2020 Kastle FX 106 HP

These big sticks are ready to rip. Featuring the highest-end materials and design, the FX 106 HP are built for speed, flotation, and stability. For skiers looking to maximize their downhill powder performance, the Kastle 106 HP is the way to go. Like the other HP models from Kastle this year, they’ve done away with the metal laminates and have replaced them with the TRI Tech method of core building. In this design, the wood core is wrapped in a carbon-fiberglass weave. This creates the same type of stability and strength as the metal laminates, but at a lighter weight and with more responsive turns in mind. It’s got a low camber profile with hook-free tips and tails. This, along with the dual rise profile, keeps the ski afloat of a bunch of fresh powder. The Hollowtech 3.0 vibration damping system does a great job in mitigating chatter, and keeping the skis silky and smooth. At 106 underfoot and with a 20.4-meter turn radius at the 184 cm length, the Kastle FX 106 HP are best suited to higher speeds in softer snow. When they get in these conditions, they really begin to light up. On-trail, they’re pretty nice little carvers, too. Kastle has done such a great job over the past few years building skis that simply perform better than their contemporaries. As a result, they’ve earned and cultivated a reputation for quality in each and every model. Our testers loved the flotation, stability, and edge hold most of all, and were all relatively smitten with the prospects of getting one of these for the upcoming winter.

On the 184, Evan Caha was a huge fan of the flotation. Some skis float just at their width, but others, like the FX 106 in Evan’s mind, can feel wider and floatier. For a wider ski, that carbon and fiberglass wrap does a tremendous job keeping the ski stiff and solid. Evan notes that the “low camber was surprising. After testing, I wish it had more camber.” We didn’t get a chance to really let these things rip in fresh powder, as our soft snow came more in the form of spring corn, but it’s still a good opportunity to see how the ski fares in other avenues as well. He also notes that in getting the best performance out of these big sticks, “I probably don’t weigh enough. Needs a skier with some mass to put behind each turn.” I wonder if Evan would feel the same way about the shorter 176 cm length?

Also on the 184, Michael Carroll-Sherwin was a pretty big fan of a bunch of the categories. 5’s out of 5 rained down on flotation, stability, forgiveness, torsional stiffness, and edge hold. The rest of his scores were all 4’s including his overall impression. That’s a lot of top-end scores for a pretty wide ski, so the FX 106 HP must have a lot going for it in Michael’s experience. Matching his score for stability is his description, calling the skis “freight trains!” But even with that bulky imagery, he also notes that they’re “very responsive for a 106.” And regarding the intended user of these skis, they “could easily be a one-ski quiver for those who are privileged to have deep(er) snow.”

These would make a great snowy climate one-ski quiver for sure, as well as an eastern snow day ski. There’s a lot of performance and versatility in these FX 106 HP’s, and advanced and expert skiers will have a field day with these on their feet in the right conditions and terrain. Feel free to let them rip, as the build and design will definitely be able to keep up.

Testers

Michael Carroll-Sherwin

Age: 30Height: 6'1"Weight: 185 lbs.

Ski Style: Quick and nimble with freeride influence

Evan Caha

Age: 30Height: 5'10"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and adventurous with a love for high edge angles

14 Comments on the “2020 Kastle FX 106 HP”

  1. I’m very keen to try these.
    I’ve got the FX95HP after watching your YouTube review.
    This 106 seems to be a perfect middle ski for me.
    Though at 6ft 2” 220 lb I’ve always gone long but the 192 seems just a little too long.
    What’s there effective edge.
    Could I get away with the 184
    for trees and mid deep powder?

    1. Hi Mark!
      I’m the same exact size as you, and I’d go with the 192. The tips are pretty light, and the lack of metal for the 2020 ski makes it more maneuverable than before. Additionally, I just think the 184 is too short for people our size, especially for a soft snow ski. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Steven!
      I’d say the 176 is the way to go. May be a bit burly in tight spots, but at speed, you’ll appreciate the extra stability of the longer length. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Looking at the 2020 Kastle FX HP 106 184cm and how it compares with the 2017(ish)-2019 Kastle BMX HP 189cm. I’m 5’8″ 175lbs and ski primarily in the western US. The BMX is a fun hard charging ski that I’ve enjoined on both tele and alpine. I really like how the BMX’s charge hard in soft and hard snow, they float in soft, have enough weight and power to blow through crud/wind buff and carve on hard snow. They have been my one ski quiver, except for rock days. Wondering how the two skis compare? Thanks for your comments.

    1. Hi Robert!
      The FX HP 106 has a turnier nature to it for sure versus the BMX. Less taper and rocker make the FX more directional and front-side oriented. No metal in the FX 106 for 2020, so keep that in mind if you like the burlier build of the BMX HP. They’ve basically wrapped their wood core in carbon and fiberglass in the hopes of replicating the metal of the previous versions, but I’m not sure it’s a suitable substitute for an “HP” ski. That said, it’s lighter and more agile and if you’re not terribly heavy, it’s got more than enough performance. For me, at 220 pounds, I’m bending that tip pretty easily, but at 175, a better choice for you than for me. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. Appreciate the review! I’m thinking of buying a pair of these. Size recs??

    Advanced skier, 5’8″, 155 lbs, and I like skiing fast. Live and ski in the PNW. Current skis are Fischer Ranger 108’s in 182 and Bent Chetler 120’s in 184 for those deep days.

    176 or 184??

    Thanks for you input!

    Eric

    1. Hi Eric!
      If you’re used to the 180ish sizing, I’d go 184 with that ski. It’s not terribly heavy, so I wouldn’t worry about getting behind. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi I’m 6,2 195lbs intermediate / advanced skier. What would you suggest is right length for me? 184 or 192 in the fx106? Thanks

  5. Hi,

    I’m 6’0, 185 lbs. Looking to add this ski for powder days. Intermediate/Advanced skier. Currently have 2019 Volkl RTM 86, 182cm. Love my Volks – but find them a bit exhausting and challenging to maneuver quickly at times given the length. Find myself second guessing whether I should have bought the 177cm’s instead. Thus my question – should I buy the Kastle’s at 184cm or 176cm. Thank you for your time and effort.

    1. HI Johnathan!
      If you’re trending to shorter, I’d keep it going and get the 176’s so the same thing doesn’t happen with another set of skis. Have fun!
      SE

  6. Hi there,

    I’m so on the fence about these and I need your help!. I ski the BMX 105 HP as my work ski – love them dearly but they are totally shredded after several years of CA volcanic shrapnel. So, I’m looking for a replacement ski. I’m a Freerider working with athletes who compete in Big Mountain events – I want a ski that charges, but I also appreciate a ski that also has a little forgiveness in it for those days when cruising is more in order. I’ve read good things about the FX106…but I’ve also read some bad, like how the tips are super soft and prone to folding in heavier snow, and about a funky flex pattern too (manifesting in overly stiff tails). FYI I’m 6ft, 215lbs (plus a bit when geared up), I like to ski fast so stability is good, but so is agility when you get into coaching scenarios. What are your thoughts on the 106 based in the above? And, I’m leaving towards the 192s, would I be on the right track for that?

    1. HI ED!
      I am in agreement with your assessment of the FX 106. For 2022, it goes back to the Ti, so less of an overall issue, but still flexible in the shovel. The 192 does make it more tolerable for sure, as it gives you more material to lean on. I’d also check out the Nordica Enforcer 104 and Fischer Ranger 107 Ti. Have fun!
      SE

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