Author Topic: Review: Kastle FX 84  (Read 3364 times)

jbotti

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Review: Kastle FX 84
« on: January 02, 2010, 09:46:30 pm »
Kastle FX 84 176cm length:
I mounted this ski with a railflex binding mainly because I wantt to the versatility of being able to move the mount forward and back 1.5cm. I have only skied this ski in the neutral poistion with the boot right on the center line. This skis is very similar in dimensions to the Watea 84 (which I also own although they are reasonably beat up and are now rock skis). Both skis will edge lock carve nicely on hard snow and we had some very hard snow for a few days. Edge hold is better on the Kastle. Both skis are quite quick edge to edge and I am able to do edge locked slalom flushes with both skis. Quickness edge to edge is really a toss up between the two. On hard snow both will do tight brushed carved short radius turns without too much work. Also a toss up on which ski is better or easier at this. Off piste, the FX 84 is more solid without it being less forgiving. Both skis tip easily into off piste SRT's, both skis ski bumps pretty well. I was just able to be more agressive with the Kastle. They are both very friendly skis to ski. The Kastle just has more structural integrity and it can be pushed harder. Usually there is a forgivess give up when this occurs in a ski. I have not found it if it exists. That is the real key and appeal of this ski. Lastly, the thing I have always hated the most about the Watea 84 is that on hard snow at the end of that day when it is not very uniform, at speed, the Watea's tips just flap like carzy even on edge in edge locked carves. It always drives me crazy and it is far from confidence inspiring at speed (even though they actually ski more solid than they look, sound and feel). This is totally absent in the Fx 84 as they railed on this stuff with no deflection. The Kastle is a great ski. Based upon how easy it is to ski, I could actually have gone stiffer and less forgiving. For me the MX series may have been a slightly better choice as I think they are a bit stiffer, but I do love this ski.

For an mid 80mm waited ski that should do everything, this skis lives up to its billing.


Philpug

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 10:27:10 pm »
I am glad you like them, Kastle truly makes a special ski. If you get a chance, get on a MX series ski too, they are all that and a bag of nuts.

Gary

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 08:58:36 am »
Hey J...the FX84 sounds like a perfect play all day do almost everything well ski.

COngrats....

I'ts amazing to me coming from a narrow waist backaground (not narrow minded) the versatility and turnability of this new breed of skis. My wife has Kastle MX78 in a 152 length and I've never seen her ski better. This is her powder, crud, groom, bump ski...she weighs in at 110lbs so no problem there.

Im guessing that that FX 84 would even rail on hardpack....

Do you find the ski more damp than other skis in that catagory? I ask because I read or heard that Kastle uses rubber in their layering of materials.  Best,
Gary

Ron

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 10:10:47 am »
from my experience, I didn't find the Kaslte's damp at all! Quite lively and responsive but with a suppleness to them. like they sucked up the major vibrations well but still had good feedback to them

Gary

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 01:08:20 pm »
Yes indeed Smithers.....supple ...yes... >:D

Damp, sucking up terrain vibration, and lively....now there's a winner combination.
G

Ron

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 02:27:50 pm »
release the hounds........  Supple is a good word for them. I know Alice loves here 78' and I always thought they were these stiff burly skis but I don't know how they do it, but they are truly are unique. I would love to see Lynn on a pair.  I think she would love them.  (not to mention anyone else)

I have not skied my 176's. I got them with the Kastle plate so I am really interested to see how they compare to thr 168's mounted with Griff's. I hope to get out on them this week

Gary

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 03:04:29 pm »
Ah yes....Lynn would be a ripn on that ski and give her such a broad coverage of conditinos and terrain with 78 underfoot. Lynn will be Aspen and have a chance to see Alice's skis.

It's amazing for a ski that is that solid and heavy feeling....Alice loves the "supple' feel, do anything quality.

Be curious to hear how your MX78 176's work with that plate....ooooweeee. ...gonna be quick edge to edge 4sure!

