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4 days at Alta on MX88s and Bonafides

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

Just returned form skiing Alta Tues-Fri (12/20-12/23). Spent Tues and Wed on MX 88s (178) and Turs and Fri on Bonafides (187).

 

Me: turn 45 in 10 days (ugh). 5'9" 165#. Aggressive former racer. Skiing since age 5. Probably get 25-30 days a year these days -- some resort, some heli. Drive skis from the tongue of the boot. Don't jump off stuff anymore, but otherwise ski the whole hill.

 

Conditions: we all know there hasn't been a lot of snow, but we got about 5" or so on Wed with wind loaded spots skiing deeper, and even prior to that, there were some decent chalky soft stashes to be found in the trees (Westward Ho). But definitely spent more time on firm snow and in bumped out terrain than on a typical Alta trip. Skied both these skis in everything from ice/hardpack to soft crud, to chunky crud, to bumps (hard and soft, big and small) to 6"-8" untracked. Good range of conditions, just no deep blower.

 

First, the MX88s:

 

Holy crap. Let me say that again...HOLY CRAP!!! I had never been on a Kastle and bought the MX88s to fill the midfat quiver slot without a demo based on all the raves. These were intended to be "wide envelope" skis for me -- western resort skiing when it hasn't snowed in quite a while and things are mostly quite firm with some crud or other soft snow accessible off the beaten path, which is exactly what we had a lot of this week. These are the days you hit everything from hardpack groomers, to bumps to crud of many sorts. So I'm gonna be high-speed, high angle gee-essing one run and bumping the next...then some tight trees or a chute with variable snow.  Frankly, I did not expect the MX88s to live up to the hype. But, my goodness, this is what a ski is supposed to be! I have skied a pretty good number of skis the last 5 years in all kinds of categories -- from race stock to super fat R/R pow skis and a lot in between. I would say the MX88s are the very finest skis I have ever skied. So precise, so responsive, and surprisingly, so versatile. On hard snow in relatively steep pitches, if you throw the 88s out away from you and really lay them over, you could almost swear you were on race skis. I don't get how it's possible since they don't have the shoulders of true race carvers, but they initiate super smoothly, hug the slope, and let you drive the turn shape with the pressure you apply. They track super precisely and generally make you feel like you're a hot technical skier. The tails are really there for you to complete the carve. But what blew me away was that the very same ski could be so easy to ski at slow speed in soft snow or just mellow weaving through some medium bumps. Again, I don't get it -- I'm definitely someone who has generally found mid-80s all mountain skis to be very useful but not thrilling, but I would ski the MX88s any day with less than a foot of fresh on any hill and be totally thrilled. And I'm not sure I wouldn't love them in deeper snow too -- when I got them in 8" or so, they snaked silky smooth with easy initiation...which goes to show you: a ski doesn't have to have any early rise to maneuver easily in 3D snow.

 

Second, the Bonafides:

 

Well, given the performance envelope of the Kastles, I'm not sure I even need something in this quiver slot, but I bought the Bones to replace first generation Titan Argoses. I loved the Argos for crud bashing, but they are burly skis that require a lot of input and driving, and I was looking for something that would be a tad more playful, more bump friendly, with a little better float. This is the quiver slot for most of my western resort days -- a few days' old snow, lots of crud and soft bumps, some untracked in the harder to reach places. I liked the Bones a lot, but I wouldn't say I was blown away. Glad I went 187 cause they definitely ski a few cm short. Super easy to ski on groomers. Especially on more aggressive angles, they carve and hold a line very well for a 98mm ski. They respond well to a lot of input, but they also can be skied very relaxed with a light, centered touch. In 6-10" crud, piles, and soft bumps, which is where I expected them to be in their wheelhouse, I was surprised to find them less playful, less lively than I expected. That said, I felt it took me a few runs to get them dialed -- I found they needed to be steered less forward in soft snow, and once I started driving them less and steering from a more centered stance, I found the groove. I didn't experiment with mount position, but I probably will (I have griffon demos on them). Net-net, I enjoyed them and I suspect they will grow on me more as I get them in some better 3D snow. But I didn't have that "holy crap, these are insane" experience I had with the Kastles.

post #2 of 72

Two of the damn finest skis out there, that is for sure. 

post #3 of 72

What skis do you use now for the deep powder and heli?

post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apeyros View Post

What skis do you use now for the deep powder and heli?


