2018 Kastle FX 95 HP Skis 2018 Kastle FX 95 HP Skis

2018 Kastle FX 95 HP Skis

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.


Pat Toporowski

Age: 36Height: 6'"Weight: 165 lbs.

Ski Style: Adventurous playful freerider

Kris DeMello Ski Tester Headshot Image

Kris DeMello

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive, fast, fearless

James Stewart Ski Tester Headshot Image

James Stewart

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, Playful, Fun to Follow

52 Comments on the “2018 Kastle FX 95 HP Skis”

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    1. Hi Johnny!

      Right now we’re sold out of the FX 95 non-HP, but we may be getting more. The FX 95 non-HP will handle speed, but the HP version has more vibration dampening and is more stable at speed thanks to the metal.

      Hope that helps!


  1. Hi,

    I’m really interested in picking up a pair of these but I just want to make sure they’re not too advanced a ski for me after the “definitely for the advanced to expert skier” comment! I’m a level 7 skier (182cm, 80kg), can take on all blues and most black, although my form will go out the window on icy and very steep blacks. I tend to ski fast on groomers and carve when I can but am going to be doing more off piste this season and so the 95mm waist seems perfect.

    When you say, “they require some speed to come alive”, do you mean that they’re more difficult to ski at slower speeds or just less fun? And would they end up being more of a hindrance on icy, steep blacks at a slower speed?

    I have skied a lot on the Enforcer 93 which I really like so and comparisons or differences to that ski would be really helpful!

    Thanks for your help and the great review.


    1. Hi Alex!

      That reason for that comment is basically the two sheets of metal in the ski. Depending on skier weight it takes a fair amount of skier input to really get the most out of the ski. That being said you’ll also see that Pat thought they were “smooth and predictable,” so in comparison to other skis with this much metal they are relatively user-friendly. The best aspects of the ski are most noticeable when you’re skiing at speed, but they’re not exceptionally difficult to ski at slower speeds wither. Of course a ski with two sheets of metal is heavier than one without, but Kastle’s Hollowtech design reduces swing weight in the tip quite a bit.

      If you’ve skied the Enforcer 93 and enjoyed it chances are you’ll really enjoy the FX 95 HP, as both skis use two sheets of metal. It’s perhaps a touch more responsive than the Enforcer 93 and likes to have a little more skier input than the Enforcer 93, but overall they’re relatively similar skis. From how you describe your skiing I think you’ll be just fine on the FX 95 HP, unless you’re pretty lightweight or consider yourself not very aggressive. Considering you said you ski pretty fast on groomers I think you’ll enjoy the performance of the FX 95 HP.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Hi,
        Very interested in these skis. I currently ski on Volkl 84 RTM 171cm. I am 167 cm tall and weigh 62kg. I am level 8, ski single black mostly. These ski sizes seem to run long. The Volkl 171cm are at the longest length I should be skiing on due to my height. Would you recommend going down in size to the 165cm or going up even larger than my current to the 173cm? I don’t understand the sizing differentials vs my Volkls


      2. Hi Jeff!

        I think that’s a bit of a toss up. What version RTM 84 are you on? That might seem like a moot point, but I think it could actually steer you in the right direction. If you’re skiing on the RTM 84 that’s reverse camber (full rocker), I would say it’s probably best to go with the 165 cm FX 95 HP as it is going to take a bit more effort to ski, but still will provide enough stability, float, etc for your size. If you’re skiing on a RTM 84 that has camber (a newer version) and can handle it at that length chances are you’d be able to handle the 173 cm FX 95 HP, although that does seem a bit big for your height and weight. The newer RTM 84 (cambered) comes in a 172 cm length, so I’m guessing you’re on the older (reverse camber) RTM 84, which would lead me to believe the 165 cm FX 95 HP will probably be the way to go.

        Does that help? Do you know what year your RTM 84 skis are from?


  2. Ski the bumps. I have Kastle FX from 2 yrs ago, they are 166 cm and have transformed my skiing. My goals are to develop my technique in the bumps. I am 75 kg and 177cm. 165 cn seem the ideal length for me. What happens if I ski a deliberately shorter ski, does this equate to increased responsiveness and fun or a loss of balance distribution?

