The Kastle FX 95 HP is a super versatile, high performance all mountain ski that’s designed to offer an amazing feel in a wide range of terrain and snow conditions. Kastle’s FX series is home to their most versatile skis with strong performance both on and off groomed slopes. The FX 95 HP is perhaps the best example of this with its 95 mm waist width, two sheets of metal, yet maneuverable shape. From laying down powerful carves on groomers to pivoting and jumping through the trees and even floating in fresh powder, in paper it seems like the FX 95 HP should be able to do it all!
…And according to our testers they pretty much can, but prefer to be skied relatively fast and aggressively. James Stewart, who skied the 181 cm length, thought they had an “excellent feel on snow,” describing them as both “damp and stable,” but admitted that they do “require some speed to come alive.” Because there are two sheets of metal in its construction it definitely requires some skier input and the ability to push a ski to really get the most out of it. Less aggressive skiers who want the same performance applications for a variety of terrain will find the non-HP (no metal) version of the ski can be skied at much slower speeds. According to James, however, “With good driver input this is a lively and rewarding ski that is eager to be pushed.”
Pat Toporowski tested the longest length, the 189 cm, and really enjoyed the combination of what he described as “very smooth, stable, and a fun shape.” That is kind of the idea behind the FX 95 HP in our opinion. They’ve designed a fun, maneuverable shape, but given it the guts and power to rival any burly, advanced and expert oriented all mountain ski on the market. Despite their high-end performance and stable, powerful feel, Pat still described them as “predictable,” something that is often said about Kastle skis. When so much attention to detail goes into design and engineering it results in a ski that does what it’s intended without major surprises. Because of their versatility across a wide range of terrain, Pat was inclined to comment that it would be a great “one-ski-quiver for a hard-charger.”
Kris DeMello was also on the 189 cm and found the FX 95 HP performs best at certain speeds. Spoiler alert: those speeds aren’t slow. Kris scored the FX 95 HP 5 out of 5 for stability and torsional stiffness, and commented that “this ski wants to be moving!” This has emerged as a bit of a theme for the FX HP skis (both the 85 and 95 mm waist widths); they like to be skied and perform best at relatively high speeds. Kris described it as having “great stability at wide open speeds, even in the chunder.” Because they like to be skied pretty fast and aren’t super light due to the two sheets of metal, Kris was inclined to comment that they’re “definitely for the advanced to expert skier.”
The Kastle FX 95 successfully positions itself as one of the highest performing, most versatile all mountain skis on the market. It requires someone who is comfortable and willing to ski at speed and to drive the ski. It isn’t the type of ski you want to sit back and relax on, but rather stay forward and engage the tip. You’ll likely know if you’re the type of skier that would benefit from having a Kastle FX 95; you ski fast, hard, and don’t like to be held back regardless of your terrain choices on a given day.