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Kastle MX88 vs. Volkl Kendo

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I began my search for a pair of skis after new years when I was finally able to ski and a year and half of surgeries.  I have snowboarded for the past 6 years, but skies up until then.  Being off the snow for a while kinda made me want to get back on skis.  I have done a lot of research and some demoing and it has led me to these skis.  So far this season I have skied Stratton, VT 5 days, Jiminy Peak 3 and deveral small hills near my school for 3 as well. I have skied on, 171 Atomic race skis, 177 atomic theory, 168 kastle bmx 88, 168 blizzard mag 8.1, 171 volkl rtm 80 and 172 atomic metron.  I am not going to pretend I know what I am talking about so pardon me if I mess anything up.

 

Here it is.  I love to ski fast, hard and aggressive.  I have apparently quickly learned how to make big gs carves and for some reason I now love digging in and getting deep into the turn.  When I used to snow board I pretty much did it all in SUn valley Idaho.  I would spend most of my time, when alone, in the bowls.  And when I'm with family and such (they only like groomed) we only go on groomed.  It is still the same now, but now that I am in college in upstate new york, I will do my skiing around here.  My family owns a condo in sun valley so aprx. 25-30 days a year will still be spent there with winter and spring break.  Point is, I have never skied in bottomless or really anything deeping than 1.5-2 ft deep powder.  MEaning, I dont see the need for a strictly deep powder ski.  I settled on 88 underfoot primarily because I do not want to sacrifice performancy on the groomers.  I do love skiing whatever light snow I can find and I know you guys are gonna rail me for calling a foot deep "powder".  But since I love that I wanted performance there as well.

 

I know I am also going to get rammed for look at the mx88 for my first pair of owned skis, but I seriously could not get away from it.  Everything I read, everyone I talked to, I kept coming back to that ski.  I consider my self an advanced skier, I can ski anything on the mountain.  EXCEPT bumps, which I hate, so if a ski doesnt eprform well there, I would prefer it (as an excuse not to go).  Call me not a real skier or not technical or whatever you want to call it, but I just do not enjoy bumps, at least at this point in my skiing career.  I am 5'9" and 205 (atheltic build, I play football and track in college) so I am drawn towards a stiffer ski in the 170s.  

 

Now to the skis.  I was originally drawn to the mx88 in a 178 and upon finding it (dawgcatching) my father, who is going to be part owner of this ski (meaning he wants to pay for half of it for my past christmas/birthday present, we began the search then) for some reason is not comfortable with buying skis not in person.  He wandered into a small shop oneday and the guy was telling him about the kendo and he for some reason got all excited about it.  Since I can fin that ski for just about half of what the kastle is, would that be a good idea? You guys will probably tell me to go wider, but I like the idea of this 88 width and like the idea of these 2 skis.  Once my dad told me he liked the kendo I looked more into it and from what I have read, I have found that is skis about the same.  Both good at bi gs carves, blast through crud, can handle light snow with ease, except people seem to say that the kastle just does everything better.  So is that right, is the kastle just like a better/more expensive kendo, considering they are the same width?

post #2 of 34

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo will blast across any road in style and power.

 

A Chevy Traverse does the same.

 

It all depends on how much you feel in the ski.  

 

Precision is rewarded with the Kastle, and like the Porsche, a slight error will punish you where a Chevy is a bit less elegant, at half the price you can still push it around corners even if they feel a bit less worthy.

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Well the problem is I really want the Kastles.  So the question really should have been, do I want to push my father in this situation or is the kendo a good compromise in terms of performance.

post #4 of 34

Get'em.    I have never skied the Kendos, but I own MX88s, 178.  I had the Volkl RTM 84 and I thought they were fine, but these are just awesome.  I'm a little taller and 15 lbs lighter and the length is perfect.  They are just a precise and bullet proof ski.  They carve well on groomers for a ski that wide too, but they love 4-8" of new snow, crud, chop, etc...  I haven't had them in deep snow, they do have some tip rise, but none in the tail.  I'm sure they would be fine, but the other rockered skis might be easier.   I am not good in bumps, but just manage them okay for what it's worth and have skied them in medium to large bumps.  It took some work, but I think it had more to do with my lack of skill there.    I have the RX12s for days on the groomers and that is another great ski.  Just my 2 cts. 

post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by APapalian View Post

Well the problem is I really want the Kastles.  So the question really should have been, do I want to push my father in this situation or is the kendo a good compromise in terms of performance.