    1. Hey Don!

      Are you thinking of going shorter than 165 cm? I do agree that if you prefer skiing a shorter length that’s the way to go. I don’t think you’d like dropping down even further to the 157 cm, that’s getting pretty short.

      To answer your question directly, I think it depends on the skier. Really the answer is yes to both, but certain skiers will feel the increased maneuverability and fun, while others will feel more instability and a loss of balance. At that point it comes down to ski style, level of aggressiveness, etc.

      I think you’re pretty safe sticking with the 165 cm length, especially since you’ve enjoyed your 166 cm Kastles!


  3. I have been an instructor at Jackson Hole for 10 years. I am 69 yrs old, 5’7,and 185 lbs. I have older MX series 104, 98, 88, and 78, the 98 in a 174 being my favorite. Am looking for a ski that will be more versatile off piste, in crud, but also carve well on . Is this a good all around ski for me in everything but deeper days which I have a number of DPS Skis for ? What length would be appropriate, I like to ski fast. Am also considering the 105 BMX HP. Any thoughts between the two?

    1. Hey Jay!

      I think the FX 95 HP makes more sense to fill that slot in your quiver than the BMX 105 HP. To me the BMX 105 is a ski that I would want to break out in at least 6-8 inches of snow, and then you could make an argument that your DPS pow skis are going to handle that role already. The old MX 98 is a badass (excuse my language, but there’s no other way to describe it) ski. Stiff, strong, burly, demanding. The FX 95 HP is definitely more forgiving, maneuverable, and versatile thanks to the shape and the slightly softer flex pattern. On the other hand it still has that strong Kastle feel that I’m guessing you really like. You could say similar things about the BMX 105 HP, but to me 95 mm is a more appropriate width for what you’re looking to do. You’re making some sacrifices in carving and on-piste performance on the 105, much more so than the 95.

      Hope that helps!


      P.S. Can we come ski Jackson Hole with you? I personally have never been and would love a guide 🙂

  4. I am 76. 6’1″and 180 lbs. Higher Intermediate but not advanced. I like to cruise at medium speed in wide open terrain—I am not aggressive but like a lively stable ski ( I really like my MX 78 @ 168 which I got from Powder 7 ). I have skied and love the MX 89 @172. Also enjoy the MX 88 @178. Find the 178 slightly long but ski-able. All these skis are carving oriented so I am looking for a more off-piste 1SQ. –all mountain ski. I seem to do better with a 17-18 radius. What do you recommend? Fx 95 HP @ 173 or FX 95 @ 173. I read the ski reviews and simply can’t decide–metal for stability and cut -up snow or no metal for quicker turns? Jack

    1. Hi Jack!

      I’m leaning toward the FX 95 HP, simply because you’ve spent so much time on the MX series and have enjoyed them so much. Likely a big reason why you like them is the inclusion of metal in their construction. I would worry that the non-metal FX 95 wouldn’t quite have the stability you like. The shape is going to give you the off-piste performance you’re looking for. Considering your experience on skis with metal I don’t think you’ll find they turn much differently. Yes, the non-metal ski has a lighter swing weight, so is a little less tiring when you’re making smaller turns, but as long as you’re comfortable giving the ski enough input you can make the same turn shapes. Then you have the metal for when you want to ski faster over choppy terrain, etc.

      What do you think?


  5. Hello!

    First of all I love your site and reviews super helpful! 31 years old, and I’ve been a skier all my life and would describe myself as advanced/expert. My dad was a racer and old school and obsessed with long skis. I’m 5’9″ and 160 pounds and currently been on rossignol RPM oversize 174cm since 2004 (my dad bought them for me) SMH! I’m ready to purchase another pair finally got a well paying job! In the last five years been skiing the bumps more and more as well as spending weeks out west in Utah. I’m an aggressive skier but feel since my skis are so heavy I could benefit from a new pair. I like to ski aggressive and fast but love making quick turns in the bumps and off-piste as well and feel the FX 95 HP would be a good fit! I curious on your opinion if the 165cm or 173cm would be a better fit? I originally thought I wanted to come down in length from 174cm but since I’ve been skiing so much pow pow 😂 recently concerned dropping to 165cm would be sacrificing too much. Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Cyrus!

