give you a nice alternative to your Auras. If you want that super stable, feels like you can’t fall feeling you can always take out your Auras, but a pair of 163 cm Kenjas will definitely feel more maneuverable.


  10. I currently have a pair of Armada VJJ length 174cm. I love them for powder days and they don’t do too poorly on soft spring conditions either. Sometimes they feel a bit long when in tight trees, but have been manageable. However, we have a lot of days where the conditions are hardpack groomers and the Armada’s feel sloppy and unstable. I am considering the Kenja as a groomer day kind of ski, but one I can also take into the trees and for the more variable spring condition days. I have previously had a pair of Aura 163 cm. I am 5’7″ about 134 lbs. and consider myself an advanced skier, but since having knee surgery I tend not to push the speed too much. Do you think the Kenja might be a good fit for me? Length? Thanks!


    1. Hi Kelly!

      I think the Kenja would be a great choice for you, and would compliment your VJJs nicely. It will definitely perform way better on groomers than your VJJs. They don’t have any of that sloppy unstable feel. The Kenja rips on groomers, but it is versatile enough to take into the trees. The tip and tail rocker help make it feel pretty maneuverable considering the two sheets of metal in the ski’s construction. I think you’ll like the feel of the Kenja on hardpack and will give you a nice 2-ski quiver! 163 cm seems like the way to go in my opinion. 170 cm is almost definitely overkill and anything shorter would start getting a little unstable.

      Hope that helps!


  11. Hi, thank you very much for your information.
    I am 5’ 1.5”, 140 pounds, a high intermediate/advanced skier, mostly on piste. I’ve been skiing K2 OneLuv (145 cm) for probably around 8-10 years and loved them from day one. I am looking for all mountain skis that would help me improve and be more comfortable on off-piste, moguls or chunky consitions, but would provide the same stability, quick turn and ability to edge I am used to with my K2s. I am considering Blizzard Black Pearl 88, Völkl Yumi 84 and Völkl Kenja. I keep getting advised against Völkl Kenja because they are too heavy and stiff, and for Black Pearl or Yumi. What do you think would be the best option for me? And also what length?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Inna!

      I agree the Kenja might be a little too heavy and stiff for what you’re looking for. I’m sure you could ski them, but at your size and considering you’re looking to improve your ability off-piste I think they’re just a little bit much. The Black Pearl 88 seems like a fantastic ski for you. If you wanted to go a little narrower (slightly quicker) the Yumi is a great ski as well. I think the Black Pearl is a little easier in soft snow conditions, variable conditions, etc, while the Yumi is a little more responsive on firm snow. In the Black Pearl I would go with the 152 cm length. A little longer than your current skis, but some extra length helps with stability in softer snow. Yumi you could go 154, or if that seems too long they do make a 147 cm Yumi.

      Hope that helps!


  12. I am considering giving the Kenjas a ride on my local mountain as a demo, a prelude to purchasing them, I have a couple concerns that I have not seen addressed elsewhere. I am short, 5’2″, and I weigh 180 pounds, and I consider myself an advanced, but not expert, skier. I have been skiing on 161 cm Head Wild Ones for the past 7 years, and have enjoyed them, but after 2 knee replacements, I am thinking it may be time to slow down? Not really, but I want a more stable ski, and am thinking the Kenja may be the one? I am also considering the Black Pearl as well as Head’s Great Joy. Any advice on appropriate length would be appreciated as well, as I am tempted to go down in length for stability. I ski mostly groomed runs, but enjoy playing in powder occasionally. At age 64, I am not ready to quit skiing, but feel I need more assistance with my ski. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Connie!

      The Kenja is a very stable ski, definitely the most stable out of the skis you’re considering. A shorter length ski, however, is actually going to be less stable than a longer length ski. Is stability really what you’re after? Or would you call it forgiveness, user-friendliness, ease of use, etc? In my opinion stability and forgiveness are more antonyms when talking about ski performance than synonyms.

      That being said, I think a 156 cm Kenja will feel more stable than your current skis and are also a little shorter. So if that’s what you’re after (more stability, but shorter length) I think that’s a good choice.

      Does that make sense?


  13. Thanks for all the great reviews and feedback. I have a Kenja 2011 and love it in just about everything, both on and off piste but skid in icy or very hardpacked conditions. After reading your review I think that may have more to do with the fact that I don’t trust them to hold on the ice. I may just have to edge more and trust them!
    I’m looking at replacing the 2011 Kenja with either the 2018 Kenja, Head Wild Joy or Rossignol Temptation 88HD to ski on mostly groomed trails to carve wide and short turns and ski the fun races that I just signed up for, as well as the occasional ungroomed off piste bowl. Eventually I plan to get another ski for those rare deep powder days. I am 60 yo, 5’2″ 110 lbs, advanced skier, live and ski in the Northwest with its abundant variable condition. Would love to get your opinion.

    1. Hi Yvonne!

      The Kenja has excellent torsional stiffness for holding an edge on ice, so perhaps you just need a higher edge angle, that’s certainly a possibility. The Kenja is a very high performance oriented all mountain ski that’s designed for advanced to expert skiers. Not too many women’s skis have two full sheets of metal like the Kenja. It gives them excellent stability, vibration damping, a lot of power, etc. I wonder if after spending so much time on a Kenja whether you might find the Wild Joy or Temptation 88 HD not quite enough ski for you. They’re both great skis, don’t get me wrong, but are both lighter weight and a little bit less aggressive than the Kenja. I will say the Temptation has a very long effective edge, so you might actually find that you like the feel of that ski on icy slopes more than the Kenja, and at your weight I don’t necessarily think you need metal in your skis, but that was the first thing my mind went to. Replacing it with the newer version of the Kenja could be the way to go if you want to retain that metal feel.

