Advanced all-mountain skier
Craig's rating of this ski:
Considering his skiers profile:
"All-mountain skis will be my choice when conditions vary from firm to 6" of fresh snow. Better edge hold and carving capabilities should be expected compared to my powder skis. They should be competent in crud and soft bumps."
Weight:82 kg180 lbs
My favourite all-mountain skis:
1. Renoun Endurance 98
2. Liberty Variant 113
2. Rossignol Experience 88 HD
To all my reviews
Damp, amazing medium radius turns
I have been anxiously awaiting to review the new Kästle MX 89. I want to add this width ski, and create a three ski quiver, for my personal inventory. I plan to use this ski for those "no recent snow" front side days, and firmer bumps. This new Kastle has been on my radar since last season. The test conditions were soft. We had 8-12 inches a week ago, and a inch or more every day since, with cold temps.
During a hand flex, the 89 is medium-medium stiff in front of the binding, with a stiffer tail. The ski had a fresh tune, sharpened tip to tail. Based on this 180 test length and my profile, the tip was grabby, and needed to be detuned, and feathered, approximately 2 inches behind the skis contact point when laying flat. I did not feel the tail needed to be detuned. Keep in mind, that this is a traditional cambered ski, with no rocker, except a very short, upturned-square tail. On my first ride up the gondola, the top "liftie" grabbed the skis off the door, and said to me, "heavy skis". Personally, I don't think they are that heavy @ 2081g per ski blank (the Rossi Experience 88 HD is 2100g). The demo Tyrolia bindings do add weight, stiffness, and damping, compared to fixed bindings (which I don't mind, and like the opportunity to move the mounting position). I did find the recommended mounting position to feel correct.
Here is a comparison of a few popular skis in the 88-105mm width, that I have reviewed, with their weight, flex, and damping characteristics. High damping qualities, and weight, normally increase a skis stability, but don't always correspond to its off-piste capabilities. Note: Blizzard Bonafide, and Liberty Variant are based on 2015 review, and construction.
The conditions were very good, and generally soft. However, I was able to find some skied-off areas to test the edges, and this ski has excellent edge engagement, especially on those skied off-icy transition areas. This smooth, and progressive edge engagement seems to be a common trait in the Kästle line. The 89 (once the tip was detuned) made some memorable medium radius turns, and is a highlight for this ski. It reminded me of the Rossignol Experience 100HD Ti with these turns. It is also stable at speed with excellent damping. The MX89 has two layers of titanal, a rubber layer above the edge, and a additional rubber layer across the entire laminate, all of which enhance damping.
The 89 carved through piles and cut up snow with ease and excellent stability.
If you can maintain a neutral to slight forward position on this skis small sweet spot, it is "good" in soft bumps. Firmer larger bumps are more challenging on the 89. I did make numerous bump runs, and needed to concentrate on unweighting my new uphill ski to initiate each turn, while staying on the sweet spot. This ski will offer the most terrain versatility in the hands of a advanced and above level skier. The MX89 will not reward you if you fall into the back seat!
The Kästle MX89 is stable and tracks well in light 5-6 inches of powder, but offers very little float. Kästle does state that this is a "All-Mountain-Piste" ski. Piste is defined as, prepared-groomed slopes. Vail opened Minnie's for the first time this year, during my trial of this ski. It had 10-12 inches of untracked, 7 day old, heavy powder, and was littered with pine trees and shrubs protruding through the powder, particularly the steep sections, and required quick directional changes. I had to give it a try! For these conditions I normally would be "floating high" on my 141mm underfoot pow skis, and loving it. The 89mm underfoot MX required substantial effort, and was out of its element in these conditions.
Who is this ski for
- If you plan on using this ski primarily on-piste
- If you like a damp, stable ski
- If you like amazing medium radius turns
- If you want a ski that is excellent on groomers, and is good in smaller soft bumps for the advanced skier
- Available in wide variety of sizing, for men or women
- East or west US conditions
- Edge angles: 1 degree bottom, 2 degree side factory recommended
- Glossy top sheet, different from the durable textured surface of my Kastle BMX 105s
Kästle about the MX89
"ELLIPTICAL RADIUS delivers sporty performance and agility. The new sidecut results in even greater ski-control and precision. A 34% greater running surface compared with traditional piste skis produces more float and stability in off-piste terrain.", says Kästle.
Experience 88 HD
$ 599.00 $ 725.00