“Incredibly quiet and calm, even at high speed,” Stoeger said of the Kendo, which got high scores for carving and stability and (with an 89-millimeter waist) and lower scores for flotation. Last season, the Kendo became more maneuverable and better in soft snow with the addition of tip rocker and a slightly wider sidecut. It still features Völkl’s Progressive Edge technology, which raises the widest part of the ski for easier directional stability in soft snow conditions as well as a race-inspired torsion box construction, vertical sidewalls, a layer of titanium and a wood core. “It holds the edge like a Pro Bowl offensive tackle,” Kasper said. “It’s more playful than the Mantra, but still powerful at heart.”