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Professional Opinion [re: Kästle LX & length & demoing advice]

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I would rate my ski level at about 6+. I'm 5', 9.5", 175 lb., 67 year-old skier who grew up in Montana skiing when I was very young and now live in the East. I ski mostly in southern Vermont and venture West 1-2 times a year to Colorado and Utah.
My question is that I'm wondering if I am on the right skis.... Kastle LX82 and LX 92, both at 172 cm. I bought them about 3 years ago. They feel good, but frankly I don't know a lot about comparing skis; indeed, all the skis I have demoed ...Rossignol Exp. Blizzard Magnum, Head Rev. Pro 85...feel the same. Can anybody dare an opinion about whether the Kastle skis I have are correct (statistically speaking) for me? Or whether I should consider an alternative. Thank you for your honest reactions and any thoughts you might have.
post #2 of 22

When was the last time you had a ski lesson. If all skis feel the same...sounds like you along for the ride, not driving the ski.

 

I assume your boots were fitted by one of the great boot fitters in Southern VT ?

 

I'd start there.

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 

When was the last time you had a ski lesson. If all skis feel the same...sounds like you along for the ride, not driving the ski.

 

I assume your boots were fitted by one of the great boot fitters in Southern VT ?

 

I'd start there.

Wow! Great advise!

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I do drive the skis. My technique is quite respectacble. Yes, Solomon boots are great, and they were professionally fitted at Stratton.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
That said, my technique and skill level are not what they were when I was younger!
post #6 of 22

The LXs are great, compliant, easy-to-drive skis — my wife owns a pair and loves them. I'm no expert on this, but at your height and weight, the 172 is probably fine. Demoing a longer ski would tell you for sure, and it's worth looking into it. The LX models haven't changed this season.

 

When you say that you can't tell the difference when demoing, I get it. It can take practice to gain a sensitivity for differences in anything, including but not limited to skis — wine, beer, bread, bicycles all seem the same until you've developed a sense-criteria to judge them. So I'd recommend demoing more to develop more awareness about what's going on under your feet. Okemo and Stratton both have free demo days both early and late season (Kästle sometimes shows up, at least at Okemo), and there are also free demo days at Sunapee, which is nearby. Once you start replacing the skis every two runs or so, you should notice at least that some skis feel better than others.

 

Anyway, it's a ton of fun! 

post #7 of 22

Good to know you've had your boots fitted. I would still suggest a lesson. May be I'm not the norm but I can the difference between skis I'm demoing with in 25-50ft of skiing that includes pushing off to the lift. There have been skis, that I have turned around and given back after a very short distance on them.

 

Who tunes your skis ? I tune my own skis and touch up the tune after every ski day.

 

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference.


Not everyone can. Just the way it goes.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 


Not everyone can. Just the way it goes.

 

I wish more people could. I have to think it has to do with skiing ability. That's why I suggest lesson's. Most high end skis have a different feel to them.

 

If you have good technique and take the time to understand how your body position and bones effect skiing...yea. I guess this is getting to high level stuff.

 

But I will say, the better you get at skiing, the more fun you will have. Take a lesson or two or three. These skis are so responsive when driven correctly.

 

MichaelF if you spend a lot of your retirement on skis. Take the time to improve your feeling of what the ski is doing under your boot. Hope you don't think I'm being to tough on you. I just want you to enjoy skiing more. You have great skis, who dose your tunes ?

post #10 of 22

Lessons are always recommended. :)  

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

I would rate my ski level at about 6+. I'm 5', 9.5", 175 lb., 67 year-old skier who grew up in Montana skiing when I was very young and now live in the East. I ski mostly in southern Vermont and venture West 1-2 times a year to Colorado and Utah.
My question is that I'm wondering if I am on the right skis.... Kastle LX82 and LX 92, both at 172 cm. I bought them about 3 years ago. They feel good, but frankly I don't know a lot about comparing skis; indeed, all the skis I have demoed ...Rossignol Exp. Blizzard Magnum, Head Rev. Pro 85...feel the same. Can anybody dare an opinion about whether the Kastle skis I have are correct (statistically speaking) for me? Or whether I should consider an alternative. Thank you for your honest reactions and any thoughts you might have.

 

@MichaelF,

 

You bought these two pair of skis three years ago.  You've been on them.  You say they feel good.  But you are now asking if they are "correct (statistically speaking)" for you.

