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Kästle MX88 vs. MX98 or other?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

I am planning on buying new Ski's this season and would really appreciate some help with the decision making. English is my second language, so please bear with me. But first some facts about myself:

 

Age: 20

Height: 6'4" (195cm)

Weight: 194-195lbs (88-89kg)

Ski-Level: Advanced - I ski since I am 3 years old, at least twice per year, a lot of my friends with at my level are ski-instructors (in Austria - so they have to pass a range of tests). 

Current Ski: K2 Apache Crossfire

 

What I am searching for is a Ski with which I can go Touring, but that will also handle well on the piste. With Touring I don't mean the real Alpine Touring, but rather the kind where you go out in the morning (grab some skins if needed), go up a mountain for a couple of hours, and then free-ride down. I would consider them as Touring "Day Trips". Often the conditions during free-riding can't be described as "champagne powder" though, so the Ski's need to handle rough conditions e.g. hard snow etc... as well. On the piste I prefer to carve, and need Ski's that handle well at high speeds (if the piste is empty, my GPS logs 50mph/80kmh speeds). While Skiing I would say that I spend 65 % Off-Piste vs. 35% On-Piste. 

 

I know that what I am looking for is more or less the Holy Grail of Ski's. It will be of course impossible to find a perfect Ski, but these are the Ideas I got after some research:

 

Ski-Binding:

- Marker Baron 13 EPF (L): Seems like the best binding with which I can go both touring as well as still handling very well on the piste. My biggest concern here is the high weight (pair - 2480g)

 

Skis:

- Kästle MX88 (188cm): Got great reviews and seems to be a very well regarded Ski. Concerns: Relatively high weight; That it won't have enough "float(?)" in the deep snow?

- Kästle MX98 (184cm vs. 194cm): Also got very good reviews. Seems to handle better off-road and in deep snow than the MX88. Concerns: High weight; Unsure about which Ski-Length; Scared that I won't be able to handle the large under-foot size as well on the piste.

- Kästle FX85/95 HP: Found initially mixed reviews. Unsure if I should even consider these.

 

Any help or insights would be much appreciated.

 

Best Regards,

 

Nuntius.

post #2 of 24

Of these, only the FX's are skis you'd want to take touring with a tech binding. And they're not that light; approach skis, not touring. Put another way, none of the above. Kastle IMO doesn't make a world class touring skis. Think about Blizzard or Fischer, they both make excellent lighter skis that will hold up on piste. The 95HP would make an excellent approach/do-all if you planned to mix in some sidebounds with groomers using AT. 

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Beyond,

 

Thank you very much for your input. Could you please elaborate why the FX95 HP would be the best alternative? It is only 100-200g lighter than the MX series, and the proportions are not that different either.

 

Also regarding a Blizzard Ski - I heard that the Bonafide would be a very good option, is that true? Which Blizzard / Fischer Skis would you recommend?

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuntiusNecis View Post
 

Hi Beyond,

 

Thank you very much for your input. Could you please elaborate why the FX95 HP would be the best alternative? It is only 100-200g lighter than the MX series, and the proportions are not that different either.

 

Also regarding a Blizzard Ski - I heard that the Bonafide would be a very good option, is that true? Which Blizzard / Fischer Skis would you recommend?

For the blizzards the zero g series is getting pretty good reviews. For short outings like you are planning you wouldn't really need to look for a touring setup though so the bonafide or last years Kabookie might fit the bill very well!

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
 

For the blizzards the zero g series is getting pretty good reviews. For short outings like you are planning you wouldn't really need to look for a touring setup though so the bonafide or last years Kabookie might fit the bill very well!

Would you also agree that I should stay away from the Kästle MX88/98? They were often compared to the Bonafide and made out to be a very similar type of Skis.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Of these, only the FX's are skis you'd want to take touring with a tech binding. And they're not that light; approach skis, not touring. Put another way, none of the above. Kastle IMO doesn't make a world class touring skis. Think about Blizzard or Fischer, they both make excellent lighter skis that will hold up on piste. The 95HP would make an excellent approach/do-all if you planned to mix in some sidebounds with groomers using AT. 

