Kästle FX84 Sighted in Colorado Mountains


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Last season I spent a few days on the Kästle MX98 and MX88 skis and absolutely loved them. So I was happy to make some early season turns with Chris Davenport and the Kästle crew at Copper Mountain a few weeks ago. I was even more excited to attack a slender early season base on someone else’s sticks!

While I had a great time, I do have one gripe. Of all the trips Dav goes on every year – I believe Copper was bookended by Antarctica and B.C. – I get the chance to chase him down the White Strip of Death all day. Next time I’m thinking snowcats and pillow lines are in order :)

But I digress.

Hey Dav, how about selling half your quiver and taking WildSnow on an Antarctic ski trip too?

Hey Dav, how about selling half your quiver and taking WildSnow on an Antarctic ski trip too?

My first real ski day of the season began on the MX78 (the number in the name is always the waist measurement of the ski). Quick, fast race turns on ice. A good warm up. With my legs back under me, it was time to check out the new MX108. A massive ski with a giant turn radius in the 187cm length I was skiing. Feel free to dominate the mountain on this ski, but you will be carrying some bulk to do it. Not that the ski is heavy (additional weight was eliminated with an additional Hollowtech cut-out in the tail), but you will want a pair of Dukes and a burly boot to drive it.

The MX108, a worthy powder ski, no doubt.

The MX108, a worthy powder ski, no doubt.

A couple skating-rink quality runs on a powder ski and I was ready to mount the ski I had come for. The rumored. The mythical. The FX84.

The new Ski Mountaineering prototype from Kästle. A ski so elusive, I was unable to get even a single photo of it’s graphics.

One of the rare photographs of an FX84 in the wild.

One of the rare photographs of an FX84 in the wild.

Details on the new FX line are still vague, and the ski will not be released this year as it’s still a prototype. But based on what I skied, it is an amazing ski. The skis are (read: felt) light utilizing the same Hollowtech cut-out in the tail as the MX108 which removes additional ski material. But more important than than the weight is the ride. The FX84 has a race background in Kästle, it’s not a foam-core noodle. It will hold an edge on bullet proof ice without flinching. At the same time, the tail has been rounded to make kicking the tales out easier when necessary without feeling “hooked” out of a turn like many race skis. Take skis like this into the big mountains, on a steep line with sketchy snow, and know that when push comes to shove your nerve will be the weakest link, not the ski.

Kästle is currently planning on offering an FX74 and FX84. I look forward to seeing the final models when they’re ready.

So far, Kästle skis stand out as some of the best out there (in my opinion). However, excellence comes with a very hefty price tag. Case-in-point, the MX108′s retail between $1,400 and $1,500 depending on the binder you choose (Marker Griffon or Jester – a Duke binding was not available for pricing).

Now my decision is this. Buy a pair of Kästle’s, or save that money for the ski trip Davenport doesn’t look to be taking me on!

Comments

12 Responses to “Kästle FX84 Sighted in Colorado Mountains”

  1. chris davenport January 2nd, 2009 5:42 pm

    Dude I saw Bigfoot dropping the east face of
    Chair Mountain yesterday on the FX 84. Guy totally ripped it!

  2. Lynn January 2nd, 2009 6:06 pm

    That photo was taken last June below the avy runout on the Cleaver, just north of Chair. Apparently that must be his crib region. Jason or Jamie, have you seen the Big guy around the cabin?

  3. Lou January 3rd, 2009 2:45 am

    I heard he broke some trail at the cabin, in exchange for some bratwurst the guys left hanging in an aspen tree.

  4. Hart January 3rd, 2009 7:30 pm

    thanks for the info lou. just the other day i was talking to a friend about kastle skis. i honestly wouldn’t have given them another look if it weren’t for davenport being sponsored by them.

  5. Lynn January 3rd, 2009 8:09 pm

    I think the bigfoot photo is actually a still from the yet to be released “Harry and the Hendersons 2 – Backcountry Vacation”, coming to theaters Christmas 09.

    I am pretty sure that I have never made a comment actually pertaining to the subject of the blog post, just silly attempts at humor, no substance:)

  6. Njord January 3rd, 2009 9:27 pm

    ….so that’s where my Bratwurst went!

  7. dave downing January 4th, 2009 1:16 am

    of course BF ripped Chair Mtn … he charges like a 12 foot gorilla!

    Lynn, I’m pretty sure all my blog posts are just silly attempts at humor…so your comments pertain to the subject perfectly :)

  8. MJ Hall January 4th, 2009 1:22 am

    I do believe I had a Dav sighting at the Copper while I was there a couple weeks ago… or was it Bigfoot?

    The guy I was with, was also skiing on his new Kastle skis. He was lovin’ them and just ripping.

  9. jack January 15th, 2009 9:46 pm

    What is according to your experiences the difference(s) between the Kastle 88 and the 98 ? Another question: I found the the 88 very stable, yet easy to turn and very good allmountain ski, but on the heavy side. One dealer suggested to mount vertical FT 12′s on them to offset the weight a bit. You agree ?

  10. dave downing October 14th, 2009 4:45 pm

    sorry for the late response Jack. Between the 88 and 98, the biggest difference is I noticed is simply the width. A bit more stability in the 98, a little quicker in the 88. Either is a great ski.

    As for the FT12 on them? I wouldn’t hesitate in softer snow, but these skis can be pushed so far on hard pack, I’m wouldn’t suggest skiing an FT12 all the time, inbounds, until I’ve tried it myself. I felt like the Kästles were in a different league than all my other skis.

  11. Lou October 14th, 2009 6:34 pm

    Indeed, alpine bindings are built for a reason…

  12. sbinev January 26th, 2010 10:58 pm

    Has anyone mounted fritschi freerides on the fx84? Kastle says that 6mm screws must be used but the freerides (and most other bindings) come with 9mm screws.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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