2016 Kastle BMX 115, 193cm
Set-up, weight, length (my stats 185cm tall, 85kg, 6'1" 185lbs, level 8 skier, 30-40 days /yr) - I had them mounted with the standard Attack K13 on the line. Doing a tape pull on the length they were ~less than 1 cm under the stated length (unlike the BMX 108 188 I owned that was 185.5) They are reasonably light for what they are but ~200g/ski more than the BMX108's, the 185's ~ 100g more. I noticed a slight increase in swing weight on the hill and on the chair. Never an issue the larger surface area and length took some adjusting to. Other skis I own - Head RD SL, Kastle MX83, MX98, TX97, BMX 108(sold).
Initial on hill impressions: I only have one day on them so far but it was one of the best Whistler days I have ever had with fresh tracks for the first half of the day with light to moderate density snow varying from boot to knee deep. Mix of steeps, tree's open bowls and some groomers. Skiing solo and fast I logged about 25,000ft vert so more than most folks get at a demo. I'll submit a more detailed review after a few more days on em but here are a few comments.
Stability - they feel like a high 180's to 190cm ski and the limited reviews are correct, this is a pretty unflappable ski. I was skiing faster on these than I would on my BMX 108's everywhere with the possible exception of really compacted, high density crud where I found they got unsettled more likely due to the added width and rocker. In softer groomers and crud they just dominated.
New shape - funny that they remind me of the MX98's for 3 reasons First they turn the whole mountain into a race course and are supremely confident. Second the refined consistent flex and rebound energy I love from the MX98. Third they have a similar turn radius. That said you do feel the benefit of the rocker with quick turning initiation and looseness in soft snow and trees. Sure they like to run but I had no problems making very short turns in deep and compact snow at med to slow speeds. Even at 193 they are more manageable in tight spaces than the BMX108's or MX98's and my impressions are the rockered softer tail and even flex is a big part of this. The float is excellent as one would expect and they don't lack for pop as I found myself looking for airs and popping off features far more than I have in years. A ski that definitely brings out the kid in you on a powder day :)
Groomers - very good for a wide ski. Solid bite, nice engagement, GS turns roll your ankles and easy as pie, shorter turns put a bit more energy and fwd pressure and again easy and pretty agile even in a 193. Less need to steer or stivot these with the new shape than the previous design which will be good news to a lot of folks.
Initial summary - Glad the initial reviews and feedback from Kastle Athletes and design team was spot on about this ski as it's the first ski I've bought in years without a demo. If you were scared off or not a fan of the old BMX design you might want to reconsider or at least demo a pair soon before this year's run is sold out. Length wise I would have been fine on the 185cm and don't think you need to size up too much due to the rocker unless you ski very fast or more open terrain. Other details - Finish and new semi cap and topsheet looks fantastic, new textured topsheet sheds snow very well, base finish and prep was excellent. Dig the retro orange/coral colour window, text, sidewalls and base logo.
Edited by ChrisCrash - 1/20/16 at 1:48pm