G

Philpug

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 04:17:00 pm »
Lola is also on the MX78 is a 152 and said it is the best ski she has been on and has yet to ski better than she has on them. I skied the MX88 in a 176 today at Kton...what a ski, from crud, to bumps to high speed groomers, it did it all

LivingProof

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 04:53:51 pm »
Are Kastle's the new Obama???o :o :o

To expand a little. The hype about this ski brand appears everywhere. Can it produce "change we can believe in"? I hope to demo a pair sometime with Phil and see firsthand.

The one aspect of the Kastle's that John brought out, and also mentioned by Epic's Sierra Jim, is that they are more of a GS ski meaning they want to go hard and fast. Phil skis that way and he has the body angles to get them onto high edge, therefore, I would fully expect him to like this ski.
Phil expressed on Epic that less skilled skiers seem to express this ski is very good. But I think that a skier needs to bend skis and carve to use them at their design point. Last year, I used Hart's of a similar GS design. While I liked many things about them, I do not ski with the energy needed to bring it to life and that was seen in the tracks I left.

One viewpoint, fire away!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 06:15:39 am by LivingProof »

jbotti

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 08:46:38 am »
In response to Gary's question, I often hear words like "overly damp" and lifless to describe Austrian made skis (very often directed at Head skis). My presonal feeling is that most making those comments don't bend the ski in a carved turn. If you truly bend a Head or Kastle sandwich ski in a tight arc on hard snow you will get so much rebouund that the ski will buck you off the snow. This is the opposite of "lifeless"!! Having said that if you lay them flat or just ride the sisdecut (with little or no pressure to the tip of the ski) the ski will absorb much or all of the vibration and to me this feels super solid. I personally like a ski that does not deflect and where the tips stay engaged through undulations in the snow. So to answer the question about the Kastle FX 84, to me they could actually be damper. The ski gets super rebound when the tips are engaged and pressured and the ski is bent. It is very solid on edge through crud and chop. Again considering how easy it is to ski, I could actually go for more stiffness and a more damp feeling.

I draw the line on skis where when I pressure the tips hard and the ski won't bend or worse when I pressure the tips hard and the ski is so stiff that it bucks me off  the tips into the back seat (Volkl AC50 and most burly Nordica skis!!). I presonally think this is absurd because I have a pair of Dynastar Race stock GS skis that are 192cm long (they don't come much more burly) and while it takes everything I have to bend this ski, it does not buck me off the tips. IMO when a sksi does that, it is just a poor design.

The Head IM 88 is a ski that is on the edge IMO. I can barely bend the ski. It is nearly impossible for me to tighten the arc on edge locked carved turns. I consider the IM 88 a an excellent ski becsue it is one of the great crud busters of all time. But being that solid it still doesn't buck me of the tips.

Back to the FX 84, for those that like the Watea 84, the FX is a vastly imporved version. Just as easy to ski, actually more lively if bent, and has way more high end, and most importantly, the tips don't flap on hard snow!!!

Now I will wrtie a brief review on my favorite big mountain ski that I have been on in the last 5 years!!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 08:48:40 am »
Are Kastle's the new Obama???o :o :o

To expand a little. The hype about this ski brand appears everywhere. Can it produce "change we can believe in"?

LP:

Oooooh, you wordsmith you. ?::) ;D ?Regarding the rest of that post. ?I would not disagree. ?I read JBotti's review of the Kastle vs. the Watea 84 as very positive (for my Watea 84's) because I'm not the skier that JB is and the softer Watea 84 probably suits me better thatn the Kastle (and I only paid $399 for my '09 Watea 84's new). ?I will say that I haven't noticed the Watea 84 tip-flap that JB referred to, but maybe I only think that I sometimes ski fast. ? ;D
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 08:51:30 am by jim-ratliff »
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Gary

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 08:52:35 am »
Nice J.....I fully understand what you mean...I too believe ya gotta be able to arc a ski otherwise you're missing out on the beauty of the carve or feel like you're on balbarings on the hardback.

Having owned in years past the Head IM75 and 77...they were damp skis in the sense of not a lot of livliness...but not true with the Head SS I owned...they sucked up all terrain and provided a good kick in the pants when I asked for it.

