Kastle MX89 ReviewDecember 18, 2017
- Solid feel underfoot—damp and beefy
- Great edge-hold
- Master of the GS turn
- Charges the fall-line
- Needs to be driven
- Loses performance at slower speeds
- And in shorter turns
- Demands your full attention
Kastle skis have the unique ability to make old school GS-style skiers feel like they’re re-living their glory days while still making the most of modern technology on some thoroughly high-performance boards. The MX89 delivers that sensation in spades, with great edge-hold, amazing stability, and a damp, vacuumed-to-the-snow confidence that makes you want to just lean into every turn and open it up. A full woodcore, sidewall construction, two layers of Titanal and a rubber dampening sheet combine to enhance that feeling of riding on a shock eraser, almost like the skis are ironing out the bumps beneath your feet.
The MX89’s are not for skiers looking for lot of pop in their turns, or for skiers who want to make short swing turns or zipper line the bumps. These skis need to be driven and can feel difficult to maneuver at slower speeds. The beauty is that they make going fast really fun. Recommended for advanced to expert skiers who like to eat up terrain, these big boards got top marks from testers for the way they love to throttle down the fall-line.
The Kastle MX89, like many of the most stable skis (see Full Review) in the Frontside Category, got some of the lower scores for Float in this category, with a shape and construction that focuses more on the Edge Hold and Stability of the ski, rather than making any special allowances for off-piste performance. As the Full Review states, this a powerful GS ski built for making wonderfully wide, predictable, fall-line turns, or as one tester wrote, “It’s for someone who will gladly trade liveliness for more stability and grip.” The ski did earn a couple 8s (out of a possible 10) in this classification, from testers who liked how it plowed through everything in its path. It also got two 4s for feeling “planky,” while every other tester gave it a 5 or a 6.
The full silver fir woodcore, bomber sidewall construction, double Titanal construction and rubber dampening sheet used to build this bomber ski help make it one of the most stable, “solid” skis some of our testers have ever ridden. Even in a field of stable skis with great edge hold, the MX89 stands out for how well it accesses that power without making you feel like you’re working too hard. Of course, if you aren’t going fast, or making medium to long radius turns, the superior stability might make it feel about as exciting as steering a battleship. Get it up to speed, and it’s an absolute pleasure to arc. Only one tester gave it a 6 in this classification, saying, “It constantly needs to be pressured,” while every other tester gave it 10s and 8s.
That same super smooth at higher speeds mantra also applies to the MX89 in terms of Edge Hold. In medium to long-radius turns, it arcs effortlessly, with ABS Sidewalls, traditional camber construction, and that sweet rubber dampening sheet creating constant contact with the snow from tip-to-tail and edge-to-edge. There were several 10s for the Kastle in this classification, as well as 8s, with only one tester giving the ski a 4, stating that it wasn’t responsive enough to keep on edge. In a category where good hold is standard, the Kastle is one of the best.
Also testing near the top of the Frontside Category, but frankly with a kind of ethereal ease that is hard to describe even after skiing the ski. It just feels better, as noted in the Full Review, mixing the benefits of modern technology with the beauty of an old school GS ski feel. “It owns the carve,” one tester wrote.
Turn Shape Variability
Stick to medium to long-radius turns at moderately high to fast speeds, and you will love this ski. Slow down, or try to ski tight slalom turns, and the ski will feel sluggish, which is why in this classification, the MX89 got a few more scores of 7s and 6s to offset the other testers who were giving it 9s and 8s. Overall, it’s a GS-machine that will thrill Frontside skiers who love to make deep, smooth arcs.Continue Reading
Peter Kray- Publisher
Peter Kray is a co-founder of the Gear Institute, and a longtime specialist in the testing of skis, snowboards and outdoor equipment.