The stability is still there in this year's version, even at unsafe speeds. But testers detected a new ease to it, a more willing versatility. It's still more about strength than playfulness, precision over spontaneity. But go ahead, slither through the bumps, dart through trees, and look better doing it. Elling: "Improved over last year. Still a high-speed all-mountain knife but more fun and more forgiving. Top-shelf." NOTES: The Kendo name has long been part of the Volkl collection, but the 2016 version is once again updated. Like the Mantra was last year, the Kendo has been widened slightly (from 88 to 90 mm), and the tip has been tapered to give it a looser, slashier feel. Still, with its moderate waist width and two sheets of metal, it's the knifiest of the All-Mountain Freeski series skis, and doesn't mind a bit if it's been a while since the last storm. Volkl's All-Mountain Freeskiing collection includes five midfat models built for all-conditions versatility and ranging in width from a modest 89 mm (Kink) to a powder-ready 108 mm (100Eight). The series includes two important new models, the 100Eight and the 90Eight, as well as longtime Volkl stalwarts like the Mantra and Kendo. All are built with wood cores for snappy performance and durability. Most have tapered tips, where the widest part of the ski is pulled back toward the foot, giving them a looser, more maneuverable feel, especially in deep snow. All are sold flat (no binding). The Mantra and 100Eight are fully rockered for maximum buoyancy and shock absorption. The 90Eight, Kendo and Kink have rocker tip and tail with camber underfoot for positive edge grip and more traditional feeling rebound energy.