      Let me know what you think,


  14. Hi there, I am 5’9, 157lbs and consider myself to be an advanced skier. I own a pair of 2010 Volkl Tierras 161cm. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis a few years ago. The Tierras are too difficult for me to control the speed with the knee pain I experience. Last year I decided to demo skis that may be a little easier to control my speed. I demoed both the Kenja 170cm and Black Pearls 173cm. I skied the Kenjas the majority of the day and although my legs were fried, my knees felt pretty good. The vibration dampening ability of the Kenjas is amazing! I then skied the BPs for a few runs and loved them because of how light and fun they were. Yesterday I demoed the BPs for the whole day. Although they were fun and easy to maneuver, my knees were killing me just after a handful of runs. I’m considering giving the Kenjas another demo run. I’m also considering trying the Yumi or the Head Wild Joys. How do you feel these skis would do for absorbing vibration? Seems like that is key for my knees feeling better. Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy!

      I think trying the Yumi would be good. It sounds like you really enjoy the feel of having metal in your skis. Although it makes a ski heavier and more fatiguing, it also makes it smoother and definitely is the best material for absorbing vibrations. The Yumi just uses a single strip of metal in the center of the ski, not two full sheets like the Kenja. You might find it has that same smooth, quiet feel that you like, but isn’t quite as tiring as the Kenja over a long day of skiing. I would guess you’ll have a similar response to the Wild Joy as you did on the Black Pearl. Super fun and lightweight, but might not have that feel you’re looking for.

      Hope that helps!


  15. I’ve been looking at the Kenja and different people in our ski club have recommended it. I am 5’2 and 104 lbs I was thinking of 149’s because I do not like long skis. I currently have Elan delight in a 146 and I absolutely love them. My only issue with them is they sink in powder and with me being so light I get stuck. My Elan’s are super light and do not tire me out. I tried the black pearl blizzard and the head wild Joys I did not like either so I’m not sure about these either. My friend was with me and she tried the blizzard and didn’t like them either. Before my Elan delights my other pair of skis were Elans as well and I really like those too. Elan does not make a shorter all mountain ski with a 90mm waiste for all conditions. So what are your thoughts here?

    1. Hi Mary!

      What specifically didn’t you like about the Black Pearl and Wild Joy? That will help give me a better sense of whether I think the Kenja would work well for you.

      The Kenja is a relatively demanding ski with two sheets of metal and a pretty stiff flex, but it has excellent vibration damping and is quite a powerful ski! A lot of advanced and expert level women really like skiing them, but for less aggressive skiers they can be a bit challenging.

      Let me know more about what you felt on the Blizzard and Head and I’ll let you know what I think!


      1. Update, I bought the 2018 149 Kenja because everyone I know that has them kept telling me to go for it, that I wouldn’t regret it.
        They were right that ski is awesome! I took them to Vermont a couple weeks ago and I really can’t say enough about them. I am really glad I bought them. These skis shred the groomers like nothing I’ve ever skied before and plow through the soft snow. I haven’t had the opportunity to try them in the powder but I am sure they will not disappoint.They are fun and playful. These skis have spunk. I had them in the moguls on the double diamonds and they were great. I am not one of those people that zoom through the moguls but more of a have fun getting through them. They do not tire my legs, I can ski them all day. I am an advanced skier. My 31 year old son neaded skis but would have never bought them for himself so I just bought him the Kendo. I think he will love them just as much as I love the the Kenja. I am now a proud Kenja girl!
        So what I did not like about the Black Pearl , first they were longer than I want to ski. I felt felt they were not very fast or spunky. I felt it was a boring ski. They tired my legs very early on in the day which for me is a definate no. As long as I have the right skis I am good to ski 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and my legs are fine.
        The Wild Joy was too long and too heavy and also tired my legs. I just did not like them.

  16. I just purchased 2018 Yumi 161 with Griffen Marker 13 bindings because they were a great price (used demo ski). I love that they are much lighter than my Kästle 95 HP 165s and way less tiring. Even though the Yumi is just 4 cm shorter, it feels more like 10 cm shorter. I am advanced on piste skier and really enjoy short turns often choosing the path where bumps are building up. I’m starting to play in hard packed moguls and enjoyed the Yumi on those. However, I am not enjoying them in the side piste powder or in heavy crud. They do okay in full slush conditions. I definitely crave my Kästle skis when it’s heavy or lumpy because they really knock everything out of my path and I can really push down on them without feeling like I am sticking to the slope/crud or having my ski bend into it. The thing is I really feel the Kästle ski is a slightly too heavy and demanding for me so I wanted a women’s specific ski. It seems Yumi is perhaps not stiff enough or wide enough under foot (not sure of the issue). I think I am more suited for metal in my skis but definitely would enjoy the ability to easily swing the ski around like the Yumi. I am 34 years, 5’5 and 160lbs (with short muscular legs). I ski approx 40 days a year in crud/ice/occasional powder. Are Kenja’s a good fit or too demanding? Is there another all mountain ski that may be more suitable? Black crows camox caught my eye but don’t appear to have metal. I’ve not been able to find a way to demo any of the skis so i will have to buy blind again. Appreciate any feedback and also for bindings too as I’ll purchase together.

    1. Hi Marie!

      I think you’d find the Kenja feels somewhat similar to your Kastles. The Kenja uses a similar construction with two sheets of metal, so it’s going to be similarly demanding and pretty heavy, much like your Kastles. The K2 AlLuvit 88 comes to mind, it uses some metal along the edges (more than the Yumi which has it in the center), but is still pretty lightweight and definitely pretty maneuverable. The new Volkl Secret (2019 ski) also seems like it would be a great choice for you. It has a full sheet of metal along the base, but Titanal Frame on the top. We just did a full review of it, look for it on our Chairlift Chat blog. I don’t think the Black Crows Camox would have the stability you’re looking for. It’s quite playful and really fun, but I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for.

      Bindings on skis like this is a lot of personal preference, but I usually recommend something with a pretty low stand height on an all mountain ski like these. Marker Griffon and Tyrolia Attack 13 are always popular choices. If you don’t feel like you need that DIN range the Attack 11 is also a nice binding. Some good options from Salomon and Look too, but we have had a lot of success with Marker and Tyrolia recently.

