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A little disappointed with the Kastle MX88 - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

This is good info^^ (the whole post)

Maybe the OP should try moving the mount forward. Mount position makes a big difference.

Also, the fore/aft sensitivity comment by the op may mean other things. Does this binding have a lot of delta? (height of heel > toe)

 

Most, (well all imo), shaped skis should not be detuned. If they've taken a file to detune it....uh..it's ghastly - not easy to correct cause that's a lot of metal.

That ski has a great tip that if you push it you can really tighten up the radius esp for a 24m ski.

20 meters for the 178 mx88 ...rolleyes.gif

post #32 of 52

hehe. thanks.smile.gif

still a nice tip esp for soft moguls. never got to the icy ones.

post #33 of 52

Yeah, I really love them in moguls and trees. The first day I tried them, I stop halfway in a moguls field that I do often and realized that I doubled the distance that I normally do before needing to stop!yahoo.gif

The only place I find them boring is on hardpack/icy groomed... But I'm still working them. I'm thinking of going from 1/2 to 1/3 for the edges and I think I have to be more confident on their edgegrip and commit more ...

post #34 of 52
back to my review - my 158 mx88s had been demos. thanks for all the feedback about tuning, redoing the recent base grind, and binding fore-aft tweaks.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

I know my desire to try these skis has crossed over into the realm of total insanity when I read a whole thread about how someone bigger than I am didn't like them because they were too stiff, and I STILL want to demo them.

q, Killy was 5'10, 160 on a good day. Not sayin' you're ready for your three golds, am saying that this static weight/stiffness shibboleth can be taken too far. And usually is on Epic. The flex is NOT just a function of mass. It's a function of force. And that force is not only a function of mass x acceleration, but of the angle that your edges are meeting the snow, and the ancillary pressure that your legs are providing. Just takes a little dynamism, rather than assuming the ski will do the work. My wife skis the 168's and loves them; they are NOT killer stiff skis. 

 

I totally get all that you're saying. I even agree with almost all of it.* I also love being mentioned in the same sentence with Killy, even with a disclaimer. biggrin.gif One of the things that intrigues me about this ski is the consistent feedback that they are strangely biddable / pliable given their alleged feeling of integrity. I would definitely be on the 168 for the MX 88. Not as clear for the MX 83 whether the 163 or 173 would be a better choice for me.

 

* So the part I don't quite agree with is that the "force" part of your argument doesn't apply so much when you're skiing pretty darn slowly, objectively speaking, as I do in tight eastern trees, and sometimes in bumps, depending on how challenging they are. I'm also much more willing to listen to the spiel - which I've heard lots of times here - when it comes from someone who is really my size or smaller, not someone who is just guessing what it must be like. On the one hand, you've got the folks who are making your argument, which I admit is compelling in its way. On the other hand, you've got people like Dawg, who is demonstrably a very strong and dynamic skier, and at least 20lbs heavier than I am, and taller, saying that several very popular skis here that are not thought of as being particularly stiff by most of the gang - thinking specifically of the Bonafide, the Steadfast, and the Hell & Back - are stiffer than he prefers in bumps and certain other kinds of 3D terrain. My first-hand experience makes me tend to throw my lot in with him.

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

I totally get all that you're saying. I even agree with almost all of it.* I also love being mentioned in the same sentence with Killy, even with a disclaimer. biggrin.gif One of the things that intrigues me about this ski is the consistent feedback that they are strangely biddable / pliable given their alleged feeling of integrity. I would definitely be on the 168 for the MX 88. Not as clear for the MX 83 whether the 163 or 173 would be a better choice for me.

 

* So the part I don't quite agree with is that the "force" part of your argument doesn't apply so much when you're skiing pretty darn slowly, objectively speaking, as I do in tight eastern trees, and sometimes in bumps, depending on how challenging they are. I'm also much more willing to listen to the spiel - which I've heard lots of times here - when it comes from someone who is really my size or smaller, not someone who is just guessing what it must be like. On the one hand, you've got the folks who are making your argument, which I admit is compelling in its way. On the other hand, you've got people like Dawg, who is demonstrably a very strong and dynamic skier, and at least 20lbs heavier than I am, and taller, saying that several very popular skis here that are not thought of as being particularly stiff by most of the gang - thinking specifically of the Bonafide, the Steadfast, and the Hell & Back - are stiffer than he prefers in bumps and certain other kinds of 3D terrain. My first-hand experience makes me tend to throw my lot in with him.

