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Blizzard Magnum vs. Kastle MX

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Can anyone compare the Blizzard Magnum IQ76 to the Kastle MX78 for me, an Eastern skier?

post #2 of 20

I will tell you a story and please note the names have been changed to protect the innocent but for argument sake, we will call him Bill and her Nola. Bill worked in a ski shop and Nola was his wife (at the time). Bill's shop was having a consignment sale and Nola at the time owned some Blizzard Viva 7.6's (the woman's version of the Magnum 7.6's you are talking about) a ski that she liked very much. Bill's shop was short on women's skis to sell. Bill asked Nola if he could sell her 7.6's at the sale assuring that he would get her a new pair of the same ski but with the new graphics. Nola begrudgingly agreed. Her 7.6's sold and Bill held true to his word and replaced Nola's 7.6's with a brand new pair. 

 

Early in the next season, Bill and Nola went to Vermont to ski and since Bill's shop now carried Kastle the rep set up a demo day for some of Bill's clients and Nola was also there. Bill and Nola were to ski the day before and went to Killington with Finndog (his actual handle here). Bill asked Nola if she was sure she still wanted the 7.6's because there was a demo day coming the next day and if her skis were still new, Bill could easily swap them to new ones of her choice, Nola said "NO..I LIKE my 7.6's and plan on skiing them forever. Stop trying to sell my skis" Bill said "I was just checking". The next day at the demo, Everyone was out skiing the Kastle's and Nola was on her Blizzards. Bill asked her if she wouldn't mind skiing the Kastles too because Kastle went through the effort in setting up a private demo for them. Nola said "Fiiine, but I won't like them.." She got in the MX78's when we got to the bottom of the hill she turned to Bill and said.."get rid of the 7.6's, I never want to see them again and I am taking these home with me..." 

 

Moral of the story....Kastle makes a damn nice ski. 

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Many thanks!  Maybe the better questions is:  How do you think the Blizaard Magnum IQ76 compares with the range of skis overall (aside from the Kastle skis, of course), in quality and performance?  Thank you for indulging me.

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I will tell you a story and please note the names have been changed to protect the innocent but for argument sake, we will call him Bill and her Nola.

 

Bill asked Nola if she was sure she still wanted the 7.6's because there was a demo day coming the next day and if her skis were still new, Nola said "NO..I LIKE my 7.6's and plan on skiing them forever. Stop trying to sell my skis" . Bill asked her if she wouldn't mind skiing the Kastles too because Kastle went through the effort in setting up a private demo for them. Nola said "Fiiine, but I won't like them.." She got in the MX78's when we got to the bottom of the hill she turned to Bill and said.."get rid of the 7.6's, I never want to see them again and I am taking these home with me..." 

 

Moral of the story....Kastle makes a damn nice ski. 

Just saying, but, I, too, attended a demo day with "Bill" and "just tried some Kastle's" (at an eastern mountain). I, too, went home with the Kastle's and, then, Bill sold my 78 waisted skis that I was very content with. That story has been repeated more than once with others in this forum.

 

I would not knock the Blizzard, it works very well in the east, but, the Kastle 78 is a better ski, but, at a premium price.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

So... can you characterize the performance of the Blizzard Magnum and whether or not it is considered of higher qulity worksmanship than the majority of other skis?

post #6 of 20

LOL!  there's more to that story:

 

Finn was on his brand new never sked Dyna star 4x4's and was really liking them until he got on the mx78's and also after a 1/2 run told "Bill" to get me a pair. I promptly sold my 4's and still own those 78's. It's the only ski I have kept in the stable now for 4 seasons. Even though I don't ski it more than a couple days a season, I can't part with it. It's just that good. the MX88 is another ski I owned and sold that I wish I had back...

 

 

now regarding the Blizz',  its a very high-quality, solidly built ski that is excellent. However, the 8,7 is not the same ski as the mx78.

 

 

Can I get an Amen?

