2020 Kastle DX 85 W

There’s something about these ~85 mm underfoot skis that really resonate with a lot of skiers. Match that versatile front-side shape with Kastle’s legendary build design, and you’ve got a sure-fire winner. Built with a wood core and fiberglass laminates, these things are stiff, poppy, quick, and clean. They make beautifully round turns, and with a gentler and more forgiving shape and profile, they gain a bit of momentum in the all-mountain department. With hook free tail shape, early rise tip, and full camber, these skis can rip some turns, whether you put a ton of energy into them or not. It’s kind of up to the pilot, as the tail is not as abusive as the MX line, but not as forgiving as some of the skis with glass and carbon. The end result is a stable and solid ski that still has a decent amount of maneuverability to it. And it’s a Kastle, so it’s hard to overlook the build design and quality components. The Hollowtech 2.0 tip keeps chatter to a minimum, so for a ski without metal, these things ride pretty smooth. With a 14.5-meter turn radius at the 160 cm length, the DX 85 W prefers to be on edge, but thanks to that more playful tail shape, they can be coerced to make different shaped turns regardless of conditions or terrain. Our testers generally liked the versatility, with the quickness and stability coming out on top.

On the 168, Lauren Lepage found the ski to be very well-rounded. In addition to making round turns, the skis also fared well in off-piste conditions as well. She notes that the skis preferred shorter to medium-radius turns, but didn’t really like being “held in a turn.” So it sounds like the quickness factor was pretty high, almost as a default for the shorter turn radius. Still quick edge to edge, the Kastle DX 85 W is a great tool for firmer snow conditions and more nimble turns.

Ali Berlin was on the 160 and loved the quickness and maneuverability, with those categories earning 5’s out of 5. Playfulness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression all got 4’s, and that adds up to some pretty high scores for Ali’s DX 85 W. She calls it “a light and agile ski. Great response in the bumps. Very comfortable cruising down the groomers. Easy to steer—almost like auto-pilot.” When it comes to assigning the ski to an audience, she calls it “a perfect ski for advanced to intermediate skiers that can go anywhere.” Ali’s pretty spot on here, noting the easy-going nature of the ski will find its crowd in the ladies who love to ski the whole mountain, and do so on a high-quality piece of ski machinery like the Kastle DX 85 W.

Apparently, Katrine Wolfgang was a pretty big fan of the DX 85 W. She skied the 160, and although that might be on the short side for her, she still liked it enough to draw a straight-line right through all of the 5’s in every category. When scoring like that occurs, it’s pretty clear that the tester has found a match. Thanks to the wood core, Katrine “found this ski to be pretty light. That said, it skied well at moderate speed.” In regards to the hook free tail and the early rise tip, Katrine notes that the DX 85 W “initiated turns well and smooth.” It’s always fun when a design like those hook-free tips and tails come to life when you’re on the ski, it’s almost like the engineers and builders actually know what they’re doing!

If you’re looking for a high-end ski to take you all over the mountain with stability and confidence without weighing you down, it’s hard to do better than the 2020 Kastle DX 85 W. It comes with all the tools you need to take your next step towards ski mastery.

Testers

Katrine Wolfgang

Age: 49+Height: 5'5"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth carving

Ali Berlin

Age: 42Height: 5'"Weight: 110 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast frontside, free spirit.

Lauren Lepage

Age: 28Height: 5'5"Weight: 145 lbs.

Ski Style: Half snowboarder, half skier, all fun!

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