First, about me.
- 42 year old athletic male, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds
- ex-racer, current lvl 100 coach
- east coast (nh, vt, me)
- Other skis: Volkl SL WC 165 (primary ski), Rossignol GS WC 182
I have been looking for a 3rd ski to use as a one-ski when not coaching (I spend a lot of time on snow coaching and I use my SL skis for that). I am looking for a non-race ski to use when not coaching. This would be used for all types of east coast skiing from fast hard pack, ice, crud, to trees and bumps (roughly in that order). I like to ski fast and sometimes very fast (what does "very" really mean?) What I am looking for is a ski that can handle firm/icy at very high speeds (like my race stuff, albeit not expecting identical performance in these conditions) but that doesn't bog down in the crud/woods. I can dream,can't I?
Last year I picked up a pair of Volkl RTM 84s for a steal based on a recommendation of a friend. These held up on ice/firm and were ridiculously easy to turn (something I actually didn't care for.) They did well in the crud etc, but the dealbreaker (beyond the way they turned) with them was the chatter at high speed. Awful imo.
This offseason, I picked up a pair of Kastle MX88s, 178cm, used, but in pretty good shape--they seemed like a good potential match (on paper) of what I am looking for in a ski. I have skied them about 8 times and I honestly cannot figure these skis out. I had my local shop, one that I know and trust, prep them for me but they still ski like crap for me. The basic issue I am having is related turn initiation. I have been skiing a while and know how to start a turn, even when doing so on a "tough to turn" ski. I have to force this ski into a turn so forcefully that the rest of my turn ends up sucking by that point. Also, once the ski bites and turns, it feels like it is locking onto the edge and running straight if that can possibly make any sense. To make sure it isn't me (something I considered of course) I spent this past Sunday switching from my SL skis to my GS skis, to a bunch of demo skis, mixing my MX88s in. The MX88s were the only skis I could not get to work (and they were not even close). The other skis I tried spanned a wide range in the blizzard, volkl, head, and rossi lineups. My very favorite was the Blizzard Bonafide--awesome ski, shocking at how well they skied on very hard pack considering their width.
Anyway, I am trying to figure out the following:
- Is something wrong with me? (haha)
- Do I have a "bad" pair of MX88s?
- Is something wrong with the setup of my pair (binding location? no idea?) [I had the same shop look at them and they thought the bindings etc were proper]
- Just the wrong ski for me? If so, I wonder why? As I said, the MX88 seems like the perfect ski for me on paper. Many of the skis they are compared to ski fine for me.
Thanks in advance. I am considering selling these skis--probably very soon. I just wanted to ping the folks here in case their was something I might be overlooking. I have them with me at work right now as I am bringing them to ski practice tonight just in case there is something left that I can try with them. Sigh...