I think the force element of making the ski perform is just as important going slow; it is the negative side, which is: not enough force to make the ski function when going slowly, tough ski for tight terrain and bumps. Technique can multiply both weight and speed by focusing the energy effectively.  So a small skier using excellent technique at 35mph on a 30* slope can get a stiff 178cm ski to become dynamic.

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


...Most, (well all imo), shaped skis should not be detuned. If they've taken a file to detune it....uh..it's ghastly - not easy to correct cause that's a lot of metal...



Tog is that really you? I seem to recall you detuning a meticulously tuned pair of Hart Phoenix (despite my many objections), no?
post #38 of 52

No....cool.gif

I was putting a 1/2 deg bevel on the base. I know, you still have nightmares about that! eek.gifsmile.gif
 

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post

Maybe you just need more time on firm groomers to dial in what the skis do on that stuff. It sounds like you really like them in powder and mixed stuff. I just had our shop put a .5 degree on the base of my Blizzard Magnum 8.0 Ti because I wanted to see if it would enhance it. Jury is still out on it because I haven't really had enough laps to get it dialed in. More time and you will find the sweet spot.

So, what is the final verdict??? I've tried it with my sultan85 and didn't like it at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunValleySteve View Post

I am an MX 88 (178) owner too..........I have mixed feelings about them as well..........I am 210 pounds....

I feel I like them best in mixed conditions(light powder, chop, spring conditions, soft groomers). I prefer my

new Volkl V-Werks on a regular day. You have to ski the MX 88 hard, and you will get more out of them.

I like their flex,  versatility, and I havent given up on them yet. I will take then out this weekend, and have some fun on them

I have the 178, am also 210 pounds and agree with all you said and having the same issue... Did you find a solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

You don't say if your MX's were demos or new. I've bought a number of Kastles and have always found the bases solid out of the wrapper, although I don't like the 1/2 edges they've gone to. Always possible it's a factory mess-up, but if demos, suspect a bad base grind to get rid of damage. 

 

As far as other issues, obviously it's not about your skill set, so must be something about the skis themselves. I've owned both the MX88 and the Apex (888 from two years ago), my experience was that both were excellent at speed but the MX88's had a slight edge, especially on harder surfaces. The MX's carve like demons for an 88 mm ski, but they're definitely GS-ish feeling, not super easy for someone my size to bend into a tight radius carve. (I'm 165, 6', ski the 178 MX and the 177 Elan.)  I wonder if your sensation of softness is based on the Kastle's tip cutout and tighter front radius. It definitely is more sensitive to chop, in the sense of registering it, and more sudden into a turn, than the Elan. OTOH, like some Dynastars, a Kastle tip may deviate a touch but it won't fail. Just something I got used to, I guess. The Elan, IME, is a bit softer (I like it better in bumps), but it has a more linear bending response so it may end up feeling stiffer. The Kastle's tail IMO is very different than the Elans, beefier, you can feel the second longer radius, and more wanting attention at release. Although it has a nice progressive feel IME, sort of like a Stockli. Have never had an issue with it breaking loose. I have mine mounted +1.5, and I know other folks who like their Kastles a bit forward; if I were at factory line I definitely would not be upright, but pushing my tongues. So this is all pretty mysterious. th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif As Epic noted, yeah, get the bottoms trued, maybe reset the edges to 1/3, if you have an adjustable binding, try making sure it's not way off the line. Good luck. 

You say you prefer yours at +1.5 and I think I read another post from you where you said that heavier skiers would probably prefer it at the line... Could you please elaborate for me because I'm having some issue with mine (178 at 210 pounds)...Love them almost anywhere except on hardpack where the grip is nice but I just can't seem to be able to carve with these...I can have more fun carving with a fx84 (184)! Originally, they were mounted around +0.5. I decided to calculate my BOF and the position on the ski is 3 cm on front of the line and I decided to try them at +3 out of curiosity: it was horrible! Next step at 1.5 like you  and another shot at the line...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwjg View Post

I think the OP should try the 158 and 168cm versions.