      Hope that helps!


  17. Hello,
    I am 36yo, 55kg and 165cm tall. I consider myself an advanced skier, like to ski in and off piste and wanting to improve off piste. In piste i like to convine short fast curves with long carving and all types of curves. I like to do little jumps. I have been skiing with volkl karma 2007 wich i have loved because they i believe they are stiff but also narrow and twin tip. Now considering better iskis i loved the reviews of nordica santa monica 93 and this volk kenja; wich do tou think is better for me? Also i live in barcelona (catalonia) and haven’t found the santa ana 93 anywhere neither on internet. Can’t i find this ski in europe? Thanks very much

    1. Hi Candi!

      Hmm… In response to you not finding the Santa Ana 93 on the internet we have it available right now on the same website that you made this comment: http://www.skiessentials.com/2018-nordica-santa-ana-93-women-s-skis.html

      In terms of the Santa Ana vs the Kenja I think the Santa Ana 93 allows for different turn shapes and is a little more versatile and forgiving in varying snow conditions and terrain. Since it sounds like you like to do a bit of everything while improving your ability off-piste, I think that’s the better ski for you. The Kenja is great, but it’s stiffer, heavier, and a little bit more demanding than the Santa Ana 93.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thank you very much. I would buy the product from your web but i am affraid that since i would be importing from usa the duty of my country would charge an important extra cost… a big pity since I believe these would be my best skis!

      2. Hi Candi!

        I completely understand, I just thought I’d mention it in case you didn’t notice we had them.

        Hope you can find a pair!!


  18. Hello,

    I am 57 yo, 5’5, @130 lbs and have been reading quite a bit about the Black Pearl 88’s…Then I read the Kenja reviews and started to reconsider…I am an advanced/expert skier from the Northeast – Maine mountains primarily! This year we’ve experienced all types of conditions, in addition to being blessed by a good share of powder days, with the March storms to date. An all-around ski would be best, and I’m hoping the Kenja can accommodate the powder too. I’ve owned two pair of Volkls many years ago, then turned to Dynastars. I’m currently skiing on some pretty old Legends… Though they were great skis, it’s really time to move on.

    Any insight, feedback would be great, thanks very much!

    1. Hi Kimberly!

      The Kenja is a great ski and a lot of advanced and expert women in the Northeast use it as their daily driver ski. It has excellent power and torsional stiffness for ripping high speed turns on firm snow, can hold an edge well when we get those New England icy conditions, yet is quite versatile. It’s not exceptionally wide, but its shape gives it nice performance in soft snow. You get a little bit of float out of the 90 mm waist and the slight early taper in the tips and tails give it a catch-free feel in soft snow. The one thing we always say about the Kenja is keep in mind it’s a pretty aggressive ski with its two sheets of metal. I don’t think you’ll have any issues on it as you’re a high level skier, but I always do like to mention that.

      Hope that helps!


  19. Hello I am 5’8 and 175 lbs intermediate skier. Would you suggest the Volkl Kenja or Yumi and would you say 163 cm is the correct length?

    1. Hi Ellen!

      I would go with the Yumi. The Kenja can be pretty demanding for an intermediate skier with its two sheets of metal. It’s on the heavier side and pretty stiff. The Yumi still gets the performance benefits of metal, but there’s less of it so it’s a little bit less fatiguing and more forgiving. Both are great skis, but I think the Yumi is more appropriate for you. In the Yumi you’ll want to go with either the 161 or 168 cm length. What have you skied before for lengths?


  20. Hello, I am 57 yrs old, 5’6″ and 125 lbs. I am an advanced skier but not expert. I am looking for an all mountain ski. I have been skiing Volkl EMS Gamma skis in 163 length for the last 10 yrs. I am in need of an update but can’t decide what to get. I have always loved the carve and pop of my Volkl’s and I owned Volkl’s previously. This spring I have demoed the Blizzard Black Pearl which I did not like at all. It was too light for me and didn’t carve the way I am use to. I also tried the kendo (they were out of the kenja) 163 and they were much better then the blizzard but they were not as quick and poppy as I am use to. Now, what should I do or try? Any suggestions would be welcome…I am determined to purchase this spring.

    1. Hi Deborah!

      Are you familiar with the Yumi? It’s another all mountain ski from Volkl and I think it might have the performance you’re looking for. It uses a single strip of metal in its construction, so will feel more stable than the Black Pearl, but they are lighter and more energetic than the Kenja. I think you’ll find they are quicker and have that nice pop out of a turn. Definitely seems like the right direction to go in as in my opinion the Yumi falls nicely in between the Black Pearl and Kenja. The Kendo and the Kenja are essentially identical.

      Hope that helps!


  21. Hi, I ski the vokyl Tierra’s which I love but now found that with my chronic back condition they are too much ski for me. I struggle to control the speed and turns and have tired legs mid day. I’m looking for a more forgiving ski but one that must have a great hold on ice. I ski in New England and rent when I go out west. I am an advanced skier and would love to excel in the bumps and trees but can’t with the Tierra’s. I am 50, 5’3, 135 lbs. any advice would be welcome!

    1. Hi Pepper!

      I would take a look at the Volkl Yumi. The Kenja can be pretty demanding as it has two full sheets of metal, which makes it relatively stiff and relatively heavy. The Yumi, which I mentioned in another recent comment here, uses a single strip of metal, which gives it the performance benefits of metal, but not the heavy weight of the Kenja. It’s quicker and more forgiving too, as well as less fatiguing over the course of a long day of skiing. A 154 cm Yumi seems like it would work well for you. Are you familiar with that ski?