If you (or he) had ever skied them both back to back......you wouldn't have started this thread and you'd own some white skis.

 

Heck.....there's two of yez......that's half price..........biggrin.gif

 

SJ

post #6 of 34
The MX 88 is the ski for sure...I have skied both the 88 and the Kendo. I have purchased multiple skis from Starthaus and Dawgcatching and the experience has always been 110 percent positive (3 pair from each). Tell the old man it's 2012 and buying from an online store with a great reputation is a pleasure and their pricing will certainly beat your local shop. Just my two cents.
post #7 of 34

^^^^ Resistance is futile.

post #8 of 34

Just demoed the MX88's and have tried most of the contenders including the Kendo (my main ski is still the AC50)... and there is really no contest at all... the MX88's have the x-factor of finesse, smoothness, complete versatility and just plain ski-ability that slays the field... the day I tried them I had a wide variety of snow in Park City ranging from hard groomers to about 8-9 inches of powder... and these were just the ultimate tool in every condition I could find... they may be just a hair less stable at 50mph than my AC50's, but in terms of overall skiability for high intermediate to advanced skiers these are truly in a class by themselves... the best thing I can say is that you remember the silky, rock solid yet playful sensation of being on them long after you click out of the bindings...

 

Anyone have some 178s they want to part with?

 

Andrew

post #9 of 34

Shredded my 2011 Kendo on a traverse @ Squaw couple weeks ago. Bought a MX88 that night as a replacement. Next morning ran across a great deal on the Kendo at a shop across from Squaw. Bought two pairs for both my son and I. Been skiing them back to back almost every day for the last two weeks @ various Lake Tahoe resorts.

 

The MX88 feels better in softer snow, slides laterally a bit easier and has a smoother, more solid and damper feel. Doesn’t matter what you do – it won’t kick you.  

 

The Kendo is quicker edge to edge, more pop out of the turn, quicker in the bump, better on ice and super hard pack.  Rewards a technically competent and aggressive skier. Back seat drivers need not apply.

 

FWIW, the Kendo is still my every day ski. YMMV.

post #10 of 34

Wow. That's serious $$ in 24 hours. Congrats. My mileage varies, in that I find the MX88's bizarrely grippy for a ski that wide. But in a characteristic way; very low key and undramatic, no sense of "hey, I'm an ice skate, feel me grip" like my old Fischers used to give. Just totally planted on say Telluride ice at 35-45 mph GS size turns. Think the damping has something to do with it. OTOH, have not skied Kendos, so cannot compare. If they're significantly better, that's race ski territory. Would not be surprised if they've got more pop, not a Kastle quality for the tail. And IMO the MX88's are very quick and light into a turn, but the longer radius at the big square tail means you have to spend some attention to the finish. So overall yep, bet they feel less quick edge to edge, more GS-ish. 

post #11 of 34

Incidentally, any hints of (yeah, I know this is ski porn territory) a 2014 MX88 that has early rise? When even Stockli's going to ER, wonder if Kastle will stick with their business model of limiting it to the BMX line. IMO you could give some of their metal skis some ER, keep the tails and flex as are, and still not have a BMX.

post #12 of 34

I just spent a week in Kitzbuhel on my new MX88's (thanks Phil @ Starthaus for getting them to me in time). We had conditions ranging from blowing snowstorms with 2+ feet of powder at the beginning of the week to chopped up crud a couple of days later to slushy spring conditions at the end of the week and nicely groomed ice as slush froze. I have to say that the MX88's handled it all. Fantastic feel in the soft snow - easy to turn and decent float (I'm 6'0", 220 lbs and was skiing the 178's). Just as good in the crud. Even with the soft tips that make them ski well in the powder, they had no issue plowing through the piles. What really surprised me is how well they did on the hard and ice stuff. It was like being on ice skates. The edges just grip.