      I definitely think the FX 95 HP is a good fit for how you ski and the terrain you like. I really think 173 cm is the better length for you. That’s not exceptionally long for your size, especially considering you’re an aggressive advanced/expert skier. The 165 cm would be tough in deep snow and I think you’d also be sacrificing quite a bit of stability for those days you want to ski fast over chopped up snow conditions. 173 cm shouldn’t be hard for you to handle and I think will give you the performance you’re looking for. It’s going to be a drastic improvement over your current skis, that’s for sure.

      Hope that helps! Have a great season.


  6. Hi! I just returned from Vail where I demo’d the 2018 Kastle 95 HP’s. Amazing! Responsive on all terrain.
    My question is whether there are significant differences between the 2017 and the 2018 models?

    1. Hi Patrick!

      Just a graphics change on the FX 95 HP from 17 to 18. Other than that it’s the same ski, same performance!

  7. Hi

    I am 56, 6’ and 240 pounds. I ski at moderate speeds on groomed 2or3 out of 10’ski faster than I on black runs. In the bumps I slowly pick my way down 8 of 10 are faster on black bump runs. I have skied Kastles in the past and loved them. I read that these are better for aggressive skiers and for more powerful folks. What about powerful and not agressive.

    My biggest faults are that I am too tentative (learned to ski after 30) and don’t pressure downhill ski/tips enough.

    Will th HP punish me if I get in the back seat? Can a non agressive big guy maneuver these in bumps/trees and off piste.

    I ski 90% of time in New England.

    1. Hi! In general, Kastles tend to suit a pretty wide array of skiers. I don’t think the FX 95 HP would punish you; you’d be able to ski it. But I do think you’d get more out of a different ski. It takes a bit of speed and aggression to get the best performance from the FX 95 and really make it shine. I’d take a look at either the K2 Pinnacle 95 or the Head Kore 93. Both of those will give you the level of performance I think you’re looking for, but will be forgiving in bumps and trees if you get a bit tentative.

      1. Thanks for the great advice! I currently have Enforcer 93 and they are sluggish in tight spots. I actually had a blast with a pair of navigator 85 so that sounds consistent. I will give the Head Kore 93 and Pinnacle’s a try

  8. Hello – I’m hoping that you can help me with a ski comparison. I’m a 48 year old weighing 82 kg and 183cm (6ft) tall. I’ve really enjoyed Head skis in recent years and used to have a set of 177cm iMagnums that I really enjoyed carving at speed with.

    I then came across a set of Head Motörhead Rock n’ Rolls that are 95 underfoot. I don’t ski any other ski now as I find they are brilliant in all conditions and situations that I ski in. They are very stable when pushed at speed and carve really well too. What’s more, they are great when the snow is cut up and off piste at the sides of the piste in fresh stuff.

    I’ve always liked the look of Kastle skis and I’m wondering what to replace the Head Rock n’ Rolls with. It would appear that the Kastle FX 95s are similar skis? Which of the versions – HP / non-HP would be closest to what I experience with the Rock n’ Rolls?



    1. Hi Aled!

      The FX 95 HP uses two sheets of metal, so it will actually be even more stable at speed than your Rock n’ Rolls. Do you consider yourself a pretty aggressive skier? If yes, then you’ll probably benefit from those two sheets of metal in the FX 95 HP. If you don’t consider yourself exceptionally aggressive I would expect you’ll find the non-HP version has a similar feel to your current skis. The HP definitely rips, but if my memory serves me correctly the Rock n’ Roll doesn’t use any metal.

      Hope that helps!


