Kastle LX 85 Review

December 21, 2017
Kastle LX 85
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
85
Flotation
7
Stability
6
Edge Hold
7
Carving Pleasure
8
Turn Variability
7

The Good

  • Light and maneuverable
  • Great combo of grace and grit
  • Fun to carve

The Bad

  • Tip feels light at speed
  • Less stable in high speed arcs
  • Less forgiving in turn transitions
THE VERDICT
Kastle’s LX 85 is a quick turning, easy-flexing ski for capable carvers as well as intermediates looking for a confidence boost. Kastle’s LX 85 is a quick turning, easy-flexing ski that scored high marks for Edge Hold and Carving Pleasure. At 85 mm underfoot and outfitted with a lightweight construction, the LX 85 best suits frontside enthusiasts who want a light and maneuverable ski. To aggressive skiers, the tip felt light and the lightweight construction lowered testers confidence to crank high speed arcs. To others, the LX (which designates Kastle’s lightweight line) was, as one tester posits, “easy-peasy – the perfect combo of grace and grit without being too dainty."
FULL REVIEW

Tester gave the LX 85 unanimous high scores for both Edge Hold and Carving Pleasure, citing quickness, nimbleness, lightness and creaminess as qualities that contributed to the pleasure. “This ski is designed for Frontside enthusiasts looking for an easy-flexing, smooth-turning companion,” said one tester. “LX” designates Kastle’s lightweight line, originally derived from AT-oriented skis. The LX 85 has a semi-cap sandwich sidewall construction, a silver fir and beech wood core plus Titanal and fiberglass like many other Kastle models have, though the LX lines is designed to be easier to flex and turn. The newly-enlarged Hollowtech 2.0 technology removes more material from the early rise tip to decrease swing weight and overall ski weight. Some testers felt this was a slight detriment to performance, however. “The tip felt light for cranking turns,” said one tester.

The former ski racers of the testing group felt some negative repercussions from the tip weight reduction, mainly at speed. Other testers mentioned a slight stability reduction when transitioning from long to short turns, or while shutting down speed. “It’s a challenge to bed the ski into short arcs, but it holds well in medium to long radius turns and actually butters well,” said one tester. Some women have found past Kastle models to be stiff and hard to flex on the one hand, but bomber throughout high speed arcs. The LX line is Kastle’s lightweight line. Though there’s no “women’s specific” models, many point female customers to the LX 85 and the narrower LX 73.

This lightweight LX 85 model trades some of that bomber stability for a more wide-reaching, user-friendly personality, while still maintaining the recognizable “smoothness and creaminess” Kastle has become known for. Ideally, the Kastle LX 85 suits “women with lots of snowy real estate to open up and let the ski do its thing,” said one tester. Whether a capable carver or an intermediate looking for a confidence boost, the LX can deliver an easy ride.

Flotation

The LX 85’s slim waist and moderate tip and tail do not scream out “flotation,” and testers gave moderate to low scores for this field. The hollowed out tip with Hollowtech technology does reduce the weight of the tip, but testers didn’t feel it lightened the tip substantially enough to create great flotation. In fact, the tip felt too light to some testers.

Stability

Stability is where the LX 85’s scores dipped. Some testers felt it skied shorter than its length and the Hollowtech tip felt too light to be comfortable in high speed arcs where the ski was less stable. Though stability lacked in that area, testers felt that the smooth and creamy flex was a tradeoff and the lightness and maneuverability means that the ski’s user profile increases to include a variety of ability levels.

Edge Hold

Produced in Austria with a nod to racing, Kastle’s LX 85 features a semi-cap sidewall construction and full camber, designed for edge grip, torsional rigidity and a balanced flex. Testers gave the 85 millimeter waist ski its highest marks for Edge Hold. “This is a great arcing ski, that’s stable at high speeds,” said one tester. “Quick turning, light and maneuverable,” said another tester.

Carving Pleasure

Testers found the Kastle LX 85 to be fun to carve. “It’s a great combo of grace and grit,” said one tester. The combination of different woods in the core combined with elements like Kastle’s Elliptical Radius means each model has its own carving characteristics and testers lauded the easy-flexing and smooth nature of the ski.

Turn Shape Variability

Testers scored Turn Shape Variability close to Carving Pleasure and appreciated the nimbleness of the model in a variety of turn shapes. However, testers noted the LX 85 was less forgiving in big turn transitions, partially because of its lightweight feel. LX is Kastle’s “light and easy, frontside-oriented” line. “It’s an ideal ski for women with lots of real estate to open it up and let it rip.”

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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$999.00
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