What a carving ski! They effortlessly suck you into deep, carved turns. On piste I had the sensation of being a water skier leaning WAY OVER, turn after turn, ready to touch an elbow to the snow.
And this is at 88mm wide.
On the hard stuff, on the softening corn, in the grabby mank-- turn after turn, they love to carve. Especially a turn of a CERTAIN RADIUS. Tighter than GS, but not quite slalom.
Turn after turn of a certain radius. Easy-- yet powerfully carved-- and deep. Turn after turn.
They feel like a slalom racing ski that has been softened and widened. A very narrow performance envelope, precisely tailored for carved turns of a CERTAIN RADIUS. They don't want to slide or slarve. I was happy that their preferred radius is about my favorite one.
They aren't very stiff-- they are easy to steer in softer snow as well. But stay precise-- they want to carve and don't allow for sloppy, loose skiing.
I only skied on one ski that day at Mammoth, but I think I could have skied faster in the rough, semi-soft off-piste snow on Heads or K2s, for examples. The Kastles seem to have no speed limit on smooth snow.
It's curious-- they're not very stiff (just a bit stiffer than medium), yet they really want to be steered with precision. In this trait they're like nothing I've ever been on before.
"Heads are a poor man's Kastle," said a guy at Footloose Sports at Mammoth Mountain. I can see why. They're damp and they carve well with the whole length of the edge engaging the snow, just like Heads.
I can see why so many are raving about them, yet they aren't for me. Strong and precise skiers will love them, but I'm more of a fast and half-out-of-control skier, and want a more forgiving ski.
So I think I still like the Head Monster 82 (same as Peak 82), Monster 88, and presumably the Peak 88 better. The Kastles carve better, but the Heads are more of an all 'round ski.
And since these are so good for carving, maybe I'd prefer the MX 78 instead of the 88. It'd be a mostly on-piste ski-- maybe a replacement for my Head Supershape Magnums.
And yet... they're 88mm wide, are soft enough for off-piste, and carve easily with a tight radius. I think a 200-pounder might like them as a one-ski quiver. Or love them.