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Kastle MX 78 versus Dstar Contact 4x4.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

It's gonna be sometime before the snow flies, so what the hay?

 

Is the MX 78 better than the Dstar Contact 4X4 (former favorite)?  For all-mtn skiing.

 

Or what is the holy grail today?  Keeping the waist width 75-90mm.

 

Bueller? Bueller??

 

 

 

 


Edited by nfp158 - 9/12/10 at 6:00pm
post #2 of 24

Better at what?

 

SJ

post #3 of 24

really 2 diferent skis but I prefer the kaslte 78. half the weight and all the flavor of a regular ski.....

post #4 of 24

I have a hard time understranding the sacred cow that Kaestle has become. Stockli has to be everything Kaestle is, but not really attracting the fond adulation that kaestle is. Is it Chris Davenport? Kneissel take note and get into the parade, (Mike). Illuminate me.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Better at what?

 

SJ

Forgot to say..... better as an all-mtn ski.......some hard groomers, soft snow, a bit off-trail, up to 8" of new snow, crud, some bumps, some gs-eey speed and some slow skiing, a mixed bag of small/medium/long turns, steeps, traverses, etc....isn't that what all-mtn means.

 

All the flavor of a regular ski?....now that's a conundrum from finn....

post #6 of 24

Given the wide spectrum of conditions you're axin' about, I'd say yes the Kastle is better. The Kastle has similar edge grip to the 4X4 and is close enough in bigger turns @ geeee-essy speeds to call it a push. The 4X4 does punch stiff crud somewhat better but the Kastle is more tolerant of most other soft snow conditions. The Kastle is more damp, more nimble in bumps and shorter turns, easier at slower speeds and notably lighter.

 

SJ

post #7 of 24

the kaslte has a truly unique feel. It inspires confidence. It has stability that even at high speeds remains calm. damp but not dead. great energy, pop and feedback. 

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I have a hard time understranding the sacred cow that Kaestle has become. Stockli has to be everything Kaestle is, but not really attracting the fond adulation that kaestle is. Is it Chris Davenport? Kneissel take note and get into the parade, (Mike). Illuminate me.


Until you have experienced them...While Stockli makes a fine ski, it is not a Kastle. It has nothing to do with Davenport, Post or Huber, they are just damn fine skis. Comparing the Contact 4x4 to the MX78 w/KTi is like comparing a Subaru Legacy GT wagon to an Audi RS4, sure they look kinda similar on paper..then you drive them and feel the difference in substance. By no means are the Dynastars bad, they are one of the better skis in that price point, but there is a reason the Kastles are more expensive and you feel it when you get the opportunity to experience them. 

post #9 of 24

^^^^ I'd say that Stockli's are closer to Kastles than Phil intimates. Both very smooth, both good snow feel but still damp, both have progressive, graduated release tails. Different feel, yes (that full rubber layer in the Kastles I'd guess), but not sure I'd call that refinement. 

 

For me, it's more about effort: I find Stocklis to be more difficult to ski 7/10; they get grumpy quicker than a Kastle if you get sloppy or ski slowly or get pushed around in a bump field. And they have very different front ends; Stocklis require more assertiveness, Kastles initiate and track just by thinking about it. (Although you need to keep thinking about it; not an intermediate ski.) So IMO Stocklis have an "old school" feeling compared to Kastles, otherwise the same idea. Mainly, Stocklis don't deliver more reward for the extra effort. Probably a bit more stable at real speed in bad snow, that's about it. I don't tend to mach bad snow. So I'd buy a new Stockli selectively, especially to fill a niche not covered by Kastle (twins, Lasers), but I'd buy a Kastle blind, no demo or other knowledge. So not sacred, just the best out there right now, just like Stocklis were the best out there a decade ago. 