Lhasa Pows have been my go-to pow skis for a few seasons now. Looooooove them. This year I'm adding BMX128s mostly just out of curiosity and to mix it up a bit. A couple years ago, I bought a pair of "Splatulas" (not Spatulas) -- full reverse/reverse, 144 under foot, built by PM Gear cause I wanted to try an extreme R/R clown shoe funshape for heli. They're super surfy and pivoty and all that, but just not my style. I'm too old school in style and I want at least a little sidecut and flat (or slightly cambered) section under foot so there's a platform to stand on. Also, 144 is also just too fat for me. I'm sure a new schooler would love them, and I'm selling them cheap if anyone here is interested.

But I love the Lhasas (186) -- they charge hard; they float; super light yet extremely stable. They're also awesome corn snow skis.
post #5 of 72

I think that place you got the blizzard Argos from might have the BMX 128 in stock...

post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 
Hey man, already bought the 128s from Dawg's shop ... Didn't realize you were a Kastle dealer too.

What are you skiing on the days?
post #7 of 72

Got the MX 88's last season and have to say they're the best skis EVER for me!   I've never enjoyed a ski as much as the 88s!   Nothing is close.  The real deal!  Also,  I've had the same experience as you with the Argos.  Great crud buster...and your term "burly" is right on.  I've been thinking of adding the Cochise 185 for a 2 ski quiver, but I like the Kastles so much I'm tempted to go for the BMX 108.  Kastle spoiled me!

post #8 of 72

Merry Christmas and thank you to all of the people who contribute so much to this site!

 

MX88 Question- Does anyone with knowledge of the Kastle line know if they plan to add any rocker to the MX88 for next year? And, would you expect that to make what sounds like a perfect ski more perfect?

 

Many thanks!

post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2late View Post

Merry Christmas and thank you to all of the people who contribute so much to this site!

 

MX88 Question- Does anyone with knowledge of the Kastle line know if they plan to add any rocker to the MX88 for next year? And, would you expect that to make what sounds like a perfect ski more perfect?

 

Many thanks!


 

 

They introduced the BMX88 this season, adding rocker to the MX88 would not make it better, it would make it (does make it) a very different ski. The BMX88 loses some firm snow 'wow' and adds some playfulness. Better in ungroomed terrain where carving isn't the be-all-end-all, it's lighter and quicker. The MX88 is a more powerful more solid ski that inspires confidence at speed and likes to rail turns in the fall line. The BMX88 is being over-looked, it's a really great ski, but the MX88 is 'the best ski Kastle makes', there is a different customer for each.

post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post

Hey man, already bought the 128s from Dawg's shop ... Didn't realize you were a Kastle dealer too.
What are you skiing on the days?


I've been ripping around on a shop demo of the MX88 and Stockli VXL's waiting for some snow in the... well anywhere, but mostly in the trees so I can get back to skiing fatter skis I own. I like the Cochise a lot and also really like the Nordica Girish (I own both... silly but I like that width range and they ski different). If it ever gets deeper I would like a Nordica Patron for a playful/quick tree toy. There are rumors of a Patron with a metal layer that intrigues me and I played around with a Klint Krypto 2013 proto with a titanal layer that looked and flexed like $$$. Kastle has a new group of skis coming out shortly that are going to be pretty cool... think C.J.W. (and a certain ESPN winter contest...) three skis that fill one void they've left open, might end up on one of them.

 

It snowed all day today, starting to shape-up a little up here, but we need a LOT more snow.

 

post #11 of 72
Thread Starter 
Yeah I remember reading that Colby W had signed with Kastle and was working with them on a park/pipe line. Not my thing but cool to see Kastle branching out.

I really want to demo the FX94 and bmx98 for kicks.
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post




 

 

They introduced the BMX88 this season, adding rocker to the MX88 would not make it better, it would make it (does make it) a very different ski. The BMX88 loses some firm snow 'wow' and adds some playfulness. Better in ungroomed terrain where carving isn't the be-all-end-all, it's lighter and quicker. The MX88 is a more powerful more solid ski that inspires confidence at speed and likes to rail turns in the fall line. The BMX88 is being over-looked, it's a really great ski, but the MX88 is 'the best ski Kastle makes', there is a different customer for each.



 

 

Whiteroom,

Thanks. That is EXACTLY the type of information I was looking for. In some cases, the addition of rocker seems to help or improve a ski (i.e. 2011 Blizzard 8.1 seems to be improved for 2012 with addition of rocker). I was curious if the MX88 would benefit from rocker or not (across the board in performance). Thank you!

post #13 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post

Just returned form skiing Alta Tues-Fri (12/20-12/23). Spent Tues and Wed on MX 88s (178) and Turs and Fri on Bonafides (187).

 

Me: turn 45 in 10 days (ugh). 5'9" 165#. Aggressive former racer. Skiing since age 5. Probably get 25-30 days a year these days -- some resort, some heli. Drive skis from the tongue of the boot. Don't jump off stuff anymore, but otherwise ski the whole hill.

