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Kastle DX85 (2021; unisex)

gingerjess

Angel Diva
This is a review of a new ski purchase after demoing at the tail end of Diva West in less-than-ideal conditions but being enchanted anyway.

The ski: Kastle DX85 unisex; 176cm (the women's-specific version, identical less a sheet of metal, only goes up to 168cm); 126-85-109; 18m turning radius.

Yours truly: High-intermediate to low-advanced skier; 5'11" and somewhere around 190lb.

The conditions: No new snow in a while at Alpine Meadows; early-morning corduroy turning into soft skied-up snow mid-morning; mostly steep blacks and blue runouts with some soft piles of snow forming by the end of my day (noon).

My impressions:

I was looking to get something different from and complementary to my Ripstick 94s, and the bottom line is that I definitely managed to do that. Over the last season or so I've been finding myself leaning more and more towards wide, swoopy terrain, and wanted to find something that would help me grow more in carving skills. The DX85 feels like it was the right choice.

Flipping the skis edge-to-edge is a dream; they're nimble and take almost no effort. This is a good thing, because as it turns out, the tradeoff is that they really hate smearing, which is a huge contrast to the Ripsticks. I managed to throw myself off-balance a couple times before I recognized what was happening and adjusted to a more deliberate turn initiation. You should expect to have these on edge pretty much all the time.

Once you do have the skis on edge, they're remarkably wet and stable—as the terrain became more and more skied up, the skis didn't deflect at all from crud, and the only adjustment I had to make was to avoid going flying by hitting larger bumps at speed.

And speed is definitely a forte for the Kastle. It felt stable no matter how much speed I threw at it, and no matter how tight I was carving my turns. In comparison to the Ripsticks that start to have some flap at higher speeds, I never hit an "inflection point" where the character of the DX85 changed.

Of course, all this comes at a cost, which is that the Kastles want to be skied in a particular way, and you have to be willing to do that. For me, buying these skis was all about being more intentional in my frontside skiing, and so the price is absolutely worth it. I feel like I'm already a better skier after one morning on them, and I'm excited to see what they teach me next.
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks for the great write up! I recommended these skis to my sister as I love my mx84 and she has struggled with them a bit. This insight about how they like to be skied is super helpful!
 

Gabriellecfc

Diva in Training
This is a review of a new ski purchase after demoing at the tail end of Diva West in less-than-ideal conditions but being enchanted anyway.

The ski: Kastle DX85 unisex; 176cm (the women's-specific version, identical less a sheet of metal, only goes up to 168cm); 126-85-109; 18m turning radius.

Yours truly: High-intermediate to low-advanced skier; 5'11" and somewhere around 190lb.

The conditions: No new snow in a while at Alpine Meadows; early-morning corduroy turning into soft skied-up snow mid-morning; mostly steep blacks and blue runouts with some soft piles of snow forming by the end of my day (noon).

My impressions:

I was looking to get something different from and complementary to my Ripstick 94s, and the bottom line is that I definitely managed to do that. Over the last season or so I've been finding myself leaning more and more towards wide, swoopy terrain, and wanted to find something that would help me grow more in carving skills. The DX85 feels like it was the right choice.

Flipping the skis edge-to-edge is a dream; they're nimble and take almost no effort. This is a good thing, because as it turns out, the tradeoff is that they really hate smearing, which is a huge contrast to the Ripsticks. I managed to throw myself off-balance a couple times before I recognized what was happening and adjusted to a more deliberate turn initiation. You should expect to have these on edge pretty much all the time.

Once you do have the skis on edge, they're remarkably wet and stable—as the terrain became more and more skied up, the skis didn't deflect at all from crud, and the only adjustment I had to make was to avoid going flying by hitting larger bumps at speed.

And speed is definitely a forte for the Kastle. It felt stable no matter how much speed I threw at it, and no matter how tight I was carving my turns. In comparison to the Ripsticks that start to have some flap at higher speeds, I never hit an "inflection point" where the character of the DX85 changed.

Of course, all this comes at a cost, which is that the Kastles want to be skied in a particular way, and you have to be willing to do that. For me, buying these skis was all about being more intentional in my frontside skiing, and so the price is absolutely worth it. I feel like I'm already a better skier after one morning on them, and I'm excited to see what they teach me next.
Thanks for all these specifics. Kastles were my first pair of skis at age 13 in ‘75. Saw several pairs recently in Europe and thought maybe I should demo again. All these specifics are very helpful. Thank you!
 

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