I have the 2013/14 model of these skis, same length. I'm 5' 9", 180lbs and skied approximately 40 days on these skis last season. Mine are mounted with Fritschi Freeride Pro bindings and I use Scarpa Mobe AT boots. I consider myself an high advanced to low expert skier. I spend most of my ski days in trees and seek out the steeper lines at resorts, side country and some back country.
I've skied them on hard pack groomers, 30" powder, steep short chutes in trees, open glades in powder. I am located in Colorado and mostly ski resorts along I-70, Abasin, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. Last season (2013/14) I also took these skis to Steamboat, Winter Park, Alta, Snowbird, and the Canyons in UT. I demo'd the Kastle BMX 98 at Loveland Ski Area (CO) in November of 2012 and was blown away by their stability in crud and hardpack. I was also blown away by their speed! They flat out want to rip all the time. I was sold on their performance immediately but decided I wanted a wider version to be more capable in deeper, softer snow. I started hunting for the 108 width at a price I could stomach. $1200 is far outside my financial bounds and frankly, I don't think any ski on the planet is truly "worth" that price, but that's another topic. I found a deal on a brand new pair in the summer, in a mountain town ski shop for about $330. That price, to me was a steal! Prior to the BMX my primary skis were a set of 2011 Volkl Mantra's (184cm, 96mm under foot, full camber) and a pair of Salomon Czar's (182cm, 110 under foot, rocker front).
Compared to the Mantra's the Kastle BMX seems stiffer to me. There is no rocker in the BMX, it's a full camber ski so comparing it to the Salomon Czar's is not a fair comparison, but my Czar's were my deep pow ski. What I found in switching between the Czar's and the BMX on various days depending on the snow conditions, was that I struggled to adjust my technique to accommodate the different stance and skiing style demanded by each ski. My Czar's wound up staying home once I started skiing the BMX regularly. The BMX is way faster than the Czar's no matter the conditions. And while "speed" may not be of interest to everybody, a fast ski indicates low friction. Low friction translates to less fatigue in the legs. The more your skis glide, the less work your leg muscles are doing and thus, you can ski more easily and maybe longer for the day. Compared to the 3 pairs of Mantra's I have been through and loved, the Kastle BMX takes performance up another level. The Mantra is an all mountain ski that works well for and attracts a wide range of skiers. The BMX is also an all mountain ski but I would NOT recommend it for the intermediate skier. As I learned by experience, you get out of position on the BMX and it will send you on your ass. You really, really do not want to get in the back seat on these boards. With regard to that aspect, the BMX will make you a better skier. It forces you to be on the front of the ski, in an aggressive stance and driving it all the time. Once you get in that groove, you're golden and will be rewarded with exceptional performance.
As the review here states, the BMX has a longer radius than some other skis, mostly the softer ones. That really hasn't been an issue for me at all, and I LOVE to rail it down a groomer back to the lift. In fact, I hit 81mph on my BMX 108's last season at Vail on a groomer. Some days the snow just isn't good outside the runs, so I destroy the corduroy until I get bored. But where the BMX surprised me with its stiffness was dropping over 10-15 footers into fairly narrow alleys through the lodgepole pines here in Colorado. Once the snow pack is deep enough that you're not hitting rocks & logs, the BMX really shows it's dexterity. My confidence has jumped a couple levels since riding the BMX. They turn great in tight, powder covered treed terrain. My Powder Buddies and I have a term "Log Surfin'" for when the snow gets deep enough to cover large fallen logs, but there is a rise caused by the log. We will ride the length of that log, wiggling side to side, then jumping off the ramp caused by the uprooted tree roots under the snow. I thought the BMX would be too stiff to make log surfing as fun as it was on my Mantra's, but I was wrong. They were even BETTER at it!
In UT last Feb (2014) we hit Alta and Snowbird on a 12" freshy day. UT didn't have their normal bounty of snow last season. When we were there the base was only about 85", but still not bad. In my opinion, they need 100" base minimum to make most of the steep stuff without wrecking your bases on rocks sticking through. Still, I was able to put the BMX's through some steep, narrow chutes through rock formations, and in the trees. Honestly, this is where I felt the skis had more ability than I did! I skied some longer steeper lines than can be readily found at Colorado resorts, and the BMX just ate it up. One alley I came upon had a few people bunching up at the top of it, nervous about dropping in, and there were a couple guys in it that were kinda floundering. It was fairly narrow, barely wide enough for one person to squeeze through at one point. I dropped in, passed the people at the top, quick edge to edge short turns for about 50 ft, then the narrow hour glass section and I wiggled the BMX's through it like they'd been there before and knew the way. I was grinning ear to ear! I couldn't believe how easy the skis made that section. Gave me a lot of confidence to try more technical stuff.
Since then, I've been a lot more willing to try more technical lines in and out of bounds. I skied the Beaver's outside of Arapahoe Basin (CO). The BMX's laughed at that stuff! They handled so friggin' well I thought I had trained horses on my feet. Got to the bottom, threw on the skins, and climbed out of the valley up to the road to thumb it back to the Abasin parking lot. A couple good bro's in a pickup stopped to pick me up. I got in the back seat still grinning ear to ear. One of the guys says "How you like those Kastle's?". I said "Just look at my grin and that line up there. What does that tell ya?".
Price: Way too expensive in my opinion, but that's for any ski at that price ($1200 list). Ridiculous. If the world revolved around me, I'd price these at about $800 retail. If you can get these skis new for $500 or so, that's a very fair deal in my opinion. And now that there are more on the market, and more models of the revived Kastle brand, you should be able to find them at or near that price if you're diligent.
Performance: Top notch. There's a reason why guys like Chris Davenport have been riding these (other than he's co-owner of the company!). I don't see many of these skis in lift lines and my guess is that the BMX is a demanding ski. If you're not improving and perfecting your technique, the BMX will smack you around until you do.
Target conditions/terrain: I think these are best suited for the 6+ inch powder days in steep double-diamond terrain. They do great on the "runs" in resorts, but like a Porsche 911, they want to GO FAST and HARD!
Recommended skier type: Advanced to Expert. I just don't think intermediates are going to be able to stay on top and in front of these all day long and will hate them. I've started to see the BMX 108 in ski films and magazine photos of guys doing big mountain skiing on them. THAT is what they were designed for. I may never get to that level, but I can dream. :-)
I think the ski is heavy. Somebody else here said they are light. Compared to my Mantra's, they are heavy. The hollowtech design marketing says that is to make them lighter. I believe that's lighter than they'd be without the thin covered "holes" in the ski, not lighter than other skis in the category. The upside of that is your legs will get beefier muscles from riding them! I would definitely recommend the Kastle BMX to any skier that is or plans to be seeking out the steep lines in the resort edges or side country. I think they are a bit heavy for what most people want in the back country, but for me they are fine there also on single day trips. They wouldn't be my choice for multi day trips due only to their weight. Also, I apparently like my skis a bit long. The 188cm suits me fine. Most of my Mantra's were 184, but I let a Volkl sales guy talk me into 177's once and hated them. Gave up way too much in performance even though that doesn't seem like a big difference in length. I would like the BMX in a 182/184 but the next size down was 178cm and I just won't go that short again.
I have heard that a rockered design will be hitting the BMX possibly next season, but I don't know how accurate that info is. It doesn't make sense to me since Kastle now has the XX model with full rocker and isn't selling well so far. The BMX is not intended for the demographic that wants a full rockered ski, and that would make the BMX a different animal altogether anyway. A graphics change would be all it needs to refresh it. It does it's job to perfection.