2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review

Every once in a while, a manufacturer will throw a line into their product description that really catches my eye. As is the case for the redesigned Kanjo 84 from Volkl. “You could say, it’s the perfect on-piste ski for off-piste skiers who dig on-piste skiing but never want to be considered as on-piste skiers.” I love it. Skis like this kind of feel like they’re stuck in a between categories. It’s not a frontside ski, it’s not a freeride ski, it’s a true all-mountain ski, and that’s great. Volkl’s description is kind of confusing at first, but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the performance and overall feel of the Kanjo 84. It’s responsive and quick, but it never gives up its playfulness either, which I think a lot of skiers will appreciate.

The recipe for this new Kanjo 84 marks a departure from Titanal Band seen in the previous ski. Instead, we get a blend of different construction and technology that’s being used in a bunch of different skis from Volkl. Perhaps most notably, or at least most obvious when you look at it, is the Glass Frame design. Unlike the Titanal Frame seen in the Kendo 88, M5 Mantra, and other ski’s in their collection, the Kanjo uses extra fiberglass in the same frame shape. This is part of the reason why they’re able to achieve such a lightweight feel, although that Glass Frame still delivers good edge grip and torsional stiffness. Volkl also uses a sheet of metal underfoot for binding retention as well as a little more stability and vibration damping where you need it. This is all integrated around a classic Volkl multi-layer wood core.

AT A GLANCE


2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

BINDINGS

161, 168, 175, 182 cm

17 m at 175 cm

125 / 84 / 107 mm

Multilayer Wood Core with Glass Frame

Edge Grip, Responsiveness, Versatility


The shape of the Kanjo 84 is also important to its overall performance. Camber underfoot is matched with rocker in the tips and tails. That rocker is relatively long too, although there isn’t much splay. We’ve seen that design in other skis and in general it allows for versatility and maneuverability without reducing the effect edge length and thus the ski’s edge grip. There’s also a little more early taper than we see in most skis in this width range, which further boosts maneuverability. Then there’s Volkl’s 3D Radius design, which uses longer radii in the tips and tails and a shorter radius underfoot, allowing for a variety in carving turn shapes.

 2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review: Full Camber Image

When you get it on snow and start exploring its capabilities, the first thing you’ll notice is how light it is. The 175 cm length is just 1590 g without a binding, which is considerably lighter than skis like the Kendo 88. Even just standing around in the lift line, you’ll probably be playing around with how light they feel on your feet and how easily and quickly you can swing them side to side, which translates to a very nimble feel when you start skiing. On a groomer, the Kanjo 84 is energetic, responsive, and extremely quick. Its quickness edge to edge actually feels faster than the waist width might indicate. The Glass Frame does a really good job delivering torsional stiffness and edge grip, but it does feel different than Titanal Frame. There’s not as much vibration damping in this ski. The Kendo 88 feels heavier and quieter when you’re flying around at high speeds. The downside to that is it’s also very demanding and can be fatiguing. Not all skiers need or would benefit from a ski with that much metal, in fact I’d argue that most skiers wouldn’t, and would rather find more enjoyment out of the Kanjo’s feel. Also, we need to be careful here not to give you a false sense of this ski’s capabilities. I can still absolutely rip on groomers, especially if you have perfect, smooth corduroy to play with. It’s when the snow gets a little choppy and more variable that the Kanjo prefers moderate speeds and more deliberate actions from the skier, as opposed to just recklessly charging down the fall line.

Off groomers, or when you want to make more playful turn shapes, the Kanjo 84 really starts to shine. That lightweight feel and its high levels of responsiveness make it a blast in challenging terrain. It’s a fantastic mogul ski, and would work well as a tree ski on a low-snow day too. It loves to hop and play on the sides of the trails and allows you to ski however you want to ski. By integrating as much rocker as they do, Volkl really is giving you the ability to make a bunch of different style turns. Edge release is relatively easy, especially when you consider how light it is. Even if you need to unweight the tail to get it to swing around, it’s really easy to do so because it’s so lightweight.

 2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1  2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

Perhaps my favorite thing about the Kanjo 84 is the feedback it gives you as a skier. This is a high-end, well-built ski, and responds really well to skier’s with good technique. Unlike some heavier, stiffer skis, however, it won’t punish you or beat you up if you make a mistake. It lets you know you made a mistake, but it’s forgiving enough and light enough that you can recover quickly and get back in a good rhythm. I really like that characteristic in a ski, and I think a lot of other skis would as well. A developing intermediate could pick up a Kanjo 84 and basically use it as a little bit of a teaching tool because it gives you such good feedback. No matter what your ability level is, it will make you ski better, because it likes good technique. It doesn’t, however, feel demanding, which is a combination of characteristics not found in many skis.