Good get on your Kastle....enjoy,

G

Ron

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 08:57:32 am »
I don't think the kastles are or feel heavy at all. i think they feel lite and very lively. It's a matter of preference but please don't make the Kastle more damp, i think they are perfect. ,The over-dampness of the head is what I don't like. A ski can have plenty of rebound and kick and still be damp. The Kastle's have found that perfect blend of dampness, energy, liveliness and quckness. I would like to get on a pair of the new 94's when they come out as well as the 88's. ?

Mike, they are very happy skiing at any speed. No need to ramp them up

Jim- the 84 has a definite speed limit! It's not the worlds most stable ski; I like it, but it is easily deflected in crud and broken.

SnowHot

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 01:15:17 pm »
Tester: 43 year old Female, 130 lbs 5'6", Advanced skier.
Equipment Tester usually skis: Hart Beat(77w) 162cm, Volkl Kiku (105w) 168cm, Blizzard Mag SL 155cm(64w),
Boots: Dalbello Krypton Kryzma
Skis Primarily on Michigan mole hills but has taken to some teensy weensy trips to some Mountains with many more to come!
Comfort zone of tester: Confident with speed, varied terrain & steeps, improving in Bumps and trees.

Manufacturer: K?stle Skis
Model: FX84
Length: 168
Category & Dimensions AM CARV POW:
All Mountain Midfat
Sidecut:   122-84-110
Radius:   16m (@168cm) 18m (@ 176cm) 20m (@ 184cm)
Construction:   Sandwich construction
Core:   Ash/Poplar

Binding: Marker Griffon
1=Poor 2= Fair 3=Average 4=Very Good 5=Excellent
1 2 3 4 5
Short Turns 3
Medium Turns 4
Long Turns 5
Rebound 5
Stability 5
Forgiveness 4
Grip 5
Steeps 5
Crud 5
Powder 4
Ice 4
Overall Impression 5

Tested Length Felt:
Just Right
Ski Sidecut Felt:
Just Right
Ski Flex Felt:
Surprisingly, just right

Best Described As:
Light weight and powerful

Notes: I?ve been hearing a lot about the new found love for an old friend in the Kastle ski world, and thought I may demo some day when I had the chance, but since there is no one in the Michigan with the brand I figured I?d have to wait to try them out when on a trip.? Surprisingly enough I didn?t plan a road trip around the possibility of demoing these skis. :rolleyes:

First impressions:? This ski is light weight which makes you think it won?t stand up to the aggressive skier, or rugged terrain, ??until you click in and take ?em for a drive.? This lightweight nimble ski has the power to bark like a big dog!

Maiden voyage: My first turns of the season happened a few weeks ago at Stowe, which is when I seized the opportunity to demo these skis.
I had beat myself up pretty good for three days of skiing and was a bit fatigued, adding to the fact that we had some significant apres? ski that left me with a bit of sleep deprivation.
Woke up on Monday morning to see fresh snow, YAY, but wait!? It was several inches of heavy sticky snow that would prove to be a challenge.
The friend I was skiing with generously allowed me to do a warm up run on some blues before taking the second run down Lift Line, fully expecting my lack of sleep and fatigued legs to let me down, but the FX84 didn?t let me down!? ?Granted, the snow was challenging, but the Kastle FX 84 handled it better than I expected and put a? big fat grin on my silly face!

Trip to my Home Mountain??..errrrrrr, Hill: With new boots dialed in and my very own Kastle FX84?s in the quiver, I headed to my home mountain with a whopping 375 ft of vertical and 8 inches of fresh snow,? I headed for the steeps and trees.? The FX 84 made turn initiation a cinch in the trees and set up a platform for dropping into the gorge with confidence.
The Kastle FX84 is in a prime position to be my ?go to? ski!



Trip to the mountains
Heading to Snowmass in three days, will report back!
In the mean time, I'll be over here fondling my skis.


Edit: correct TR
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 05:49:03 pm by SnowHot »
Sometimes you just need to let your Bad Self ski!!
~nolo

Ron

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Re: Review: Kastle FX 84
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2010, 01:22:21 pm »
Nice Review!  Well done!   Can't wait to make some turn with you next week ;D