2021 Volkl Kenja 88

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lengths: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm
radius: 14 m at 163 cm
sidecut: 129/88/111 mm
price: $ 479.95

The Volkl Kenja has developed a reputation as a high-end women's ski over the past few years, and it truly deserves all of those accolades. Built just like the men's Kendo 88, the Kenja has the same build, but comes in shorter lengths and a different color scheme. Unchanged for 2021 except for the topsheet, the Kenja continues its dominance amongst other ladies' 88-90 mm underfoot all-mountain skis. Titanal frame, multi-layer wood core, carbon tips, and a 3D Radius Sidecut make up the goodies involved in these great skis. The frame technology has been around for about two years now with the Mantra, and it has made an incredible way of building skis even better. They're not as blocky or planky as they have been in the past, and it seems like most skiers appreciate the liveliness and the energy out of the frame skis versus the more traditional wood core with two metal layers in a sandwich sidewall format. The Carbon tips make for a lighter swingweight, and this adds to the versatility and all-mountain nature of the Kenja. Not only that, but the 3D radius helps make the skis more approachable and accessible for a larger number of skiers. Lighter and quicker, but no less powerful and stable than the previous versions, the Kenja 88 should be on any and all advanced and expert skiers' list for that front-side/all-mountain general-purpose ski. Our contributors used their previous year's experiences on the ski to carry forward the positives and well-roundedness of the Kenja 88.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Multilayer Woodcore
Titanal Frame
Carbon Tips
All Mountain, Groomers

Lauren Lepage skied the 163 and had high scores for everything except flotation-not a surprise with an 88 underfoot ski. Forgiveness, as well, only earned a 3 out of 5 for Lauren. All other scores were 4's out of 5, showing the all-around versatility of the ski. She calls it "bomber, playful, and super-stable. I felt very comfortable at high speed-the edge control was all there and I felt confident on this ski." Confidence is a huge selling point for a ski of this caliber, allowing the pilot to really trust their gear and be able to put it all out there in the name of skiing and carving performance. Kristi Brown was on the 170 and found it to be the "perfect" length. Her scores, except flotation, all were 5's out of 5. She notes that the "Kenja is a fanny pack full of fun-equipped and ready for anything. Super versatile and energetic." Not all skiers felt that the previous Kenja design was energetic, so it's nice to see our contributors picking up on that change for the Kenja 88. "Love the playful personality and the finesse through bumps, crud, and corduroy!"

Yes, that all-mountain versatility really shines through with this Kenja 88. Catherine Ferguson was likewise pretty stoked on the Kenja, and while she'd normally ski the 170, she was not too put off by her 163 cm test length. 5's for stability, quickness, maneuverability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold are all pretty impressive scores, and her overall impression got a 4.5. "I thought these skis would be too short, but I was pleasantly surprised! They were powerful yet playful at the same time. I would recommend these skis for an aggressive all-mountain skier. Great on groomers and very capable in more variable terrain." It's that combination of power and playfulness that really caught a lot of our contributors by surprise, and it's that blend of performance that makes the Kenja 88 really stick out.

Skis like the Kenja 88 will always find a strong following, but it certainly helps when they're built and shaped the way these skis are. Thanks to the updates from last year, the Kenja is hitting a new demographic while keeping in mind the advanced and expert skiers who love and cherish the stability, edge grip, and energy of these all-mountain legends.