Kastle MX88 (2009)

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Kastle MX88

Rating: / 5
Price: $1180.00
Year: 2009
Level: 3
Gender: Female
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 128/88/113
Lengths:

Stability at speed: 3.80 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.42 / 5
Crud performance: 3.18 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.50 / 5

Kastle is back, revived as a freeride brand. Testers detected a racy heritage in the MX88, though it's never overbearing. It's smooth and grippy on the hardpack, owing to its wood core, rubber dampening laminates and metal reinforcement. But it's never over-damp. Tip cutaways reduce swing-weight, giving it a snappy, lightweight quickness that's borderline hair-trigger. "No speed limit on smooth surfaces," said Elling. "Very aggressive, early hook-up."

Best For

Light-touch, finesseful style

Not For

Inspiring confidence in crud or deep snow

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Kastle MX70 (2010)

Category: Women's Speed; Category ranking: No. 2 (tie); Average score: 3.78; Balance of skills: 3.71; Best for: The category: It is speed-specific. Not for: Anyone on a budget ($1,350 with binding)

2011 Kastle FX94

Kastle FX94 (2011)

Chris Davenport is a cool dude, being one of the world’s greatest big mountain skiers and all that. So it follows that the ski he inspired, as one tester put it, “RULES!” The FX94—the newest in Kastle’s freeski/mountaineering line—eats up the fall line regardless of what lies beneath: powder, trees, crud, cord, bumps. It’s ravenous for speed and can never get enough. Two sheets of metal sandwich a wood core—the sturdiest in the category. (It’s also the only unisex model; Kastle’s women’s line is in the works.) “Crushed the chop, great float, and could still carve way out from under me,” said Schultz.

2011 Kastle LX

Kastle LX82 (2011)

This one should come with a helmet. A damp powerhouse that insists on speed, the LX 82 goaded our testers to the edges of their comfort levels. We should have expected as much from the only unisex ski entered in the category (see also: Men’s Hard Snow) but its lightweight construction—the trademark of the new LX line—had us fooled. The secret is a light, soft wood core sandwiched in metal then wrapped in fiberglass, giving it the torsional rigidity to bite on ice. It only has one speed, though: hauling butt. “Good for someone who charges all the time,” said Gillet.