To compare it to the Kanjo it’s replacing, overall, they’re relatively similar. They’re both lightweight, they’re both highly responsive, and they’re both a heck of a lot of fun to ski. Volkl pretty much retained everything I liked about the previous version, but increased the energy, responsiveness, and quickness thanks to the introduction of Glass Frame.

To summarize, a huge range of skiers can enjoy the Kanjo 84. It would be a fantastic daily driver for the vast majority of skiers in the world. It’s really only the ends of the ski ability spectrum that might not vibe with it. It’s still probably too much ski for a true beginner, and a ripping, adventurous expert will likely want something wider and heavier for a daily driver, but basically everybody in between would have a lot of fun on the Kanjo 84.

 2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review: Available Soon Image
 

Written by Jeff Neagle on 12/04/20

6 thoughts on “2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review

  1. I love my Volkl Tigre Eye set on stiff but while they are really fun, they are getting dated and a bit short for speed (161). Looking to up grade.
    Mostly a carver that like to stay on edges.

    1. Hi Dave!
      The Kanjo is a great, narrower all-mountain ski that carves great and makes quick, short turns. The Volkl Deacon 80 and 84 are a bit more on-piste and front side oriented, likely giving you a more similar feel to your older skis. So, Kanjo for more all-mountain, and Deacons for more front side. 80 has fiberglass frame like the Kanjo while the 84 has a titanal frame for better grip and stability. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hello, I am 5,8”, 190lbs, advanced intermediate skier looking for what I call a front side afternoon skis, when the snow is shopped up, tracked out or crud, condition where I am not very aggressive. I prefer a lighter ski that can deal well with this type of snow. The Kanjo 84 seems right for these conditions, am I right. And what length do you suggest? Any other skis you would recommend? Thanks.

    1. HI JP I!
      Great choice on that Kanjo! Rossignol Experience 84, Salomon QST 85, and K2 Mindbender 85 are all competitive, and you can't really go wrong with any. I'd look to the high 160's to low 170's in any of these skis, but that 2021 Kanjo is very accomplished and poised for your stats and application. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi. I've been reading a lot reviews on your site and they are great. I'm 6'0" - 200lbs and in my 40s. I ski 10 to 15 days a year in the midwest and consider myself an intermediate skier (blues and midwest blacks). I mostly ski the groomers and I'm just starting to chase a kid around the mountain. I go fast occasionally, but I'm mostly trying to make clean turns.

    I'm currently on Volkl AC20 (163 length). They are too short for me, but worked great when I was learning 10 years ago and they don't have any rocker. I like the feel of the AC20s when the snow is hard, but they sink anytime there is more than 2 inches of fresh snow and they don't feel very stable in the crud that builds up in the afternoon. So, I'm looking for something a little different.

    I think I've narrowed it down to a few options. I was originally considering the Deacon 84s, but they're probably a bit more effort to ski than I'm looking for. Anyhow, I'm trying to decide between the following:

    - Elan Ripstick 88 (180 length) - Great reviews and sound like they'd be fun and easy to ski.
    - Volkl Kanjo 84 (175 length) - These sound like fun and probably have the Volkl pop and edge hold that I'm used to.
    - Volkl Deacon 80 (177 length) - Probably a nice upgrade from my AC 20s in terms of stability, but might be all business and less playful.

    Any thoughts on these? Should I be considering something stiffer given my size. I've looked at lots of other options too, so I'm open to broader recommendations.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

    1. HI Chris!
      We've put a lot of skiers on the Ripstick 88 lately, and with great success. Correct in that they're not quite as energetic as the Kanjo 84, but still pretty darn good, and they'll give you more versatility in return. Nothing wrong with that Kanjo, either, and it's a good example of a narrower all-mountain ski that rips groomers, bumps, and trees, just not quite the high end that some expert skiers may expect. Deacon 80 is the closest to your AC's on the list, and since it sounds like you're looking for something different, I'd look elsewhere. Between the Ripstick and the Kanjo, I would say that the Kanjo is probably a better choice for your size, as it is stiffer, especially in the shovels, than the Ripstick, so if you're concerned about the stiffness related to your size, the Kanjo makes more sense. Either will work, but I think you should lean to the Kanjo. Have fun!
      SE

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