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Kastle MX88 vs. Volkl RTM 84

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm an intermediate/advanced skier who mostly skis steep groomers. I'm looking to make the transition to more off-piste/tree skiing in mixed snow. I'm 5'8", 250lbs--like a 50 gallon drum on skis. I currently have 2008 Volkl AC30 at 170 for harder snow and 2010 Volkl Katana at 184 for the softer stuff. I enjoy the AC30s for hard snow and ice, but I find them a little too much work in crud. The Katanas are great in pow, mashed potatoes and crud, but take a little work on the groomers.

 

I'm currently looking at the Kastle MX88 and the Volkl RTM 84. Any recommendation for someone who's looking to try new terrain but doesn't want to work quite as hard all over the mountain? Please let me know if there is any other info that would help you answer my question.

 

 

post #2 of 20

Being big Volkl guy myself and having skied the MX88 and the RTM84...it's a no brainer, the RTM84.

 

I would also tell you to demo the Volkl Kendo, it took the place of my AC40 as my everyday ski.

 

I have it with the Salomon 912Ti binding, its a very light set up that is a blast in the cut up natural snow (at speed) and the softer tip is nice in the bumps. The Kendo's are fine at high speed. They are also great with nothing but air under them.

 

I'm 5'11" 195lbs and have the Kendo in 177cm. I do my own tuning and keep all my skis sharp tip to tail.

 

Oh I paid $1000 for the Kendo's, bindings, North Face pants and jacket, out the door.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, Max. I just wanted to add that I ski almost exclusively in Tahoe at Squaw, Alpine and Kirkwood. What would you say is the difference between the Kendo and the RTM 84? I like the feeling of the Vokls when I'm on top of them, but during the second half of the day, sometimes I just want to cruise a bit.

 

post #4 of 20

Comparing these two is hard because they are so different. The MX88 is very conventional in shape and profile and is better than the RTM 84 at practically everything. However, the RTM has a big advantage for a skier if your level.....it is much easier and more forgiving. The full length rocker that many better or more technical skiers object to could make the the RTM easier to develop on for your level of skier.

 

SJ

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

SierraJim, I appreciate the input. Can you explain a bit more what you mean by a full-length rocker being easier and more forgiving? Does that mean that I can use sloppier technique in my turns, i.e., not being as much on top of the skis?

 

Also, I'm not sure how that would make the RTM easier to develop on if it doesn't demand good technique. I'm all for being easier and forgiving as long as it doesn't make me actively worse at skiing! Can you, or anyone, compare these two skis a bit with the skis I already own (Volkl AC30 and Katana)? And perhaps with the Kendo as well?

 

 

post #6 of 20

The modest full length rocker of the RTM 84 makes it easier to pivot and smear turns and all else being equal, makes it better in softer or mixed snow than a fully cambered ski such as an AC 30/40/50. This is not a free lunch of course as the negative of a full rocker in this width range is that it can make the ski feel squirmy or unstable in turn transition and possibly a little vague in engagement at the top of the turn. This is something that an expert skier might not feel comfortable with but an intermediate might feel OK about. The RTM's are definitely easier and more versatile but less precise and stable than their respective AC series predecessors.

 

The Katana has no place in this discussion as it is at least two width categories separated from the RTM/AC grouping.

 

SJ

post #7 of 20

I posted my review of the RTM 84 back in Dec. I found it to be a great ski at my high level on firm snow. Even with the full rocker it did everything I asked of it and kept wanting me to push it harder.

 

I have a couple of high level friends that bought it and love it at Okemo.

 

My feeling is the AC30 is the thinner AC40, I have both skis, My Kendo's I find easy to ski at any speed, I use them when I'm teaching my GF(level 4-5, 52y/o who started skiing last season) as well as using the AC40's.

 

If you like Volkl's stay with them.If I needed a new ski it would be the RTM84 to replace my AC40's which I bought in Feb08. But I have so much fun on the Kendo's. I find it hard to justify the money to buy the RTM. The Kendo's ski well.

 

I also have pre-rockered Gotama's.