  9. I am a French skier (1,85 m height and 75 kg, 40 years) and used to ski in the Alps on performance or “race skis” like “Hero master” ROssignol. But I want to ski more in powder and moguls (all terrain) now. I really love Kastle products -even if it is not very widespread in France. And I hesitate a lot between Kastle FX85 HP (more agile I guess, short turns) and FX 95 HP (more useful in deep powder, probably) : are these skis very different ? Is FX95 HP still relevant on ski slopes ?
    (I like your website and your comments)

    1. Hi Vincent!

      The FX 95 HP would be an awesome ski to add to your quiver! In my opinion that’s a better compliment to your existing skis than the 85. They’re really not much different at all in terms of performance and overall feel, but the 95 mm waist width gives you easier ability in softer snow conditions, especially when it gets deep. 95 mm still feels just fine on firm snow too, so you’re not losing much there. Still perfectly relevant on groomed slopes! I’d go 95 for sure for the extra powder performance. What length are you leaning toward? 181 cm should work, unless you have a preference for longer skis.


  10. Hey I’m trying to decide if FX 95 HP works for me and if so which size. I’m 5’7, 130lbs and level 7 in PSIA system. Given my weight, I’m not sure if I will generate enough input for two sheets of metal. Size wise, I usually ski carving skis of 165 length but since the FX 95 HP has a little bit of rising tail I’m wondering if they ski shorter than stated?

    1. Hi Luke!

      I’ll start by saying I don’t feel like the FX 95 HP skis short. It does use some rocker, but it’s not super-pronounced rocker, so really doesn’t cause the ski to ski short. How aggressive do you consider yourself? If you’re relatively aggressive and comfortable initiating turns you should be just fine on the FX 95 HP. I’m not too much heavier than you at 150 lbs and love that ski, so it could definitely work for you at 130 lbs.


      1. Hey Luke,

        Yes, I think 165 cm is probably the way to go. 173 cm would be a little taller than you and I think would be an unnecessary amount of ski. 165 cm should be a little more manageable.


  11. Hi I’m interested in this ski but in between sizes. Im 5.8 and weight 175lbs. Do you think the 165 or 173 is a better size?

    1. Hi Frank!

      How aggressive are you? If you like to ski fast and aggressively I would go with the 173 cm. If you’re a little bit more relaxed of a skier or want to boost maneuverability the 165 cm could work too. It’s basically whether you think you need the extra stability that would come along with the 173 cm.

      Hope that helps!


  12. Hello,

    I am 58 years old, 5’10” and weigh 180 lbs. I am an advanced/expert west coast skier that currently has a nice powder Rossi Super 7 173cm ski and a Dynastar Intuitive 74 in 175cm. I ski blacks and double black and am looking for the FX95 HP to replace the Dynastar for non powder days. What size would you recommend – I am thinking 181cm because of the rocker profile.

    Thanks in advance, love your reviews!


    1. Hi Robert!

      Your Rossi Super 7 has much more pronounced rocker than the FX 85 HP, so has more of an effect on what length you should choose than with the Kastle. Do you ever feel that ski to be unstable? If you don’t I’d stick with the 173 cm length. Even that will have more stability than your Super 7 even though they’re the same length. How aggressive do you consider yourself? I’d say you’re right on the line between 173 and 181. If you ski fast and aggressively you should be able to handle the 181 cm, but you might not need to go that long.

      Hope that helps!


  13. Hi, I am a highly aggressive skier interested in this ski, but dont want to spend 1200 on a ski if I can help it (though I can afford it if necessary). How does the 2018 model compare to the 17 or 16, and is there another comparable ski at a cheaper price? I have a true backcountry setup and a play/park setup already, so am looking for something that can do well on resort powder days while still charging hardpack at high speed.

    1. Hi Stan!
      Sounds like you need a pair of FX 95 HP skis! The 18/19 version is the same as the 17/8, which we have on our site (with or without bindings) for much less than 1200. For a comparison ski, the Nordica Enforcer 93 has a lot of the same characteristics, construction, shape, and profile of the FX 95 HP. Ski fast!

  14. Hi!

    I am 179cm height and 160lbs. I use a pair of Salomon X-Drive 8.0 Skis, 168cm now, and looking for a next pair of skis.