 

If I had to say something negative about them, it would be that they really prefer to go fast. They're kind of ho-hum and unremarkable at slow speeds, but when you let them run it's magic!

 

One interesting story. On my first ride up the Hahnenkamm gondola, I ended up with a nice Austrian couple both skiing Kastle's. The woman asked about mine, where I got them, etc. Turns out, her son is the product development director at Kastle and he was in town. She was so excited to see that I was skiing Kastle skis and had brought them over from the US, she felt obligated to call her son and tell him......

 

Do yourself (and your dad) a favor - buy the Kastles

post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

So far, thanks to everyone for your responses.  They have been helpful, however "dick-ish" they might have been (maybe I just don't get the humer on this forum yet, but I can pick out a post that was a little unnecessary).  Unfortunately, this all just confirms my prior notion of wanting the Kastles, but that is going to take a serious dent into my funds.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by APapalian View Post

So far, thanks to everyone for your responses.  They have been helpful, however "dick-ish" they might have been (maybe I just don't get the humer on this forum yet, but I can pick out a post that was a little unnecessary).  Unfortunately, this all just confirms my prior notion of wanting the Kastles, but that is going to take a serious dent into my funds.



Sorry for the negative comments above, you are right they were unnecessary. As mentioned, once you get the taste of the Kaslte, you won't want to ski anything else in that range. Now...boots....

post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks for apologizing Phil, but don't worry about it.  Didn't bother me.  I have had boots for 3 years now, but due to an injury and following surgeries I have not been able to ski until this season.  They are Tecnica Dragon ultrafit 110 and I believe they are the 08 model.  I got them for $200 a couple summers back.  I really made a bad move though and rushed into buying them when I saw the price for the highly regarded boot and never actually got them properly fitted, so I am dealing with a lot of pain and possibly them being too big.  

post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post



If you (or he) had ever skied them both back to back......you wouldn't have started this thread and you'd own some white skis.

 

Heck.....there's two of yez......that's half price..........biggrin.gif

 

SJ


 

I demo'd the MX88's and Kendos today.  I wasn't planning to buy today but I have some white skis sitting next to me as I type this.

 

post #17 of 34

Worth demoing both, for sure!  That way, you realize what you are missing in the Kendo, and how sweet the MX88 is.  That ski makes most mass-market skis feel like a K-Mart product.  If you can afford it, they are worth the $.  Of course, as a retailer, I would say that....but really, they are pretty special skis.  There is probably more cache in owning a Volkl (as most people haven't heard of Kastle in 20 years) but if you want a ski that rips, there isn't much of a comparison.  

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #18 of 34

Skied last two day on the MX88 @ Squaw. It is really a sweet ski in the softer snow. Silky smooth. Much better ride quality than the Kendo. No surprise ever. The ski slips really well from side to side. Doesn't matter whether you load the tip or tail - the ski reacts along the entire edge. It does have a good even pop out of the turn - not a tail pop but rather the whole ski unloads. Really nice. No surprise that will blow you into the weeds. Can't do no wrong on it on any terrain with the exception of hard ice bumps and/or really narrow gullies.  

 

The last two days condition is quite different than the ones encountered @ Squaw prior to the big dump during the gathering week. I was on my 184 Goat most of the gathering week. The week prior was mostly east coast conditions. Hard icy bumps and boiler plate as groom runs - it as been a really really bad season. The Kendo is better in those conditions. Also I'm in the bumps most of the time, The Kendo wins my vote there. The preference may also be coloured by the red neck blue collar boy in me.   

 

So if you do 20+ days @ Sun Valley, go for the MX88. Kendo would be more suited to the character building New England conditions and if you ski hard icy bumps for fun.   

