Author Topic: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast  (Read 2691 times)


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Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« on: December 19, 2011, 08:12:26 am »
Merry Christmas everyone--I'll give you something to be jealous about:  Opening day at Powderhorn in western CO = mid thigh pow.

I am close to pulling the trigger on a new set of skis.  Want the all mtn frontside do it all ski with some ability on packed pow groomers.  The skis mentioned above are the ones I have narrowed down to by reading and some demo.  I have only skied the Nordica and loved it--I could be happy right there without going further but would it be worth my while and money to demo the other two skis (Kastle mx88 or rossi exp 88)?  I did demo LX92--very goodt, Armada JJ, Vokly Kendo and KTM 84?, Blizzard Bonafide and Bushwacker.  What sayest thou oh wise souls?

Oh yeah, I'm new to realskiers site so can you see my profile or do I need to reiterate my personal info?  6', 220 lbs., decent recreational level III skier for 20+ years, etc.

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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 07:31:48 am »

Welcome to Real Skiers, and, enjoy your powder. I am an eastern skier and it's been very warm and limited skiing.

I'm lighter by 20 lbs, and own the Kastle MX88, in 178, and agree with all the great reviews the ski gets as a front side carver. It shines in hard eastern snow, and, worked great in some warmer Summit Co. snow late last season. I know the Rossi 88 is getting good reviews, I hope to demo at a local demo day in a few weeks.. Here's my take. There is a several hundred dollar difference between the Kastle and Rossi, and, I would have to be blown away by the Kastle to justify spending those $$$$ on a ski that I would not use as a daily driver. My read of the 88 reviews is that there are several, including Blizzard and Head, in addition to your 3, and all get solid reviews. Then again, if the Nordica made you smile, why look any further? The 88 class ski is differentiated from each other by small features, not sure you would need the best hard snow carver.

( I did get my Kastle as a demo via a Kastle rep - would not own it for full price as I hate depreciation.)


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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 07:10:05 am »
Thanks for the thoughts.  I tried out the Rossi 88 yesterday and really didn't like them very much.  They seemed heavy, stiff and much less manuverable than the Steadfasts--maybe this was because I had already made up my mind to purchase the Steadfasts, but I don't think so.  How much difference can a binding make to the demo skis performance.  The bindings on the Rossis were horribly heavy and very old.  Maybe they affected the ride so much that that could explain the difference between what I read in reviews vs. what I felt.


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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2011, 08:20:40 am »
Demo bindings are sometimes heavy, but that seldom affects the feel of the ski very much, especially when the skis are on the snow.   ;D   Trust your gut instincts in what you liked. 

Much more likely that there was a difference between what you like in a ski and what the reviewers liked.  --- Or maybe the reviewers were testing different lengths.  There is often more difference in lengths of a given ski than there is between different models of skis.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 08:22:34 am by jim-ratliff »
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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 06:55:17 pm »
One difference between demo bindings and regular ones is that some of them can have a significantly higher stand height, which can affect edge-to-edge quickness.  They are not all like that, but some can be several millimeters higher, which can make the ski handle and feel different than flat or even rail mounted.

Nordica makes some excellent skis.  I haven't skied the Steadfast, although the reviews I have read makes it sound like a ski I would like.  I own a pair of hard snow Nordicas (Speedmachine Mach 3), and have rented/demoed several others (all <80 mm).  With the exception of the Tempest (which I did not get along with), I really liked all of them.  I love how they feel on the snow -- kind of silky smooth, supple and powerful, damp but not dead.  Add to that predictable handling, huge sweet spot, great high speed performance, and good build quality, and they have some winners in their lineup. 

I think I must be the only one on this forum who actually owns a pair of Nordicas, or has even skied some.  They don't get mentioned much here.  But me, I'm a big fan.

FWIW, I have never skied a Rossi that I liked.  I haven't tried their new stuff in the past couple of years, but I hear they are improving.  But their skis up to about 2 to 3 years ago, at least those that I tried, all felt dead and lifeless.  No energy, no rebound, no fun.  Some were quite stiff, but still felt characterless and boring.  Maybe the recent models are better, and some of the Dynastar influence is rubbing off in a good way.

Good luck, and let us know what you end up buying.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 06:59:38 pm by Svend »


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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 09:24:46 am »

What are you looking for in a ski?  You say in your initial post that you want a "frontside" all mountain ski with ability on packed powder groomers.   What is the Armada JJ doing on your prospective lisT?   Frontside, to me and most folks, means groomers, and occasional bumps on well marked trails...did you mean something else by the term 'frontside'?

Because for what you are saying the Experience 88 is heads and shoulders a better frontside ski than the Steadfast (I have never skied the MX88).  It's quicker and livelier, and a much better carver.  It has a great flex for moguls.  The Steadfast is an AT crossover ski, and one of the best available...but in no way is it 'frontside oriented'...well, it is more frontside oriented than the Armada JJ!

Now, if you liked the Staedfasts-that's great, they're the ski you want...but I'd be surprised if you liked them for true 'frontside' skiing over some other skis.

What are you skiing for a 'Backside' oriented ski?

I just wondered if you could be more specific with what you're looking for.


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Re: Kastle MX 88 vs Rossi Exp 88 vs Nordica Steadfast
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2011, 10:27:27 pm »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.  I skied the JJs because I was at a demo day and the guy suggested I try them even if just for fun.  They skied exceptionally well on packed powder which amazed me given their manly girth.  Last Thursday my son and I were fortunate enough to get another great powder day at Powderhorn--close to a foot new with temps in the upper teens to low 20s and it snowed all day.  I demo'd the Armada TST and it was fabulous in the pow.  I really like the Armada line what I've skied so far.

Well it's Christmas Eve and my new Steadfasts are under the tree all mounted up and ready to ride.  I hope I am going to like them as well as I did on my earlier demo day.  Decision made.  The new powder boards will have to wait a year or two.

I guess I am an opportunistic skier.  If it snows I generally go up and I ski off groomed as much as possible, hit the bumps or sidestash areas along the edges, and some trees if there not spaced too tight.  If there isn't any new snow I wait till the sun softens up some runs and carve them up.  I kind of go with the flow--don't we all.  Again I am older and a recreational skier so I wear out quickly in the more challenging terrain.  But, all the new equipment I've been trying is really helping out my game.  So I am excited to have any new ski because it is going to advance my skiing skill and fun dramatically.

I agreed with the comment about the MX88 and I am sure that they are fabulous but the extra cost made the decision easy--I didn't even try them.  I don't really consider the Steadfasts a one quiver ski although I am sure they will function well everywhere--I am still going to purcahse a pair of fat boards for the big powder days; we get too much good powder not to go all out when the time calls.

Merry Christmas everyone and I will let you know how the Steadfast ski very soon! :o