2011-2012 ski reviews:
Skis reviewed here that are new 2012 reviews:
Other skis previously reviewed and unchanged, but I have skied a few of these again, so I will include new reviews.
Kastle: for this year, there are a few changes; some additions to the line (the BMX88 and BMX78, the FX104, and women's pow ski BMX118) and a few name changes (MX98, 108, and 128 become BMX98, 108, and 128). Overall, there are no changes to in-line products in terms of design, just the names mentioned above.
Brand feel: this is an Austrian brand that has a very traditional feel, especially on the RX and MX series as well as the bigger BMX skis. Skis that are ultra refined, as smooth and well built as anything on the market. They are meant to be driven, and respond well to technical (and ideally powerful) skiing. If you look at their sponsored skiers, people like Hugo Harrison and Chris Davenport, you will see that these skis are designed to perform at that level, under the feet skiers with a powerful, technically sound skiing style. The narrower BMX series (BMX78 and 88) are more suited to mid-level skiers who aren't pushing things too hard; they have a bit of rocker tip and tail, and no metal, and are fun and poppy, but not super powerful. Think of a high-end German car with most Kastle skis; this is what the Austrians bring to the table. A very well executed, well refined product, that are are arguably the most in-demand skis available right now.
Kastle BMX98: the little brother to the BMX108; it runs 98mm underfoot, and is a more versatile day-in and day-out ski. This ski is biased toward off-piste skiing: it has a bit of rocker in the tip, and no metal in the ski, so although it likes groomers at speed, it won't give you that whipsaw exit from a turn that a good race-bred groomer ski can do. It does very well in mixed snow conditions, and also is one of the best wider bump skis around. Very predictable turn entry and exit; it makes quick work of variable snow, crud, bumps, and moderate firm snow. This ski has a huge sweet spot, a very refined feel typical of Kastle, and, a bit shorter and more forgiving feel than the 108. The length for most good skiers in average height is 178cm. You can do anything on this ski; it is as versatile as any ski made today. What we personally like is the refined feel: like the entire Kastle lineup, it is a skier's ski, much like BMW M5's are cars made for drivers (ideally those that can get to the track once in awhile, and know how to handle their machines). I had a day of the MX98 on icy bumps, and the conditions, although being far from ideal, really showed the strengths of the 98: predictability, smoothness, cleanness of turn entry and exit, refined, non surprising feel, and a very rewarding “I nailed that turn” feedback. Not all skis have this: when you enter the turn perfectly weighting the skis, pressuring them as they were designed, and exit a turn in perfect balance, practically floating through the transition; some skis offer no feedback: they will be the same whether you hack a turn or really ski it well. Not so the Kastle; for a skier who really wants feedback to ski cleaner, faster, more aggressively, and not just get down the hill to survive, you will enjoy practically any ski from their lineup. If you are looking for a day-in and day-out ski, from any manufacturer, that skis well in most any condition and is the modern Swiss-Army knife of skis, then you should definitely check out the BMX98.
Kastle FX84: Like the other FX series skis, and especially the 94; the 84 is a sort of enigma. It doesn't feel like any other ski I am aware of. The horsepower is under the hood, but the ski is light and agile, unlike the more damp MX series. The MX series of skis feel like they could be straight out of the GS race room, but tuned for street performane. The FX is different; an outstanding ski to be sure; different in feel than almost anything on the market. They are so light on the snow, as to make you think they are unstable, but that is certainly not the case. I was able to hit some insane speeds on this ski. It is so quick to pull me into and across the fall line, and it likes a lighter touch than the MX series. It responds with more subtle imputs: just a bit of tipping is often all you need to get it up and onto edge. The FX84 is particularly good in bumps: just the right amount of flex in the tip. It does ski a bit shorter than the MX: the 176cm feels a good 3-4cm shorter than the MX78 of the same length. Also, in crud, it is a little lighter, a little more nimble than the MX series; not as damp, and not quite as much ski here. I would say the FX may be the superior off-piste ski, especially if you like that finesse feel, with the MX being a bit more ski for groomers and hard snow. Then again, good skiers can ski either; it comes more down to a feel. If you want a refined ski that is light, agile, yet has power under the hood, the FX series has to be on your radar. I just wish they made these in 180cm.....
