Featured Cage Match Comparison Völkl Kendo 88 vs Nordica Enforcer 88

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 2.36.11 PM.png
    Two well-established names in Völkl and Nordica are attacking the upper 80-90mm segment in two different ways, but with model names that have been around for a while. The Kendo 88 has an all-new shape, and the Enforcer 88 is steamrolling into a whole new segment for itself.

    It is no secret that I have never been in love with the Kendo since it came out over a decade ago. It just never did anything for me. It was like a breakup where I was the one saying, “It’s not you ... it’s me." And really, that's true: the Kendo was a very good ski, and sales showed it. For many skiers, it was a much better Mantra, especially when the Mantra was 98 mm underfoot. But enough of a history lesson, let's talk about the new Kendo. The new Kendo is an “Oh my” ski in that George Takai sort of way. The new elliptical sidecut that is shared with the also-oh-my-worthy Mantra 102 sets the Kendo apart from the rest of the class as well as its previous generations. There is a lightness and playfulness that eluded the previous generations, and I believe this has to do with the new core and sidecut. The new Kendo is the Kendo I always hoped it should be.

    Is it me, or does it seem that Nordica is going a bit overboard with the Enforcer name? It all started with the reintroduction of the name a few seasons back (now the the Enforcer 100), then Nordica added the 93, the 110, the 115 Pro, and now an 88 and a 104. What is next, the 78 and 83? At what point is it oversaturation? Honestly, it may not matter, because each ski is very, very good in its own right. But there is too much confusion, and I honestly do not see the 88 increasing sales for Nordica because I think almost every sale will come at the cost of an Enforcer 93 sale. In the long run, I think having both the 88 and 93 creates more questions for consumers than answers. The 88, like the 93, is an all-mountain-shaped ski but with more frontside attributes. This makes it a better ski than the 93 and more off-piste-oriented than the Kendo and gives it more separation from its big brother, the Enforcer 100.
    • Why choose the Kendo 88? You want to charge, but you don’t need to. But when you need to, you'll be glad you wanted to.
    • Why choose the Enforcer 88? The first thing you do is head into the trees because you just want to play, then you hit some bumps, then look for some cut-up snow. The Enforcer 88 could be one of the most versatile 88s on the market
    • Insider tip: The Kendo runs true to size but the Enforcer still runs short; don’t dismiss sizing up.
    • Bonus tip: For @Tom K.: Some still have the Brahma as the ski that all others in this segment are compared to, which is still true. The Brahma is indeed the best of both of these skis, by no means a compromise.
     
    Big J, Dos-Equis and Tom K. like this.
  2. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Thanks @Philpug!

    After much gnashing of the teeth and twisting of the brain, I decided on the Enforcer 88s to go with my 100s.

    I even got the same bindings, just to keep everything as similar feeling as possible (Salomon STH2-13).

    And thanks to @SkiEssentials for taking good care of a faithful Pugski member!
     
  3. winkdc

    winkdc At the base lodge Skier

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    How does the Völkl perform in hard pack conditions?

    I am technically a good skier and used to be aggressive but at 50 with young kids will mostly be on groomers- hopefully some steeps And occasionally pow and moguls without them. And then will ski east where I grew up and used to love the ice and my racing SL - rather than soft - things change as you get older! Is Brahma 88 a good choice? Seems to be but question and I won’t be able to demo. Thanks.
     
  4. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Of the three 88's, The Kendo 88 will be the best on hard snow.
     
  5. DocGKR

    DocGKR Putting on skis Skier

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    Concordant with what I found--I ran my old Brahma's at 180cm, but my Enforcer 88's at 186cm.
     
    Philpug likes this.


  6. Dos-Equis

    Dos-Equis At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks for the great review! You say the Brahma is better than either... How would you put the navigators in this group?
     
    Decreed_It likes this.
  7. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I am still a huge Navigator 90 fan. It is very mich like the Enforcer 88 but with a better tail for on piste. If you can find some of these for a blow out price..you can't go wrong.
     
    Dos-Equis and Decreed_It like this.
  8. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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