The 2020 Volkl Kenja 88 is a new ski for this year, and it has lady skiers all jazzed up. The Kenja of years past had a fairly planky feel, but the new version is a lot livelier. By implementing the Titanal Frame construction that the Mantra M5 and the Secret use, they’ve kept the edge precision and power intact, but have added a snappier and quicker character. When you get on them, you’ll know that they’ve really stepped up their game, and as the narrowest ski with Titanal Frame, it’s super-quick and fun to ski. Our testers were pretty unanimous in their attitude towards the new Kenja 88, and loved the power and versatility of this great new stick.
Lauren Lepage skied the 163 and found the size to be just about right. She scored all 4’s out of 5 with the exception of forgiveness, which garnered a 3 in her mind. As a stiff ski, this is not a shock. The 4’s in versatility and overall impression are telling of her favorable experience on the ski. Lauren calls it “bomber, playful, super-stable. I felt very comfortable at high-speed. The edge control was there and I felt confident on this ski.” While the Kenja 88 is certainly more of an advanced and expert-level ski, it can surely boost confidence in the advancing intermediate crowd as well.
Kristi Brown’s got a colorful description of the 170 that she skied: “The new Kenja is a fanny pack full of fun! Equipped and ready for anything!” Kristi checked all the 5’s on her scorecard, so it’s safe to say she’s a fan of this fanny pack. She goes on to call them “super-versatile and energetic and I love the playful personality, the finesse in bumps, crud, and corduroy.” Great to hear the versatility shows through with this great new ski.
The 163 treated Shelby Parenteau quite well. Her top marks of 5 for stability and torsional stiffness show that the titanal frame construction is the real deal. She calls it the “best ski for cuttin’ through crud. One of the stiffer skis I tested, it was very stable and liked to go fast. The maneuverability was ok, but you’ve got to be on this ski or it will ski you. I would not say it’s a forgiving ski, but if you can handle the Kenja, it is a lot of fun!” Great point by Shelby here, that it does require attention; it is not a lazy ski by any stretch of the imagination.
Ali Berlin skied the 156 and found it to be just the right size. She drew a line right down the middle of the 4’s on the score sheet, leading us to believe that the Kenja 88 is a high-performance, well-rounded ski that is capable of pretty much anything. Her quotes echo that sentiment: “Wow! An extremely versatile ski for whatever you’re looking to do. I found that any turn shape, whether carved, skidded, or smeared, these skis responded. They were stable and quick to move. I felt the skis gripping the snow with an easy release out of the turn.” Very nice summation by Ali here, noting the versatility and the responsive nature of the Kenja 88.
Sometimes new skis kind of fall flat, but the Kenja’s heritage combined with the Titanal Frame construction created a lively, new ski that is poised to set itself apart from the rest of the ~88 underfoot ladies ski crowd.