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Front Side Carving
Last edited: 12/4/12
- All Mountain 50/50Last edited: 12/3/12
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Not giving you any advice on skis, but you might wanna check TheClymb and take a look at their Kastle ski sale. Sizes are very limited at this point but you might find something to your taste, they have the MX88@188 for $599
173 sounds a bit short for someone who's 6'1. You don't weigh a lot, but I weigh less and my shortest skis are 172. Might as well get the MX88 and save money while getting a more appropriate length.
I am looking for a ski that will do well in soft snow & crud VS still excel on groomed runs at high speed........................................................................................... like a stiffer ski to really rip the groomers and am concerned that a stiffer ski in that width may be too much for my weight
So......you think a solution is to get a narrow ski that's stiff in the hopes that somehow it'll do this?
You would likely be better served by thinking a bit wider and softer than the MX88. I'd consider the FX94 or 104, or one of the BMX series skis like the 98 or 108.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking that the MX88 in a 178 might be a lot of ski for someone that's 155 lbs. I'm also thinking that Sunshine and Lake Louise don't typically get huge dumps, so if this is going to be your only ski, I'd go for what makes the most sense for where you're going to be skiing the most. Personally, when it comes to ski selection, I won't go any wider or longer than I think I'm going to need, but that's personal preference. I can't comment on the MX83, it's a new ski this year, and I haven't had a chance to try it yet. But it sounds like it might be a good match for you in a 173. And if you can't find someone that is willing to sell you one for less than $1350, you're just not looking hard enough.
I own the MX88 in a 178, weigh 165, and lot of ski for me. Wants to make big high speed arcs, although can be coaxed into any shape and most speeds. Perfect for Banff area groomers. OTOH, both it and the MX83 seem narrow if you plan to spend more time in powder. Personally, I'd take a look at the BMX98. Which I also own. Check out Dawgcatching's reviews, spot on. Better than the 88 for a do-all front and backside, if the emphasis is normal to softer snow, trees, bumps, sidecountry. Not as planted on ice or hardpack, lower speed limit, but still fine for most mortals.
I'd agree with Mac and beyond that the 178cm MX88 may be too much ski for someone that's 155lbs. I'm 6' 1" and 185 and ski the 178cm MX88 and it's just about perfect for me.
I've also been on the 188cm MX88 and it's a beast. Had no problem skiing it, but it just wanted to go fast and make big long turns. That may be how the 178cm will feel for you.
This one ski quiver thing is always going to be subjective. There's no one right answer. I'm 6'1", 200+lbs, ski mainly in VT. Two seasons ago I used the Kastle MX78 in a 176 pretty much as my everyday ski when the conditions were good. That was an epic season, both East and West, I skied more powder that year than I can ever remember. The MX78 served me well as my New England groomer ski, no complaints at all. Skied 12 days in Colorado that season, mostly in Summit Cnty, and it seemed like it snowed every day. Skied in a blizzard at Loveland with bottomless snow in the trees (the only place where you had any visability) and at Copper with deep, cut up crud. That's were the MX78 came up a little short for me. Nothing against the ski itself, I think it's more a question of physics. The ski is fairly light to begin with, and has a soft tip. With all my ski gear and boots on, I'm probably in the area of 230lbs. Not quite enough ski for me in those conditions. I felt like I could have used a longer length. Or better yet, probably the MX88 in the 178. Just more beef. Based on my experience, that's why I think the MX83 might be a good fit for you in the 173. On the other hand, that's a great deal on the leftover MX88, I can't believe no one has scooped them up yet. On the bright side, if you buy the MX88 and find out that it's too much ski, you would never have any trouble selling them. When I sold the MX78's, I had people standing in line to buy them. I buy skis quite frequently, so I always try and get the best deal I can, usually at the end of the season. But you say you tend to hold onto them longer, so even if you have to pay top dollar for the M83's, and average it out over all the time (and fun) you're going to have with them, it's still a pretty good investment for the right ski.
For me personally, I would get the 188 BMX108 as a daily driver. My every day ski at Kicking Horse is a 189 4frnt Turbo. It skis groomers at LL and SSV just fine and kills the pow and crud too.
I'm 5'11/195 and I'm 34.
Thanks for the feedback! I certainly realize that my needs/wants are contradictory (as pointed out by SJ), and appreciate that I will need to compromise whichever choice is made. After further thought & guided by your advice, I think that I will either upgrade my AC30s to the MX73 173cms, and plan to add a wider ski for a 2 ski quiver, or switch to a wider 1 ski solution (possible choices LX92, FX94, or BMX98). It sounds as though the MX88 in 178 will be too long for me, with the 83 a better choice at my weight. Talking to local shops, I should be able to demo most of these in early December. Another thought - would the Rossi E98 in a shorter length (172) be a good solution?
I think you're on the right path. With Kastle you've discovered arguably the best line of consumer skis on the market. They make something for everyone (assuming a modicum of skiing experience and ability).
The Rossi E98 is a pretty stout ski with metal and early rise - certainly no need to go too long with that ski. The Kastle which might have directly competed in that space was the old MX98 from 2/3 years ago (the one with metal - no longer made). The closest now might be the FX104, although I've not been on that ski. Have a read through Dawgcatching's detailed review of virtually the whole line of Kastle skis. Great work from Dawg. Note he's a similar size to you (although a bit shorter).
All that remains is to determine which one is right for you, save up (quite a bit) and buy a pair or two. To quote Ferris "[they are] so choice. If you have the means I highly recommend picking one up."
Best of luck.
