EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Volkl Aura vs. Kastle BMX98 - Which would be a better every day ski for a woman?
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Volkl Aura vs. Kastle BMX98 - Which would be a better every day ski for a woman?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey there!


My GF has narrowed down her ski choices to the Volkl Aura and the Kastle BMX 98. This year she is skiing on Rossi S80W. Its amazing how her skiing improved on both of these skis. Unfortunately, she was not able to demo the skis in the same conditions.


She fell first for the Kastle skis on a soft day as they were smooth and stable and she was originally looking for a powder ski. She did doa few runs on an icy day and they did not seem to do as well. Her concern with the Kastle skis thus is how they will do on ice and in tight steep conditions. She liked the Volkl skis as it really plowed through crud, held the ice and made her ski much more aggressively. Her concern with the Volkl skis is the stiffness as she is use to skiing much softer skis as she likes the bumps and trees.


She is an advanced skiier. She skis almost uniquely in Whistler  (sometimes Tahoe) where the conditions are very variable. We have been spoiled this year and it is hard to remember that there are actually icy days and heavy powder here.


I know this is a hard one to call but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  Also thoughts on whether she should wait for the 2012 Volkls or save some $ and buy the discounted 2011 or even 2010 skis.

post #2 of 12

The 2012 Volkl Aura is a different ski than what she demoed... if she liked the 2011 Aura she should try to find a left-over. The 2012 Aura will be more like the BMX98 with tip rocker, which will make it a better soft snow ski but will have less 'all-around' ability.

post #3 of 12

The stiffness of the Aura may not turn out to be a problem, that is, not too stiff actually. It's something you get used to, compared to what you already know, and objectively, it is not a stiff ski, about 1/3 less stiff than a Mantra. Should be fine for tight turning, heavy powder, some ice. (I have not had hands on the Kaestle).

post #4 of 12

We did the demo day at whistler a few weeks back and tried a number of kaestle skis. Currently my gf is on a pair of stockli storm rider lxl which are 80 underfoot and uses 156 length. Previously she was on the volkl Tierra. She is a strong skier, and enjoyed the Tierra which is quite stiff, but the stockli lxl has completely elevated her skiing this year. Perfect on pretty much all of whistler except in super deep pow. She has said frequently that the stockli has increased confidence on all surfaces, especially ice and mixed soft/hard surfaces that are common at whistler. She also stays close to me on most runs. She told me that the tierra was a great stepping stone to the lxl, which is more precise, damper, more forgiving and easy to move around. I have nev,er seen her ski faster and more confidently. We ski whistler pretty much exclusively.

During the demo day I encouraged her to try the bmx 98 and mx 88 and 78. She did not like the 98, but appeared to be in the minority amongst the women there, but the mx 88 she liked allot. This is the closest to what she has now. Then back to the stocklis, and the lxl felt to her to be the best.

Long story short: I would suggest trying the mx88 then the 98 again. The stockli is nearly impossible to demo here but the lxl is an amazing ski for women (I think beyond's significant other covered this one in a review recently).

Happy hunting.

post #5 of 12
Hi - I have skied the bmx 98, have owned several Mantras including the old 94 mm on which the Aura was based. Issue IMO is that these are 2 very different skis. BMX is for soft snow, rocks in bumps and trees, serviceable on ice. Mantra/Aura is for crud and variable, not so fine in bumps or trees, not so floaty in fresh, noticeably better on ice. Has a metallic feel, while the 98 is all wood, damper, not so lively. I'd have your friend decide what she values more. Incidentally, the BMX88 might be appealing to her also, given what she has skied to date. But no ski is going to Rule Them All.
post #6 of 12
FWIW, REI had last season's Auras for $399
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks every one  for all the replies. Its very helpful. I am definitely understanding how they are quite different skis. Also good point about how the Aura '12 will be different. I think she is going to take @Whiteroom's advice and pick up a pair of 2010 Auras (I believe they are the same as 2011 model except for top sheet, please correct me if i am wrong.)  She found a new pair for $400. Then come next season, particularly if there is a lot of snow again, she will revisit the Kastles, the 2012 Volkls, the Moments, and on your suggestion @Tristam, the Stormli. BTW, who sells them/demos them in Whistler?  This way she will have something new that really improves her skiing and she can take her time to decide on what, if anything, she is going to spend the big bucks!



post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yep@DIno. That's where she found them. Thanks.

post #9 of 12
In whistler you can demo kastles at fanatyko in the village. For volkls, go to skis and bikes again in the village near the iga, or get them in Vancouver before you head up, if you live in the city. Most places charge 35 bucks for the day with 3 days applied to a ski if you buy from them.

Also keep in mind (if you are not already aware) that if you have a edge card or seasons pass you get good discounts at can ski in the village. I dont think they have either ski you looked at, but I dont know what their stock will look like next year. Great for gear too.

For stockli talk to the guys at Swiss sports haus in west van. I think they are the exclusive stockli dealer here in bc. I am not sure about what demos they have available. They also carry volkl and they told me they will be carrying blizzard next year. They are great guys, but a seasonal shop, so they will be back in September.

post #10 of 12

The Aura is probably the most popular Tahoe daily driver among strong women skiers.

So it's going to work well, thoroughly tested for conditions; I think you have analyzed it's strengths well. It has no weaknesses, IMO, except it is a little slow on rebound and edge set.

(The Salomon Geisha should be on your try it out list, though it will not be on sale much. It is a quicker, lighter ski with plenty of strength in it, the new very popular ski around here)

$400 is a good price for 2010 or 2011 Aura, in the wrapper.

I ski the XL, and it is way stiffer than the Aura; don't know the model mentioned, but I think one has to demo a Stockli before buying. They are different from most skis.

post #11 of 12

Can't comment on the Kastle, but my wife loves her Auras.  She was skiing a pair of Mythic Riders for a few seasons, and wanted something that she could ski a little "lazier" in all conditions, and the Auras turned out to be perfect for the snow we get in the inland pacific northwest.  She demoed a bunch of different skis, and by her second run on the Auras, she was skiing the best she had all season.  Just wrapped up her second season on them and still loves them after skiing them in pretty much everything (with the exception of bottomless powder.)  

post #12 of 12

MX98s were very popular with good female skiers at JH.

And they were snapped up at the end of season rentals sale

Not cheap 850/700 with/without bindings.

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