    I can ski most blacks in the west coast, and also ski with my family sometimes on blues. I am not an expert at black moguls, but would like to do more of it.

    The other option is Nordica Enforcer 93, which, I heard, is similar to FX 95 HP. Do you have any advices for model and size?


    1. Hi Harry!

      They’re both great skis. The Enforcer 93 is a little more user-friendly than the FX 95 HP in my opinion. Both perform at a high level, but the Enforcer 93 is a little more approachable for less aggressive skiers. Not to say you necessarily fall into that category, but your mention of wanting to do more of moguls makes me think the Enforcer 93 might be more appropriate. Essentially the FX 95 HP has greater torsional stiffness, so a little more challenging to enter a turn and manipulate the ski into different turn shapes. The Enforcer 93 does so more easily, and still has that high performing feel. You’d probably be really comfortable on a 177 cm Enforcer 93. Even though that’s a bit taller than you, the Enforcer 93 uses much more tip rocker than what you’ve been used to, so will feel like it skis a little shorter.

      Let me know what you think. The FX 95 HP could cetertainly work too, and in that ski I would go 173 cm because it uses less rocker, but I feel like the Enforcer 93 is probably a little more appropriate.


      1. Very helpful information. Thanks a lot!

        I am 5’10-5’11 bare foot. I thought I was better with the FX 95 HP at 181cm. Can I learn why 173cm could fit me better? Or I can go with either 173cm or 181cm?

      2. Hey Harry!

        My apologies, I think I was getting confused about your height when I was responding. In theory you’d be just fine on the 181 cm FX 95 HP, and that raises the idea that you could also probably ski the 185 cm Enforcer 93.

        You might not, however, want to. In my opinion you’re kind of right in between sizes. It should come down to how aggressive you are and how fast you like to ski. I think the fact that you’ve been on a ski that’s under 170 cm in length was pushing me towards the shorter lengths, but clearly I was also confused because a 177 cm Enforcer 93 is not taller than a 179 cm person. Honestly I would probably stick to the shorter of the two lengths if I were you. You’re not an exceptionally heavy guy, so probably won’t need the extra stability of the longer lengths, and the shorter lengths will be more user-friendly when you’re trying to progress in the moguls. So, yes, you could go with either the 173 cm or 181 cm (or comparatively the 177 or 185 cm Enforcer 93), but I think both shorter lengths respectively are arguably more appropriate.

        What do you think?


  15. I am 6’2″-6’3″ ~155 pound (really lanky) college guy. I used to race in high school and would consider myself to be an advanced, not expert, skier. I am looking for a ski that can rail groomers but still be taken off piste on non-deep powder days. I feel like I might fall between the 181 and the 189 cm, but the 189 is out of stock now.

    First, do you think does this ski fit what I am interested in? I’ve also looked at some other skis in this approximate width (Dynastar Legend 96, Elan Ripstick 96, Salomon QST 99, Armada Tracer 98 etc.)

    Second, would the 181 be too short for me, or would it work well because I am light?

    1. Hi Joe!

      So, first of all, yes, the FX 95 HP definitely falls into the category you’re looking at. Rips groomers, but handles softer snow conditions really well too. The Ripstick and the Tracer are probably a little too soft-flexing for what you’re looking for. The QST 99, however, could also work.

      So, is 181 cm too short? Maybe, maybe not. How fast do you like to ski? When you are skiing fast, is it on groomers or through choppy un-groomed terrain? That second one is where you would start to need the increased stability of the 189 cm, but if that doesn’t sound like you, you probably would be just fine on the 181 cm length. The QST 99 doesn’t use as much metal, so it doesn’t have the same vibration damping as the FX 95 HP, but it’s also not far behind. It’s super fun overall, definitely a freeride-inspired all mountain ski. I would also add a 185 cm Nordica Enforcer 100 to your list, that ski is, overall, quite similar to the FX 95 HP, just a more pronounced rocker profile.

      Hope that helps! Let me know what you’re thinking.