 

 

 

post #8 of 20

I have skied Volkl AC4s and 50s 184cm for the last 6 seasons but 2 years ago I bought a pair of Line Motherships 195cm for heavy wet chopped snow and found they are about as good on firm groomed snow as the ACs. While they are considerably wider I think what has made them so easy for me to ski is the 130 flex boots I have as I am no athlete. I note the Volkl Katana has similar dimensions to the Mothership which has now been discontinued and I would be interested to know if they are both similar to ski on firm snow.

post #9 of 20

Not the exact same skis, but I managed to demo the RTM80 and the new MX83 a couple of months ago in mixed conditions (4" of new snow over a groomed base, turning to cut up pow and soft bumps in the afternoon). 

 

I'll preface this by saying that I'm a fan of the Kastle MX line, and own an MX78.  I have an older pair of Volkl Supersport Allstars, which I enjoy on hard snow.  I've never been a fan of the AC50, although I really like the Kendo.  So I guess I'm all over the map.

 

This year I was pleasantly surprised with the RTM80 and would happily own that ski.  Grippy and even a bit playful, which is not really how I would describe any Volkl I've previously been on.  I put that down to the slight, continuous rocker.  Still, the MX83 seemed more precise to me - not necessarily better, but different.  Hard to describe, but here goes.  Once you enter the MX into a turn it is engaged until you make a definite decision to disengage from the turn.  The RTM80 entered a turn easily, but seemed willing to disengage from the turn just as easily.  

 

I'm 6'4" / 210lbs and was demoing the 183cm MX83 and the 176cm RTM80, so take that into consideration.  Normally a rockered ski would feel shorter than the stated length, but the reverse camber of the RTM is so slight I didn't get that feeling.  They seem to ski to their length.

 

They're both very good skis, and you could hardly go wrong with either pair.  If I had to choose one ski for the rest of my days right now it would be the MX88.  If someone 'forced' me to take the RTM84 under the same scenario I'd still be happy.  

 

Good luck.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Not the exact same skis, but I managed to demo the RTM80 and the new MX83 a couple of months ago in mixed conditions (4" of new snow over a groomed base, turning to cut up pow and soft bumps in the afternoon). 

 

I'll preface this by saying that I'm a fan of the Kastle MX line, and own an MX78.  I have an older pair of Volkl Supersport Allstars, which I enjoy on hard snow.  I've never been a fan of the AC50, although I really like the Kendo.  So I guess I'm all over the map.

 

This year I was pleasantly surprised with the RTM80 and would happily own that ski.  Grippy and even a bit playful, which is not really how I would describe any Volkl I've previously been on.  I put that down to the slight, continuous rocker.  Still, the MX83 seemed more precise to me - not necessarily better, but different.  Hard to describe, but here goes.  Once you enter the MX into a turn it is engaged until you make a definite decision to disengage from the turn.  The RTM80 entered a turn easily, but seemed willing to disengage from the turn just as easily.  

 

I'm 6'4" / 210lbs and was demoing the 183cm MX83 and the 176cm RTM80, so take that into consideration.  Normally a rockered ski would feel shorter than the stated length, but the reverse camber of the RTM is so slight I didn't get that feeling.  They seem to ski to their length.

 

They're both very good skis, and you could hardly go wrong with either pair.  If I had to choose one ski for the rest of my days right now it would be the MX88.  If someone 'forced' me to take the RTM84 under the same scenario I'd still be happy.  

 

Good luck.

 

Go the RTM.

 

A few points.  First from above, the RTM184, despite the marketing is not a fully rockered ski.  Far from it.  Full rockered skis are not really made in large numbers anymore.  The RTM is a an early rise tip and tail with a "NO camber" in either direction under  foot.  Just flat.  This is common on lots of skis today, and is done to make manufacturing of the skis eaiser (read cheaper) then making the skis early rise with conventional camber.  The RTM is basically an intermediate-advanced.  Which for you seems perfect.

post #11 of 20

FWIW, my 188 MX88s with Jesters and about 10 days of skiing on them are at Start Haus right now, waiting for the consignment sale, when they'll be available for $449.  It wasn't the right ski for me, but I'm 50 pounds lighter than you. It's certainly a more reasonable price point to try them out.

