At the start of autumn (down here) I counted up and we had thirteen pairs of skis between two of us (nine for myself). That’s ridiculous for people in our situation. I got myself organised and sold five pairs before our season kicked off. Of course that just built up the fighting fund and I bought a pair of Kendos mid-season. Five steps forward, one step back is acceptable progress I reckon.
My GF is now down to two pair: Kastle MX70s and Blizzard Bushwackers. She’s sorted, she’s happy, job done.
For me I’m still looking to pare back the number of skis I actively use from season to season. This year I took five pairs of skis to the snow, including four pair on this latest trip.
2011 Kastle MX78 (184cm). I bought these in the US a few years ago. They were on a rack - a very lightly used demo pair mounted with Marker Comp 16s. I couldn’t walk past them, bought them straight away, and only worried about airline weight limits and shipping costs afterwards. This is my reference ski for all conditions: an utterly brilliant, damp-yet-alive ski for local conditions. It will take something pretty special to replace these in my ever-reducing quiver.
2014 Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti (181cm). I bought this pair as a lightly used (one week) ‘bargain basement’ purchase in February (mid summer). They have a lighter feel on the snow and are more lively than the MX78s, but they’re also less ski, and they didn’t come close to encouraging me off my Kastles. I never thought they would to be honest. I was just playing around in the off season, and I knew I’d make money on the skis. Result: good skis, but they were sold between ski trips.
2011 Head iSupershape (170cm). This is my short turning SL-type ski. They’re a great ski in that space, but they’re not quite enough ski for a guy of my size. I really need the Head iSL RD, or something along those lines. Even then I’d probably find myself in the same space. I take them down to the snow every year, spend a single day on them making a lot of short turns, and always find myself wondering why I’m not on the MX78s. Result: will be up for sale before next season.
2011 Kastle FX94 (186cm). I bought these in very second hand condition before last season, mounted for a smaller boot with Salomon S914s. They were a little bit frayed, with a good amount of surface rust on the edges, but the bases were in good shape and they had perhaps 80% of the original edge left. After maybe three hours of work they were back in reasonable condition. Last year I could crank the heels back just enough to fit my boot, leaving me around 6mm behind the recommended line. That left me feeling very much in the back seat last year, so the jury was out. For this season I remounted the toes forward 18mm leaving me about 12mm in front of the line. Bingo! They’re now fully dialled-in and I’m very happy with them. Result: this is now my preferred wider ski.
2013 Volkl Kendo (184cm). This was another opportunistic purchase; new skis mounted with 2015 Griffons. The price was too good to overlook, so I snapped these up in case the remounted FX94s still didn’t click for me. I’ve previously demoed the Kendo on three occasions (always in 177cm) covering both the fully cambered ski and the later version with early rise tip. I consistently liked the ski, but it always came second to the MX88 for my taste. I just prefer the more damp feel of the Kastle. The seller said they were mounted for a 29.0 boot. Turns out they weren’t … ah, the thrills and spills of online ski purchases. I had the toes remounted forward about 20mm, deliberately choosing to mount myself 10mm in front of Volkl’s zero line to quicken up the longer ski. They skied really well, being a lighter and more lively ski than either of the Kastles, but they felt (and sounded) a little ‘tinny’ in comparison with the FX94. Result: these are going up for sale.
The end result will be a quiver of three: Kastle MX78, Kastle FX94 and my Supersport Allstar rock skis. It’s hard to argue with that as an end result.