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Blizzard Mag 8.7 vs Mag 8.1 vs. Kastle MX88

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

As noted in a separate thread, I'm looking to replace my front-side ski with a wider more 1 ski-quiver type of all mountain carver.  From what I can see of the reviews and other internet research, it sounds like these three models would really fit the bill.  Wondering if anyone has skied both of these and how they would compare to each other.  Yes, I know that I should demo, but no one locally carries all three of these skis.

 

Me: 5'11" - 195lbs, like to see all over the mountain, favor bigger GS type turns, don't ski the bumps much, looking for a ski that will rail the groomers, blast thru' the crud, but not sink like a stone or get locked when tackling boot high or so powder or taking on the leftovers the day after a big snow (anything deeper than that and I'm going with my fatties).

 

Cost wise, the Blizzard's are certainly ahead on that score.  From what I've read, I'm leaning towards the 8.7's.  I have looked at the 8.1 which has an early rise tip.  It's very subtle in appearance.  Does the 8.7 look the same?  I do wonder about the length of the 8.7's.  The 174 seems too short while the 181 seems like it might be too long.  Maybe not so much with the early rise?  Seems like the trend now is to go back to skiing longer length skis.

 

The Kastle's have earned great reviews from just about everyone, but in my other thread, there were some comments about their lack of performance off the groomed trails.  Has anyone used them in the deeper stuff?  What did you think?  Like the 178 length.

 

The Mag 8.1's look really good too - length feels right at 179, but the 81 underfoot seems just a bit on the narrow side for the versatility that I'd like.  Anyone taken these out in mixed conditions?  Or are they really just a front-side carver?

 

Thanks for any and all input.

post #2 of 6

As a point of reference I am 6-1' and 185lbs and replaced the Blizzard 8.7, 174, with the 8.7 181  and I like  the 181 much more. The 174 always felt a little short. Because the 181 felt more stable my confidence went up, and I immediately skied better and more aggressively. The 2011-2012 8.7 has a slight rise in the tip so the 181 should not ski too long and should be even better in softer snow. Haven't skied the Kastle's but love my 8.7s at 181.

post #3 of 6

^^^^^^  What he said.  If you had said that you liked to ski slower and made more short turns then the 174 would be better but if you like longer radius turns that 181 is your choice.  I'm a little heavier and a little taller and while I can ski the 174 I much prefer the longer 181.  Too you will get better float and crud busting ability with the longer ski.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post

As noted in a separate thread, I'm looking to replace my front-side ski with a wider more 1 ski-quiver type of all mountain carver.  From what I can see of the reviews and other internet research, it sounds like these three models would really fit the bill.  Wondering if anyone has skied both of these and how they would compare to each other.  Yes, I know that I should demo, but no one locally carries all three of these skis.

 

Me: 5'11" - 195lbs, like to see all over the mountain, favor bigger GS type turns, don't ski the bumps much, looking for a ski that will rail the groomers, blast thru' the crud, but not sink like a stone or get locked when tackling boot high or so powder or taking on the leftovers the day after a big snow (anything deeper than that and I'm going with my fatties).

 

Cost wise, the Blizzard's are certainly ahead on that score.  From what I've read, I'm leaning towards the 8.7's.  I have looked at the 8.1 which has an early rise tip.  It's very subtle in appearance.  Does the 8.7 look the same?  I do wonder about the length of the 8.7's.  The 174 seems too short while the 181 seems like it might be too long.  Maybe not so much with the early rise?  Seems like the trend now is to go back to skiing longer length skis.

 

The Kastle's have earned great reviews from just about everyone, but in my other thread, there were some comments about their lack of performance off the groomed trails.  Has anyone used them in the deeper stuff?  What did you think?  Like the 178 length.

 

The Mag 8.1's look really good too - length feels right at 179, but the 81 underfoot seems just a bit on the narrow side for the versatility that I'd like.  Anyone taken these out in mixed conditions?  Or are they really just a front-side carver?

 

Thanks for any and all input.


The new 8.1 skis a bit shorter than the old one: I don't think the new tip changed the ski much, except for making it ski a little shorter. Still the same ski otherwise.  The 8.7 has changed very little; it also is a very powerful ski.  It tends to ski a bit on the longer side: I tried the 181 and it just wasn't a fun ski for me, at 5 foot 9, 155lbs.  I ski the 8.1 (both the old and new version) in the 179cm: it is a softer ski. The 172 is the carver length, the 179 is the big turn length for me, no speed limit, but still manageable (but just barely) in bumps. It is a solid ski.  

 

The MX88 I also ski in the 178: it feels like as much ski as the 8.1 in 179, and not quite as much as the 8.7 in 181cm.  It is a better ski, IMO, the edge grip seems superior for whatever reason, the flex is more even, it is a touch more stable than the other 2.

 

There is also the option of the FX84 in 176cm.  It is a great carver, perhaps better than the MX88.  It has a quicker, more nimble feel, yet stability is at least as good as the 8.7 in 174cm.  Might be worth considering as well.  If you like the Kastle feel, you should check out the new Head Peak 84 and 90. Really good skis, some of the best we tried last spring, and I have been skiing on them the past few days.  They got rid of the old wimpy "Peak" feel and went back to making what are essentially updated Monsters with more energy.  Dollar for dollar, there isn't a better all-mountain frontside lineup right now, at least not that I have found. 

 

post #5 of 6

I'd also include the Rossi E98 in the group. 180.

post #6 of 6

The Kastle MX88 is the class of this segment, especially if you are looking for a special feel in a ski. The MX series are skis that belie their dimensions and ski ski everything super well. I so agree with Mark in that the Rossi E98 is a formidable option in this category, and while I truly believe the MX88 is superior...is it $500.00 better? I cannot answer that for you. I also agree with Dawg, the Peak 90 is the dark horse in this segment, I had it as one of my Steals & Deals winners for best values for this year. 

 

My rankings for the skis listed so far...

1. Kastle MX88

2. Rossi E98

3. Mag 8.7 (181)

4. Peak 90

5. Mag 8.1

 

 

 

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