 

    

post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

  Of course, as a retailer, I would say that....



And of course as the retailer I want to buy the skis from... haha

post #20 of 34

As of a couple of days ago, my Whistler quiver went from this:

 

IMG_1078.JPG

 

 

To this:

 

IMG_1516.JPG

 

Now have what I need for all conditions.

 

Go for the MX88's - like nothing I've skied before. Then try the BMX108 for pow - O.M.G. - bliss is at hand!

 

 

post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 

is it just the angle of the picture, or did you mount towards the back? and if so, what did you like better about that?

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by APapalian View Post

is it just the angle of the picture, or did you mount towards the back? and if so, what did you like better about that?



Both pairs are mounted centerline, however the bindings are adjustable and I can quickly go 1.5CM fore/aft. I've just left in center, and they perform like Kastle's.

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

As of a couple of days ago, my Whistler quiver went from this:

 

IMG_1078.JPG

 

 

To this:

 

IMG_1516.JPG

 

Now have what I need for all conditions.

 

Go for the MX88's - like nothing I've skied before. Then try the BMX108 for pow - O.M.G. - bliss is at hand!

 

 


Nice!  The 108 is very playful, but so powerful when you want it to really sing.  Just a great blend of characteristics I am a looking for in a new snow ski. Even my BMX128's ski like that: they are soft enough in the tail to be forgiving, slarvy, and allow me to chop speed quickly, but then in a straight line, in rough snow, and when loading it up, they have muscle backing them up.  Maybe not for everyone, but for a solid skier who skis decently fast yet doesn't want a 2x4 underfoot, nor a bowl of overcooked pasta, they are money. 

 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Wow. That's serious $$ in 24 hours. Congrats. My mileage varies, in that I find the MX88's bizarrely grippy for a ski that wide. But in a characteristic way; very low key and undramatic, no sense of "hey, I'm an ice skate, feel me grip" like my old Fischers used to give. Just totally planted on say Telluride ice at 35-45 mph GS size turns. Think the damping has something to do with it. OTOH, have not skied Kendos, so cannot compare. If they're significantly better, that's race ski territory. Would not be surprised if they've got more pop, not a Kastle quality for the tail. And IMO the MX88's are very quick and light into a turn, but the longer radius at the big square tail means you have to spend some attention to the finish. So overall yep, bet they feel less quick edge to edge, more GS-ish. 



Actually the Kastle have better edge grip on icy hard pack than the Kendo. However, in frozen coral reef & chicken heads, the MX88 defect quite a bit more than the Kendo. The Kendo generally rattles around a bit but keeps the turn going. Not so much with the Kastle. It's been a really bad season @ Squaw this year. Hopefully with the storms rolling in the coming week the condition will improve. Agree with you the MX88 is extremely smooth at the top of the turn - an incredible feeling.   

 

post #25 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post


Nice!  The 108 is very playful, but so powerful when you want it to really sing.  Just a great blend of characteristics I am a looking for in a new snow ski. Even my BMX128's ski like that: they are soft enough in the tail to be forgiving, slarvy, and allow me to chop speed quickly, but then in a straight line, in rough snow, and when loading it up, they have muscle backing them up.  Maybe not for everyone, but for a solid skier who skis decently fast yet doesn't want a 2x4 underfoot, nor a bowl of overcooked pasta, they are money. 

 

...err different ski but i demoed the BMX88 on manmade "packed powder" was put off by the dual radius, thought it could be good in "real" snow so rented it at Sugarbush when they got close to a foot little more than a week ago. There the dual radius was working for me in the soft bumps and trees but and this is a huge but, they dropped like a rock down the fall line of the windswept steep upper slope to the right off of Heavens Gate lift. I couldn't get the edges to bite into the ice. Did the run several times, they just slid down the fall line till i hit the snowpack and could engage the edges. Would've traded them in for a MX or something else but didn't want to waste my time on the mountain in transit etc so put up with it, they were ok elsewhere. I don't know how much my 140lbs @5'7" weight or the 168cm ski length factored in, i would think the longer length should've had a longer edge contact point for bite, not so. Guys on the lift as well as the shop guy felt the edges and said they were fine, so probably not the tune. I'm to light for the MX and will probably look into the 2013 Kendo next year, been hearing good things about it.
 

