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Kastle BMX 115 - initial impressions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

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
post #2 of 7

^ thanks - was just about to ask if anyone had been on these yet.  I saw the "new shape" BMX 105's in ASE last week - the amount of rocker in the tips and tails (amount is probably the wrong word - more like how deep it goes into the sk)i made me think about the lengths a bit and would really have to ski them both 185/193 to determine which one - im right at your size and ski Liberty Double Helix 190's now as my powder ski.

 

But those Kastle's were just beautiful looking though and the finish was gorgeous and esp. liked that textured top.  My fx104's @ 184 are just as handle chop like it isnt there and have pretty decent amoutn of float - so maybe the 185's might be ok. 

 

Again, thanks for posting - look forward to the updates.  And totally proper place for them @ Whistler - I had one day in the alpine there and it was awesome (other days were when higher elevations were closed due to weather - which was not proper :) - well the lift line part anyway).

post #3 of 7

^^^ Keep in mind that the 115's are all wood, while your fx's have metal. 

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post
 

^ thanks - was just about to ask if anyone had been on these yet.  I saw the "new shape" BMX 105's in ASE last week - the amount of rocker in the tips and tails (amount is probably the wrong word - more like how deep it goes into the sk)i made me think about the lengths a bit and would really have to ski them both 185/193 to determine which one - im right at your size and ski Liberty Double Helix 190's now as my powder ski.

 

But those Kastle's were just beautiful looking though and the finish was gorgeous and esp. liked that textured top.  My fx104's @ 184 are just as handle chop like it isnt there and have pretty decent amoutn of float - so maybe the 185's might be ok. 

 

Again, thanks for posting - look forward to the updates.  And totally proper place for them @ Whistler - I had one day in the alpine there and it was awesome (other days were when higher elevations were closed due to weather - which was not proper :) - well the lift line part anyway).

Agree with what Beyond said.  Pretty different skis.  The BMX105 (no metal) and 115 are VERY quick. The FX is a bit more of a bruiser, but not too much.  Just a different feel than the all-wood BMX; it feels quite similar to the HP versions (FX and BMX both, same layups)

 

Add 5cm of length in the new FX/BMX to get the equivalent length in the old FX (so if you are on a 184, you need to be on a 189 for the same stability and feel). 

post #5 of 7
  • Makes sense on the length equivalent
  • Totally get the difference between FX (metal)and BMX115 - but its got a little beef right? the BMX108 did?
  • Need to ski the 185 vs 193 for the kinda money that they are - which I dont begrudge - just would want to ski both before.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post
 
  • Makes sense on the length equivalent
  • Totally get the difference between FX (metal)and BMX115 - but its got a little beef right? the BMX108 did?
  • Need to ski the 185 vs 193 for the kinda money that they are - which I dont begrudge - just would want to ski both before.

 

That video I posted of me skiing the 105 on the other thread: the 115 is very similar. It has beef, but no more than the old BMX did.  You can see the turns it will make and how it is absorbing terrain well in that video.  

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post

  • Makes sense on the length equivalent
  • Totally get the difference between FX (metal)and BMX115 - but its got a little beef right? the BMX108 did?
  • Need to ski the 185 vs 193 for the kinda money that they are - which I dont begrudge - just would want to ski both before.

We are talking about a Kastle right smile.gif of course it has some beef and Kastle does call it the "the Cannon". I think most would suggest the BMX108 188 had more beef than MOST of the other skis in the category and more than the FX104. I'd say the BMX 115 193 has more beef than the FX104 184 as well but not tons more and would be a great pow day compliment to it.
But yes demo the 185 and 193 if you can-I know I would given the opportunity to figure out which is the best fit but Dawg's suggestion is probably right + 5-10cm and for some reason this ski is missing from Kastle's excellent ski finder results. Likely a month before I get a chance to try a 185 out so I don't have much insight except for my experience with the 193. I haven't skied a Double Helix can't offer any comparisons there sorry.
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