  22. Hi!
    I’m 49-years old, 5’3″, 155 pounds, a strong intermediate-advanced skier who skis primarily Squaw Valley with its amazing variety of terrain? I really enjoy cruising blue and black groomers in both short fun turns mixed with longer medium-high speed carving (maybe 25 mph?). I venture into black runs primarily to spend time with friends and family who prefer to play off piste, in moguls, steeps and trees. I need a versatile ski that will build my confidence off piste with my framily. I was previously skiing 2014 Fischer Koa 84s in 159cm and did awesome on piste, and pretty well off piste while building confidence. I managed fine in small-medium soft moguls and steeps. However, the Fischers had way too much chatter and sucked in the crud so I needed an update. After 30+ ski days last season, I was convinced by a friend to upgrade to the 2017 Volkl Auras 163cm and boy oh boy, they are too much ski for me! I skied the Auras about 12 days in the past year, and they take me down when I get tired or sloppy. They are just too much work and I don’t last skiign all day on them. I also now avoid black runs that I previously conquered perfectly fine with my old Fischer Koas (granted, I’d get caught in crud but at least I had fun and could maneuver them around moguls due to their light weight). I know I want a heavier ski that is more stable with less chatter at speed, cuz I still love cruising and carving on groomers. I also need something that can blast through crud. I demo’d 2018 Volkl Kenja 156, and while I did much better with those than the 163cm Auras in moguls, the Kenjas were still very stiff and unforgiving. I’ve decided I am now afraid of the Auras and they are holding me back from skiing terrain that I used to ski with friends. I also demo’d that same day the 2018 Salomon QST 92 in 161cm, and boy those were fun making small zippy turns and big carves on groomers, but I ran out of time to test out off piste. Are the QST 92 too long in 161cm for me to get back my confidence on moguls? I’m also considering other top performing all mountain skis but have not yet demo’d Black Pearl 88, Black Pearl 98, Volkl Yumi. Any other suggestion? Please help!

    1. Hi Ann!

      The Aura can definitely be pretty demanding and quite fatiguing. You’re not the only one to feel that way, that’s for sure. The construction of the Kenja is just about identical to the Aura, so I’m not surprised you had a similar reaction to those skis. That Salomon QST 92 was definitely a great choice for you to demo and I think that could potentially be a great ski for you. I don’t think 161 cm is too long for you, no. The QST 92 has such a nice light swing weight that I think you can get away with skiing a slightly longer length without any trouble.

      I don’t think the Yumi would have the performance in un-groomed terrain that you’re looking for. It would get caught up a little similar to Fischers. Either Black Pearl would be interesting to demo if you have the chance. Hard to know whether you’d prefer the 88 or 98, but the construction is the same between them, so whichever you had a chance to demo would allow you to get a sense of the feel of the ski and then pick waist width. The other ski that comes to mind is the Nordica Santa Ana 93. I think that ski in a 161 cm could work really well too. A little different feel than the QST 92 (smoother and damper, less energetic), but similarly approachable and great ski.

      Hope that helps!


  23. I am looking for a great all mountain ski to replace and upgrade my Volkl Estrellas. I am an advanced Skier (single blacks) who primarily skis East coast but has been going out west (Utah and WY) twice a year and would like to do more off-piste and mogul. I am an aggressive skier, 45 and 5’4. I have been looking at the Vokl Kenja and the Nortica Santa Ana 93 but am also drawn to the responsiveness of the Elan Ripstick. What would you recommend and in what length?

    1. Hi Tori!

      I think you’ll enjoy the Santa Ana 93. Those are all great skis, but I think the Santa Ana 93 matches what you’re looking to do very nicely. It does quite well here on the east coast, but is very capable in off-piste terrain. Those other skis are too, but the Santa Ana 93 in my opinion is the most user-friendly out of the bunch. I really like its feel in off-piste snow and terrain. Quite maneuverable, but stable at speed too. That’s what I would do if I were you. I think the 161 cm would be a nice length for you as an advanced, aggressive skier. Almost as tall as you, which should be about perfect.

      Hope that helps!


  24. I ordered my Kenja 2018 “Mountain Monsters” on Good Friday never expecting to receive them in 4 days! When they arrived the following Tuesday morning, I literally did a happy dance, as I was leaving for Vermont at the crack of dawn on Thursday, so thank you, thank you for that. I’m 4′ 11″ and I ordered the 156. Even though they are taller than me, they are the perfect length and perform just as everyone has described (LOVE-EM). I’ve been skiing on K2’s which were a tad shorter, and much narrower underfoot. The Kenja’s are completely different and O so much easier. Being an aggressive quick turning skier by nature, driving my knees into the turn, I find that the Kenja’s almost turn themselves and the torsional stability is right there even though they appear so much more playful and forgiving and lighter. I almost feel like I’m cheating because they are easier to ski. I thought the length might be an issue but the 149’s I demoed in 2016 was less stable.

    I have a question- almost embarrassed to ask, but I get conflicting answers when I ask others so I thought I’d go right to the source. My local ski shop put a left/right sticker on the skis when mounting the bindings. Is there a definite right and left ski?

    1. Hi!

      Yay!! So glad they arrived quickly and that you’re loving them!

      Haha, no need to be embarrassed. That’s a fairly common point of confusion. On a ski like the Kenja you really should be switching your skis fairly often. It kind of helps to have a sticker like that on them just so you can tell them apart. My recommendation would be to swap every other weekend or so (of course depending on how often you ski). On one weekend use the right ski on your right foot, but the next weekend switch it so your “left” ski if on your right foot. This just helps the edges wear down evenly. It’s not a huge issue if you don’t switch them consistently, but since you asked I thought I would mention that it does help.

      There are a few skis on the market right now that have specific left and right skis (they are actually different shapes), but the Kenja is not one of those skis.

      Hope that answers your question!


  25. Hi My name is Paulina
    I bought In USA one pair of the Volki Kenja. I m ready to ski here in Chile in this season. I need to buy my bindings. Which one would you recommend?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Paulina!

      Lots of good bindings out there for the Kenja. Do you know your DIN setting? If it’s not exceptionally high, an 11 DIN binding like the Tyrolia Attack 11 or Marker Squire could work well. If your DIN is up around the 8 or higher range it might be worth bumping up to the Attack 13 or Marker Griffon. Binding preference is somewhat personal preference, but those are all great choices.