  16. I am 6’4 220 and have a pair of MX88s. I can’t say enough good things about these skis, especially on groomers where I have complete confidence in the edge hold at any speed. My only challenge is in mixed conditions (not fresh or deep powder but good snow that has been pushed around) and moguls where these skis can be a bit much to manuever.

    Is the FX95 HP different enough from what I have to see the difference when skiing moguls or in mixed conditions?

    So while I love the MX’s for groomers, I feel like they lack a little versatility for how I might ski on any given day and wonder if the FX’s will fill that void?

    1. Hi Jeremy!

      The FX 95 HP is quite a bit different than the MX 88. Still rips, but it’s more forgiving and more maneuverable in moguls and other off-piste terrain. It’s not drastically different, like it’s not a super soft-flexing ski, but I do think it would give you the performance you’re looking for. We also know you like the Kastle feel, so I think you can feel pretty confident buying another one.

      Hope that helps!


  17. I’m an aggressive advanced skier mixing on and off piste; love being off piste but have to spend time on piste and want to do so aggressively. I tried Volka Mantra and found it did the job – ok on bumps, turn initiation in tight situations was ok but it was heavy and not exciting at all ie ok at everything but great at none. I love the Bonafide for big turns on the piste but off piste if there are bumps due to things being skied-out and or tight situations or in heavy snow it’s not good. I like Brahma but find it not sufficiently off-piste orientated.

    I spoke to one of the guys at your shop who recommended I look at the FX95 HP and wondering about this vs the FX 95 and vs the BMX 105 HP. Leaning towards the FX95 HP but wonder if it sinks too much in powder and maybe too heavy.

    Ultimately I think I might have to look at 3 skis but prefer 2:
    – one for great snow conditions and playful; and for skiing with kids (I have Rustler 9 which is good for this but it’s not quite aggressive enough for me to use all the time)
    – one for more aggression but still can ski bumps, powder and tight with poor conditions (eg colouir even with heavy snow). Ideally be much more exiting than Mantra but offer much better off piste experience than Bonafide which I think is really a piste ski. Think this could be the FX95HP
    – one for powder if necessary but hopefully the 2 above can handle.

    I’m 6ft, 70kg usually ski a 180. But find my 180 Rustler 9 a little bit short on piste because it’s a bit soft (shame they don’t do single full sheet of metal).

    Any advice v much appreciated as always.

    1. Hi Ed!

      I think you’d have a blast on the FX 95 HP. It’s definitely quicker and a little more responsive than both the Mantra and Bonafide, but still has the stability and vibration damping that those skis have. It has lighter swing weight than both those skis, so it really doesn’t feel too heavy on your feet despite the two sheets of metal in there.

      So, the FX 95 HP is a candidate for the second application you’re looking for, correct? It is a little more powerful and more stable at speed than the Rustler, mostly because the rocker is lower rise and less abrupt, but also because there’s a little more metal in the ski. It’s more nimble than both the Mantra and Bonafide, which I think you would appreciate. I don’t think the FX 95 (non-HP) would have nearly the level of power you’re looking for. The BMX 105 HP is probably a little too wide. Super fun in powder, but not as precise or nimble when you get into poor conditions or tricky terrain.

      Sounds like you’d enjoy the FX 95 HP, and I don’t expect you’d find the 181 cm to be short because of the lower rocker and more metal than the Rustler 9.

      Someday, it could be cool to add a powder-specific ski to your quiver, something in the 110+ range for those ultra-deep days, but that’s another conversation.


  18. SwI’m weighing my options on the FX95-HP. I’m currently on a Rossignol Experience 98 in a 180cm and also ski a Volkl Mantra (98 underfoot) in a 184 cm. I was previously on a Stockli Stormrider (98 underfoot) in a 190 cm. I’m 65 years old 5’10” tall and weigh 170 pounds and I’m in excellent shape. I’ve been skiing western Canadian and US resorts for 55 years. I am an excellent agressive skier and spend as much time off piste as on – if conditions allow. I ski fast and definitely lean towards a GS style of skiing. I’m going to replace my Rossi Experience 98’s with the FX95-hp but I can’t make up my mind between the 181cm or the 189cm. I think I’m leaning towards the 189. What’s your opinion on the 189 for my skiing?

