EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Decisions, decisions - 98mm+ 'daily driver' ski (Kastle BMX 98/108 or Nordica HnB & Enforcer)
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Decisions, decisions - 98mm+ 'daily driver' ski (Kastle BMX 98/108 or Nordica HnB & Enforcer)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all;

 

I'm new to joining Epic, but I've been lurking the forums for quite a while now (probably a familiar story). Great forum, and really nice to see that not every thread turns into a flame fest like so many other forums. Anyway, I came out of the woodwork to see if I could get a few opinions. 

 

Quick bio - I'm 175lbs, 5'10, have 25+ years of skiing experience (advanced/expert if you will), ski out West (Canadian Rockies) 99% of the time, more finesse than charger (but still like to get after it depending on terrain), and will ski anything from pow, bumps, steep chutes and trees (my fave) to following behind my beginner/intermediate wife on blue groomers. 

 

To save everyone the long story (been out of touch with ski tech the past 5-years and didn't ski much), I can get into a set of Kastle's or Nordica's (so that's where I'll limit the topic). I'm budget limited to one set of do-it-all skis (a two or three set quiver would make this so much easier - MX88 and BMX108, done!) that can manage my off-piste, variable snow runs while also not being completely horrible when I'm skiing with my wife. I'm more interested in getting a great ski for the off-piste, tree diving crap that I like to do and compromising with a crappy groomer ski.

 

I recently put 3 days on the BMX 98's (in 178cm) and enjoyed them - decent in bumps for a 98mm ski, pretty boring on groomers, not much "pop" or energy, but I did enjoy them off-piste banging around in the trees. They didn't inspire as much confidence in the trees as I expected, and I'm assuming that was width-related more than anything. They were obviously terrible on ice, but that's not important to me. Cruising around with the fam on the groomers, they were again just okay, but I understand they're not a carving-oriented GS ski. To sum them up, they were generally 'good' at everything. Light, turny, smooth, but uninspiring. 

 

With that in mind, I figured the 2013 Enforcer (in 177cm) would be the remedy and a sure bet. With the metal construction, I thought the added stiffness, weight and snappier tail would be the perfect compromise. In reality, I found the Nordie's incredibly heavy, lethargic edge to edge unless I really got after it, way too whippy in the bumps (the stiff, flat tails did me no favours), but awesome in the crud and light pow conditions of the day off-piste. They were also a lot more fun on the groomers than the BMX98's. In steeper terrain, they were great - confidence-inspiring, stable, damp, and energetic. That said, due to their weight and unwieldiness, I didn't love them (actually kind of hated them) in the trees and they were way less fun in the bumps than the BMX98's. To sum them up, heavy, slow, damp, and tail happy.

 

So, going back to the one-ski thing, I'm tempted to try the Hell and Back's considering their specs address a lot of my complaints about the Enforcer. Any thoughts? I also considered, maybe wrongly, giving the BMX108 a try based on dawgcatching's review (http://www.epicski.com/t/106987/dawgcatchings-2012-reviews-pt-1-102-112mm-waist-skis) of them as "sporty, fun in tight spaces, damp and smooth" and later as "perfect for cruddy bumps, steeps, challenging shorter to mid-radius turns, trees...". Sounds perfect. I don't mind the 108 width for the stuff I like to do, but I'm concerned that the benefits of a 108mm waisted ski would be lost on groomers and anything but fresh pow and BC forays. 

 

Sorry for the long intro/help-me thread, but hopefully you guys can give me some insight.

 

Cliff notes - 

Looking for one do-it-all ski (Nordica or Kastle), focus should be on BC/off-piste, steep terrain, trees, pow, and bumps, but has to be somewhat decent on groomers. I've tried the BMX98 - it was okay at everything but uninspiring. Tried the 2013 Enforcer - it was neither. Now debating the BMX108 and Nordie HnB.

post #2 of 7

Welcome to EpicSki.  I can't say anything about the Kastles since I've never skied them.  I am primarily an off-piste skier, where there is an off-piste to ski, and trees are my favorite place.  My daily driver is the Nordica Steadfast, the smaller version of the H&B.  I love them.  They are light, quick, responsive and just plain fun to ski.  I will ski them anywhere, even fairly deep powder.  They also have terrific edge grip and provide quite a bit of entertainment railing down a groomer back to a lift.  Try the H&B, I think you might like it.  And let us know the outcome.

post #3 of 7

Now that's a helluva first post.  Well done.  I just wanted to compliment you on the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of your first post here at EpicSki! 