Have you skied them? The TX 87 (?) did very well in European AT tests. The 97 gets nice individual reviews.
post #7 of 24

Kastle's MX line of skis would be very good (spectacular?) on the downhill, although quite heavy on the uphill part of your day.  The FX line (perhaps the older FX84 or FX94) is more designed for that side country role, and would be a better fit for you, although even they aren't what I would call 'light'.  Kastle makes the TX line as a touring ski, although I've not ever read (or seen) a review of that line.  But there's a host of very capable skis besides Kastle. 

 

How much focus would you put on having a great ski for the downhill even if it meant lugging a heavier ski uphill?  Not sure I'd want to be trucking along at 50mph on some of the lighter weight touring skis.

post #8 of 24

Briefly tried the original TX107 couple of years ago. On piste. Good but not great IMO; nervous for a Kastle, inferior to my old Volkl Nanuq's. But I haven't a lot of experience with true touring skis, maybe they're all that way. OTOH OP's description of wanting a ski for both piste and touring, given the skis he mentioned - pretty serious piste skis - made me wary of suggesting a light n' lively touring ski. The Blizzard Zero G line has been getting great write-ups, and I was also thinking of the Ranger series for a crossover.  :dunno 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuntiusNecis View Post
 

Hi Beyond,

 

Thank you very much for your input. Could you please elaborate why the FX95 HP would be the best alternative? It is only 100-200g lighter than the MX series, and the proportions are not that different either.

 

Also regarding a Blizzard Ski - I heard that the Bonafide would be a very good option, is that true? Which Blizzard / Fischer Skis would you recommend?

Well, first, 200 g makes a difference going uphill. Second, the skis are optimized for soft or variable snow. They have early rise both front and rear, a single radius to reduce abrupt starts or finishes if you catch chalky or weird snow off-piste. By contrast, the MX line are really piste skis. Elliptical radius for really leaping in and out of turns, less or no early rise, flat tails. Not the kind of ski that excels in the backcountry, IM (limited) O. 

 

A Bonafide??!! You're getting odd advice, frankly. Again, a beefy, fairly heavy frontside ski that crushes crud and does nicely on firm. But even four hour day touring? Not my first, or tenth, choice. Don't set yourself up for hating what you want to try.

 

Again, for the mission your describe, think about Fischer Rangers, Volkl BMT's, Blizzard Zero G's. And if you're serious about actually skinning for a few hours, you might want to think more about bindings and boots. Lot of choices that will affect your experience of going up and down. 

post #10 of 24

Sorry Beyond but they do make world class touring skis TX 87 is one of the most highly regarded skis 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Of these, only the FX's are skis you'd want to take touring with a tech binding. And they're not that light; approach skis, not touring. Put another way, none of the above. Kastle IMO doesn't make a world class touring skis. Think about Blizzard or Fischer, they both make excellent lighter skis that will hold up on piste. The 95HP would make an excellent approach/do-all if you planned to mix in some sidebounds with groomers using AT. 

Beyond you're entitled to your opinion but don't agree that Kastles touring line isn't world class. Have you skied them? Do some searches on the TX87 for example considered by many as best in it's width/category of touring skis that can handle some speed and power. Sure their approach to materials and design are a bit more traditional but they are excellent. I own a TX97 and skied it back to back against Black Crows, Movement etc in the French Alps and the Kastles spanked both for any spirited skiing without much weight penalty. TX97 is good on hardpack and great in softer conditions with excellent float for its width. I've skied it inbounds and at no time did I have to ski slow or hold back and I own skis very comfortable at speed - MX83, MX98, BMX108.

