This season Will has chosen this as his all mountain, touring set up. Here is what he has to say about the ski and binding and how it performs.
“Ski touring equipment is all about compromise, and finding the balance of ease of use uphill, vs the downhill performance. For me the downhill performance is a priority, and any touring that I do is done in order to reach a certain downhill route that cannot be accessed by lifts. I don’t go out touring for the sake of touring. As a result, this season I have gone for the kendo combined with the Marker Tour binding, a set up that works for the uphill but maybe isn’t quite as efficient as some other ski and binding combinations. However, when it comes to the skiing part, the ski and binding are a fantastic combo.
The Kendo is a brilliant all mountain option for someone who is after something that can be pushed a bit. For an all mountain ski its pretty stiff, so when it comes to on-piste performance, its really rewarding. Then when you take it into the off-piste/soft snow, with mid-fat width of 90mm underfoot, and gradual tip rocker, the ski is easy top use and in the longer length of 184 you can really go for it in the powder. Having said that, if you’re after something for big, open turns in the powder, the Volkl Mantra is the ski to go for, at 100mm underfoot. Another very noticeable quality of the Kendo, and Volkl skis in general, is the quality of construction. Even after a good amount of abuse over the last few months, the top sheet still looks nearly good as new!
The Marker Tour binding is a great option for anyone wanting a touring binding that performs like any other alpine binding for the downhill, yet still works pretty well for skinning. The mechanism for changing between walk and ski modes is easy to use, and very quick. Also, its quick and easy to fit crampons if needed. However, for very long tours, or trips over multiple days, a more touring orientated binding would be a good move.
Overall I have been very impressed with the versatility of this set up and love the fact that I can ski it without holding back as you might have to with a more touring focussed ski/bindings combination.