Pros: Loves Crud and Bumps, Turns tight
Cons: Not Many
Review of Kastle FX84, 168 with Carbon Knee Binding
Thanks for all the great reviews on Kastle, I would not have tried this ski if I had not read about it on Epic Ski.
Recently bought a FX84/168 after skiing it, the 176cm version, and the MX 78 and 88 in both lengths over the last 2 weeks. My intent was to add a ski to a Gotama (2010, 186cm), and vist X-free, (172). I was looking for a ski that is great in crud and bumps, easy to ski slow with family, and still good at speed and on hardpack. After trying the MX (which I loved), my conclussion was the MX was fantastic at speed, but a handfull to ski slowly in crowded conditions, or with slower family/friends. The FX filled the bill at both high and low speeds
Crud: the ski handled crud as well as the MX, but more softly. Almost like you don't feel it. Turns in crud were positive and stable.
Ice/Hardpack: Very good on hardpack, clearly all I need. OK on Ice, a bit of chatter and a bit of tail wash out (maybe my stance?). MX was better here.
Bumps: Wow. these skis were great on all types of bumps - even big VW sized with ice between, and they were super on fresh moguls. I was skiing 50% faster and very smooth.
Turns: the tighter the better. This ski as OK ebnergy in the tail, and the tail is easy to old on a edge, or to release to get a tighter line. This is the primary area I felt the FX ski was better than the MX.
Big turns, fast runs. this ski handled everything well, and no one was passing me, but it is not af fast as the MX nor the Vist. This is more noticable on long blues that steep blacks.
Size: I specifically wanted a very tight turning ski, so after a lot of thoght got the 168. I like it. It feels more playful and is quick and light. The 176 was more stable and more comfortable at speed. If it was my only ski the 176 would be better.
Knee Binding - It works. In 3 days of skiing it, almost exclusivly on bumbs, I had no pre-releases. I did have one bad fall that used the "side out" release - not sure if I would have been injured or not, but it worked. it looks too high, but it measures about the same as other bindings. It skied fine, with no noticable motion or instability. The only complaint is the brake which just looks too wide and old fashion. It does work however. This binding does have a left/right so you need to check.... Like most safety stuff it is hard to tell if it is worth it until you need it - but there did not seem to be any disadvantage to it. paid $415 for the carbon version, mounted.
Summary: I skied this with slower friends and had a really good time, tons of turns while enjoying company, then skiied a half dozen mogul runs much faster and smoother than I have before, then followed my 23 yr old son and kept up. Perfect for a fun and super capable ski.......
Me: 55 male, 200# 6' 40+/- days per year. Hope this helps....