Kastle FX94: unchanged for 2012. It is a slightly lighter backcountry big-mountain ski, similar to the MX series but a bit softer in flex, and a little stronger ski than the BMX series. This one is 94mm, and is arguably the most versatile ski that Kastle makes. It has a little more stiffness than the BMX series, is a little stouter off-piste, but has a light, playful feel that neither the MX or BMX series seem to produce. Super high performance level, but not a high-strung ski at all. Very refined feel, exceeding that of most any ski on the market. The FX94 is kind of the sweet spot in the lineup: a good width for backcountry and sidecountry skinning, not too heavy, not too stiff, extremely verstaile. The FX has better edge grip than the BMX series, similar stability, but goes about it with a light, yet muscular feel. It won't be as stable as the MX series at big speeds, but at moderate speeds, is slightly more nimble. Bumps-wise, the FX94 is a capable ski, very smooth on the back side of a bump and through the trough. Also, these skis feature a shorter radius feel to them, which in my mind, screams “East Coast off-piste ski” for tight spaces and challenging snow. I think if you want to let the skis run, you get the BMX or MX in a longer length; this is more of a mid-radius, mid length, somewhere between a slalom and GS feel, and better for more moderate speeds. I would say suited best to off-piste conditions or mid-radius, mid speed groomers where performance is key, but having a big, heavy GS race-bred ski is not optimal.
Kastle FX104: a new ski for Kastle, 104mm underfoot, the lighter .3mm thickness ti (vs. the .5mm on the MX88). This ski is the only 100mm+ ski in the lineup with metal, making it basically the burliest, most stout offering of the Kastle family with regards to wide skis. Out of the FX series, this was undoubtedly the most ski. It absolutely killed crud at speed, was a serious ski in every way, and had the Kastle refinement one would expect out of the FX and MX series. In feel, it was closest to the MX88; quite a bit of ski, and perhaps a bit more ski than a lightweight like myself needed. The 184cm also is an issue for guys like me: that is a lot of ski when you only stand 175cm tall and weigh 70kg. Outstanding; it reminded me a ton of the old MX98 (the one with metal) but a little lighter on the snow, with a little more of a flickable backcountry feel to it. Still, it held really well on the hard snow we were experiencing that day at Sugar Bowl: both on firm bumps and on groomers at high speed. You could really lay this baby over. I didn't think it was the best bump ski I tried: it was fairly stiff, and again, it would work better under a bigger guy than it did for me. I would opt for the 94 personally, then jump up to the 108 for soft snow at my weight. Bigger guys are going to really appreciate the extra bit of beef on this ski. This is definitely one of the most stable skis (from any brand) that we tested the past spring. The 174cm likely compares very well to the now-discontinued, but classic, MX98 (the metal version from 2 years ago). That was maybe the best big-mountain, every day, any condition ski made.
Another ski I wish they made in an intermediate length. 179cm? I would line up to buy a pair.
BMX108: same ski as the MX108 was in 2011, but it was changed after 2010. I think metal was dropped and rocker added for 2011. 108mm waist, skied in 187cm, big radius (around 28m).
Review 187cm: this is the ski I know best on here, as it was my go-to ski for bigger days, of which we had plenty last season. I think I skied this something like 12 days last year; there was a lot of new snow. The feel is like a bigger, more powerful BMX98, with more length. Stability is much increased, the ski is a real powerhouse. It is a pro-level ski in terms of how it feels: confident, great in the air, powerful, and predictable. If you can ski this length (as it is a lot of ski, it feels 7cm longer than the 185cm Cochise), you will be leaving most of your friends behind. There is no speed limit. The feel is damp, snow-hugging, but not a wet noodle: just confident and powerful. It needs good technique to get it to turn: this isn't a forgiving back-seat ski. It wants to be driven by a skier with active feet, someone skiing from the cuff of the boot and has a good feel for their edges. It isn't prone to over-turning when driven hard, which is one of the reasons I love it compared to many of the softer skis with more aggressive rocker. This one is just right: the tip is forgiving enough, but wickedly stable in rough crud, and the tail holds tight until the finish. It skis nearly like a GS board, made bigger and softer for deep snow use, but with that same powerful Austrian feel, yet not a 2x4 like the Blizzard Argos was. I could ski trees on it, but being such a big, strong ski, I needed solid technique. This isn't a ski to be lazy on in tight spaces; you need to be really active with your feet to be shinning trunks in tight spaces. But, it can be done. Not a great bump ski in this length: they aren't really fun, and you end up doing a lot of work. The plus side of these: I hit insane speeds coming down Headwall at Squaw on this, in around 12” of new, which quickly was cut up crud. Just pulling out huge 40m radius turns, without a care in the world. This ski can actually encourage me to be lazy in big arcs; it is so stable, that I can be tempted to relax and ride the sidecut. That doesn't cut it though, when you get down into tighter terrain, or crud that doesn't allow for maching GS turns through. Another day, at Bachelor, it was nutty the kind of big-turn stability I had over on the Devil's Backbone run, which is one of the steeper on the hill, and an huge wide-open natural bowl that varies from new snow, to crud, to sometimes end-of-day bumps. I probably have yet to exceed those speeds on any ski.