 

Conditions: we all know there hasn't been a lot of snow, but we got about 5" or so on Wed with wind loaded spots skiing deeper, and even prior to that, there were some decent chalky soft stashes to be found in the trees (Westward Ho). But definitely spent more time on firm snow and in bumped out terrain than on a typical Alta trip. Skied both these skis in everything from ice/hardpack to soft crud, to chunky crud, to bumps (hard and soft, big and small) to 6"-8" untracked. Good range of conditions, just no deep blower.

 

First, the MX88s:

 

Holy crap. Let me say that again...HOLY CRAP!!! I had never been on a Kastle and bought the MX88s to fill the midfat quiver slot without a demo based on all the raves. These were intended to be "wide envelope" skis for me -- western resort skiing when it hasn't snowed in quite a while and things are mostly quite firm with some crud or other soft snow accessible off the beaten path, which is exactly what we had a lot of this week. These are the days you hit everything from hardpack groomers, to bumps to crud of many sorts. So I'm gonna be high-speed, high angle gee-essing one run and bumping the next...then some tight trees or a chute with variable snow.  Frankly, I did not expect the MX88s to live up to the hype. But, my goodness, this is what a ski is supposed to be! I have skied a pretty good number of skis the last 5 years in all kinds of categories -- from race stock to super fat R/R pow skis and a lot in between. I would say the MX88s are the very finest skis I have ever skied. So precise, so responsive, and surprisingly, so versatile. On hard snow in relatively steep pitches, if you throw the 88s out away from you and really lay them over, you could almost swear you were on race skis. I don't get how it's possible since they don't have the shoulders of true race carvers, but they initiate super smoothly, hug the slope, and let you drive the turn shape with the pressure you apply. They track super precisely and generally make you feel like you're a hot technical skier. The tails are really there for you to complete the carve. But what blew me away was that the very same ski could be so easy to ski at slow speed in soft snow or just mellow weaving through some medium bumps. Again, I don't get it -- I'm definitely someone who has generally found mid-80s all mountain skis to be very useful but not thrilling, but I would ski the MX88s any day with less than a foot of fresh on any hill and be totally thrilled. And I'm not sure I wouldn't love them in deeper snow too -- when I got them in 8" or so, they snaked silky smooth with easy initiation...which goes to show you: a ski doesn't have to have any early rise to maneuver easily in 3D snow.

 

Second, the Bonafides:

 

Well, given the performance envelope of the Kastles, I'm not sure I even need something in this quiver slot, but I bought the Bones to replace first generation Titan Argoses. I loved the Argos for crud bashing, but they are burly skis that require a lot of input and driving, and I was looking for something that would be a tad more playful, more bump friendly, with a little better float. This is the quiver slot for most of my western resort days -- a few days' old snow, lots of crud and soft bumps, some untracked in the harder to reach places. I liked the Bones a lot, but I wouldn't say I was blown away. Glad I went 187 cause they definitely ski a few cm short. Super easy to ski on groomers. Especially on more aggressive angles, they carve and hold a line very well for a 98mm ski. They respond well to a lot of input, but they also can be skied very relaxed with a light, centered touch. In 6-10" crud, piles, and soft bumps, which is where I expected them to be in their wheelhouse, I was surprised to find them less playful, less lively than I expected. That said, I felt it took me a few runs to get them dialed -- I found they needed to be steered less forward in soft snow, and once I started driving them less and steering from a more centered stance, I found the groove. I didn't experiment with mount position, but I probably will (I have griffon demos on them). Net-net, I enjoyed them and I suspect they will grow on me more as I get them in some better 3D snow. But I didn't have that "holy crap, these are insane" experience I had with the Kastles.



Re-

Given that my two ski quiver would have been very similar to the two skis you previewed above, does the MX88 make the Bone obsolete to some degree? Would you see yourself enjoying a wider ski as a second ski instead, maybe a Cochise or something in that range? Thanks!

post #14 of 72

This thread is really making me consider getting the MX88's without a demo. 

post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2late View Post



Re-

Given that my two ski quiver would have been very similar to the two skis you previewed above, does the MX88 make the Bone obsolete to some degree? Would you see yourself enjoying a wider ski as a second ski instead, maybe a Cochise or something in that range? Thanks!



This is the conclusion I've come to.  No doubt, the bone is a very good ski, but with the MX88 why do I need it?  Therefore, I'm going with the 185 Cochise or 178 BMX 108 as my 2nd ski.  So, dang difficult and expensive to carry more than 2 pair when flying commercial. 

