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30 years and 30 centimeters later....

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

About 1981 or maybe '82 I ended up with a pair of Kastle RX Combi 195 cm skis with Marker M40 bindings...  As all skis were back then, they were long and very straight.  Compared to today's skis, there is virtually no side cut.  And, even though they proved to be too long for me, I skid those skis for 15 years and loved the way they could carve the eastern hardpack and ice...   But, career and caring for a sick mom forced me to give up skiing (along with a lot of other things)...  

Those skis not only gave me a lot of pleasure, they also pretty much taught me how to ski -- because:  If you ski them right, they reward you.  But if you don't; if you get a little sloppy or lazy or lay back on their tails, they have just barely enough forgiveness to not dump you on your head -- but they do let you know that they did not approve of that last turn!


Now 15 years later, I am finally getting back into it.  After a couple day trips I finally started getting some semblance of my old form and abilities back.  But those skis just don't want to turn at anything under about 15-20 mph -- and even then they are more of a GS type turn than the slalom that I prefer...  So, even though those old skis are still in pretty good condition (some scratches on top, but that's about it) -- it seemed like a good time to modernize my rather limited quiver...


So, last night Fed-Ex delivered the modern day (well 2010-11 anyway) version of those skis that I had purchased from EBay:   Kastle RX 168 cm with Marker K12 demo bindings...  The old skis are "RX Combi" and they were the middle ground between their Slalom and GS skis.   The new ones are just plain "RX" and were the predecessor to today's RX12 and, again, they are the middle ground between Kastle's slalom and GS carvers...


I should probably have gone with a softer, easier ski -- I'm just an intermediate level -- I can carve a turn but that's about it.  But, sentiment over-rode logic.  And, information I gleaned from Epic Ski confirmed the quality of Kastle skis.  So, I decided to just jump in!



And, they are still made in Austria!



The tops of the new skis are a bit more beat-up than I had expected.  I plan to take them down to my local shop today and have the bindings set and, hopefully, get some feed back on their overall condition and prognosis (the bases look good but the tops have some pretty big chips that concern me).


Thank you Epic Ski people for all the advice and information on Kastle skis!   
... And, please wish me luck when I finally get to try these out! 

post #2 of 7
Welcome to epic. Sorry to hear that you got your old form back, with some good instruction you might be able to move past that. I kid, but I would suggest getting with a good instructor because these new fangled skis won't respond will to that old technique tht you used to get the most out of thos 200cm Rx's . I look forward to reading bout your progress coming back into the sport. Some of the old boot brands that you might remember are either gone or rebranded...Koflach is now Atomic..caber is Rossignol...as some examples.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Philpug, Thank you for the tip...  Getting a refresher from a qualified instructor DOES sound like a good idea.   In fact, when I took the skis into my local ski shop to have the bindings set & checked  he said something much the same.  (Actually, the first thing he said was a rather skeptical:  "Do you know what kind of skis these are?  What is your ability?".


I told him my ability was good enough to ski them!  -- which I am pretty confident of because, the 30 year old long skis they are replacing are also an aggressive race ski and just have to be tougher to ski on.  Plus, I use an open parallel type stance which I learned in a ski race camp many years ago -- and, I am hoping that that technique will transfer over...


But, both you and the ski shop have a valid point that they are going to ski very differently from what I am used to -- so that alone is a good reason to get a lesson.


Hopefully I will get a chance to try them soon (maybe tomorrow?) -- and we will see!


Thanks again for your interest and all the help I have already received from Epic!

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Philpug, on my first time out on the new skis I followed your advice - and my first stop was at the ski school desk.  But, surprisingly when I asked them for a lesson and told them why, the manager said to me:   "Nah,  just go ski them -- if you have a problem, come see us.  But you should do fine"  Which was surprising because the only ones telling me NOT to take a lesson was the ski school!!!!   (Later, when I saw one them with the manager out on the slopes, they asked how the new skis were going -- good people!).


So, I did what they had suggested.   It took me about half a dozen runs to get used to the new skis.  But, once I did, they were magnificent!   Admittedly, the conditions were ideal for these on piste, race bred carvers:  the snow was very hard and very smooth, one step short of ice without any trace of ice.  


And these 'little' skis blew my socks off.  They were well behaved and forgiving at just about any speed and regardless of my techinque (or lack of).  But, they were happiest at higher speeds and better technique.   Actually, they just sort of screamed:  "Faster!   Harder!"  like they were bored with me -- but they didn't demand it.  They did whatever it was that "I" wanted to do:  slow or fast.  And, like other reviewers of this ski have said:   They just don't seem to have a speed limit. When I let them run straight they were so stable if felt like they were on rails...


So, the more I skid them the more my confidence built up -- to the point where I started to push out beyond my (admittedly limited) abilities.  So, I found that I had to dial myself back in.  But, these skiis seem to have no limits.  Or, maybe more correctly, their limits are so far beyond my abilities their limits seem to me to unlimited.


So, this was a good purchase.  A VERY good purchase:  When compared to my old straight sided 195's, these Kastle RX's provide me with a great deal more flexibility and forgiveness while providing me with the confidence and incentive to push myself harder...  (I won't say push the skis harder -- their capabilities go far higher than mine -- I was not even able to challenge them).


As others have said, a good analogy for these skis is a Porsche.  You can take it to the grocery store and it will be docile and well behaved -- or you can take it out and run it hard and fast.   The choice is yours -- there are no limits.

post #5 of 7

Glad you like your skis. Own the same ones, same length. Not sure you have a demo binding, BTW, looks like the standard to me. FWIW I know you're concerned abou tthe binding; I've never had a moment's issue with mine, and they have mucho days on them. Finally, when these were made, Kastle didn't produce a SL or GS yet (they do now, although not FIS compliant), so they were the highest performance firm snow Kastle. Enjoy!

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 



Here the temps went from 20 degrees yesterday to almost 50 degrees today and, in a couple hours I'll find out how they do in the soft stuff...  I know that is not their forte -- but I'm interested in finding out just how they do...   Kastle says "The RX easily handles all on piste variables" -- that's a bit hard for me to believe (with my limited abilities).   I'll soon know!


And, thanks for sharing your experience!

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just a final update:


It looks like Kastle meant it when they said:  ""The RX easily handles all on piste variables"


I skid on some great spring snow yesterday.   A couple inches of soft stuff over a nice firm base (probably the best spring snow I've ever skid on) -- the Kastle RX's were simply outstanding!   They handled it with grace and poise.   And, even when it started getting an icy crust, totally predictable and stable.  All I had to do was to remember to charge the turns -- and the skis took over the rest.  Sweet!


I am just blown away by these skis.


It looks like my 30 year old Kastle RX Combi's (with their extra 30 cm instead of a side cut) will be retired.  They are great skis -- but they simply cannot do what their modern day descendent can do...   It's like the proud and still capable grey haired old papa turning over the car keys to his young hot shot son.

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