 

I demoed the 178's last season in about 6" of new over icy crust.  They were just "ok" to me and when I switched back to my 180cm Bones at lunch they were just plain better/more fun.  The only think the 88's did better is big gs/super-g sized turns though the crud but had a novocained feel to them.  When I took them into steeper, tighter areas to find the left-overs they got through fine but were just ok.  The Bonafide really excelled at getting around the brush and rocks in comparison. 

 

My wife was asking about a potential tuning issue so I took my her MX88s up early this season.  They are 158's and they were a blast!  Expecting to only ski a run or two, I ripped all around the hard groomers and bumps all day and regularly hit the mid-40mph range (skitraks).  They never felt like I needed more ski.  They are really carving machines so if you are not a good carver or are married to the skid, you may like something else better.  On edge it felt like it would take an act of god to get them to break loose.  You could really feel confident getting the skis out away from under you.  It took a few runs to get the balance point so I could skid a bit in the bumps, the first bump run was carved all the way through.   At 150lbs, the OP could easily ski the 158cm.

 

I don't think I would own them at this length but it made me think I might enjoy the 168cm (or the 173 version of the MX83) as a versatile ski for crowded mountains.  In my opinion, downsizing from the recommended length might make these more approachable for a lot of hills/skiers.

 

I'm 5'11", 170lbs and a decent skier.

Every time I tried a nice ski on his shorter version, the grip was stronger and the carving was way easier... They were also easier in bumps and trees but shattering more in steep and less stable at speed. So why do I bother buying the longer ones? Am I masochist?rolleyes.gif Maybe... But I always feel ( except for sl) that I am kind of cheatting and making it too easy rather than working my skill... Hey! I have my answer! I am masochist!!!biggrin.gif ( Tried the Rossignol Avenger 82 ti in 170 and 178: the 170 was way more fun and way more grippier! Bought the 170 but exchange them for radical 9sl in 170... Also have the Kastle rx12 in 168 and 178: but here, I own both because they are so different but both really nice and versatile ( 168 more versatile)! The 168 is still grippier and easier...

Quote:
Originally Posted by APapalian View Post

This is a thread that I am glad that I found.  When researching a new pair of skis, I narrowed it down to a few and MX88 was at the top of the list.  Last season I demoed the best I could and liked the MX88, but in soft/chop/spring snow conditions.  I ski in Sun Valley, ID, which I know "I should invest in a ski more geared towards groomer" but I like power and soft snow more so that is why I chose it.  So having loved these skis, at speed, in those conditions, I really wanted to push the speen in hard snow conditions, but was not able to because I had to bring them back.  Having skied close to top speed on hard snow, combined with the ski's reputation for skiing like a GS ski, I took it on word because I did not really think that I cared that much about the hard snow because I felt good at the time.  Now, having skied them this season, I am seriously disappointed with the hard snow performance at top speed.  For me, this ski is just too tortionally soft for me on hard snow at top speed.  I get SERIOUS chatter, like a "my whole body bounces kind of chatter".  I am 5' 9", 200 pounds and play football/track in college, so I ski strong/athletic/powerful.  I don't have the top technique, but I ski hard.  I am family friends with the master race coach in SV and I have taken a couple lessons with him.  I am working on carving the inside more and just putting some more pressure forward.  Because of this we have determined that MX88 is not the best ski for me at top speed on hard snow because of how hard I push.  This being said, it is still my favorite ski because it is versatile.  I love this ski because I can ski the bowls and have a blast in the soft snow, and then make high speed carved the rest of the way to the bottom, I just have to work harder to control my turns and focus more on being as perfect as possible to make sure im 100% on the edge and eliminate chatter..  I had never skied a race ski before and never considered that I would need one, but I have friends that ski race skis and when I tried my friend's Atomic Ds redster SL in 165, I now understand what the words stiff, edge and control mean.  We can ski the same and at the same speeds, it is just  A LOT easier and feels more fluid on a race ski.  I'm doubt anyone cares about all this that I had to say, but I just wanted to explain that I too felt that the MX88 was too soft for me.  Oh, and I had them tuned when I got them, but now that I am beginning research for a race ski, I had the tip/tail edges detuned and I love that I did that.  I love the way it flows in soft snow now and I actually think it might have helped me in the ice in the east when I ski at school, or maybe its just later in the season so I am getting better.

Wich lenght did you tried ?

post #40 of 52

I don't believe in tuning the performance of an MX by moving the binding; when you buy a ski that is short for you, 178cm at 210#, your fore/aft balance will be more touchy.