 

Sunnyside:  I know what you mean.  It was difficult for me last year to pay up for the MX 88 without a demo, but I'm happy I did!  It's one of the few that's deserving of the hype!  I know...I sound like I'm a Kastle rep! :)

 

post #16 of 72

The MX88s is a nice ski. The only place I don't like them on is the parking lot. Everywhere else is good and fair game.

 

You didn't like the Bone as much or more than the MX88s? Blasphemy! We have a free thinker on our hands. More Cool Aid!

 

There are a few people on Epic Ski aren't dealers. As hard as that is to believe.

post #17 of 72

Re-Skier These are exactly my thoughts on the 186 Lhasa's Carbons as  well as on the MX88. Looks like we might have very similar skiing styles. -))

post #18 of 72
Thread Starter 
Nvr2,

Where do you do your skiing? And say more about your ability, style, preferred terrain. Hard to recommend a 2 ski quiver without that info. But if it were me, I would not have the Bone in a quiver of two cause I'd want something fatter and more pow-focused on one end and something quicker, carvier, and slinkier on the other end. But lots of people who ski big mountains would be perfectly happy skiing a versatile 98mm ski daily and then going 115+ for real pow days. On the other hand, back east it would he a totally different story.
post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySide View Post

This thread is really making me consider getting the MX88's without a demo. 


As well you should, it is arguably one of the best skis out there at this point. 

 

 

 

post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post

Nvr2,
Where do you do your skiing? And say more about your ability, style, preferred terrain. Hard to recommend a 2 ski quiver without that info. But if it were me, I would not have the Bone in a quiver of two cause I'd want something fatter and more pow-focused on one end and something quicker, carvier, and slinkier on the other end. But lots of people who ski big mountains would be perfectly happy skiing a versatile 98mm ski daily and then going 115+ for real pow days. On the other hand, back east it would he a totally different story.


I wasn't trying to summon a recommendation, but thanks. I ski the East...Southern VT and Gore, Whiteface. I am a level 7-8 skier that ski's most days on a Volkl Racetiger SL 165. Love that ski, just looking for something for more varied terrain after a snow fall or when the snow softens up in the afternoon. I am 6', 220 pounds and am thinking that a 3 ski quiver might look something like the Racetiger, MX 88 and the Bones. I love the "idea" of a powder ski, but in all honesty I think that a 98 underfoot will more than suffice for my "powder days" here. Am also curious about the Bushwacker at 88 underfoot being that I already a ski for the ice and hard pack that we see so often. Looking to improve my off-piste and bump skiing this season. Any input would be great. Thanks again.

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski314 View Post



This is the conclusion I've come to.  No doubt, the bone is a very good ski, but with the MX88 why do I need it?  Therefore, I'm going with the 185 Cochise or 178 BMX 108 as my 2nd ski.  So, dang difficult and expensive to carry more than 2 pair when flying commercial. 

 

Sunnyside:  I know what you mean.  It was difficult for me last year to pay up for the MX 88 without a demo, but I'm happy I did!  It's one of the few that's deserving of the hype!  I know...I sound like I'm a Kastle rep! :)

 


Very astute. In a two ski quiver with some hard snow on the agenda, the 88 and ~~ 105-115 makes more sense. As an OSQ for the West, the Bone is perfect or as the middle of a three ski quiver. This year I have the Bone, and Nordica Unleashed Hell as my personal skis, and a batch of narrower stuff in the shop demo fleet.

 

FWIW.............the Bonafide is best compared to the Kastle BMX line which has sort of a similar agenda. Blizz has some skis that compare well to the MX 88 but they are not flipcores.

 

SJ

 

post #22 of 72
Thread Starter 
Nvr2,

If you're skiing Stratton, Okemo, Snow, Gore and the like, I'm not sure I'd bother with anything beyond your racetigers and the MX88s. There are VERY few days at those places where you're gonna have more than an hour or so of skiing in snow deep enough to want a soft snow ski over the 88.
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


Very astute. In a two ski quiver with some hard snow on the agenda, the 88 and ~~ 105-115 makes more sense. As an OSQ for the West, the Bone is perfect or as the middle of a three ski quiver. This year I have the Bone, and Nordica Unleashed Hell as my personal skis, and a batch of narrower stuff in the shop demo fleet.

 

FWIW.............the Bonafide is best compared to the Kastle BMX line which has sort of a similar agenda. Blizz has some skis that compare well to the MX 88 but they are not flipcores.

 

SJ

 


SJ:  Which do you prefer for combo of pow(12-24"), trees and bumps----185 Cochise or BMX108?   Not being able to demo = I'm struggling with this one.  Always respect & appreciate your input.