 

No skis are "statistically speaking correct" for anyone.  There are too many factors to do the math.  People are very different anatomically and movement pattern-wise, and as they ski their intentions aren't the same.  When you add the numerous factors involved in the anatomy of a ski to the factors that apply to the skier's body and skill set and psychology, there's too much going on to figure out which ski matches which skier.  

 

So you either guess when you buy a ski, or you demo and buy what you like.  If you can't tell any differences between skis when you demo, then maybe you've only demo'd skis that you like!  Congratulations for buying two pair that work for you.  

 

It's September.  At about this time every year I start wanting to do something, anything, to hurry up the ski season.  I've bought skis at this point in the fall just to get a sense that I'm doing something related to skiing.  I'm getting ready to do this again.  Could this be what's going on with you?

 

Or is there really something about those two Kastles that you don't like or found lacking?

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

I would rate my ski level at about 6+. I'm 5', 9.5", 175 lb., 67 year-old skier who grew up in Montana skiing when I was very young and now live in the East. I ski mostly in southern Vermont and venture West 1-2 times a year to Colorado and Utah.
My question is that I'm wondering if I am on the right skis.... Kastle LX82 and LX 92, both at 172 cm. I bought them about 3 years ago. They feel good, but frankly I don't know a lot about comparing skis; indeed, all the skis I have demoed ...Rossignol Exp. Blizzard Magnum, Head Rev. Pro 85...feel the same. Can anybody dare an opinion about whether the Kastle skis I have are correct (statistically speaking) for me? Or whether I should consider an alternative. Thank you for your honest reactions and any thoughts you might have.


When you demo'd skis, how did you demo?  Did you take out the different skis on the same trail(s)?  Did you ever take out different lengths of the same ski?

 

Since you learned to ski a long time ago (so did I but I was't that good as a teen), I wonder if your stance is relatively narrow.  My ski buddy is in your age bracket.  He was an advanced skier in high school (Aspen Highlands).  A few years ago, he did a few semi-private lessons with me.  Turned out he was muscling all his skis, so he was not really able to get the most out of them.  Was most obvious on his narrow skis, which are mid-80s underfoot.  The instructor who got him to change was even older than he was and understood how hard it is to adjust the width of a stance.

 

For folks who haven't demo'd that much in recent years, regardless of their skiing ability:

http://www.epicski.com/t/142999/what-is-a-demo-day-for-skis-a-beginner-zone-thread

post #13 of 22
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post
I would rate my ski level at about 6+. I'm 5', 9.5", 175 lb., 67 year-old skier who grew up in Montana skiing when I was very young and now live in the East. I ski mostly in southern Vermont and venture West 1-2 times a year to Colorado and Utah.  
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

Lessons are always recommended. :)  

Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

I do drive the skis. My technique is quite respectacble. Yes, Solomon boots are great, and they were professionally fitted at Stratton......That said, my technique and skill level are not what they were when I was younger!
 

People are suggesting lessons but have not seen you ski.  Here's maybe what's going on in their heads.

 

You learned back in the straight ski era.  Skis have changed.  Ski technique has changed with the skis.

Yes, old school technique still works.  But it doesn't allow the shaped skis to do their thing.  And it's quite tiring, especially as we age.

 

Did you take a lesson or two back when the skis changed?  Did that lesson teach you a new way to get your turns started?  

Or do you still ski with the technique you used when you were younger?  ("Drive the skis" is a vague phrase; I'm not sure what anybody

means when they say that.)  

 

If you never got the update, it's definitely time for a private lesson.  In that lesson you can learn how to utilize the performance built

into these amazing skis that are being made these days.  I think that may be in the minds of folks suggesting a lesson.

 

Here's a book you can read now to satisfy your ski hunger:  Lito Tejada-Flores, Soft Skiing.  It's a pleasant and easy read.  Lito has

the most amazing way with words.  You'll enjoy the book, and if you don't already know what he's teaching, you'll benefit from his

approach.  The book will prep you for your lesson, as well.  https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Skiing-Secrets-Effortless-Low-Impact/dp/0941283224

post #14 of 22

Actually, I was speaking for myself, re: lessons — as well as everybody who skis. :D

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am a genuine student of skiing. I have solid technique (but perhaps not as nuanced as it would be if I had all the advantages of youth!) gained through lessons...on parabolic skis. I read, observe, practice. And I do what I can to stay in reasonable shape...lap swimming, balance exercises, quad strength-building. My original question was seeking more of a general answer...e.g. whether the skis I have now (Kastle LX 92 ann 82) as well as the skis I have demoed or used in the past...Head Rev. Pro 85, Blizzard Magnum 76 are in the right ball park for someone with skill level at 6+ and weight of 175 and height of around 5'9", age 67. I woul be especially interested in other suggestions of other skis that might be more more suitable for someone who skis conservatively (70 groomed/30 off piste) but still bends and pressures the skis appropriately. Thanks for your feedback!
post #16 of 22