The Rossi E98, given the stiffness and metal, is more like a fat carving ski. Kastles, even without tip rocker, perform quite well in fresh snow and the BMX98 with a bit of tip rocker would be infinitely more versatile, IMO.
Need some advice on ski selection - currently on Volkl AC30 177 (the earlier model with 76mm waist), which I like on the groomers but not so much in softer snow. I will probably use the replacement as a one-ski quiver this season, but may add a wider ski next year. I usually ski Sunshine in Banff, occasionally head to Lake Louise with a week out in Whistler also in the plan. May check out Kicking Horse as well but hard to convince the family to make the drive (we have a weekend place in Canmore and they prefer to sleep a little later then hit Sunshine). I am 46 and have been skiing for 30 years, am a solid advanced skier on groomed runs and moguls, more tentative in the deep stuff but looking to spend more time there. I am looking for a ski that will do well in soft snow & crud, but still excel on groomed runs at high speed. I don't spend much time in the trees. Usually get 15-20 days in a season (always hoping for more but work somehow gets in the way). At 6'1" and 155 lbs I am a little hesitant to go with a ski in the 98mm range (often recommended as a good western daily driver) as I would like a stiffer ski to really rip the groomers and am concerned that a stiffer ski in that width may be too much for my weight. Having read Dawgcatching's review of the MX 83 it seems like this may be a good match for what I am looking for, especially if it becomes the narrower half of a two-ski quiver next year. I also have the opportunity to grab the last of last year's MX 88 at a local shop for $800 (the 83 is $1350) and am tempted... I would love to wait and demo both but suspect the 88 will vanish quickly. Reading many previous posts, it seems the choice is as much down to the right length as the specific model. To those who have skied both: do you think the 88 in a 178 or 83 in a 173 would work best for me? Price is not the only consideration - I don't replace skis too often and would rather spend more for the ski I would be happiest with. Any advice would be appreciated! Also, if you feel I should be looking at different skis please let me know. Current boots are Salomon Falcon CS Pro 120 - really happy with them and not planning to change anytime soon!
MX83 for $1350 is a little steep! With that said, it will replace your AC30. Especially if you are going wider next year, it would be a great narrow ski to use. I ski the 178cm in the MX88, and 173cm in MX83. They have a very different character though. The 173cm is quick, precise, energetic. the 178cm has the bigger turn, no speed limit, smooth, stable, crudbuster feel to it. I can ski either in moguls, but the 173cm is better for sure. For me, the MX88 in 178cm is about the same amount of work as a Bonafide in 180cm: in firmer snow, bumps, I definitely have to work harder. Both turn themselves in softer snow. At your height, I think you can easily ski the 178cm. You have 4 inches on me.
As far as hard snow precision, you will definitely be better served by a stiffer ski with metal (such as the 83/88/FX94) over a softer ski close the 100mm width. The bigger skis are adequate on firm snow, but fairly boring, lacking energy and power. The narrower skis are simply more aggressive, have more power, enter and exit the turn with more excitement, and generally are a lot more fun in those conditions. If I were looking for a ski for 50% or more groomer duty, and cared about performance, it would be a 78/83/88, over, say a 98. Having skied each ski extensively, I can say that I rarely seek out groomers on the 98. It is fine for getting back to the lift and the occasional lazy groomer, but again, just adequate. I find the 98 especially (as well as the Bonafide, or say the 999 Elan) to be so much better in off-piste variable snow: the flex is more suited to that type of terrain, and not to a groomed, predictable surface. I kind of liken those skis to something like my Nissan Xterra: can go anywhere, from pretty burly roads to a cross country road trip. Doesn't really excel at anything, and truck like feel on highways. But very versatile. Not something I would want to track, or even take for spirited drives on the weekend.
The 88 will give you plenty of float if the snow isn't too deep, at your weight. Even in the PNW, I could ski that up to 12-14" of new. Snow is drier where you live. As a crudbuster, it is unsurpassed. The 83 isn't going to have the float, but even the 1st day I skied it, a friend on a West 110 in 6-inches of new was having trouble keeping up, so it is adequate in moderate amounts of new snow. I skied my old MX78's in up to 8-10" of new all the time, over which they would get underwhelmed. Sure, there are skis that will float better, but nothing that arcs up groomers better. I do think the 78/83 are better groomer skis than the 88, but the 88 is far superior the 98. Wider, but still pretty good, would be the 94. That is the "widest" above average groomer ski from Kastle, but the 88 is more fun on the hard stuff. If had to rate it on a scale from 1-10: the RX12 is a 10, the MX78 is a 9, MX83 is an 8.75, MX88 is an 8, FX94 is a 6.5 or 7, and the BMX98 is a 5.
The other option is to get a 100mm+ ski for deeper days, keep the AC30, and get a narrow ski next year. If you primarily look for groomers though, you would be better served getting the narrower skis now, as you will ski it more than the wide ski. It depends on your preferences, I think. For me, the MX83 is so much ahead of the AC30, I would look there first for a primarily groomer ski.
Good luck with your decision.
dawg: great stuff man, you really broke down the Kastle lineup in an extremely useful way.
I'm almost ready to pull the trigger and wanted to run one last question by you:
Do you think there is much difference between the MX88 and FX 94? A bit about me: 6'0/185, advanced skier who is 50/50 on/off piste who is looking for a do everything ski (isn't everyone?!). I don't mind ponying up for an expensive ski like this, but I am just wondering about some of the CO days when the pow gets above the boots -- trying to juggle that with maintaining that solid carving goodness. Also, the Kastle ski finder wanted to put me on 188/186 respectively -- I was thinking 178/176.
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