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ I'd say that Stockli's are closer to Kastles than Phil intimates. Both very smooth, both good snow feel but still damp, both have progressive, graduated release tails. Different feel, yes (that full rubber layer in the Kastles I'd guess), but not sure I'd call that refinement

 

For me, it's more about effort: I find Stocklis to be more difficult to ski 7/10; they get grumpy quicker than a Kastle if you get sloppy or ski slowly or get pushed around in a bump field. And they have very different front ends; Stocklis require more assertiveness, Kastles initiate and track just by thinking about it. (Although you need to keep thinking about it; not an intermediate ski.) So IMO Stocklis have an "old school" feeling compared to Kastles, otherwise the same idea. Mainly, Stocklis don't deliver more reward for the extra effort. Probably a bit more stable at real speed in bad snow, that's about it. I don't tend to mach bad snow. So I'd buy a new Stockli selectively, especially to fill a niche not covered by Kastle (twins, Lasers), but I'd buy a Kastle blind, no demo or other knowledge. So not sacred, just the best out there right now, just like Stocklis were the best out there a decade ago. 

That all sounds like "refinement" to me. 
 

post #11 of 24


Or Hugo Harrison.  Honestly I bet that is part of the recipe, having well-known riders on your skis.  What other reason is there to sponsor anybody?

 

I've been watching all three of the comebacks closely, Kneissl, Hart and Kastle.  It's interesting to watch the different approaches each has.  Kastle took the sponsorship route.  Get a couple big names riding them for starters.  Secondly, I'm guessing the cost alone garners attention.  This is probably how they get die-hard carvers or racer types on their side.  The skis rival the cost of race skis, not K2's.  This gets a more elite clientele.  Third, they chose the graphics/color schemes wisely.  All of them are easily identifiable.  Kastle also advertises.

 

Kneissl I think most closely resembles Stockli.  They've just been sitting over there quietly doing what they always did, making high quality skis.  They are on the right track with similar graphics across the line, like Kastle.  The problem they have is most people don't know they exist.  They hardly sponsor any racers or freeskiers, and I haven't seen a Kneissl advertisement in years.  The only reason I knew about them was because I got a pair on closeout in late 2001 and loved them, so I was already waiting for them to come back.  In their defense though, they are going a completely different route, and not necessarily trying to be like every other big ski company out there.  Opening the star lounges and resorts with Kneissls name on it is a way different strategy.  They are trying a new approach to win their share of the market.  

 

Harts approach is the hardest to figure out.  They start by falling back on what they were last known best for.  Moguls.  Unfortunately for them, it kind of pigeon holes them, IMO.  The strange thing with Hart, is who is coming up with their ski designs that aren't mogul skis?  The Italians I'd say are trustworthy, they've been doing it awhile.  But who's doing the Chinese and American built ones?  The other strange thing with Hart is the graphics.  There's nothing wrong with them, except they don't jive with each other the way Kastle and Kneissl do.  I love the BarHopper, Pulse, Javelin etc., but you couldn't spot any of them from 100 paces and know it was a Hart.  Definately you could with Kastle, and if you are familiar with the Kneissl star, you could with them too.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I have a hard time understranding the sacred cow that Kaestle has become. Stockli has to be everything Kaestle is, but not really attracting the fond adulation that kaestle is. Is it Chris Davenport? Kneissel take note and get into the parade, (Mike). Illuminate me.

post #12 of 24

Harts new marketing slogan:  We're schizophrenic and proud.....

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post


Or Hugo Harrison.  Honestly I bet that is part of the recipe, having well-known riders on your skis.  What other reason is there to sponsor anybody?

 

I've been watching all three of the comebacks closely, Kneissl, Hart and Kastle.  It's interesting to watch the different approaches each has.  Kastle took the sponsorship route.  Get a couple big names riding them for starters.  Secondly, I'm guessing the cost alone garners attention.  This is probably how they get die-hard carvers or racer types on their side.  The skis rival the cost of race skis, not K2's.  This gets a more elite clientele.  Third, they chose the graphics/color schemes wisely.  All of them are easily identifiable.  Kastle also advertises.

 

Kneissl I think most closely resembles Stockli.  They've just been sitting over there quietly doing what they always did, making high quality skis.  They are on the right track with similar graphics across the line, like Kastle.  The problem they have is most people don't know they exist.  They hardly sponsor any racers or freeskiers, and I haven't seen a Kneissl advertisement in years.  The only reason I knew about them was because I got a pair on closeout in late 2001 and loved them, so I was already waiting for them to come back.  In their defense though, they are going a completely different route, and not necessarily trying to be like every other big ski company out there.  Opening the star lounges and resorts with Kneissls name on it is a way different strategy.  They are trying a new approach to win their share of the market.  