  26. I’m in need of new skis, having spent years skiing on K-2’s with the most recent (but old) K-2 Burnin Luv. I find these skis to chatter a lot and have never been a big fan. The Volkl Kenja’s have been recommended. I’m an advanced/expert skier, living and skiing mostly in the Pacific Northwest which means a lot of hard packed, groomed hills but i do enjoy the moguls and the off beaten paths. I’m 5’7″ and weigh 127. Do you have a recommendation?

    1. Hi Kris!

      The Kenja would definitely be an upgrade from your Burnin Luv! It’s a very powerful ski that’s popular among advanced and expert women, and it’s also going to be more versatile in softer snow conditions than what you’ve been on. Do you consider yourself a fairly aggressive skier? Really the only thing we like to bring up with the Kenja is it is a fairly demanding ski. Relatively stiff, somewhat heavy from the two full sheets of metal, etc. If you like to ski fast, which I’m guessing you do based on your comment about the Burnin Luc chattering, you’ll love it. If you prefer slower speeds or don’t consider yourself exceptionally aggressive you could consider the Volkl Yumi, which uses a partial metal laminate.

      Hope that helps!


  27. I am interested in purchasing the 2017 or 2018 Kenja model for my next pair of skis. I am 41, 5’4″ and 103 lbs, and consider myself an advanced (not expert) skier who likes to bomb down steep groomers and venture off-piste on powder days. I skied the Salomon XScreams for 10 years before moving to a more aggressive ski with a pair of 2011 Volkl Auras. I have the 163cm size, which was a long and heavy ski for my size. I liked the power and stability of that ski, especially when going really fast through crud, but like others have mentioned on this thread it wore me out and was quite heavy for my skinny legs LOL . I ended up with my first ski injury ever last year as I tore my ACL while skiing the Auras in heavy, wet off-piste snow at Kirkwood, which I attribute to the length and heaviness of the ski and my weak legs in those conditions. I was crushed! (I was fine and skied the rest of the day and didn’t find out the ACL was torn until a month later when the pain didn’t go away… I was in denial ;p) So, now fully healed and with a new ACL, I want to get a lighter, easier to maneuver ski, but don’t want to sacrifice precision and power since I like to go fast. I was thinking the shorter 149cm would be a good fit, but maybe that is too short? Should I go with the 156cm? I appreciate any advice. Thank you!

    1. Hi Katy!
      Welcome to the club of ACL injury participants! You’ll be just fine! I’d go with the Kenja in the 156 based off of your description. The Kenja is a pretty burly ski as well, just narrower than the Aura. If you’re looking to lighten your load even further, the Volkl Yumi is a metal-free, slightly narrower ski than the Kenja, so that’s another option. Best of luck!

      1. Katy,
        It’s slightly narrower than the Kenja and Aura, but still has tip rocker to help with flotation. What you sacrifice in weight, you gain in stability. It’s always about compromise, isn’t it?

  28. Hello, I have been researching a bunch of skis and I’m considering these. I am 5′ 10″ and 155 pounds and was wondering what size would be best?

    1. Hi Katie!
      Based solely on your height and weight, I’d recommend the 163 cm length. Hope that helps!

  29. Hi- I trying to decide between the 163cm and 170cm Volkl Kenjas. I would say I’m an advanced skier. I am 5’9, 172lb and 23 years old. I have been skiing on a different pair of Volkls that’s are 156cm (hand me downs) but have outgrown them. I mostly ski in NH/VT/ME with an occasional trip out west. Any recommendations would be great! Thanks.

    1. Hi Elizabeth!

      Do you consider yourself an aggressive skier? If yes, or if you like to ski fast, I think you’d be happy with the 170 cm length. It may take you a day or two to adjust to that length coming off a 156 cm, but ultimately I think you’d be able to handle it and if you’re an aggressive skier you’ll appreciate the extra stability. Even if you’re just moderately aggressive, I think you’ll be happy on that length. If that doesn’t sound like you at all, 163 cm would work if you’re less aggressive, ski at moderate speeds, etc.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks! Yes, I would say I am an aggressive skier. I demoed the 163s and really liked them. Unfortunately, they only had the 163s to demo and not the 170s. It left me wondering if the 170s would be even better. The transformation in the extra stability from the 156s to the 163s was amazing.

      2. Hi again Elizabeth!

        I think you can go with the 170 cm Kenja. You’ll get a touch more stability at speed on the 170 cm and I think at your size with your ability it will be perfectly manageable for you. Go for it and rip some high speed turns for us!


  30. Hi,
    I’m an intermediate-advanced skier. I’ve been skiing on K2s One Luv (2007, 160cm) for the last 10 years. Im looking for a ski that can go off-piste and will allow me to advance more in ungroomed terrain but will still go fast on the groomed runs. I demoed the Kenja 163cm, dynastar legend 166cm and wild joy 158cm last winter, and loved the Kenjas hands down for the stability they provided on groomers and off track, and I was wondering if the 170cm would do even better for me. I’m 5’8”, 130lbs and 24yo, so I’ve grown quite a bit from when I initially started on the One Luv. Would you recommended the 163 or 170 for me? I’ve also been eyeing Solomon’s QST 92s, black pearl 88s, and Santa Ana 93s, but haven’t had a chance to demo these. How do they compare with the Kenja, and would you recommend any of those?

    1. Hi Tana!

      Somewhat of a tossup on length for the Kenja, I understand where you’re coming from. You could definitely ski the 170 cm length, that’s about 3 cm shorter than you, which isn’t unreasonable by any means. That said, it would make things a little more challenging in tight or tricky off-piste terrain. Heavier swing weight, more ski to keep track of, etc.

      I would guess the Black Pearl 88 and QST 92 don’t quite have the stability you’re looking for. If you liked the feel of the Kenja, I would stick with metal. The Santa Ana 93, however, presents an interesting choice. It uses longer rocker than the Kenja, and the metal is thinner, so it’s a touch softer flexing, and more maneuverable off-piste. In the Santa Ana 93 there is a 169 cm length, which you undoubtedly could ski. That would give you a little more float in powder, retain similar (slightly less) stability at speed, and increase maneuverability compared to the 170 cm Kenja.