Depends on your ability, but people at 140#  can ski that ski comfortably, just for reference.

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I don't believe in tuning the performance of an MX by moving the binding; when you buy a ski that is short for you, 178cm at 210#, your fore/aft balance will be more touchy.

Depends on your ability, but people at 140#  can ski that ski comfortably, just for reference.

So you're suggesting that I should be able to carve better with the 188? Interesting... and could be true if I think a little about it... rx12 in 168 et 178: great! mx78 in 178: great! mx88 in 178: not great! fx84 in 184: great! But feels long in bumps... So could I deduce that the softer the ski; the longer they need to be to have optimum performance??? I guess...But the mx88 is not that soft...no?

post #42 of 52

^^^^^ The MX88 is a medium stiff ski, not a plank but stiffer than many. I ski it in a 178, am 165 and 6'.

 

The 188 thing is, IMO, a mistaken conceptualization of weight and length. Resistance to flex is a mathematical function of the cross sectional area across whatever section of the ski you're worried about. Typically the middle, which is thickest. Period. Obviously, controlled for material; an I beam will be stiffer than a styrofoam copy. So at 210, you want a ski that's built with stiff materials, or really thick like the old VR17's, or some combination of both. Also true at a constant speed, since F = m x a, so if you ski fast, that'll increase the G's in the belly of the turn that the ski has to resist. The length of the ski is technically irrelevant; plenty of 165 WC SL's would make you happy because they're stiff as those I-beams. IMO you'd like a MX88 on the line because that's the stiffest part of the ski and gives you a bit more stability up front. One caveat: a few companies make their longest length extra stiff because the assumption is that it's the "athlete's model," for guys who do crazy speeds. But in general, as I understand it, each other length is designed to be the same stiffness. 

 

Your height will determine how much force you need to exert against the front of the ski to pressure the tip during a turn. A problem of leverage. Length also obviously relates to stability, which is a measure of inertia, really. So a 178 could be entirely fine for a 300 lb guy who's 5' 9" and doesn't seriously rip. It could be short for a 150 lb guy who's 6' 2" and does rip. 

 

The RX is a pretty stiff ski. Stiffer than the MX88 for sure. Two sheets of Titanal, one .5 and one .8. SJ has noted somewhere that the stiff tip, which is not very flared, can create issues for hooking up if it doesn't get enough pressure. I ski it in a 168. No issues with hook up. At 176, agree it'd be more GS-ish still, and I'd have to pay a bit more attention to really getting forward into the initiation. But more fun at speed in rutty snow. So an issue of how we each define recreation, not what's the "right" length. 

 

You should be fine on a 178. Unless you use it north of 50 mph in variable snow..eek.gif.

post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^^ The MX88 is a medium stiff ski, not a plank but stiffer than many. I ski it in a 178, am 165 and 6'.

 

The 188 thing is, IMO, a mistaken conceptualization of weight and length. Resistance to flex is a mathematical function of the cross sectional area across whatever section of the ski you're worried about. Typically the middle, which is thickest. Period. Obviously, controlled for material; an I beam will be stiffer than a styrofoam copy. So at 210, you want a ski that's built with stiff materials, or really thick like the old VR17's, or some combination of both. Also true at a constant speed, since F = m x a, so if you ski fast, that'll increase the G's in the belly of the turn that the ski has to resist. The length of the ski is technically irrelevant; plenty of 165 WC SL's would make you happy because they're stiff as those I-beams. IMO you'd like a MX88 on the line because that's the stiffest part of the ski and gives you a bit more stability up front.I'll try it at the line! The problem is that the tech at the shop installed the bindings too much foward; the closest I can get to the line is about 1 cm front of the line... I think I will ask them to redrill... One caveat: a few companies make their longest length extra stiff because the assumption is that it's the "athlete's model," for guys who do crazy speeds. But in general, as I understand it, each other length is designed to be the same stiffness. The problem is that often they don't really tell that information at large...

 

Your height will determine how much force you need to exert against the front of the ski to pressure the tip during a turn. A problem of leverage. Length also obviously relates to stability, which is a measure of inertia, really. So a 178 could be entirely fine for a 300 lb guy who's 5' 9" and doesn't seriously rip. It could be short for a 150 lb guy who's 6' 2" and does rip. 

