The Best Women’s Frontside Skis of 2022: Kästle MX88
Bring on the big mountain groomers and dig some trenches.
Overall Ranking: #9
Overall Score: 3.57 / 5
Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)
159, 166, 173, 180, 187
15.5 (166cm length)
Waist Width (mm)
Poplar/Beech Wood, Titanal
Stability at Speed
4.35 / 5
Quickness / Maneuverability
4.05 / 5
3.58 / 5
3.46 / 5
Hard Snow Performance
4.04 / 5
3.54 / 5
2.46 / 5
The unisex Kästle MX88 is way more exciting than its boring name and top sheet implies—if you don’t judge this book by its cover or title, you’re in for a speedy and fun ride. Testers called the MX88 a ski made for Deer Valley ripping because it excels on corduroy and in wide open spaces where it has room to carve GS turns.
“Bring on the big mountain groomers and dig some trenches,” says tester Tracy Gibbons. “Pop off into the bumps or crud, just make sure you have your big girl pants on.”
Thanks to a poplar/beech core sandwiched between fiberglass and Titanal, the MX88 is one of the beefier skis in this category and skis like it has something to prove. Testers appreciated the extra heft for guaranteeing stability at speed and grip on hard snow, but acknowledged that the MX88 is not exactly user-friendly. It needs to be driven by a skilled and strong lady and won’t tolerate the lackadaisical skier. For this reason, testers gave the Kästle MX88 the lowest scores in Forgiveness and Playfulness in the Frontside category.
Go deeper: Frontside vs. narrow all-mountain skis—what’s the difference?
Still, says tester Erika Northrop, the MX88 is “solid fun for any lady who knows how to drive fast and take chances.” And with a more generous tip rocker and wider waist than a lot of the other skis in the Frontside category, the Kästle MX88 actually handles quite nicely in bumps and crud. It just wants to make longer-radius turns and constantly seeks speed, which may intimidate skiers who aren’t yet ready to dial it up to eleven.
Overall, testers found the MX88 surprisingly balanced for a Kästle, a brand that’s known for making single-minded skis that just want to barrel headfirst down the fall line. Unlike some of its brethren, the MX88 is not all work and no play.
- Strengths: Stability at Speed (8th in category), Hard-Snow Integrity (6th)
- Weaknesses: Playfulness (11th), Forgiveness (11th)
See how this ski stacked up against the best women’s frontside skis of the year
Learn more about the Kästle brand and its best products