 


Edited by neonorchid - 3/11/12 at 12:12pm
post #26 of 34

APapalian

APapalian,

 

First point: Get it over with buy the mx88's so you can start enjoying them. Gotta believe that you will not regret the choice. Understand your father's reluctance to buy through the internet, but dawgcatching, SierraJim and Philpug are well respected members of this community that have been around forever. Maybe your father should call your preferred retailer and have a chat.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APapalian View Post

I know I am also going to get rammed for look at the mx88 for my first pair of owned skis, but I seriously could not get away from it.  Everything I read, everyone I talked to, I kept coming back to that ski.  I consider my self an advanced skier, I can ski anything on the mountain.  EXCEPT bumps, which I hate, so if a ski doesnt eprform well there, I would prefer it (as an excuse not to go).  Call me not a real skier or not technical or whatever you want to call it, but I just do not enjoy bumps, at least at this point in my skiing career.  I am 5'9" and 205 (atheltic build, I play football and track in college) so I am drawn towards a stiffer ski in the 170s.  

 

Second point: once you get your skis and dial in your boots, then seriously consider learning to ski bumps. Most of us have passed through your stage - having SO much fun skiing fast and turning hard that you ask yourself why you should suffer in the bumps when you can be ripping. What might surprise you, though, is that the skills you learn in the bumps will help your skiing all over the mountain. Suddenly those late day mounds of snow that pop up on the groomed become playthings instead of annoyances. Your skiing becomes all around more enjoyable and playful. At least that's how it worked for me. And trust me, I had to be dragged into the bumps kicking and screaming by my son and his roommate. Best favor anyone ever did for me.

 

Have fun,    rick p

 

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick p View Post

Second point: once you get your skis and dial in your boots, then seriously consider learning to ski bumps. Most of us have passed through your stage - having SO much fun skiing fast and turning hard that you ask yourself why you should suffer in the bumps when you can be ripping. What might surprise you, though, is that the skills you learn in the bumps will help your skiing all over the mountain. Suddenly those late day mounds of snow that pop up on the groomed become playthings instead of annoyances. Your skiing becomes all around more enjoyable and playful. At least that's how it worked for me. And trust me, I had to be dragged into the bumps kicking and screaming by my son and his roommate. Best favor anyone ever did for me.

 

^This.  +11tybillion.

 

Although, for me, it was a girl who got me to ski bumps.  If I couldn't keep up on the hill, I couldn't keep up off the hill.

 

I learned to ski bumps pretty quick that season.

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Eddie View Post

 

^This.  +11tybillion.

 

Although, for me, it was a girl who got me to ski bumps.  If I couldn't keep up on the hill, I couldn't keep up off the hill.

 

 I learned to ski bumps pretty quick that season.

 

I hear you Slow Eddie.

 

My wife was the other motivator - still remember the day she kicked my butt in moguls on Jack Rabbit and Chute at Sierra.

I was thinking "please, please stop so I can rest".  She didn't until another skier got in her way. I was very thankful for that intervention.       rickp

post #29 of 34

When you put the kendo and the mx88 side to side, they really are similar! 1 mm difference on the shovel; mostly the same flex at shovel and tail; 2 layers of titanal; same radius... The most evident difference is in the tail ( larger and square on the mx88).

Well, I should be able to ski the mx88 before 2013 and I own a Kendo so I'll be able to compare them in action!

post #30 of 34

BTW, I wish the base of the mx88 is more resistant that the one of the Kendo ( edges too!)!

If they could be as resistent as my Sultan 85... It's amazing how tough the base and edges are on these skis...After 2 seasons, they still look like new!!!

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