Kastle BMX105 HP Review

January 3, 2018
Kastle BMX105 HP
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
93
Overall
9
Sluff-ability
8
Stability
9
Float
8
Hard Snow Pleasure
9

The Good

  • Very stable
  • Decent float
  • Damp
  • Performs better the faster you go
  • Strong hard snow performance

The Bad

  • Not as lively
  • Needs to be driven
  • Experts only
  • Didn’t own any single category
  • Pricey
THE VERDICT
We loved every Kastle we got to ride in our 2017-2018 Ski Test. Especially the FX95 HP, which took top honors in the All Mountain Category for its ability to power through every condition like it was a soft shag carpet. Great stability, ski-to-snow sticking dampness, and a predictable, confidently authoritative GS-style turn shape have become hallmarks of the brand for us, and the BMX105 HP is no different. It owned the off-piste, easily initiating thanks to the Progressive Rise rocker in the tail and tip, then grabbing and keeping hold of a turn thanks to a Titanal top for added stability and “Low” camber underfoot for foot pressuring grip. This is one smooth operator, that also performs well on hardpack. It does need to be driven, by advanced to expert skiers, and rewards technicians who never take a turn off; Kind of like the majority of our testers, which is probably why we like this ski so much.
FULL REVIEW

Kastle’s BMX105 HP impressed testers with excellent Stability in all conditions, a nice amount of Float for blasting through crud and easing turn initiation, and considerable dampness for hold and accuracy, even on the hardpack. It’s a powerful ski, for advanced and expert skiers only, with a penchant for medium to long-radius turns at higher speeds. It can also maneuver in tight conditions, however, where the Dual Rise rocker makes it easy to pivot, and the Low camber design – which along with the Titanal top and base sheets and fir/beech woodcore – is key to the BMX105 HP’s ski-to-snow contact, for superior steering, which also resulted in some high scores in the Sluff-ability classification. This is also why a couple testers used the terms, “powerful” and “playful” in the same sentence, trying to describe how such a damp, big turning ski could still stop to throw up a spray of powder in the middle of a steep tree shot.

The level of dampness and hold comes at a cost to any real pop underfoot. The ski does need to be driven at all times, and has the biggest price tag of any ski in the Powder Category. Its quality build, all-terrain performance – which include high scores in the Hard Snow Pleasure classification – and flat out fun factor more than likely make it worth every cent. This could be your go-to big mountain ski for several seasons to come.

Overall

The majority of our testers thought the Kastle BMX105 HP was one of the best skis we tested in the Powder Category. It received two scores of 10 (out of a possible 10) in the Overall classification, with one tester saying it was his favorite ski in the category. One testers gave it a 6 on the lower end, basically saying he couldn’t get his rhythm on the ski, while the rest of our team gave it 8s. It’s a powerful ski, but one with a big enough sweet spot to make that power easier to harness.

Sluff-ability

Sluff-ability scores were also toward the top of the class. There was a score of 6 from the same tester who scored the BMX105 HP 6 overall, who said the ski felt too stiff for him to slarve/schmear/sluff on. Another tester gave it a 10, saying the ski’s versatility for hitting everything from powder days to resort skiing was among the tops in the class. All the other testers gave the ski an 8.

Stability

Scores for the Stability classification were all 8s. The Blizzard Rustler 10 and Elan Ripstick 106 were just slightly ahead here, with the kind of Stability that frankly, few skis can match. We’re probably splitting hairs here, however, as this is one of the more stable skis we had in the test.

Float

There were the same minor discrepancies in the BMX105 HP’s scores for Float, with a 6 at the lower end, a 10 from a tester who said the ski is perfect for “any strong skier who can appreciate a secure and reliable platform.” Everyone else scored the BMX105 HP’s 8 for Float.

Hard Snow Pleasure

Much like the Blizzard Rustler 10, Elan Ripstick 106 and Head Kore 105, Hard Snow Pleasure is one of the places the Kastle BMX105 HP really stood out. A ski that performs this well off piste, with a 105-millimeter waist width, shouldn’t be able to perform this well on the hardpack. Well, it does, in large part as a result of Dual Rocker, low camber and Titanal layers, which combine to give the BMX105 HP excellent ski-to-snow contact, with strong edge hold throughout.

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$1,149.00
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