Nuntius if you are planning on doing much multi day touring and want the skis to still hold up on piste I would put the TX97 on your list for sure and the 187 will be able to handle your weight/height no problem. I'm 6'1" 185 and could easily get by on a shorter version say 183 if they made it. Kastle also does a very nice pre-cut matching ski for all of the TX and FX line skis. Weight for the TX97 in 187 is 1700g/ski to step up to a FX95 in 189 you're adding 450g /ski.

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for your replies! I thought your advice over, and I researched a lot of lighter Ski's. 

 

What seems to be a good Option is the Whitedot R.108 Carbonlight:

http://www.whitedotwarehouse.eu/collections/frontpage/products/r-108-carbonlite

http://www.exoticskis.com/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=373

 

They seem light enough (1740g @ 186cm // 1970g @ 195cm) and seemed to get pretty good reviews (see above) for on-piste as well as off-piste performance. I am unsure though which length I should get. The Ski's were described as "feathery" approaching top speeds, so usually I would say Longer Ski - Higher Stability At Top Speed and grab the 195cm. But I am unsure if this rule stands Light Carbon Ski's. Also 195cm would be as tall as I am, and that length seems quite intimidating thinking about it (although I am a technically a quite skilled skier).

post #12 of 24

Hello Nuntius

Unless you have a frontside skis for other days (pls forgive me if I missed that comment) 108 is too wide. If you still want something that wide and have much on piste or hard snow edge bite I'd bite the bullet and forget 'light' look at Kastle BMX 105 189, Salomon Lab (104) or similar. Otherwise recommend you go 100mm or less. 

 

 Not sure if G3 are available where you are but they do some excellent skis for that 50/50  frontside/ backside the 'Boundary' 100mm in particular would fit the bill. Kastle lost their top ski designer to them last year and believe he's already playing a key role in skis like the Boundary.

 

http://ca-store.genuineguidegear.com/products/boundary-100?variant=5477003265 

 

Have a number of friends on their stuff and they are stoked with their latest skis and G3 is winning awards left and right. 

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCrash View Post
 

Hello Nuntius

Unless you have a frontside skis for other days (pls forgive me if I missed that comment) 108 is too wide. If you still want something that wide and have much on piste or hard snow edge bite I'd bite the bullet and forget 'light' look at Kastle BMX 105 189, Salomon Lab (104) or similar. Otherwise recommend you go 100mm or less. 

 

 Not sure if G3 are available where you are but they do some excellent skis for that 50/50  frontside/ backside the 'Boundary' 100mm in particular would fit the bill. Kastle lost their top ski designer to them last year and believe he's already playing a key role in skis like the Boundary.

 

http://ca-store.genuineguidegear.com/products/boundary-100?variant=5477003265 

 

Have a number of friends on their stuff and they are stoked with their latest skis and G3 is winning awards left and right. 

Thanks for the suggestion!

 

I am in Canada at the moment, so I could get my Hands on the Ski and fly them back with me. The Ski's sound perfect, being 50/50 frontside/backside. But to be honest I am a bit sceptical, if they can be stable during carving at high speeds weighing only 1,6kg per Ski - that's lighter than most touring Ski's!

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion! I am in Canada at the moment, so I could by the G3s and bring them back with me on the plane.

 

The Ski's sound perfect, a bit too perfect to be honest! I am a bit skeptical if they actually hold up well during high-speed carving, while only weighing 1,6kg per Ski - that is lighter than most Touring-Ski's that I know!

post #15 of 24

As Beyond said, I'd check out the new rangers or Volkl VWerks BMTs or the Vwerks Katana. I tried the Katanas last spring and was pleasantly surprised by how good they felt on pretty firm groomers at Stratton. I was shocked at how well  they held an edge so well but they are 122 wide. They are really light and my coach uses them for skinning(and pretty much everything else) Heres a link to a great review of them http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2014-2015-volkl-v-werks-katana

 

Also, the rangers are supposed to be pretty good. They just added carbon to the ski which helps to lighten them and they also have what they call airtech to even furthur lighten the ski(Not exactly sure what Airtech is, i havent had a good look at them yet) and they have a sheet of titanal so they should still hold up well on groomers.