There are plenty of skis to try, just in the 80s-90s segment — other Kästles (MX84/89 & FX85/95), this season's Enforcer 93 (because why not?), Dynastar Powertrack 89 (which feels a little like an FX), Rossi Experience 88, Atomic Vantage 95 C, Blizzard Latigo (a bit narrower than other choices); people have liked Blizzard's Brahma & Bonafide (like is a pale word); Head Monster 88 and Venturi 95; Volkl Kendo, etc. Lots of great skis.  Don't forget Stöckli. I'd love to get on any Renoun version (hard to find demos, but they're a local brand), or anything from Blossom (good luck!).

 

That's just a random demo list of highly regarded skis; it's not specifically tailored to you, and neither is it comprehensive. I've been on some of these, but by no means all.  If you're a 6+ skier, you should be able to get a feeling for any of these. Demoing a lot and paying attention to the sensations you get (even if it's just "like/dislike") will lead you in the right direction.

 

I generally read reviews (Blister, Realskiers) each season and make a demo list of skis. I never get to all of them, naturally.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I guess just more trial and error. Appreciate the feedback!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oh, and yes I know Lito's book well. His writing is as fluid as his skiing!
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

...
My question is that I'm wondering if I am on the right skis.... Kastle LX82 and LX 92, both at 172 cm. ...

 

Some feedback:

 

I have a pair of LX92s that are probably the same vintage (from the last year they made the LX92).  Got 'em in 2014/2015 (old new stock via a blowout sale).  Mine are 174s.  I don't think they made a LX92 in a 172.  Sizing for the LX92s - like other Kastle models - was not ideal.  In my case I had to choose between a 174 or a 184 in the LX92.  My height/weight stats are very close to yours.  For me, the 184 was a bit longer than I really needed.  But I *wished* they offered a 175 or 176 in the LX92.  I chose the 174 (after a demo).  It skied great.  Not too short at all.  Remember, the LX92 is a full camber 92mm ski.  No early rise - at least none I can see with my eyeballs.  To me, the 174 LX92 has the same length feel as a 176 (or maybe 177) with early rise.

 

I demo'd the LX82 around the same time.  It was a 180 length.  The next size down was 172, which I couldn't demo.   As I remember, it was just a bit quicker edge-to-edge and MAYBE had a bit more rebound/pop.  Great carver.  But it was 6cm longer than the 174 LX92 & I could feel some differences due to the added swing weight.  Bottom line: I really liked that extra 10mm of width, so I went for the 174 LX92.

 

For me, the LX92 was a good choice.  Super dependable and predictable.  Great carving performance.  I get the energy out of it that I put in.  It's speed limit is somewhat below that of an MX88 of a similar vintage - but I don't need that much headroom anymore.  Off the groomed you do have to stay on top of your technique because it's a full camber ski (no rocker or early rise).  Where the ski really shines for me is in spring conditions.  I don't know what it is about the LX92, but it seems like one of the better spring snow skis - at least in my experience.

 

So, saving the short & sweet for the last: if your LX92s are 174s (or even 172s), you're good.  Yes, consider lessons to update/refresh your technique so you get the most out of your LXs.

 

PS: 

 

If you choose to take some lessons, be sure to tell the instructor what you've told us here about how all the skis you've tried feel pretty much the same.  That could provide some big clues for them in what to look for in your current technique and what objectives they should set for you.


Edited by slopefossil - 9/21/16 at 12:17am
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, thanks a lot! I think basically what I needed was just some affirmation that I'm on (or demoing) skis that are appropriate to my body and skill level. I am passionate about skiing and have a natural instinct for it. But since I don't ski nearly as much as most of you, I need some general observations and some level of reassurance that I'm not on some planks that make skiing more difficult than it really is!
post #21 of 22

I think you're fine, and your skis sound great. Maybe we can hit up a demo day together sometime — I ski often in southern Vermont & New Hampshire.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
That would be terrific. We just moved a little further south to the Philly area (from Long Island), so the distance to Vermont has increased, but I'd love to get together sometime. I tend to ski Stratton and Mt. Snow most often, usually during the week to avoid the crowds and I spend a few days there. Let me know your plans when/if they materialize. My email is xxx@gmail.com. [Moderator note: email removed]
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