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Is Kästle worth it?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Kästle skis generally get great reviews, also on thise website. But are they really worth it?  Or in other words, is a ski at half the price half the quality of a Kästle? Does that value for money calculation make sense, compared to other great skis?

 

I'm simply asking in preparation for a demo trip in Sölden, Ausrtia, next November. Should I really test the FX 94, for instance, against the Blizzard Bonafide and  Nordica Hell & Back, knowing I cannot reasonably pay that kind of money for the Kästle? Or would that be torture?

post #2 of 11

Yes. No. Sort of, for some.

 

That's the simple answer. Are they twice as good? of course not (but they aren't twice as expensive either, at suggested retail, more like 1.3x) they are very, very good skis. Is a Mercedes 5x better than a Honda? Of course not, that's not how anything works, there is incremental improvement as price goes up exponentially.

 

What harm can come from a demo? you'll most likely find that they are very nice skis, that other skis are close to as good. If you are the sort of person that demands the best, wouldn't you want the kastle anyway? If not the difference in price will probably make you happy to get a better deal on a less boutique brand. I don't see a problem.

post #3 of 11

^^^^ This. Although  if you're dead, over my cold body, certain you won't buy them, yes, a demo is a form of torture. Because they are a little more precise and refined. The difference, in fact, is more about nuances of feel/feedback IMO than about on-slope outcomes. A R or G Power Blizzard is a tick or so grippier and faster on hard ice than a RX IMO. Does it feel the same doing it? No. Is it a better value? Yes. 

 

BTW, he speaks the truth about this price thing. Some here and on TGR have promulgated the myth that Kastles are "twice" as expensive as ski x. In other words, 200%. What they don't mention is that MSRP is a starting point, not what you pay. Kastles tend to be discounted more than ski x if you actually go work with a dealer because either ski x has a retail price a lot closer to wholesale (my belief) to promote higher sales volume, or ski x is simply a lot cheaper to make (less likely this is a big piece of the difference, but always possible). Moreover, a lot of other excellent skis (call them w, y, and z) have MSRP closer to the Kastle, often only a couple of benjamins away. So either way, at the end of the day, the differential is way less, his 130% sounds about right. 


Edited by beyond - 9/3/13 at 6:20pm
post #4 of 11

Kastle are great skis...but unless you are a truly great skier...chances are you wont notice or be able to appreciate them for what they are. 

post #5 of 11

You'll get the 'definitive' answer here: http://www.epicski.com/t/115100/justification-for-buying-kastle ...  Mac saw into the future and just knew you would ask this question.  :D

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
 

Kastle are great skis...but unless you are a truly great skier...chances are you wont notice or be able to appreciate them for what they are. 

 

Disclaimer: I have never skied on a Kaestle in my life. (Well, I have, but it was in an earlier era.) 

 

Skidude, I really question your statement.

 

I am not at all a great musician, but I swoon instantly when I play a really top class instrument. It takes seconds to be wowed by the difference between a good instrument and a great one.

 

I'm not a great chef, but I can spot the difference immediately among a really fabulous piece of fish at the market, one that is acceptable, and one that's a guaranteed disappointment. And when I go to work with it, I'm not going to be happy with a POS knife (or a good knife that is not sharp).

 

I'm also not a truly great skier. (I'm way above average, but no one's definition of great.) I have tried many pairs of skis and the differences are striking even within a category. I don't know that I'd claim always to be able to say that one ski was "better" than another in an objective sense. Sometimes I feel like I can do that. More often it's a matter of preference. But the differences are nonetheless far from subtle in my experience. Maybe I'm just one of those "equipment-sensitive people." I'm certain that I would notice the difference between the Kaestle in a category and the competitors. Whether I'd like it better or "appreciate it for what it is" :rolleyes I don't know, but I just think you're painting with way too broad a brush above.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

I'm certain that I would notice the difference between the Kaestle in a category and the competitors. Whether I'd like it better or "appreciate it for what it is" :rolleyes I don't know, but I just think you're painting with way too broad a brush above.

Exactley.

 

I had the opportunity once to go to a REALLY high end wine tasting.  The "cheap" wines where around $150/bottle, the good stuff was over $1000.  Could I tell the difference?  Yes!  Could I explain why or appreciate why one was over $1000 and the other was a paltry $150?  No.  And I know a thing or two about good wine - but I am no sommellier.

 

My wife once had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari among some other sports cars on a track day (I forget which one, but it was apparently one of their high end ones and it was the "top" car available) - she said driving it was "neat" because she knew what it was....but in reality, she said the other more "mainstream" sports cars (corvettes, 350Zs, etc) where actually more fun to drive.  I suspsect if she was a pro-driver, she would have preferred the Ferrari - but being just "regular" driver (although she did race rally cars when she was younger) -she found the lower performance cars a better match for her.  (In case you are wondering she said the Ferrari transmission was too touchy making shifts difficult, and the breaks were super touchy, and the pedals were too small and close together to use effectivley at her skill level) 

 

 

 

So the question was...are Kastle's "worth it"?  Well.....as written above, unless you are doing it just to impress those in the lift line, chances are....you will do better to save the 30% and buy some of the other great skis out there...

 

 

There is a reason manufacturers make beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert skis.  Top of the line finese skis like the Kastle are great...and are total weapons on the right feet.  But a ski that is more matched to the skill set of the skier...is always better, then just buying the "best" skis they can afford.

post #8 of 11

Well, I guess what I'm saying is that there are plenty of people out there who seem to have been genuinely wowed by their experiences on the skis. I doubt very much that all of them have just been taken in by the cachet of a hot brand among the cognoscenti, and I doubt very much that they're all "truly great skiers." In fact I'm pretty confident that I could hang with many of them.

 

Edit: So when I get my chance to demo a pair, I'm gonna take it! :)

post #9 of 11

I bought a used pair of RX's just to see if Kastle still knew how to make skis.

They do.

Now I'm going to buy some more because the silky feel that I remembered from my 208 super G's is still there.

FX94's here I come.

Maybe some MX's too.

There are a lot of great skis out there but the Kastles run with the best.

Skis last me a long time and the cost depreciated over several years is not too bad.

You do have to be a pretty smooth skier to appreciate them though.

If you are a jammer or a skidder don't waste your money.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

Skis last me a long time and the cost depreciated over several years is not too bad.

 

I'm the opposite.  Any day I'm on skis could be their last.   I'm lucy if skis last more than a year or two, and that's only skiing about 30 days/year.   

 

I couldn't have fun on Kastle's knowing they might meet their demise on my next turn.  I can't even bring myself to pay up for this year's skis.  It's cheapo leftovers and used mass market skis for my semi-disposible quiver.  Fortunately there are many, many really good inexpensive skis.

post #11 of 11

Are they worth it?

 

Well, I'm firmly convinced on the MX series, having 88's and 108's in both WB and SLC quivers, but found the BMX generally average (although average with the better stuff out there), and the FX, just OK (sold them after a few days).  Sadly the MX108's aren't made anymore, and the BMX 108's are a marginal substitute, with none of the snap, crackle and pop of the MX108's.

 

As far as are they "that much better", well, I dunno. I also have some Atomic Atlas that I really enjoy, and they're half the price, but if I'm zipping down peak to creek on a crusty day, the MX88's will get the nod for sure, and a powder day will bring out the MX108's.

 

Bottom line - the Kastle's have a "smooth" feel that I haven't found duplicated by other brands. As I change skis fairly often, they also hold their value pretty well, which mitigates the initial price to large extent.

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