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelfahlund View Post

So... can you characterize the performance of the Blizzard Magnum and whether or not it is considered of higher qulity worksmanship than the majority of other skis?

 

The Magnum is a very fine ski, you are comparing a VW with a Porsche...not that the Dub is poor (I drive a Jetta TDi) but the Porsche is sooo nice. 

post #8 of 20

that 8.7 is IMHO the closest thing to a MX88. close now, close.....  the 7.6 is not as comparable to the MX78. 

post #9 of 20

A lot depends not only on your budget, but also the kind of skier you are, level of aggressiveness, weight, etc..  That having been said, I owned the MX78 as well and did love it.  For ME, however, I realized I was not likely to ever push that ski to its full capabilities as a lower Level 8 skier that only gets out 15-20 days per year.  After trying and enjoying (some more than others) several skis between 66 and 80mm width for Eastern skiing, I found the Blizzard 7.6 to be one of the best COMPROMISES available in the class.  Is it as stable and solid as the MX78 at any speed? ... No.  Is it as quick and exciting as the Kastle RX series? ... No.  There are several other questions along these lines with the very best skis made that would have the same answer. 

 

Here's the thing, however, ... for ME, the 7.6 is very versatile, performs well in almost all the Eastern situations I encounter (other than the rare big storm!), and is a nice blend of forgiveness and performance.  It doesn't mind jumping between hardpack/ice, bumps, trees, steeps, etc., and doesn't make me feel like I've been through the wringer at the end of the day.  It is well mannered and responsive when skiing slow as well as at speed (something I can't say about all skis in the class).  So ... bottom line ... it may not be the very best ski you can find in every situation, but it sure makes a nice ski to handle ALL normal Eastern situations for me.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

OK...thanks to all; here's another related question then: how does the Magnum compare with the Elan Amphibio Waveflex 78? Obviously, I'm trying to find the next step up, but save the bucs spent on a Kastle...:)

post #11 of 20

OK, speaking as an owner of more Kastles than anyone who's replied to this thread, along with several Blizzards, and with a wife who also owns Kastles, I'll have to do a reality check on the regularly scheduled lovefest. And enough with the car analogies, because they can get to be total b.s. It's not VW vs. Porsche, which implies nice euro economy box vs elite luxury sports car; the 7.6 will leave the MX78 for dead in very tight places. Neither ski is "better" in an absolute sense. They are two very well made skis with very different feels and handling. They are also targeted at different levels; the 7.6 is more for intermediates through advanced, the MX78 is going to be wasted in the hands of an intermediate. And most importantly, the Kastles are shinier. Eg, they have far far classier graphics. (Blizzard graphics people all seem to hail from Transylvania) And Kastles cost a few benjamins more. That doesn't make them superior skis. It probably helps make them more desirable skis. So take a deep breath and rethink this.

 

The 7.6 is a better ski than the MX78 for a lighter skier who likes a light, lively ski with lots of snowfeel and tighter turns. Or a skier who sometimes makes mistakes in the middle or end of the turn. It's really close in grip (the narrower Blizzards beat Kastles in grip, sorry guys but truth, and if you don't believe me go try a prepped G or R Power against a prepped RX70 or M78 and get back to me, or alternatively go note who makes racing skis that win WC's). Because it's distinctly lighter, the 7.6 is less work in bumps or trees. (although not a ski I'd dedicate to trees) It has a very different flex pattern than the 78, with a stiffer shovel and somewhat softer tail. So it will plough crud at lower speeds with less drama. It also is single radius, so its behavior during turns is more predictable.