      Ultimately, in my opinion, it should come down to the 170 cm Kenja or a 169 cm Santa Ana 93. Just depends on how much forgiveness you’re willing to trade for a little more power and a little more stability.

      Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.


  31. Hi, I am an advanced skier, more of a large carver than a short quick turner but can handle all terrain. I have been skiing Volkl Attiva Tierras 147cm for 5 years and I love them. I am 5/1″ and weigh 108#. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Debbie!
      The nice thing about the Kenja is that it makes a lot of different turn shapes. They can make longer GS style turns, but they’re still pretty quick from edge to edge. They come in a 149 which would probably be good for you. The next size up is a 156 which would most likely be on the long side. Happy Skiing!

  32. Hi

    I’m between this Kenja model 156 cm and the Salomon QST 99 153 or 159 cm. I’m an advanced-expert skier, and 5’2″(158cm) tall. Which would you recommend? I live in MN so have hard packed groomed snow, but also take several skiing trips a year. Going to BANFF this year.


    1. Hi Alyssa!
      Those are independently two great choices, but are fairly different from one another. The Kenja is more of your Minnesota ski, and the Salomon is your Banff/other western resort ski. While the Kenja will ultimately be more versatile for your skiing, it won’t give you the flotation or playfulness of the QST. If you’re going to get just one, I’d recommend the Kenja in the 156. You’ll be able to use it all the time, and on the happy coincidence that it snows a ton on one of your vacations, then you get a powder day! Happy winter!

      1. What do you think would be a good boot to drive these? I’m looking around 90-110 flex…

      2. Alyssa,
        It’s hard to recommend boots as they all fit differently. It sounds like you’re in the right neighborhood in terms of flex, though. I’d stick with a traditional 4-buckle overlap alpine boot as you’ll get the best downhill performance. Other than that, all boot companies make good products, and it’s all about getting something that matches the shape and size of your particular foot. Also, don’t forget to get either custom footbeds or an aftermarket insole like Superfeet. This makes all the difference in the world. Hope that helps!

  33. Hi! I am an intermediate skier. I’m from the Midwest (MN to be exact) and ski a few times a year around here, on completely groomed runs (as that’s really all we have). However, every year I take a trip out to Colorado for some mountain skiing. I currently ski the Volkl Adora, which is just fine for MN, but I have a lot of difficulties skiing in Colorado with them whenever we get fresh powder. In Colorado, I typically stick to groomed runs, but occasionally go off the beaten path. I’m debating between the Volkl Kenja and the Volkl Yumi. They both seem pretty similar and I’m struggling deciding which would be a better fit for me. Any suggestions?
    Note: I’m 5’3″ and about 135 lbs. Historically, I air on the side of caution in regards to the length of my ski (right now I use a 141 – pretty short). I know the Yumi comes in a 147 and Kenja in a 149, which aren’t too much of a difference.

    1. Hi Barbara!
      The shape and profile of the Kenja and Yumi are fairly similar, but the Kenja is more of an advanced ski due to the extra sheet of metal. I’d recommend the Yumi if you’re declaring yourself as an intermediate. They’re light, fun, maneuverable, and stable. The Kenja can be on the stiff side for a lot of intermediates, even in the shorter lengths. You’ll love the Yumi on the MN groomers as well as the CO powder. Happy skiing!

      1. Thank you!
        What does the stiffness of a ski correlate too? I’m not sure that I understand the benefits (or downside in my case) to a ski being classified as stiff.
        Thanks again.

      2. Hi Barbara!
        In the most basic sense, the stiffer the ski, the higher the performance level. If you are an expert level skier, chances are you are skiing faster, and therefore need more “substance” underfoot to maintain control. Stiffer skis can have more metal, denser wood, or additional materials such as carbon or Graphene that stiffen the ski. You responded to the Kenja page, and the Kenja is a pretty stiff ski because it has two full sheets of titanium in it. As such, we place it in the “expert” category. That doesn’t mean that only experts can ski and enjoy the Kenja, but the chances are that expert and high level skiers will be able to glean the best performance out of that ski. Softer skis are easier to control at slower speeds, so non-experts tend to have more success in that arena. Hope that helps!

  34. Hi there, Im looking for a new pair of skis for my fiancee for x mas. Shes 5’2″ and 100 lbs. She’s small but a good skier and can handle bumps and double diamonds with no problem. She has a pair of cheap rossi’s that arn’t special and keeps up in them. She’s not a super aggressive skier and enjoys turning. We live in the northeast and do a trip out West every year. I was thinking either the kenja (i own kendo’s and love) or yumi. She’s been ready for big girl skis, Im just wondering if the kenja will be too stiff or if I should go with a Yumi. (Added bonus the kenja would match her outfit)

    1. Nice, Bob!
      If she’s not super-aggressive, I’d be hesitant about the Kenja. You might be better off getting her a new outfit to go with her new Yumis. You could also check out the 2019 version with different graphics! With the addition of the titanal band in they Yumi model, they’ve come a long way over the previous iteration that makes them stiffer and stronger performing. I just feel that if you’re not hitting a certain speed, the effort is wasted on the Kenja/Kendo. If you feel she hits that speed and needs that extra stability, then by all means, fire up that Kenja! Hope that helps!

  35. Hi! I had a deposit on the2019 Volkl Kama Skiis for my daughter who is 15, 4′ 11″, about 115 lbs. A friend of ours who’s an advanced, aggressive skier and the only one who can keep up with her (and has skied with her since she was 3) said he thought the Kama waist width was too small for her and not stiff enough. We live in NE and ski a variety of terrain and conditions.

    I found the Volkl Kenja 2018 with a 90 waist and more metal in the ski – he thought she’d like these and do well with them as she is aggressive from start to finish each day but still love to play in the trees.