This is a great “morning” ski at Squaw on a new snow day. Ski fast, ski hard until it gets completely chopped up at 11:00am, then go back to the car and get your all-mountain skis, for skiing bumps and tracked out steeps in the PM. Or, ski it all day at Bachelor: we never have bumps to worry about; you can ski fresh lines all day long most of the time. I would give it the highest fun-factor rating of any ski around.
Much more nimble; playful, better in bumps than the 187. This could be an everyday ski, much the way that people are looking at the Cochise as a versatile, every-day ski. I know Holiday skied both the Cochise and BMX108, and bought the latter, as he said it was more well-rounded and was a much better ski for his “impact turn” as he calls it. I personally found these 2 skis to be similar in performance; the Cochise being a bit more playful, the 108 a bit more damp, stable, and grounded; reserved, yet ready when unleashed, whereas the Cochise is a bit more straining at the leash to get out of the old turn. Probably the 108 is more of my skiing style as well. The 177 matches up well to the Elan Olympus Mons, in that it is smooth, relatively forgiving, easy to ski, good edge grip, more than enough power, a great all-mountain tool that also happens to have a lot of float for soft snow. It feels less “pro level comp ski” and more “top-end wide all-mountain ski” in this length. It was cool that I got to extensively ski both lengths: both would be suitable for someone my size, but are built for different purposes.
Sizing: these size pretty traditionally. Don't assume they ski short due to having rocker: the rocker is low rise, and they have lots of functional running surface.
BMX118: new women's specific powder ski from Kastle, comes in a slightly short length selection. 118mm width, slightly softer flex than the MX128 equivalent for men: rockered tip and tail, traditional camber underfoot. I really liked this ski; it was quick, fun in tight spaces, and ripped all around! It was quite a zippy ski; at my weight, I wasn't over powering it in any sense, although it was lacking the uber stability of the 128, obviously. The pink graphics may put some off, but overall, I was impressed, as this would be a really fun soft snow ski on smaller hills (for a guy). At this width, there is nothing better in the bumps. It has the correct flex and profile to make for a solid bump ski; you can really pressure the ski underfoot and get it to move how you want it to. For a woman, it is going to be one of the best big-mountain skis on the market, in any sort of snow condition, just based on how capable it skied for me, even in the shorter length. Worth a look; too bad there isn't a Men's 118 model. I think it would out-sell the 128, it is still a huge ski, but narrow enough to be more fun in bumps. The 128 while versatile for a 128mm ski, is still 5 inches wide underfoot.
BMX128: this ski has been around, but extremely hard to get. Luckily enough, the Kastle rep hooked me up with a pair last spring, and I had epic days to test them out. This ski shares the layup with the MX108, but has more rocker in the tip, and at 128mm underfoot, generally is made for deep snow. With that said, I did test it mixed conditions as well.
1st review: mixed snow conditions; 6 inches over re-freeze, with firm bumps. This is partially a re-post of the review I wrote last spring. What impressed me about this ski, over all of the other wide skis I tried that day, was how solid it was at speed, yet how balanced fore and aft the ski felt. In the soft snow, the ski was so wide that I was cruising over the crust, not even touching down. Which meant, in a sense, that I could ski faster in those conditions than I ever had. The MX128 is superb in any sort of new snow; it is the type of ski that could make a few inches feel nearly bottomless. The overall feel was more powerful, more of a “ski to be driven” than the S7 Super I skied afterward. The Super could be overturned, and was more playful, more poppy, but not as stable or as powerful in cut-up snow.
In the bumps (icy); the MX128 was predictable and easy to pilot, but did feel like trying to maneuver a cargo ship there; it was easily the best ski in bumps I tried. Groomers? Nah, not much going on there, basically get back to the lift.