 

The 78 is silky, damper and smoother on hardpack or ice, and has a more progressive bite. Overall it feels more "refined," which is why everyone says "I want one." That doesn't mean it's a better performing ski. It's dual radius gives it very "right-now" initial turn in, but the longer radius square flat tail requires more deliberate attention to finish the turn. Some like this (I do), some don't. Both skis do just fine in bumps, but the stiffer tail of the MX78 asks for a different style in bumps, and can get to be a handful for a lighter skier in firm conditions. (Dawgcatching has mentioned this too.)  IMO the 78 more suits a GS style of skiing with big open arcs. It loves speed. It will have more small deviations in the shovel in crud, because of the lower mass there (cutout), but will be happier at higher speeds in the same crud. Neither are great in powder, but the 78 seems to come up a touch more, again probably because of the shovel. 

 

Overall, I'd say the 78 for the west, the 7.6 for the east. And if the 7.6 is more than $400 cheaper, which it can be at season's end, I'd say it wins for either region. 

 

I'd ask Dawgcatching (when he gets back from bicycle racing) for your Elan comparo. Or go to his website, since he stocks both and may have reviews of both there. 

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much! Very much appreciated!

post #13 of 20

Just weighing in with my two cents - I'm a big fan of the Blizzard Magnums and think they are excellent skis at an excellent price.

I saw someone compare them to a VW Jetta and the Kastle's to a Porsche - yes, analogy is headed in the right direction but under-appreciating the performance of the Blizzards I think.

I would say Blizzard Magnums are more like a $35k 280hp Acura TL or $38k 330hp Infiniti G vs. a $60k+ sports car.

You are getting plenty of power and handling out of them at a good price and they will give you more than enough enjoyment on everything you are likely to ski. Yes, you could go bigger in price tag but you are still getting some excellent performance from the Magnum - it's not an under-performing car. You'll get plenty of reward out of them.

post #14 of 20

excellent job and well explained. sometimes i let my own experiences take precedence over what is truly being asked. In this case, you are spot-on with your comments. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

OK, speaking as an owner of more Kastles than anyone who's replied to this thread, along with several Blizzards, and with a wife who also owns Kastles, I'll have to do a reality check on the regularly scheduled lovefest. And enough with the car analogies, because they can get to be total b.s. It's not VW vs. Porsche, which implies nice euro economy box vs elite luxury sports car; the 7.6 will leave the MX78 for dead in very tight places. Neither ski is "better" in an absolute sense. They are two very well made skis with very different feels and handling. They are also targeted at different levels; the 7.6 is more for intermediates through advanced, the MX78 is going to be wasted in the hands of an intermediate. And most importantly, the Kastles are shinier. Eg, they have far far classier graphics. (Blizzard graphics people all seem to hail from Transylvania) And Kastles cost a few benjamins more. That doesn't make them superior skis. It probably helps make them more desirable skis. So take a deep breath and rethink this.

 

The 7.6 is a better ski than the MX78 for a lighter skier who likes a light, lively ski with lots of snowfeel and tighter turns. Or a skier who sometimes makes mistakes in the middle or end of the turn. It's really close in grip (the narrower Blizzards beat Kastles in grip, sorry guys but truth, and if you don't believe me go try a prepped G or R Power against a prepped RX70 or M78 and get back to me, or alternatively go note who makes racing skis that win WC's). Because it's distinctly lighter, the 7.6 is less work in bumps or trees. (although not a ski I'd dedicate to trees) It has a very different flex pattern than the 78, with a stiffer shovel and somewhat softer tail. So it will plough crud at lower speeds with less drama. It also is single radius, so its behavior during turns is more predictable.

 

The 78 is silky, damper and smoother on hardpack or ice, and has a more progressive bite. Overall it feels more "refined," which is why everyone says "I want one." That doesn't mean it's a better performing ski. It's dual radius gives it very "right-now" initial turn in, but the longer radius square flat tail requires more deliberate attention to finish the turn. Some like this (I do), some don't. Both skis do just fine in bumps, but the stiffer tail of the MX78 asks for a different style in bumps, and can get to be a handful for a lighter skier in firm conditions. (Dawgcatching has mentioned this too.)  IMO the 78 more suits a GS style of skiing with big open arcs. It loves speed. It will have more small deviations in the shovel in crud, because of the lower mass there (cutout), but will be happier at higher speeds in the same crud. Neither are great in powder, but the 78 seems to come up a touch more, again probably because of the shovel. 

