From Dawgcatching's 2011 Ski Reviews: Mid-Fat skis, 80-100mm Waists, 11/28/10
Kastle FX94: Kastle's “performance touring and mountaineering ski”. It has a thinner profile, 2 sheets of .3mm of titanium, wood core, and weighs around 120g per pair less than the MX98. Skied in 176cm, 20m radius.
These were tested over several days: conditions included lots of manmade snow, firm and rock-hard bumps, fast groomers, a few inches of new snow, steeps, icy chutes, some heavy new snow, and a fair amount of crud. Since I only got a couple of runs on these skis, for the most part, I didn't do the 1-10 scale for these skis.
5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line double-black bumps for the first time in my life by early spring. Probably ski 40-50 days per year. I tend to enjoy big open, high speed bowls, bumps, trees, fast groomers. My skiing speed is fast to full-on. Overall fitness is high, as I am on my road bike 15+ hours a week 9 months of the year, and race pro-level races as a Cat1.
This ski is 94mm underfoot, which is a more useful backcountry width much of the time for most male skiers. Adds a bit of weight over the FX84 and FX74, so it weight is a concern, you may want to look at those. The 94 is likely to give better descending performance in variable conditions, though.
It skis about the same as the 84, but with some added contact area and weight that gives it more heft and a grounded feel at speed. It seemed a bit superior to the 84 when hitting choppy snow, which one would expect. Even so, it feels lighter on the snow than any MX series ski. I would rate edgehold again a bit below the MX88, but close to that of the non-metal MX98. The main difference is really the light and lively feel of the ski. It feels like it will do whatever the pilot wants, and isn’t locked into a straight-ahead feel as much as the MX series. It also feels quicker and a bit more turny than the 94mm waist and 20m radius would indicate. If I had to compare it to a ski, it would get close marks to the Fischer Watea 94: light on the snow, very lively, smearable, but with less of a power on edge feel than the beefier Mantra-style (wood core w/metal) ski. If you like the Watea, you will really like the FX series. This is going to rip as a backcountry ski as well. If the MX series is a Porsche 911, this ski is a little Porsche Cayman.
Pros: fairly light for a ski of this performance (it is matched by other lower profile skis, the Elan Apex is a bit lighter yet), performance is off the charts, great flex for an AT ski (not too stiff in the tip, but not a fluttery ski when pushed).
Cons: not as good of a resort ski for an expert as the MX series. Expensive.