When I had this ski in proper deeper snow, windblown snow (a huge issue here at Bachelor) and in the trees, this ski really came alive. It makes quick work of wind lips: the flex is perfect for hitting them and pushing off to get a bit of lift on the back side. It doesn't have a tendency to get hung up like even some 115mm wide skis do. That is a huge issue for Bachelor, with our above treeline bowls and typically howling storm winds. If it is snowing here, it is is blowing 30-50mph pretty much the whole time. Which brings me to point #2 about this ski; it handles not only wind lips, but wind pack with aplomb. I can cut right through and float over challenging wind pack that would hang me up on a narrower ski. Just what the doctor ordered for a local deep-day ski. In crud, it is solid, but not as fun or lively as some other skis; I prefer my BMX108 here, or something like a Cochise, which is a little more nimble and playful. This ski will blast crud, but it does have a very damp, heavy feel. In uncut snow, you might as well be skiing a groomer. I have never seen a ski float as well as this does: you could be skiing 2 feet of fresh and sinking in only 4 inches or so. Some people love that feeling, some would rather be “in” the snow and be better off on something in the 90-100mm range. In heavy, manky snow, again, there aren't many skis I would rather be on. The tip of the 128 just has the perfect amount of give and low-rise rocker to avoid getting squirrely or being susceptible to a floppy front end. Makes easy skiing of any heavy and hard to turn snow condition, as well as low-angle skiing (another Bachelor must). So, I have to say, this ski could be money for challenging local conditions, as well as new snow over crap, where you don't want to sink through. Probably not my favorite powder ski though; it skis fast and out of the snow, and I prefer a bit more up-down movement in my turns, rather than planing out on top most of the time. Then again, you don't need a wide ski for light powder; mid-width skis would be my preference if the snow is great. As an aside, I tested this ski on a really light day, and the Bonafide 187cm as well, as would say the Bonafide was more than enough width, and a completely different feeling of being in the snow. It is the challenging snow conditions (heavy snow, wind pack) that are made for wide skis, and also if you simply just want a super predictable ski for any new snow condition, where you know if you hit something weird, the skis won't be hung up. So, yes, I am impressed with the overall versatility of this ski, and know that it will help open up terrain that can be kind of sketchy on a narrower (even 110mm) ski here at Bachelor. Definitely deserves a place in the quiver.
MX88: no changes for 2012: still the same incredible ski. 88mm underfoot, 2 sheets of metal. In this day and age, when it seems many manufacturers are dumbing down their skis, it is refreshing to know that a few brands are still taking high-performance, technical skis for good skiers seriously. This is one of those skis. If I could only own 1 ski for the rest of my life, this would definitely be a top contender. It is as smooth as Diana Krall's voice; a very strong ski with meat and a whole lot of “get up and go” and, for how strong of a ski it is, a very good bump blaster. Finally, this ski eats crud for breakfast; there aren't many, if any, better crud skis around. You won't be able to ski crud any faster on another ski than you can on the MX88. That metal layup and refined feel make this an incredibly capable ski. It does well in new snow too, although not being a relatively soft ski, it may be more work than a non-metal ski with a rockered tip. It has perhaps the highest top end of any ski I have ever been on in this length, save for a full-on race ski, and even then, it is comparable to a consumer GS race ski in the high 170's length. Edge grip is also special for a ski of this width. What doesn't it do? This isn't the most forgiving ski; you can push it around if you are a heel-thruster or like to sit in the back seat, but the ski won't make you feel like you are skiing better than you area. It needs some skill behind the wheel. The better the skier and technical input, the more this ski responds. For good skiers, it is still close to the mythical one-ski quiver, although many will want more float for soft snow, and some will want a better hard-snow ski. Kastle makes those too, but this is a superb do-it-all ski.
MX78: also unchanged for 2012: the MX78 is a slightly narrower version of the MX88, and a bit stiffer in flex, with a more aggressive tail. The MX78 is still a capable all-mountain ski; it was the only ski I owned for the majority of a season. Due to the construction, it blows up crud. There is no better all-mountain ski on groomers, period, and edge hold is wicked on full ice. I had the chance to compare it to a Magnum 8.1 from Blizzard, and simply put, there was nothing to compare to; the MX78 was so much grippier. I don't know how they get this much grip out of a ski this width, but then again, it is built like a race ski, and almost as stiff as one. The MX78 is exceedingly stable: ski it in the head-height length, and you would swear you were on a full-bore consumer GS ski. I compared my 178 to the 175cm Progressor 9+ (which I also owned) and the MX78 was actually about 10% more stable: it felt like I could ski that much faster before the ski became nervous. In real terms, that is basically GS course speed, as fast as one should be skiing on a relatively open hill with only a few skiers around. In bumps, this ski is solid: definitely on the stiff side, but manageable. You can really work the ski fore and aft if you know how, and the tail won't take you for a ride, although it isn't as forgiving in the bumps as a softer ski. It is just “soft enough” for good skiers. I have skied some steep, big zipper lines on my pair, both at Winter Park and Alpine Meadows. The feel is totally GS: rock solid at speed, no surprises, and not a whole lot of energy. It feels like someone took a GS race ski and turned it into an all-mountain ride for top skiers, without changing the GS characteristics or detuning it significantly. That is quite a feat. I don't think there is a better hard-snow oriented all-mountain expert-level ski around.