    The ski shop thought that may be too much ski for her but they’ve never seen her ski.

    Any advice before I buy would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Karen!

      Does your daughter have a racing background? The Kenja is a lot of ski with those two full sheets of metal, especially for a lightweight skier like your daughter. If she has experience on a GS race ski with two sheets of metal like that, I wouldn’t be as concerned. If she doesn’t, that feels like a lot of ski.

      Now, that said, there is a ski in between the Kama and Kenja in terms of stiffness, level of aggressiveness, etc. That ski is the Volkl Yumi. It uses Titanal Band, which is a strip of metal running down the center of the ski. So, you get some of the benefits of metal like vibration damping and stability, but it’s lighter and not quite as stiff.

      What do you think? The Kenja does feel like a lot of ski for someone her size, although again, if she has a formal race background, she might be able to handle it.

      Hope that helps,


  36. Hi,
    I rented a pair of Kenja´s last year and totally loved them!! I´m buying them this year in 170cm. I´m wondering about the bindings, I´m 174cm, 60km intermediate-advanced skier, what bindings would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sara!

      We have the Kenja packaged with the Marker M 11.0 TP, which is a great binding for most skiers. You could, if you wanted a little more binding or a higher DIN range, jump up to the Griffon, or the Tyrolia Attack 13, which is very similar. Do you know where you normally set your DIN? I think the M 11.0 TP would be fine for you, unless you’re running a DIN that’s getting close to double digits.

      Hope that helps!


  37. Hi,
    I have read all the comments and your responses and hope you can answer my question.

    I own the 2015- 2016 Kenja in a 156 and I have really liked it at times, but also felt it was too much ski for me at other times given my age ( 50’s) , bad knees and aversion to very high speeds..I like the stabiltiy it offers and the edge grip. I skied the Volkl Attiva 5 Star before that ( and keep that as my ice ski but no longer like to ski it) so I am used to weight and stability the metal offers. . I realize that the Kenja has been redesigned since then but cannot really justify buying another pair so soon. Otherwise I think I would do better with the newer design with the tail rocker. ( I had demoed the Rossi Temptation 88 and Yumi before that but did not like them)

    At the same time, I want to get my 22 year-old daughter new skis because the skis she has ( old Elan race skis and Line 88’s ) are not really ideal for the type of skiing she does ( mostly in VT ut out west once a year). My daughter is a much better, stronger skier than I am- I would call her Advanced-Expert –skiis double black groomers, glades, moguls , etc and loves to ski fast .

    I think she would love the Kenja. In an effort to save some money I looked for a pair from previous seasons to buy her. I found a 2017 Kenja in 163, which is longer than she is used to sking ( she skiis 156 in her Line’s) , so now I am concerned she will find them too long. I found a 2017-2018 Kenja in a 156 for not too much more. I have not given her the new 163’s (still in the box) and am wondering if the 2017-2018 156 makes more sense. She is 5’6 and an athletically built 190 lbs so I wonder about the length of ski vs height and weight.

    I am debating giving my daughter my 2016 Kenja’s in 156 and getting myself new skiis or giving her the 163 2017 Kenja or 156 2018 Kenja.

    Lastly I am wondering whether the Secret would be more suitable for either of us. It is a lot more money than the previous years models of Kenja’s but wonder if it is worth it or would be more suitable.

    1. Hi Katherine!
      I’d recommend giving her the 163 Kenja. Given her stats and ability, I think she should be able to glean some great performance out of those. As far as the Secret, it’s definitely a different animal altogether. They have more of an all-mountain personality, and since they don’t have two full sheets of metal like the Kenja (and the Aura that they replaced), they are more forgiving and playful (but do not read that to mean lower-performing). Hope that helps, and happy winter!

  38. Hi,
    I have a pair of Kenjas 2017 163cm and I love them. I’m 5’7’’ 150 pounds and I ski in Tahoe and Whistler (advanced and relatively aggressive, don’t master double blacks yet). I like to ski a lot in trees and moguls and while I love the Kenjas I’m looking for something more playful off the groomers and in mixed conditions (more powder but still all mountain). I have a pair of 4front Maddonna and they can be very playful, but too flexible for me on the moguls.
    I’ve been looking at the volkl 90eight and the blizzard sheeva 10. Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Allie!
      Both are great options! They both benefit from having the same type of “ridge” construction that puts the bulk of the material in the central spine area of the ski. This makes for a damp feeling in the central portions and underfoot, and a lighter more playful feeling in the tips and tails and over the edges. The Sheeva is a bit wider and has more of a turned up tail, so will therefore be a better option for a soft-snow ski. If you’re looking to supplement and not replace the Kenja, the Sheeva is probably the way to go. The 90Eight is a great all-mountain ski, and will out-perform the Sheeva when it comes to carving and on-piste performance. Hope that helps!

  39. Hi I’m currently skiing 2010 Salomon Geishas 164cm in Tahoe and Utah. I love them and their speed but looking for a new pair with a tighter turn radius for the moguls and ideally just as hard charging. Would these be the right skis? Would you have a recommendation for another pair?
    I’m 5’4″, 120lbs and ski everything but prefer to be in the trees or on the moguls.

    1. Hi S Morgens!

      The Kenja is definitely still a hard charging ski, and it’s turn radius is a little shorter than the Geisha, so it sounds like it would work really well for you. The 163 cm should have similar stability and power to the 164 cm Geisha, but will be a little quicker and more responsive on firm snow. I think you’ll have a blast on them! I’d also take a look at the Secret. It’s brand new for 2019, is a little wider than the Kenja, but barely. Really good women’s ski that’s getting a lot of great reviews.

      Hope that helps!