 

icon14.gif

 

Maybe look at the Blizzard Kabookie.  I know it's not a Kastle or Nordica, apologies.  Sounds like it might be up your alley though.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Welcome to EpicSki.  I can't say anything about the Kastles since I've never skied them.  I am primarily an off-piste skier, where there is an off-piste to ski, and trees are my favorite place.  My daily driver is the Nordica Steadfast, the smaller version of the H&B.  I love them.  They are light, quick, responsive and just plain fun to ski.  I will ski them anywhere, even fairly deep powder.  They also have terrific edge grip and provide quite a bit of entertainment railing down a groomer back to a lift.  Try the H&B, I think you might like it.  And let us know the outcome.

Thanks, mtcyclist. Appreciate the response. Sounds like you and I have similar preferences in terrain. I'll give the H&B's a go (I'm sure it'll be great), but I'm still curious about BMX108's. Probably more fat than I need, but dawg's review has me all curious. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Now that's a helluva first post.  Well done.  I just wanted to compliment you on the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of your first post here at EpicSki! 

 

icon14.gif

 

Maybe look at the Blizzard Kabookie.  I know it's not a Kastle or Nordica, apologies.  Sounds like it might be up your alley though.

Ha, thanks. I had a mild sweat going when I was done. I didn't want to start off with a one-liner demanding responses.  

 

Thanks for the Blizz recommendation. A personal friend deals Kastle and Nordica to a local ski shop owner (who also happens to be a family friend)... so it's this weird love triangle that I've fallen into. I know that really limits me seeing that there are a ton of other great options out there. 

post #5 of 7

I have owned both the Kabookie and BMX98. They are pretty similar.  I felt the BMX98 had a bit more float in the tip (taller rise, softer tip, tapered tip) and the Kabookie handled rough crud a little better.  On groomers, neither were great. Bumps, pretty similar here too.  Weight on both skis is almost identical.  Both are quick, versatile in most snow conditions.  The BMX felt quicker than the Kabookie, which felt a little more GS than quick, which is good or bad, depending on preference.  

 

Very similar skis overall.

 

The Hell n' Back is lighter, livelier, not as damp, a different feel. Good all-mountain ski. Both the Kastle and Blizzard are more of a glued to the snow feel, the Nordica has that lighter on snow feel that many of their skis are known for, at least the ones with carbon laminates and no metal.  

post #6 of 7

I skied the H&B's a couple weeks ago and loved them.  They just seemed to do everything very well.  Very quick ski, so they were really easy and fun in shorter turns, but when you push them into some longer carved turns they are very stable there too.  I did a review of them here if you are interested:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/116709/demo-day-seven-springs-pa-01-05-13/30#post_1532245 

 

You might also want to look around for some used MX98's from a couple years back.  If you found the BMX's to be uninspiring, I think that you would probably enjoy the MX's very much.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

I have owned both the Kabookie and BMX98. They are pretty similar.  I felt the BMX98 had a bit more float in the tip (taller rise, softer tip, tapered tip) and the Kabookie handled rough crud a little better.  On groomers, neither were great. Bumps, pretty similar here too.  Weight on both skis is almost identical.  Both are quick, versatile in most snow conditions.  The BMX felt quicker than the Kabookie, which felt a little more GS than quick, which is good or bad, depending on preference.  

 

Very similar skis overall.

 

The Hell n' Back is lighter, livelier, not as damp, a different feel. Good all-mountain ski. Both the Kastle and Blizzard are more of a glued to the snow feel, the Nordica has that lighter on snow feel that many of their skis are known for, at least the ones with carbon laminates and no metal.  

Thanks dawg. Because of my ski brand limitations, I'd be inclined towards the BMX anyway over the Kabookie, although I'm sure it's also a great ski. The HnB still intrigues me so I'll have to give it a shot. I'm worried that there'll be too much carryover from it's big brother (the Enforcer) after reading a couple reviews by qcanoe and you. I'll stop theorizing and just try them though.

 

Still really curious what your impressions are for the BMX108 in 177cm as a one-ski quiver ski.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

I skied the H&B's a couple weeks ago and loved them.  They just seemed to do everything very well.  Very quick ski, so they were really easy and fun in shorter turns, but when you push them into some longer carved turns they are very stable there too.  I did a review of them here if you are interested:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/116709/demo-day-seven-springs-pa-01-05-13/30#post_1532245 

 

You might also want to look around for some used MX98's from a couple years back.  If you found the BMX's to be uninspiring, I think that you would probably enjoy the MX's very much.

Thanks for the input and nice review. I'll end up trying the HnB's to satisfy my curiosity.

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