I always ask myself  why height was considered a factor...ask a lot of persons about it and never really had a response to my satisfaction... Now I do!!! Thanks! Makes so much sense!icon14.gif

 

The RX is a pretty stiff ski. Stiffer than the MX88 for sure. Two sheets of Titanal, one .5 and one .8. SJ has noted somewhere that the stiff tip, which is not very flared, can create issues for hooking up if it doesn't get enough pressure. I ski it in a 168. No issues with hook up. At 176, agree it'd be more GS-ish still, and I'd have to pay a bit more attention to really getting forward into the initiation. But more fun at speed in rutty snow. So an issue of how we each define recreation, not what's the "right" length. You're right again!I can't see myself trying to ski bumps on a 188 ski! 184 on the fx84 is already very long for me...

 

You should be fine on a 178. Unless you use it north of 50 mph in variable snow..eek.gif. Maybe on my Mustang or fa84...

Thanks for all the infos! Very enlightening!

post #44 of 52

FWIW, I calculated the BOF location on my 176 MX78s' and it was 3cm or so ahead of the recommended position.  I skied a half day at 3cm forward then moved them back to the "line" at lunch, MUCH better on the line.  I've experimented with 1cm forward and 2 cm forward, even 0.5cm forward and, for me, they nailed the location.  The recommended location makes the best turn.  I don't know how the MX88 is similar or different but it sure is nice how the Kastle bindings allow you to determine it for yourself.

post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwjg View Post

FWIW, I calculated the BOF location on my 176 MX78s' and it was 3cm or so ahead of the recommended position.  I skied a half day at 3cm forward then moved them back to the "line" at lunch, MUCH better on the line.  I've experimented with 1cm forward and 2 cm forward, even 0.5cm forward and, for me, they nailed the location.  The recommended location makes the best turn.  I don't know how the MX88 is similar or different but it sure is nice how the Kastle bindings allow you to determine it for yourself.

Thanks for the info! I'm gonna be able to verify it tomorrow because I made them redrill and reposition the bindings so I can try my mx88 at the line!

post #46 of 52

I've seen several references here about mounting position.  I agree that someone buying the MX88s should consider a mounting position that is slightly forward.  Mine are mounted on the factory point and I constantly find myself trying to apply more pressure to the tips.  In fact, it's made me dissatisfied with my new boots (Salmon X-Max 120's) that offer the modern, more upright position.  These skis perform miracles when you pressure the tips!

 

My experience with the skis has been surprising.  Frankly, I wasn't a big fan at first.  But after a good tune job and more days on the slope, I think I've figured things out.  What I think I learned is that, for my weight and style, these skis are not high performance and forgiving, they're mostly just high performance. I spent the ski season at about 155lbs. To get them to shine, I had to shape up some bad habits and get right on top of the ski.  When I did.....WOW! I think my biggest compliment of these skies would be their quickness edge-to-edge.  It amazing to hear others say that the ski is not sufficiently torsionally rigid.  Of course, those same people outweigh me by 50 pounds.  But, for me, these skis feel rock solid and appear to have no speed limit!

 

It's a bummer that it's April...took one last high-speed arc'r this weekend and ended the day with as much enthusiasm for the season as I had in November....and much more in love with my MX88's!

post #47 of 52

Finally tried my mx88 at the line... Carve a lot better  but to the detriment of performance in bumps and trees... so for now,  0.5 cm foward seems a good compromise position...

post #48 of 52

"To get them to shine, I had to shape up some bad habits and get right on top of the ski. When I did ...WOW"  icon14.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by ishaw333 View Post

I've seen several references here about mounting position.  I agree that someone buying the MX88s should consider a mounting position that is slightly forward.  Mine are mounted on the factory point and I constantly find myself trying to apply more pressure to the tips.  In fact, it's made me dissatisfied with my new boots (Salmon X-Max 120's) that offer the modern, more upright position.  These skis perform miracles when you pressure the tips!

 

My experience with the skis has been surprising.  Frankly, I wasn't a big fan at first.  But after a good tune job and more days on the slope, I think I've figured things out.  What I think I learned is that, for my weight and style, these skis are not high performance and forgiving, they're mostly just high performance. I spent the ski season at about 155lbs. To get them to shine, I had to shape up some bad habits and get right on top of the ski.  When I did.....WOW! I think my biggest compliment of these skies would be their quickness edge-to-edge.  It amazing to hear others say that the ski is not sufficiently torsionally rigid.  Of course, those same people outweigh me by 50 pounds.  But, for me, these skis feel rock solid and appear to have no speed limit!