 

Harts approach is the hardest to figure out.  They start by falling back on what they were last known best for.  Moguls.  Unfortunately for them, it kind of pigeon holes them, IMO.  The strange thing with Hart, is who is coming up with their ski designs that aren't mogul skis?  The Italians I'd say are trustworthy, they've been doing it awhile.  But who's doing the Chinese and American built ones?  The other strange thing with Hart is the graphics.  There's nothing wrong with them, except they don't jive with each other the way Kastle and Kneissl do.  I love the BarHopper, Pulse, Javelin etc., but you couldn't spot any of them from 100 paces and know it was a Hart.  Definately you could with Kastle, and if you are familiar with the Kneissl star, you could with them too.
 

 


 
post #13 of 24

^LOL No kidding.

 

Back to the point at hand.  I've never skied recent 4x4's or Kastles, but this thread got me thinking....isn't it about time Dynastar retire the 4x4 name?  That things been around since what like the mid 90's?  When I hear 4x4 I think of the OG white ski with pointy tips with flames on them.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

... It's interesting to watch the different approaches each has.  Kastle took the sponsorship route.  Get a couple big names riding them for starters.  Secondly, I'm guessing the cost alone garners attention.  This is probably how they get die-hard carvers or racer types on their side.  The skis rival the cost of race skis, not K2's.  This gets a more elite clientele.  Third, they chose the graphics/color schemes wisely.  All of them are easily identifiable.  Kastle also advertises.

 

Honestly, have you skied any Kastle's? 1) "The sponsorship route" you refer to occurred 1-2 seasons after Kastle had received unusually strong buzz for its initial lineup sans pros. Davenport was their only "name" athlete even in their second season, and he's not exactly a household word. They acquired an early reputation based purely on their product, then they acquired some athletes. As do most of the successful indies, not to mention a few small companies like Head, Rossignol, Atomic, and Elan, so unclear sponsoring athletes is all that unusual or strategic. The other companies you mention would probably love to sponsor when/if they can. 2) Have you attempted to buy any Kastles? "The cost alone" if you buy off season or on sale is one or two benjamins more than many other brands, and comparable to the other "botique" brands you mention. $1000-$1200 MSRP (not what you actually end up paying) is not so unusual today as to create rioting in the streets. Or increase sales. 3) Most reviewers have criticized their graphics (or lack) as being boring. They also show every single minute scratch. Not what I'd call "wise." More like a pain in the rear. Stickers help. You're right, they are easily identifiable because of their cutouts, less so because of their basic white or black.
 

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post



Honestly, have you skied any Kastle's? 1) "The sponsorship route" you refer to occurred 1-2 seasons after Kastle had received unusually strong buzz for its initial lineup sans pros. Davenport was their only "name" athlete even in their second season, and he's not exactly a household word. They acquired an early reputation based purely on their product, then they acquired some athletes. As do most of the successful indies, not to mention a few small companies like Head, Rossignol, Atomic, and Elan, so unclear sponsoring athletes is all that unusual or strategic. The other companies you mention would probably love to sponsor when/if they can. 2) Have you attempted to buy any Kastles? "The cost alone" if you buy off season or on sale is one or two benjamins more than many other brands, and comparable to the other "botique" brands you mention. $1000-$1200 MSRP (not what you actually end up paying) is not so unusual today as to create rioting in the streets. Or increase sales. 3) Most reviewers have criticized their graphics (or lack) as being boring. They also show every single minute scratch. Not what I'd call "wise." More like a pain in the rear. Stickers help. You're right, they are easily identifiable because of their cutouts, less so because of their basic white or black.
 