    1. Hi Dave!
      Based solely on your stats, I’d put you on the 181, but if you know you like longer skis and ski aggressively as you say, then you might prefer the longer length. Don’t let me talk you out of it!

  19. Hi There,

    I demoed the Kästle FX 95 HP in 173cm over the holidays and really liked it (would be perfect if it only had a 2m shorter radius). I am looking for a do everything go anywhere kinda ski (even though I am contemplating getting an SL ski and a “true” powder ski instead). I did however not demo the MX89 – as for versatility, which of the two should I consider for the job? I am 5′ 9 1/2 ” and 155lbs, like to ski hard but also take it back a notch with the family and feel pretty comfortable on any type of piste and venture off-piste / into the powder if conditions permit. Given this – I was happy with the 173 but feel as if I am in-between sizes – which size would you put me on?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Chris!
      I’d stick to the 173, especially if you’re doing some family skiing in addition to your own. The MX89 has much more of a piste-oriented feel to it as compared to the FX 95, and you might not like it as much if you’re not skiing 100%. It’s worth a look, though, because the thing totally rips.

  20. Hello,
    I’m looking at the FX95hp and trying to figure out what size I should go with. I currently have a pair of Blizzard Bonafides in 173. I like the stability of those but want something that is a tad more maneuverable and a little faster edge to edge. How does the FX95hp in a 173 compare to the Bonafide in the same size…and should I consider the 165? As for my profile, I’m 5’6 and 145lb. Advanced skier, not expert. Spend most of my time in bounds on blue and black runs.

    1. Hi Chris!
      I’d say those models are fairly comparable in the 173 size. By nature, the Bonafide is stiffer and heavier, so I think you’ll come about that increased maneuverability rather organically with the same size, but not by much. I don’t think it’s worth downsizing if you’ve been comfortable with the 173. Have fun!

  21. First of all, thank you SkiEssentials for doing these very thorough ski tests. The one thing I feel this industry lacks is a clear-cut way for shoppers to decide which equipment is just right for them. You guys are the one place where people of any ability can come and read the most comprehensive, straightforward reviews of a massive array of equipment for both men and women. Whenever I see a new ski that I’m wondering about, I look to your reviews first to get the real skinny on what makes it special (or not). Please keep up the great work and reviews!

    All of that said, after doing a ton of research, I was really torn between the Volkl M5 Mantra and the Kastle FX95 HP so I decided to demo both of them last weekend in Breckenridge. I spent 1 full day on both skis, putting them through the paces of groomers, off piste, steeps, glades, moguls, you name it. My skier type: I’ve been skiing for over 30 years and put in about 35+ days a season at Colorado resorts. I ski mostly black diamonds and double blacks, but also enjoy long, rolling blue cruisers.

    First off, I’m a die-hard Volkl fan and have been skiing Volkls for years. I was convinced the Mantras were going to be my next ski purchase until I started hearing about the FX95s. Here’s the crazy thing: both the Mantras and the FX95s skied very similarly. At first, I had a very difficult time even telling them apart. Both of these skis are like high performance sports cars with many similar attributes. They felt like they weighed the same, kept speed about the same, held an edge about the same, and both blasted through all kinds of snow conditions with ease. The key differences where I was able to pull these skis apart came in moguls and in quick turning/playfulness. The Mantras absolutely destroyed a zipperline mogul run with ease and very little effort. With the FX95s, I had to apply just a tiny bit (and I mean tiny) more technique in the moguls to get the same results. On groomers, the Mantras just didn’t have the same “oomph” that make them quite as springy between each carve, turn to turn. All that said, I was extremely impressed with both skis and would be happy to take either as my daily driver, 1-ski quiver. However, at the end of the day, the FX95s edged out the Mantras by just a hair when it came to playfulness and pep, and they handled the moguls outstandingly as well, even it it did require more input from the driver.