 

It's a bummer that it's April...took one last high-speed arc'r this weekend and ended the day with as much enthusiasm for the season as I had in November....and much more in love with my MX88's!

post #49 of 52

I demoed a pair of MX88s last year and skied them for several days at Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee, then saw an amazing deal online, so bought a brand-new pair, 178 cm, complete with Kastle bindings and a ski bag. Before I used them for the first time I brought them to Happy Tunes in Carabassett Valley, Maine, to see if they needed a tune. Sure enough, the bases were concave, and I suspect if I had tried them without first getting a tune I would have hated them. As it is, they are a great and versatile carving ski, good on Sugarloaf hardpack, and my experience in fresh powder - 14" at Grand Targhee - was also delightful. One caveat, though. I was at St. Anton in Austria in February, rented a pair of  the exact same skis, and was not overwhelmed with delight, especially the first day when it was very warm and the snow was pretty choppy. I went off-piste with a guide for two days and the first day did OK, but had some trouble in the semi-tracked, choppy snow. So the next day I swapped them out for a pair of Rossignol Soul 7, also 178 cm, and had a blast. The fore-and-aft rocker made a huge difference. It's not that I skied better, only that I had to put in less work.

 

The MX88 is not a forgiving ski, but if you ski it aggressively it rewards you handsomely. As I get older though, I may eventually get something a little less demanding. Me: 60 years old, 5'9", 178 lbs, expert skier, former racer, like to ski all terrain, trees, bumps, etc.

post #50 of 52

  

post #51 of 52

I have skied on MX88 a couple years I think. I took last year off due to no snow and an auto accident. I went from straight skis to the LX92 184cm and quickly moved on to the MX88 in 178cm. The LX 92 was impossible to hold on mid winter boilerplate, common at Sugarloaf, Maine. I had tried the Experience 88 a few years back too. It was very damp,very. This year, I skied the Soul 7 one run. It was chattering and slipping on the man made hard pack. My MX88's mastered it fine. Smooth, fast, sure. I am 5'10, 170 pounds, raced in high school. I am 61. I lift weights in part so I can ski hard. My take on the MX is it is very stable at speed, likes GS turns, but very powerful and lively in the modest natural bumps I ski. Never a very good bump skier. Wrong skis? I always had slalom racing skis.The MX88 are fun for me to pick my way carefully through the bumps. They are not quick or likely I am not quick and they often get away from me in bumps. I am afraid if I got something softer for bumps I'd hate it when I have to or want to cruise due to bump fatigue. I like what was said here about shorter lengths. I think I may be too long. The long 184cm, LX92's were hard to ski at first.

post #52 of 52
My first MX88s, 158 demos from an eBay store in Aspen, reinvigorated my skiing after years of rolling on Salomon mogul skis. 158 is short for a 5'6" 160# ex-coach in his late 50s. The MX88s were great fun in short turns, steeps, and when really laying them over. However, they were of course a little short at speed and in pow, so I went shopping. I got a steal on eBay for 178s. They were great at "losing your lift ticket" speeds, but too much work off piste. Then I got a pair of 168s through Craigslist. These have been my one ski quiver for a couple of seasons and a real joy. Then I spent a day on steep, choppy Copper bumps that ended up tweaking a LCL knee ligament. In search of a softer daily driver for bumps and chopped up muck, over the summer I picked up used demo 168 BMX88s and BMX98s. Then I spent a day comparing the BMXs with the MX88s, which still rip. In brief, the BMX88 is one of the best bump skis I have tried, easily carving (yes) on every bump. REI had tuned them for the unimpressed previous owner at 1 and 0 on the sides. Who does that? With my 1&3 race tune, they were playful on pow and solid enough on Loveland wind-scraped ice. If someone doesn't like their Kastles, they should tune to 1&2 or 1&3 (my preference) for most of the running surface. And the winner of my Goldilocks tests is: the BMX98. Still playful in bumps and short turns - and tenacious on ice, but with more float and an even smoother ride through chopped up snow. Plus, they track well at eye-watering speeds. I can see why the StartHaus said on YouTube that they sold a lot as a western one ski quiver.
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