No I haven't.  I said so in some other recent post regarding them.  They are out of my price range.  And I realize all companies get going without sponsorship deals.  Obviously there isn't usually funding to do so.  But they blow up huge once they get big names riding on them.  Hence where Kastle is headed now.  Why do you think Head is snatching up all the biggest world cup stars?  Lindsey Vonn?  Bode?  Jon Olsson?  I'm sure Head is using them for marketing purposes, more than Bode, Jon and Lindsey choose Head because they are flat out the best skis in all the land.  Yeah the skis have to be decent to begin with, but the big names create the hype.
 

post #16 of 24

To sum up, I don't think any one companies' success is entirely weighted on whether they make the end-all do-all ski of all skis.  There are lots tons of good skis out there these days.  The biggest companies are the most successful because of canny marketing, part of which is sponsorship.  Think about K2.  Do they make anything that performs on the level of a Kastle, according to the most nit-picky discerning skier?  Probably not.  Do they outsell Kastle 10 fold?  Probably. Why?  Good marketing.

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

To sum up, I don't think any one companies' success is entirely weighted on whether they make the end-all do-all ski of all skis.  There are lots tons of good skis out there these days.  The biggest companies are the most successful because of canny marketing, part of which is sponsorship.  Think about K2.  Do they make anything that performs on the level of a Kastle, according to the most nit-picky discerning skier?  Probably not.  Do they outsell Kastle 10 fold?  Probably. Why?  Good marketing.

And don't forget, marketing is not just "promotion" but rather four p's: promotion, product, price, place (i.e. distribution). Good marketing is not just about athlete sponsorship and advertising, but is also about figuring out your target customer and, among other things, making product that is good enough to meet their needs/desires at prices they are willing to pay and putting it in places that make it easy enough for the target customers to purchase them. Kaestle is not trying to compete with K2 (yet) because they are going after a very different customer. I don't think their "success" should be measured against K2 (at least from a revenue standpoint) -- K2's target market is much larger than Kaestle's and their target customers care about different things. The important things to Kaestle right now are: is their target market large enough to create the necessary revenue for them to exist? does their target market have a desire (or desires) that is not being met by other brands? if so, does their target market know that Kaestle is producing product that is what they want and is there an easy enough way for them to purchase Kaestle products?
 

post #18 of 24

Hey!  I'm a tall skinny guy too!  Nice to meet you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post



And don't forget, marketing is not just "promotion" but rather four p's: promotion, product, price, place (i.e. distribution). Good marketing is not just about athlete sponsorship and advertising, but is also about figuring out your target customer and, among other things, making product that is good enough to meet their needs/desires at prices they are willing to pay and putting it in places that make it easy enough for the target customers to purchase them. Kaestle is not trying to compete with K2 (yet) because they are going after a very different customer. I don't think their "success" should be measured against K2 (at least from a revenue standpoint) -- K2's target market is much larger than Kaestle's and their target customers care about different things. The important things to Kaestle right now are: is their target market large enough to create the necessary revenue for them to exist? does their target market have a desire (or desires) that is not being met by other brands? if so, does their target market know that Kaestle is producing product that is what they want and is there an easy enough way for them to purchase Kaestle products?
 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

Hey!  I'm a tall skinny guy too!  Nice to meet you.

 


 

Likewise.

Perhaps you will appreciate the fact that we tall skinny guys have a natural disadvantage in the sport of skiing and should therefore be admired for every level of accomplishment we are able to achieve in the sport!
 

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Given the wide spectrum of conditions you're axin' about, I'd say yes the Kastle is better. The Kastle has similar edge grip to the 4X4 and is close enough in bigger turns @ geeee-essy speeds to call it a push. The 4X4 does punch stiff crud somewhat better but the Kastle is more tolerant of most other soft snow conditions. The Kastle is more damp, more nimble in bumps and shorter turns, easier at slower speeds and notably lighter.

 

SJ


Thanks SJ, as usual....

 

Anyone else want to chime in...we can talk about football, wrestling, or TallSkinnyguys and Gals too

post #21 of 24

I would just point out the noticeable difference in weight. I swear that 4x4 weighs a ton 

post #22 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I have a hard time understranding the sacred cow that Kaestle has become. Stockli has to be everything Kaestle is, but not really attracting the fond adulation that kaestle is. Is it Chris Davenport? Kneissel take note and get into the parade, (Mike). Illuminate me.

 

I have been one that has never hesitated to spend whatever it takes to ski on what I feel are the best skiing skis. "The best skiing ski" is a category that is arbitrary and obviously fluctuates based on many variables.

