My current ski is a 2015 Volkl RTM 81-171cm (yes the zero camber model) and I decided to buy used online a 2013 Kastle MX88 -168cm to compare. Why - making a demo day is near impossible so I used some cash to purchase a used/demo Kastle model to get an idea.
My Volkl has approximate 38 skiing days on it between last season and this season.
The Kastle usage is unknown, however the top surface of the skis are beat up pretty good, however the bases are in decent shape.
For the evaluation, my Volkl's were last tuned 5 skiing days ago, therefore when I unboxed the Kastle's I lightly tuned them (the Kastle's had enough wax on the bases I simply brushed it out, and I sharpened the edges to a point they were about the same sharpness compared to the Volkl, even though the Kastle's had more nicks in the edges.)
185 lbs (84Kg), 5'10" (177cm), level 7 skier (race the blues, ski the blacks recreational speed)
Played ice hockey for 30 years, retired. Came back to skiing 3 years ago after a 25 year lapse (replaced ice hockey)
Still athletic, remain active - MTB in the spring/summer/fall.
Where do I ski: New Jersey, New York, & Pennsylvania - mostly NJ. Ski conditions are ice, ice, ice, crud, and more ice. Did I say ice? Let's put it this way, ski conditions usually suck.
Ski 2-4 times a week.
When I returned to skiing, spent most of the season skiing on wet noodle rentals (160cm) relearned everything.
By the end of my return season I purchased 2013 Volkl RTM 77 (171cm). Sold those skis after about 25 ski days because I noticed as I raced the blue trails or attempted the blacks the vibrations in the skis from being at speed were so great, I was loosing stability. Replaced them with the Volkl RTM 81 (171cm) - all of my problems were solved. I have no issues flexing the ski at speed, no issues rolling the skis edge to edge, I do notice these no-camber (full-rocker) skis can only be skied on their edges.
My only complaint is after a few hours I am beat tired.
So I took both skis tonight to the local mountain for a head-to-head comparison, ski conditions: mountain blowing snow, had about 1/2 inch thick of fresh man made snow, underneath it was pure ice.
The Kastle was:
* felt almost half the weight on my legs compared to the Volkl
* significantly easier to initiate turns (and the Kastle is 88mm waist compared to the Volkl 81mm waist)
* slightly softer than the Volkl (is this due to age and usage of ski?)
* since it was easier to initiate turns and lighter weight on the legs, was more enjoyable experience
* stability at speed about the same
**** But had absolutely zero (none) edge hold when I hit an ice patch on the steep part of the mountain.
To confirm this I strapped on my Volkl and it had significant, more like leaps and bounds better edge grip on ice over the Kastle, but felt almost lifeless when skiing in the snow/powder. Because of this I had to put away the Kastle skis that evening (safety) and spent the rest of the evening on my Volkl's.
The Kastles on snow/powder crush my Volkls in every aspect, except the Kastle's have beyond poor hold in icy conditions. Is it the age of ski? Is it because the Volkl's might be slightly sharper by having less nicks in the edges even though I ran a stone sharpener on the Kastle's edges before heading out? I have included pictures of the bases for comparison.