Originally Posted by oboe
That said, without reference to the "old Kaestles", what about them?
I have experience with two pair of old Kästle skis.
The first is their RX National Team Super-G racing ski in a 208 cm length. I still like to take this out when I feel the need for speed. It has no speed limit that I could find. It was one of the first skis to come with a base bevel (0.5 degrees). The selling point was that with the metal off the base it would run faster. This ski had a rather stiff tail, but a soft-enough tip for day which made it easier to make quicker turns than you could with a downhill board. Not much shape, as per the times. It was very damp and massive with a few layers of steel, some special wood core and lots of rubber to dampen the vibrations. It was extremely stiff torsionally. You had absolutely no trouble getting forces down to the ground. It felt great at speed and I skied it just about everywhere at speed, but it felt like a pair of I-beams at less than 30 mph.
The second was a "special R" around 180 cm I think. that I picked up at a yard sale. It was dull when I got it, had 0 degree base bevel, which I left alone and I put a 2 or 3 degree side bevel on it (Can't remember). It was probably designed to be 0,0. It skied like a pair of steel springs off an old Chrysler, very demanding and unforgiving, but that is likely due to my tune. It railed beautiful turns at moderate and slow speeds. I didn't get it up to high speeds, but it was more lively than the super-g and I suspect had a lower speed limit. It also was very stiff torsionally.
What they had in common was a solid feel, and felt like a very strong powerful tool that you could use to get a lot of force to the ground and really blast out hard turns with. Great at inspiring confidence, if you knew how to ski, but not forgiving.
The reviews of the new ones seem to say they have the same performance level, but are forgiving as well. Hard to believe.