  40. Hi! I am all over the board in trying to figure out what I want/need in new skis. I am 5′ 10′, 145lb and 43 years old. I am a fairly aggressive skier who has been skiing all my life (including a few mediocre race years in my teens). I ski almost exclusively in the midwest (WI) on mostly man-made snow– groomers and hard pack. I spend about 50 days a winter on the slopes (both for fun and as a PSIA level 1 instructor). I also try to run a few NASTAR runs every weekend and want to keep improving there (I was recently beat by my pre-teen racer daughter for the first time and my pride is hurt! 🙂 ) I am skiing on a pair of 5 year old beginner/intermediate level Fischer 160mm w/ a 72mm waist (what I could afford at the time)–and am in desperate need of a new pair of skis. As I can only afford one pair right now, I am looking for something that can “do it all” and meet all my needs. I have a list going and have read your reviews on them all…. thinking the Kenja is the frontrunner. Also looking at the Volkl Flair 81, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88, Head Wild Joy, and Head Super Joy (and I demo’d the Rossi Hero Elite MT through gates and loved that!)– I’ve got quite the range 🙂 Opinions? Also sizes? Thank you!

    1. Hi JC!
      There’s a lot out there, for sure! If you’re looking for the ultimate safety ski, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is the way to go. Sounds like you like a bit more of a carving type ski though, so the Flair 81 sticks out in my mind. It’s got some versatility to it, not quite like the BP 88 or the Kenja, but if you’re mostly on hard pack, then the 81 is a great choice. The Head skis are great, and they have a lighter feel to them which some people like and some people do not. The Flair is solid and stable–more like the Hero Elite than the other models while remaining user-friendly. No guarantees on beating your kids at a race, but fun will be had!

  41. I have been skiing since I was 5 years old. I need a ski that is good out west and east coast skiing. I am 5’5″ about 145lbs. I have a rather strong lower body which is why I think I need a heavier ski. I have heard great things about the Volkl Kenja ski. I enjoy speed. That is my middle name. I enjoy ungroomed and mogels as well. But when I get a good groomed double blue or black I like to get down as fast as I can (need for speed) slight turning tips down haha I have rented the K2 RTM 8 and really liked them! Gave me the speed I wanted but was great in power too. They were slighly long though so occasionally crossed and tripped me up. They were 158. I was recommended 147 Kenja at the shop, but nervous those are going to be way too short. I was recommended for the 147 Kenja 2017. From what I have been reading sounds like 156 would be idea for me in the Kenja? Thoughts? If it helps Skied Park City in December. did all the double blues and blacks that were open. Going to Vermont this weekend so need to be suitable for both.

    1. Hi Jordan!
      The Kenja is a fantastically versatile ski that is unwavering at speed. I do think the 147 would be on the short side for you, so I’d recommend the 156. Have fun and we’ll see you if you come to Stowe!

  42. Looking at getting a pair of do-it-all skis for my 16 y/o ”retired” racer. She’s 5’3” and 117 lbs. Has been on race skis only (SL, GS & SG) and has been racing U12 and up until last season which was 1st year U16 when she quit. As a ref her last GS ski was a FIS Rossi Hero 183 cm with R21 plate and Rockerflex 15 bindings. We’re in Europe and mainly ski in the Alps and in Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway) which is similar to NE USA.
    Was thinking that a Kendo/Kenja could be a good option for her, mainly skiing on piste. How should tgey be sized? 163 would be about same length as her, in between her SL and GS skis.

    1. Hi Chris!
      I think you’re on the right track with the Kenja/Kendo (same ski, different graphic and sizing) in the 163. It’s hard for former racers to ski much without two sheets of metal, so my bet is that she’d like the Volkl’s. Hope that helps!

  43. Hi, I am looking at buying either a used pair of Volkl Kenja’s (163) or Nordica Astral (165). Definitely looking for a solid all mountain ski. Spend a good portion of the day on blue and black groomers but just started going off piste a little more and exploring powder. I’m very confident and comfortable on blues and easier, groomed blacks, and can ski harder blacks but still building up confidence on those. I will try most terrain but I usually ski more on the slower/reserved side, at least compared to most people I go with. I’m 24, 5’7 and I am skiing around 10-15 days a year. Do you think there are any advantages for one of these skis over the other for me?

    1. Hi Sarah!
      The Astral is lighter and more maneuverable while the Kenja is burlier and more stable. It sounds to me like you’re in the Astral neighborhood! They have a high-performance ceiling, and a lot of skiers like the liveliness of the ski. Hope that helps!

  44. Hi, I am new to the Telluride area. I am an intermediate skier, but plan to increase my skills as I am now in better proximity to ski regularly. I am 5’6″ and 120lbs. I want an ALL mountain ski. I am looking at buying a used set of skis for my first year out here. Do you think the 2017 Volkl Kenja 156 or the 2019 Atomic Vantage 90 ti 153 would be a better fit for me. I also have looked at the 2019 Volkl Secret 156…thoughts?

    1. Hi Rachel!
      I’d say the Secret is a better option for a western all-mountain ski. The Kenja, before the new Titanal Frame construction, felt a bit planky, while the new build (for 2019/2020) is more versatile. At 92 underfoot, the Secret has a bit wider of a platform for flotation, while retaining the carving and harder snow capabilities of the narrower skis. The Atomic is very stiff and light, and as a result, can be very responsive. If you’re looking for a lightning-quick ski, that’s a great choice, but I don’t think it’s as versatile as the Secret. Hope that helps!

  45. Hi All, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my old Kenja’s but its time to put them to rest. I am thinking of getting a new pair but I was hoping to throw on some AT bindings….is this crazy? liked the stability of the Kenja’s and I would like something similar in my new backcountry set up but am I crazy? Would these be ridiculously heavy as backountry skis? Is there another option that would perhaps offer me the same skiing experience but with less weight? I already have a great pair of backcountry powder skis but they are total garbage in the spring conditions that last so long here in Tahoe.

    1. Hi Kelsey!
      Can you put your AT bindings on your old Kenja and keep the new one for lift served? Yes, they’re heavy for backcountry applications, but not impossible. Unfortunately, the weight of the ski is what makes it stable, so you do have to compromise a bit at some point. Check out the Head Kore 93, Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, and the Blizzard Sheeva 9 for lighter, yet still stable skis that might make a good tourer. Hope that helps!