Link to Fischer's site https://www.fischersports.com/en_en/catalog/product/view/id/4342/s/ranger-108-ti-4342/category/3/#

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuntiusNecis View Post
 

Thanks for the suggestion! I am in Canada at the moment, so I could by the G3s and bring them back with me on the plane.

 

The Ski's sound perfect, a bit too perfect to be honest! I am a bit skeptical if they actually hold up well during high-speed carving, while only weighing 1,6kg per Ski - that is lighter than most Touring-Ski's that I know!

Nice. Where in Canada? They are 300g more than their Synapse Carbon 101 and weights are for 171 so 185 or 190 likely 1700 to 1800g so still light but a bit more believable. I know Mountain Equipment Co-op has them dealer list is here - http://www.genuineguidegear.com/dealers 

Good luck!

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonlevy77 View Post
 

As Beyond said, I'd check out the new rangers or Volkl VWerks BMTs or the Vwerks Katana. I tried the Katanas last spring and was pleasantly surprised by how good they felt on pretty firm groomers at Stratton. I was shocked at how well  they held an edge so well but they are 122 wide. They are really light and my coach uses them for skinning(and pretty much everything else) Heres a link to a great review of them http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2014-2015-volkl-v-werks-katana

 

Also, the rangers are supposed to be pretty good. They just added carbon to the ski which helps to lighten them and they also have what they call airtech to even furthur lighten the ski(Not exactly sure what Airtech is, i havent had a good look at them yet) and they have a sheet of titanal so they should still hold up well on groomers.

Link to Fischer's site https://www.fischersports.com/en_en/catalog/product/view/id/4342/s/ranger-108-ti-4342/category/3/#

 

I think that the V-Werk Katana's wouldn't be to fitting. They are very very expensive, and would blow my budget. Also I think that I don't spend enough time Off-Piste in order to drive a 122mm underfoot.

 

The Fischer 108 Ti looks very good, and I will try to read some more reviews about the ski. Thanks for the suggestion.

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCrash View Post
 

Nice. Where in Canada? They are 300g more than their Synapse Carbon 101 and weights are for 171 so 185 or 190 likely 1700 to 1800g so still light but a bit more believable. I know Mountain Equipment Co-op has them dealer list is here - http://www.genuineguidegear.com/dealers 

Good luck!

 

In Montreal, I will try and check them out in a store as soon as possible!

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

A very different question:

 

I have the option of buying the current Marker Baron 13 EPF for 329 Euros or the Marker Baron 13 EPF from the year 13/14 for 199 Euros. Did anything change in technology over the last two years with the Marker Baron EPF, or can I just buy the older one and save 130 Euros?

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCrash View Post
 

Sorry Beyond but they do make world class touring skis TX 87 is one of the most highly regarded skis 

Beyond you're entitled to your opinion but don't agree that Kastles touring line isn't world class. Have you skied them? Do some searches on the TX87 for example considered by many as best in it's width/category of touring skis that can handle some speed and power. 

I'll defer to your superior experience. As I said, I just had some limited time on the 107. I also think that in general I don't like what dedicated touring skis - any dedicated touring skis - bring to the table. Which makes sense because I'm more about hiking out, then maybe some very limited skinning, if necessary, but mainly about going down, walking back to inbounds. Sidebounds stuff that doesn't really reward super light weight but foregrounds any instability. And not that often, maybe couple of times a season. 