 

Thanks!

314
 

 

post #24 of 72

I only have one day on my Cochise 185 (because it no longer snows in Tahoe, apparently), but based on how they respond to quick subtle movements, my impression is that they're going to be fantastic in the trees.  I did get to ski them on a little bit of pow (about 8 inches) and they were so much fun I'm dying to take them out on a deep day.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ski314 View Post


SJ:  Which do you prefer for combo of pow(12-24"), trees and bumps----185 Cochise or BMX108?   Not being able to demo = I'm struggling with this one.  Always respect & appreciate your input.

 

Thanks!

314
 

 



 

post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

I only have one day on my Cochise 185 (because it no longer snows in Tahoe, apparently), but based on how they respond to quick subtle movements, my impression is that they're going to be fantastic in the trees.  I did get to ski them on a little bit of pow (about 8 inches) and they were so much fun I'm dying to take them out on a deep day.
 



 


Thanks for your input JayT.  I've about decided to go with the Cochise.  What bindings did you use?
 

 

post #26 of 72

I replaced my 08-09 Volkl AC50's (177) with this years MX88's (178)  I skied two days at Killigton several weeks ago on groomers both hard pack and ice and on just opened snow gun blasted Bittersweet / Skyelark (blue/black) which were qiuckly consumed by monster but soft bumps. I am 6', 217lbs., level 8, aggressive and enjoy all especially powder and glades. My reaction was similar to Re-Skier - outstanding ski. They were excellent in the medium-light snow gun snow both before and after the bumps formed. I skied them with a slightly foward stance and found, again in the snow gun deeps, minimal tip deflection and in total control as the bumps grew. On morning start groomers great edge hold and stable when I put the peddel to the metal. The only area which I found SLIGHTLY better edge grip with the AC50's was when the groomers became boiler plate. Phil P and SJ both recommended this ski as an AC50 replacement and I will forever remain in their debt. Due to surgery 10 days back  to remove some wild & crazy prostrate cells I will not get another chance to ski them until early Feb. when I have a Steamboat trip scheduled. I hope to be able to post glade and powder performance when back. My deep snow skis remain 173 Shamans which are currently my powder/glades ski of choice.

 

Thus I will emphatically add my approval / recommendation for the MX88's

 

Falcon_o aka Charlie

post #27 of 72

Griffons (I'm a DIN 8).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ski314 View Post


Thanks for your input JayT.  I've about decided to go with the Cochise.  What bindings did you use?
 

 



 

post #28 of 72

Hey Re-Skier,

 

I am glad you like those skis!  It is hard to go wrong with any of that group.  If they do update the MX88, I really hope they don't neuter it.  Definitely try the FX94: it is a really good ski as well, more nimble than the 88, not quite as damp or stable, though, still very solid at speed. Sadly, I hear Utah doesn't have a storm on tap that would put the BMX128's into play.  Hope I am wrong; enjoy Alta!  

 

Ski314: my personal preference is for the BMX108 over the Cochise.  My buddy Wade and I skied both last year, and he ended up buying the 108 over the Cochise.  I own both, but given the choice, would opt for the 108 as well.  The Cochise I think has more float in choppy snow (longer ski, 185 vs. 178 in the 108), but we felt the 108 was more somewhat more versatile in the other areas: tighter at the tip, likes the "impact turn/release" that Wade favors for his short turn, a bit more snow-hugging (especially on groomers, really a good carver in the shorter length), and better in tight bumps.  In soft bumps, they are comparable, as in trees.  Feel-wise, they are different.  108 is smooth, snow-hugging, solid; Cochise is playful, snappy.  If I was looking for more float primarily in bigger turns, I think I would get the Cochise: for all-around soft snow versatility, the 108 is my preference. It is really close though, I could be very happy with either, and neither is going to hold a good skier back in any way. The BMX108 in 188cm is a whole different ski: very powerful, tons more stability than the other 2, really big-mountain iron. 

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #29 of 72

Ok I think I'm gonna pull the trigger on the MX88's without a demo. I am 5'10 about 175 lbs, what size would be ideal..I'm thinking the 178cm. I will also try to convince my brother to get them as well, maybe I can get a better deal on them if I buy 2 pairs. He is about 5'7 and 165, I'm thinking 168cm for him is good??

 

post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post

Nvr2,
If you're skiing Stratton, Okemo, Snow, Gore and the like, I'm not sure I'd bother with anything beyond your racetigers and the MX88s. There are VERY few days at those places where you're gonna have more than an hour or so of skiing in snow deep enough to want a soft snow ski over the 88.



There sure was last season  biggrin.gif

 

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