LX92: new ski for Kastle, this is similar in construction to the FX series, but with a slightly tapered sidewall. I skied the mid 170's length (I think it was a 176). It has a bit of rise on the tail, unlike the MX series, and therefore skis a bit shorter than the MX in the same length. This might also have a slight early rise tail; not sure, as I don't have one here at the shop to look at.
Review: This ski was a welcome surprise! I wasn't expecting such a high performance ski, honestly. I thought the LX series was very solid and refined, but could use a little more beef in the 72 and 82 versions. It seems that they have fixed it with the new 92, though. Flex was just about perfect for someone of my weight; it felt like a slightly softer MX88, which for a groomer ski might not be ideal. But, for a generally off-piste ski (which is where I ski 85% of the time, this particular ski was tested at Sugar Bowl, so skiing bumps all day), the flex was spot-on, and the ski had a very neutral, controlled, refined, damp, high-performance ski. It was classic Kastle, just in a slightly softer and more manageable flex for lighter guys like me. I always loved the MX78, but it was about as stiff as I could manage in steep bumps, and the MX88 was just a touch too stiff in bumps for me. The LX92 was money there; perhaps the best bump ski I tried all day. Over in some soft snow and crud, it floated well, and again, was super easy to release at the tail: there wasn't any hit of grab or hold, like some square-tailed skis can be. It just seemed to bounce from one trough to the next in the bumps. Steeps? No problem? You could do a full turn in a ski length; it is extremely quick. Where it did let me down a bit was in open spaces, at high speeds. It did get rattled above 30mph or so, especially in rough snow. With that said, it felt like more of a length, rather than a design, issue. 176cm, with the turned up tail, skied short for me. I usually opt for a high 170's, low 180's ski, depending on the design. This felt like a low 170's ski in comparison to my MX98, or the MX88/78. I think if I had the chance to ski this in a 180cm (which sadly, isn't in production), it may have been a ski I was ready to buy. As it was, though, I really thought highly of of the LX. It just seemed more terrain smoothing than the FX, although not quite as much ski at higher speeds. A trade-off, perhaps, but might be one worth making, depending on where you ski and how fast.
RX12: unchanged for 2012; perhaps the best hard-snow ski in existence. This features a free-flexing plate and binding system, a couple of sheets of metal, full race-stock construction and base, and the highest build quality possible. All for the price of $1580 (bindings included).
Review: If there was one ski I could take home after testing about 50 pair, it was this one. I don't know that I had anything bring a smile to my face as this ski did. Sure, it is mostly a groomer ski, although it was solid in bumps, and surprisingly good off-piste as well. It is a heavy ski. But, where it shines is a fast groomer, just as a Porsche 911 997 Turbo belongs at the track, rather than cruising around town. This ski was very adept at short to medium range turns; it had an energy and pop that disguised the fact that the RX12 is a long-turn ski, with a GS sidecut and feel. It seemed to load me in and out of each turn; I couldn't believe how snappy and quick it was. Once the runs opened up and I wasn't in danger of running down skiers at 40+mph, I was able to hit the gas a bit more. It did not disappoint in any way. Edge-hold was locked in, even on some really hard snow. It would run flat until I tipped the ski onto edge: once that happened, it just sucked me in, hooked up, threw me across the fall line at a what feels like 2 or 3 G's, then progressively release, but with a dynamic finish that one has to feel to believe. I have felt this on some pretty demanding skis (Stockli Laser GS with a VIST plate, for instance) but never on a consumer ski that didn't require thighs of steel and 40mph to bend. It simply powered me out of the turn and vaulted me down the fall line, almost like I was gaining speed each progressive turn. Yet, I was able to scrub speed as well, and bend it in to short arcs: it felt like it could be a 14m radius ski when I wanted, and a 20m radius ski when I wanted that too. Must have been something to do with that plate. The feel actually reminded me of the superb Fischer Progressor 9+ from a couple of years ago, but less demanding in the same length, with more power, more energy, and even more grip. As good of a ski as the Progressor was, that is saying something.
