Volkl Announces Updated 22/23 Kendo 88, Kenja 88, & Mantra 102

This week Volkl announced 22/23 updates to three of their all-mountain skis: the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102. Blister discusses the new skis
2022-2023 Volkl Kendo 88

This week Volkl announced 22/23 updates to three of their all-mountain skis: the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102.

Jonathan Ellsworth had a chance to ski them a couple weeks ago and we just posted his Flash Review of the Mantra 102, and we’ll also be doing longer-term testing this season. In the meantime, we wanted to cover the highlights of the updates.

First and foremost, all three skis will feature the “Tailored Titanal Frame” and “Tailored Carbon Tips” that we first saw implemented on the 21/22 Volkl M6 Mantra and Secret 96.

We discussed both construction elements last year when the M6 Mantra and Secret 96 were announced, but to reiterate, here’s what Volkl says about them:

“With the Tailored Titanal Frame the width of the upper Titanal layer varies and is adjusted to the length of each ski. This allows the amount of damping and torsional stiffening provided by the Titanal in the ski to be tailored to the skier’s body size. In the longer models, a wider upper layer is added above the sidewall in the shovel and tail area of the ski, meaning there is more metal in the ski. This increases torsional rigidity, resulting in even more direct power transfer and improved stability for bigger skiers. The shorter the ski length, the lower the Titanal content, because narrower frames are designed with the camber further forward. This makes the ski more maneuverable, allowing smaller skiers to take full advantage of the ski’s versatility with less effort.”

Volkl Announces Updated 22/23 Kendo 88, Kenja 88, & Mantra 102, BLISTER
2022-2023 Volkl Kendo 88 during layup process

“The [Tailored Carbon Tips] replace the carbon tips of their predecessors and are no longer inserted into the shovel as a uniform fleece, specially integrated into tip. In this way, they reinforce the torsional rigidity of the ski in precisely the way they are needed. This results in a precise and smooth edge response at the start of the turn and a fast build-up of energy. The direction and orientation of the fiber strands allows that quick turn initiation in the front of the ski with a smooth transition to the rest of the ski, thereby guaranteeing its enjoyable handling. Compared to its predecessor, this allows the properties of the Kendo 88 to be precisely determined and modified at every point. On the one hand, aggressive skiers benefit from the fast edge response, which provides more liveliness and dynamics. On the other hand, the ski also becomes noticeably more forgiving and delivers a high level of performance with little effort.”

Additionally, the sidecuts of all three skis are being tweaked. They all still feature Volkl’s “3D Radius” design, with a tight center radius and longer radii at the tips and tails. The idea here is that you can get more turn-shape versatility out of a given ski. For 22/23, all three skis’ center radii have been shortened by one meter. E.g., the 22/23 184 cm Mantra 102’s center radius will be 19 meters, as opposed to 20 meters on the 21/22 model.

What has not changed dramatically are the shapes, rocker profiles, and core constructions of these skis. They still feature pretty traditional shapes, with minimal tip or tail taper, and they still have a substantial core that seems designed more with suspension and stability in mind, rather than super low weight. And for reference, the 21/22 Volkl M6 Mantra, Secret 96, Secret 102, and Katana 108 will return structurally unchanged for 22/23.

For reference, here are the stated specs for the three skis:

2022-2023 Volkl Kendo 88

This week Volkl announced 22/23 updates to three of their all-mountain skis: the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102. Blister discusses the new skis

Available Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184 cm
Stated Dimensions: 129-88-113 mm
Stated Sidecut Radii (tail radius / center-main radius / tip radius):

  • 163 [R1(23.4), R2(13.1), R3(20.5)]
  • 170 [R1(26.2), R2(14.6), R3(22.6)]
  • 177 [R1(29), R2(16.2), R3(24.8)]
  • 184 [R1(31), R2(17.3), R3(26.4)]

Stated Weight per Ski: 1898 g @ 177 cm

2022-2023 Volkl Kenja 88

This week Volkl announced 22/23 updates to three of their all-mountain skis: the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102. Blister discusses the new skis

Available Lengths: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm
Stated Dimensions: 129-88-113 mm
Stated Sidecut Radii (tail radius / center-main radius / tip radius):

  • 149 [R1(20), R2(10.9), R3(15.7)]
  • 156 [R1(20.9), R2(11.7), R3(18.5)]
  • 163 [R1(23.4), R2(13.1), R3(20.5)]
  • 170 [R1(26.2), R2(14.6), R3(22.6)]

Stated Weight per Ski: 1701 g @ 163 cm

2022-2023 Volkl Mantra 102

This week Volkl announced 22/23 updates to three of their all-mountain skis: the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102. Blister discusses the new skis

Available Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
Stated Dimensions: 142-102-124 mm
Stated Sidecut Radii (tail radius / center-main radius / tip radius):

  • 170 [R1(25.5), R2(16), R3(23.4)]
  • 177 [R1(28.2), R2(17.7), R3(25.8)]
  • 184 [R1(30.2), R2(18.9), R3(27.4)]
  • 191 [R1(33.2), R2(20.8), R3(30)]

Stated Weight per Ski: 2209 g @ 184 cm

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19 comments on “Volkl Announces Updated 22/23 Kendo 88, Kenja 88, & Mantra 102”

  1. Was waiting for the bit where you said weights had been reduced, so very glad to see that’s not the case. Would love to try the Kendo and Mantra (to be fair also true before they updated them!)