Throughout the years, I have owned many of the "highest priced," "highest rated" skis on the market. I am a good skier, probably not as good as many on this site, but can ski most anything, most anytime.

The only Kastle I have skied is the MX88. It is a very good ski but I didn't enjoy it as much as my Stockli Stormrider XXLs or VXLs; not as much as my Nordica Pro Burners or my Fischer Watea 84s( obviously not the identical dimensions, but all considered all-mtn skis.)

I also don't believe that the Kastle MX 88 is worth $200-$500 more than these other skis.

All that being said, I also own the Dynastar Contact 4X4 which I like very much but do not think of it as an all-mtn ski; more a hard snow ski that can also handle the occasional foray into crud/junk/powder with reasonable effort. From that standpoint, I believe the MX 88 would be the better all-mtn ski ski of those two.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

The strange thing with Hart, is who is coming up with their ski designs that aren't mogul skis?  The Italians I'd say are trustworthy, they've been doing it awhile.  But who's doing the Chinese and American built ones? 

 

 


 

I believe a product may be built in one country, while having a very good designer(s) in another. They must,however, spend some time interfacing with their manufacturing process and plant. In addition, many of the "offshore" plants are much more state of the art than ones that have been in production for very long.

i.e. Some years ago, the Koreans blew the US steel industry away with new plants with electronic blast furnaces.
 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post

 

 

I have been one that has never hesitated to spend whatever it takes to ski on what I feel are the best skiing skis. "The best skiing ski" is a category that is arbitrary and obviously fluctuates based on many variables.

Throughout the years, I have owned many of the "highest priced," "highest rated" skis on the market. I am a good skier, probably not as good as many on this site, but can ski most anything, most anytime.

The only Kastle I have skied is the MX88. It is a very good ski but I didn't enjoy it as much as my Stockli Stormrider XXLs or VXLs; not as much as my Nordica Pro Burners or my Fischer Watea 84s( obviously not the identical dimensions, but all considered all-mtn skis.)

I also don't believe that the Kastle MX 88 is worth $200-$500 more than these other skis.

All that being said, I also own the Dynastar Contact 4X4 which I like very much but do not think of it as an all-mtn ski; more a hard snow ski that can also handle the occasional foray into crud/junk/powder with reasonable effort. From that standpoint, I believe the MX 88 would be the better all-mtn ski ski of those two.

 

I believe a product may be built in one country, while having a very good designer(s) in another. They must,however, spend some time interfacing with their manufacturing process and plant. In addition, many of the "offshore" plants are much more state of the art than ones that have been in production for very long.

i.e. Some years ago, the Koreans blew the US steel industry away with new plants with electronic blast furnaces.
 



Hi Tricky, nice to see someone that actually prefers a Stockli to the MX88! I have an interest in the VXL's, where do you ski? and what length did you get per your height/weight?

post #24 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBachelor View Post


Hi Tricky, nice to see someone that actually prefers a Stockli to the MX88! I have an interest in the VXL's, where do you ski? and what length did you get per your height/weight?


I think Stockli makes great skis, as do many companies. The idea that 1 brand of skis greatly exceeds all others doesn't really agree with me in my elder years. Better to try to be a skier that can exceed on any ski. Although, good tools help the craftsman.

I'm about 160#, 5'11" and would probably be considered an 8+ or 9 level skier.

My VXLs were 169 cm. I'm actually skiing on my Nordica Burners(170cm) nowadays. A hell of a ski for the money. By the way, I think SJ and Philpug may have some of them in stock on sale. If you are in the 180-190 lb range, I  would go up a size on either of them. What level skier are you?

I ski mostly at Bogus Basin near Boise or Lost Trail on the Montana/Idaho border, north of Salmon.(Season passes to both)

I also frequently ski Brundage near McCall,ID and Alta/Snowbird/Snowbasin in Utah.

I have never skied Bachelor though all of my friends have. They say the high alpine part of the mountain is great as long as the weather allows for it.

If you get near our part of the world, let me know and we'll try to make some turns. I try to ski where the best snow is flying at the time!

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