 

OTOH, if you read the OP's first post, he's also proposing a little touring and a lot of downhill. And he's a fairly large guy, who will expose a super light ski's inherent issues. So I don't get the oscillating between either very light dedicated touring skis, which won't excel in the OP's interest in the downhill, or dreadnoughts that will make even a few hours of uphill a chore. Why not a light alpine ski? There are plenty in the 100-110 range that can carve and don't weigh 2430 g/ski (BMX105HP's weight in 189, which is appropriate length for someone the OP's size). The Fischer Ranger 108 Ti comes in at under 2000 g for its 188, has both metal and carbon, according to some here is a superb all-around soft snow ski. The Ranger 98 Ti would be even lighter, same construction. For that matter, I'd guess the Nordica Enforcer is a ski of slightly below average weight for its width, not anyone's first choice for real touring, but again, not a bad approach to mostly downhill with a bit of uphill. And the Blizzard IMO the Kabookie, still available new online cheap, is worth a look, a lighter Bonafide that's nearly as stiff. And Blizzard's Peacemaker (104 waist) is 2080 g at 184, apparently quite beefy for its weight according to reviews. 

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

I'll defer to your superior experience. As I said, I just had some limited time on the 107. I also think that in general I don't like what dedicated touring skis - any dedicated touring skis - bring to the table. Which makes sense because I'm more about hiking out, then maybe some very limited skinning, if necessary, but mainly about going down, walking back to inbounds. Sidebounds stuff that doesn't really reward super light weight but foregrounds any instability. And not that often, maybe couple of times a season. 

 

OTOH, if you read the OP's first post, he's also proposing a little touring and a lot of downhill. And he's a fairly large guy, who will expose a super light ski's inherent issues. So I don't get the oscillating between either very light dedicated touring skis, which won't excel in the OP's interest in the downhill, or dreadnoughts that will make even a few hours of uphill a chore. Why not a light alpine ski? There are plenty in the 100-110 range that can carve and don't weigh 2430 g/ski (BMX105HP's weight in 189, which is appropriate length for someone the OP's size). The Fischer Ranger 108 Ti comes in at under 2000 g for its 188, has both metal and carbon, according to some here is a superb all-around soft snow ski. The Ranger 98 Ti would be even lighter, same construction. For that matter, I'd guess the Nordica Enforcer is a ski of slightly below average weight for its width, not anyone's first choice for real touring, but again, not a bad approach to mostly downhill with a bit of uphill. And the Blizzard IMO the Kabookie, still available new online cheap, is worth a look, a lighter Bonafide that's nearly as stiff. And Blizzard's Peacemaker (104 waist) is 2080 g at 184, apparently quite beefy for its weight according to reviews. 

 

I am actually quite fond of the Fischer Ranger 108 Ti. I saw a lot of great reviews (one bad one), and they are comparably cheap. I found an offer for 599 Euros for the Ski's with the New Marker Baron 13 EPF, which would be exactly the set up I need. Unfortunately I didn't find the exact weight for the Fischer Ranger 108 Ti in the length of 188cm, I only found the weight for the 182cm version.  

post #22 of 24
Some good points from beyond re light alpine choices and hom much time you state you will spend on piste.
Also you said marker baron. So now were alpine boot, quite a heavy slack country binding and a lightish ski.
If thats the setup I'd stick with an alpine ski. I had assumed more a hardcore touring setup but must have skimmed your post too quickly.Blizzard, nordica, kastle all make a good wide all mtn ski worth looking at as does Fischer. Believe new bmx 105 can be ordered with pre cut skins and has a notched tail. If your in western Canada we had a terrible season last year and there are deals a plenty on skis in Vancouver/ whister so you might snag a deal. PM me if you are and want help finding shops.
post #23 of 24
Montreal I now see from another post. Love that city but they had snow last season. Westside ski, and north shore ski and board in Vancouver are worth calling as they could ship skis to Montreal.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuntiusNecis View Post

I think that the V-Werk Katana's wouldn't be to fitting. They are very very expensive, and would blow my budget. Also I think that I don't spend enough time Off-Piste in order to drive a 122mm underfoot.

The Fischer 108 Ti looks very good, and I will try to read some more reviews about the ski. Thanks for the suggestion.

They're actually only 112 underfoot. smile.gif
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