    • Another outlet reported around 100g difference for the Kendo, but similarity said it felt like a good reduction in swing weight without much/any penalty to top end stability

  2. Still love cranking turns at speed on my M5’s…these things lock in and are super stable but have to push them very hard to get the benefits of this ski. I would like to see a slightly better tail release but a very minor complaint as it’s an all around amazing ski. I will try these new mantras if I can during a demo day for contrast.

  3. MEH! More metal … more stiffness? Volkl is still going in the wrong direction for us out West. Most of us want a more fun flexible versitile ski. Here at steamboat our powder, bumps, and aspens dont want anything to do with this. These skis target one thing and one thing only which is speed on groomers. MEH! Not freeride designs at all IMHO.

    • Sorry, but this is a really bad take. It seems that you’ve somehow missed the point here: shorter lengths of these skis are now tuned to be softer than longer skis. And I could be wrong, but I don’t get the sense that you typically gravitate toward skis in their longest lengths?

      I’ve just skied the Mantra 102 in two lengths (184 cm and 177 cm), as well as the new Kendo in those lengths. Your strangely self-assured take (assuming that you haven’t actually skied these yet?) that these skis “target one thing and one thing only which is speed on groomers” is just not true.

      That said, these skis still might not be your personal cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. But I don’t want others to read your overbaked opinions (that I’m still not quite sure how you arrived at) and get the wrong idea here.

      • His overbaked opinion is even way overbaked for the Mantra M6 which is more towards the groomer end of the spectrum than the 102

    • I’ve skis both the 22 and 23 Kendos, and don’t worry, despite what it says on paper, the 23s are both lighter and flexier. They feel much more nimble.

  4. Hi currently Ski a 170mm Volkl RTM,2016 edition, works good on groomed and icy eastern conditions, would like to go to something that has better flotation when there is deeper snow , 5′ 10″ 165 lbs, strong intermediate to advanced skier, would the Kendo 88 work or would I be better looking at a Mantra 106? thanks.

      • Hi , my local dealer in Ontario Canada has told me not till the fall of 2022 but US based ski retailers have posted that they expect a release possibly next month .

  5. Jonathan, you were very eloquent in your response. My reply may have been a bit more straightforward. Omgosh….that is hilarious!

  6. Stoked to get on the 2023 Mantra 102. I hope it is as much of a charger as my 2021 Mantra 102(184)
    I have owned the M4 version and M5(184) Mantra as well as the 2020 Kendo 88(184).
    The 2021 102 is by far the badest of the bunch. After I skied it, I sold the 88’s and the m5’s. The 102’s 3d radius helps it crank turns at speed better than the 3d Kendo 88 and gives you a ton more power in the return. It is way more stable at speed and busts through crud way better than the M5.
    If the 2023 102(184) turns out to be namby-pamby with the tapered metal, I will buy another pair of the 2021/2022 102’s, they are that good.

  7. Hey Jon, been skiing Kendo 88 177, 2021 model for a few seasons now. I’m an expert skier 5’9″ 160Lbs from NY. Kendos were my predominant West Coast do it all kinda skis, had a blast on them, super stable GS like a platform at speed, great edge hold, but also nimble and super versatile. Yet on some super gnarly steep and narrow runs in Alta, I wished I was on a bit lighter ski and perhaps a tad shorter (hard-packed conditions in Alta!!). Everything over 1F of snow was also tough to ski on Kendos. I’m considering downsizing to a new 2023 Kendo 170 to get that lighter and nimble ski feel with Kendo personality for mehh, moguls and hard-packed conditions, and perhaps getting a second pair of skis for fresh snow conditions to complete my West Coast 1-2 punch. It’s not ideal to carry 2 pairs around but I just don’t see myself skiing 96-102 waist all day long in hard snow conditions. I do like Volkl feel, 3D radius, and stability, however, I’m rather skeptical about 2000-2200g skis performance in pow and tight spots, speaking of M6 or M102. Eying either in 177 lengths although leaning towards 102 as M6 seems to overlap too much with Kendo? I also considered Blaze 94 yet I’m afraid tips and tails might be too soft for me, freakishly lights skis. Thanks for the feedback.

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