2022 Volkl Kenja 88

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lengths: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm
radius: 25/14/20 m at 163 cm
sidecut: 129/88/111 mm at 163 cm
price: $ 454.99


The Kenja has been a staple in Volkl’s lineup for a long time now. Now specifically called the Kenja 88, the ski continues its theme of providing a strong, versatile all-mountain ski that’s generally enjoyed by advanced and expert level skiers. That said, Volkl has made some tweaks to it over the years and this new version retains the power and precision we like, but we’ve found it’s a little bit more forgiving for less aggressive and/or more intermediate level skiers. Volkl uses their classic Multi-Layer wood core that’s supported by their Titanal Frame construction, which is now found in a multitude of Volkl’s skis. Metal is positioned along the edges of the ski and wrapping around the tips and tails, but that metal does not connect underfoot. Volkl also uses their 3D.Radius sidecut design with a tighter radius underfoot and longer radii in the tips and tails. The softer flex underfoot thanks to the break in metal combined with the shorter radius means you can flex the Kenja 88 into shorter radius arcs, allowing for a bunch of different turn shapes.

ROCKER PROFILE
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
CORE MATERIALS
Multi-Layer
Titanal Frame
Carbon Tips
PREFERRED TERRAIN
All Mountain, Groomers, Powder

Louise Lintilhac tested the 170 cm length, which she thought skied true to size and worked well for her size. High scores across the board from Louise! Nothing fell below a 4 out of 5 in our criteria, and both torsional stiffness/edge grip and overall impression earned the coveted 5 out of 5 mark. “This is a charging ski that is also capable of shorter snappy turns. They transitioned well from the moguls to the open slope and were able to hang on at high speeds with a dampened, stable feel. A great ski for an advanced skier looking to carve it up but who might want to push pace when the slopes open up a bit.” The ability to make different turns is one of the highlights of the Kenja 88 and something most all of our testers commented on. It’s relatively rare to find a ski that can make big, sweeping turns, but also is willing and capable of making shorter, quicker turns. Ann MacDonald also skied the 170 cm length, which she too thought worked well for her size. Tremendous scores from Ann, in fact, we had a lot of positive feedback from Ann on a lot of Volkl skis, so clearly their performance aligns well with her skiing. 5 out of 5 scores for stability, quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression. “Great ski for a variety of skier types! Quick and playful, but also good stiffness and good edge hold. Good intermediate to advanced ski that can rip groomers, woods, and still could handle some surprise powder!”

Kristi Brown is a big Volkl fan already, and actually owns a pair of Kenja 88s, but we had her test them anyways. Full 5 out of 5 scores from Kristi, although it looks like her mark on forgiveness might be a 4.5, but that’s still really good. “I’m trying to not be bias, BUT the Kenja is a fanny pack full of fun equipped and ready for anything. Super energetic and versatile. Love the playful personality that finesses bumps, crud, and corduroy!” Danielle Nichols has tested the Kenja 88 multiple times over the course of different ski tests. Her scores over the years have been very consistent with almost perfect 4 out of 5 across the board. “Super fun and playful. Very maneuverable and friendly. Would be a great every day ski that’s super easy going and a little less beefy than the Secret.” That’s great feedback from Danielle. As a reminder, Danielle is a very accomplished skier who often is found on skis that are longer and heavier than the Kenja, so her feedback towards maneuverability should be considered with the idea that it may be in comparison to what she’s normally skiing. Regardless, she’s spot on in her assessment that the Kenja 88, although it uses a very similar build, feels a little easier to ski and a little quicker than the wider Secret. We also think she’s right that an advanced or expert level skier will find the Kenja 88 friendly and maneuverable, but this feels like one of those moments where we should mention an intermediate might not have the exact same reaction.


These 4 women are all strong skiers and all loved skiing the Kenja 88. It’s precise, it’s stable at speed, yet it has some quickness and versatility to it as well. We still think it leans towards being a little too demanding for a true intermediate, which makes sense as Volkl has similar width skis in the Yumi 84 and Blaze 86 that are going to be more approachable for lower ability levels. For advanced and expert level women, however, it’s an extremely versatile tool.