I ran the RX12 through a bump field, and guess what? It was really easy to ski! I was shocked, quite honestly. And, in crud, it released much easier than I expected and wan't a bear to handle. It almost felt like a narrow all-mountain ski in these conditions; kind of like the Progressor did. That was a ski I could ski bumps hard on. This one is a touch softer at the tip and tail, making it easier to ski there, though. I am also now a much better bump skier too, which doesn't hurt; still, this is an amazingly versatile ski. I sold a few pair last year, and I think each customer followed up with me within a couple of days to say out the ski, even considering the price, far exceeded their expectations, and they couldn't be happier. So far, this is the one frontside ski I feel, for me, is a must own. When I think that I really don't ski groomers much anymore, but that this ski changes the game there and brings a whole level of excitement; turning hard snow into a closed-course race track for a barely street-legal car, it definitely is worth having in the quiver.
RXSL: no changes for 2012: a big horsepower, high-end power ski for short to medium radius turns. Not so much of a high-end carver as a race or race-lite ski. 68mm underfoot, and 13m radius. This ski, as long as you have the skills to get the edges and pressure where you want them, and the weight to flex it, is incredible. It blasts you from turn to turn like few skis I have tried, and it has tenacious edge grip; amongst the best skis I have ever tried in this area. It is demanding (I skied it 165cm): it wants to be on edge, and had a relatively small sweet spot. The tail is stiff and powerful, ready to accelerate you out of the turn, but don't get stuck back there, or you will pay the price. The tips engage just a touch easier and smoother than on a true race-stock level slalom (of which the Fischer WC SL I am most familiar with), but the grip underfoot and the tail release are in that same category. Others who are heavier may be able to bend it a bit better than I could. I didn't try it off-piste, except in bumps. It was OK there, but a bit demanding, as I would expect. The more damp RX12 is a better bump ski.
If you need a thrilling power carver, and have a high-end technical or race background, this ski might be as good as it gets, save for a full race-stock SL. I tried some other high-end carvers the same day (Waveflex 14, Blizzard SLR IQ, Stockli CX, Head iTitan) and nothing had the power of this ski (although the Stockli was easier to ski, and perhaps more fun and less demanding). This ski was the real deal.
BMX88: new ski for 2012, shares the rockered tip and early rise tail of the 98, similar construction to the 98, with no metal. A much different ski than the MX88. Still 88mm underfoot.
Review, skied in 178cm: This ski was fun, playful, quick, and easy to ski. It felt somewhat similar to the Bushwacker from Blizzard, but had a bit more pop in the tail, whereas the Bushwacker was a touch more damp. With the soft, forgiving tip, it was a great bump ski, and a good carver. I was really able to lay the BMX88 over, the rockered tip really pulls you into the turn, and the ski, being softer in the tail, can really give you some pop during the finish. Great mid-radius carver, provided you aren't cooking speeds above 25mph. It is in the same stability range as the old Fischer RX6 or the newer K2 Rictor: a solid mid-speed carver. It can feel a bit nervous at high speeds, in rough snow, but is also probably the most forgiving Kastle I have ever skied on. In crud, it was best at moderate speeds, as well. I think the rockered tip is overkill for good technical skiers: those people will look at the stiffer ski with the longer running length: the MX88 or FX94. This would be a great choice for the more mild-mannered ski looking for a ski that can cruise, yet offer performance when up on edge.
A side note which relates to a persistent and oft-asked question. After skiing the entire lineup, some of which had rocker, and some of which didn't, I really didn't find much of a “rocker” characteristic in those that had it, and a non-rocker characteristic in those that didn't. Each was it's own ski, regardless of whether it had rocker or not. Personally, I didn't find the “rockered” BMX108 significantly different in feel from the no-rocker FX104 as far as tip performance goes. They were both easy to bust crud on. I get a lot of questions about rocker, and in my experience, it really is only one design component of the ski. Given 2 identical skis; one with rocker and one without, there is going to be some variation (one will ski different than the other, and depending on the skier, will be either better or worse) but I wouldn't read too much into it. Rocker is obviously one easily-identified characteristic of a ski (vs. the less obvious, such as wood choice, metal thickness, other laminate layers, base quality, edge hardness....) which are more technical and cannot be seen. Better to judge the ski as a whole functioning unit.
Edited by dawgcatching - 12/1/11 at 11:39am