 

I've not skied the RTM series, so I can't compare.

 

Tangent:  At your weight, does the 184 Katana provide enough float?

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aezed View Post

I'm an intermediate/advanced skier who mostly skis steep groomers.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Oh I paid $1000 for the Kendo's, bindings, North Face pants and jacket, out the door.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

I have a couple of high level friends that bought it and love it at Okemo.

 

"Steep" and "Okemo" just don't belong in the same thread.

 

And yes, it's real easy to pay less than the MX88. It's just not really possible to get the same level of performance. Been there, tried that.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aezed View Post

I'm an intermediate/advanced skier who mostly skis steep groomers. I'm looking to make the transition to more off-piste/tree skiing in mixed snow. I'm 5'8", 250lbs--like a 50 gallon drum on skis. I currently have 2008 Volkl AC30 at 170 for harder snow and 2010 Volkl Katana at 184 for the softer stuff. I enjoy the AC30s for hard snow and ice, but I find them a little too much work in crud. The Katanas are great in pow, mashed potatoes and crud, but take a little work on the groomers.

 

I'm currently looking at the Kastle MX88 and the Volkl RTM 84. Any recommendation for someone who's looking to try new terrain but doesn't want to work quite as hard all over the mountain? Please let me know if there is any other info that would help you answer my question.

 

 

 

You want an off piste ski for trees that is narrower than the katana? Are we talking about a skied out bumped up trees or what? I don't think either of these skis would be on my list for a tree / bump ski in the east.  

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

FWIW, my 188 MX88s with Jesters and about 10 days of skiing on them are at Start Haus right now, waiting for the consignment sale, when they'll be available for $449.  It wasn't the right ski for me, but I'm 50 pounds lighter than you. It's certainly a more reasonable price point to try them out.

 

I've not skied the RTM series, so I can't compare.

 

Tangent:  At your weight, does the 184 Katana provide enough float?

 

The Katana provides plenty of float, although I wouldn't call it floaty. I'm in the snow, but I prefer it that way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

You want an off piste ski for trees that is narrower than the katana? Are we talking about a skied out bumped up trees or what? I don't think either of these skis would be on my list for a tree / bump ski in the east.  

 

 

 

I ski exclusively West Coast US. Squaw, Alpine, Northstar, Kirkwood.

 

Thanks for the advice, all!

post #15 of 20

I know I'm late to the conversation, but is the mx88 better for larger people, too? I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs. I'm concerned the MX88 might be easily over-powered.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiinglawyer View Post
 

I know I'm late to the conversation, but is the mx88 better for larger people, too? I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs. I'm concerned the MX88 might be easily over-powered.

 

Better than what? Easily over powered compared to what?

 

SJ

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiinglawyer View Post
 

I know I'm late to the conversation, but is the mx88 better for larger people, too? I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs. I'm concerned the MX88 might be easily over-powered.

Two years late....However that ski is still around.

 

Overpowered compared to..... the 2015 Stockli FIS Laser SX? Yeah maybe...
 

205 is not that big. Don't be concerned.

If you're truly concerned, stick a VIST speedlock plate on it. The beefy aluminum top one.

post #18 of 20

Sorry for my bad English; I assumed everyone cd read my mind....For 3 yrs, I have skied on RTM 84s for my carving ski and wanted to know if the MX88 is superior to the RTMs. Thanks.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiinglawyer View Post
 

Sorry for my bad English; I assumed everyone cd read my mind....For 3 yrs, I have skied on RTM 84s for my carving ski and wanted to know if the MX88 is superior to the RTMs. Thanks.

 

IMO......vastly.

 

SJ

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiinglawyer View Post

I know I'm late to the conversation, but is the mx88 better for larger people, too? I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs. I'm concerned the MX88 might be easily over-powered.
Unless you just came off the GS world tour I doubt it. At your size a 188cm will have plenty of stability and stiffness mx83,183 would be simular
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