 

Overall, I'd say the 78 for the west, the 7.6 for the east. And if the 7.6 is more than $400 cheaper, which it can be at season's end, I'd say it wins for either region. 

 

I'd ask Dawgcatching (when he gets back from bicycle racing) for your Elan comparo. Or go to his website, since he stocks both and may have reviews of both there. 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys.  I think your collective comments saved me hours of agonizing comparisons, not to mention a decent amount of cash!  I always like to think that with a better (the best) ski, I would naturally be a better skier.  This may be true up to a point, but then the curve starts to go down!

Michael 

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

... the 7.6 is more for intermediates through advanced, the MX78 is going to be wasted in the hands of an intermediate...

 

 

Could you explain this in terms of ski ability levels (1-9)?    Or is it not that simple?

 

Thanks

post #17 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 

The Magnum is a very fine ski, you are comparing a VW with a Porsche...not that the Dub is poor (I drive a Jetta TDi) but the Porsche is sooo nice. 

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post

 

 

Could you explain this in terms of ski ability levels (1-9)?    Or is it not that simple?

 

Thanks

I find only a modest correlation between what used to be called advanced, intermediate, etc. and teaching levels. But basically, this is typical (copied from an Epic thread post by an instructor):

 

1 - never ever (never skied before)
2 - can stop and learning to turn
3 - wedge turners
4 - wedge christy 1 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis after the fall line)
5 - wedge christy 2 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis roughly at the fall line)
6 - wedge christy 3 (wedge turn with a matching of the skis before the fall line, just to initiate the turn)
7 - open parallel, skiided turns
8 - carved turns, dynamic skiing
9 - double black skiing, bowls, powder, off-piste (seen offered in Jackson Hole I believe)
10 - extreme skiing (seen offered in Jackson Hole I believe)

 

So call "intermediate" somewhere from mid 4 through 7. The phase where many think they're better than they are because they focus on what they "can ski" (eg, blacks etc.) rather than how they ski it. I would say that unless you're (plural here, not targeting you personally) a level 7/high intermediate, the MX78's will feel dead (meaning that they're too stiff for the force you can exert to load them), the tail will tend to get grumpy when you sit back too far, and the ski inexplicably will seem to have its own ideas of where to track during a turn. You'll probably end up developing bad habits to compensate. If you're an athletic 7, they'll work well, but it'll be like owning a thoroughbred for walking on trails. Once you can consistently linked carved turns together, no need to skid the finish unless you want to, and can begin to project your COM where you want, then you're level 8 or higher, and you can make the 78's sing, gallop, cliche of your choice. The 7.6's, OTOH, are a bit more forgiving, will take less force to bend, will handle lower speeds better, totally suitable for any intermediate 5 or above. A more congruent match with the MX78 in terms of envelope would be the Blizzard 8.1/8.0, IMO.  

 

Apologies to all the instructors out there rolling their eyes...

post #19 of 20

I have  the MX78 and the Mag 8.1, and distinctly prefer the magnum on firmer snow - on soft snow they're much closer, although I still would probably give the nod to the Mag.  I would characterize the MX78 as lighter, springier, with more camber and needing a lighter touch, which my aging body with its slowing reflexes isn't quite up to providing anymore.  Beyond sums it up very well. 

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

Paul,

 

Thanks alot for your thoughtful comments.  I'm 63, and I too think I'm alot more nimble and dexterous than is the case (the aggressive skiing of my younger days are long gone).  There is no way I could exploit the potential of a ski, let alone the Kastle, now.  It's just the feeling of knowing I have the best under me.  But that feeling comes at a high price.  I should (and undoubtedly will) accept my plight and make the Blizzards work; it's a great ski too!

 

Michael (NYC)

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