2020 Kastle MX 89

Back again for what is going to be, most assuredly, another stellar year for the MX 89. This stout cruiser loves to be pushed, and has the build and the design to back up all of its talk. With a race-inspired sandwich sidewall construction consisting of a Fir/Beech wood core with fiberglass and titanal laminates, this thing is ready to run, and it loves to do so at high speeds. Featuring Kastle’s Hollowtech 2.0, the tips remain stable and damp no matter what, as these skis crave firmer snow and lots of G-Forces. At the 180 cm length, the skis have an 18-meter turn radius, so they love to be on edge making clean, round turns. With standard camber and fast grip shovels and tails, they are used to being on harder snow, as they’ll dive a bit in the softer stuff. But anything on-trail will shy away from getting in front of these serious sticks. They’re on the heavy side, but with that heft you also get strength, so advanced and expert skiers will likely glean the best performance out of the MX 89. It’s not enough just to roll into the turn, you have to be active and aggressive to get the most out of these on-trail machines. At 89 mm underfoot, you’ve got a strong and stable platform to stand on, and this gives the skier a good start point for high-end carving and cruising.

Dave Carter loved carving on his 172 cm test length. He scored it a 4 for stability, torsional stiffness, edge grip, and overall impression. The rest of his scores were all 3’s so there is some versatility to be found in the MX 89, mostly due to the overall width. Dave calls it “a great high-speed cruiser that is stable and predictable.” Due to the build, “it’s a bit of work on shorter-radius turns” and in terms of its ability to disregard the snow conditions ahead of it, the MX 89 “plowed through late-day corn and frozen snow.” I’d imagine it would, and not think twice about it. These skis are pretty strong.

Marcus Shakun also skied the 172, and found it to be quite short. He said he’d be more comfortable on the 180, but he could probably handle the 188 as well due to his height. His top scores were 4’s for forgiveness and edge hold, with the forgiving aspect of the ski most likely is due to the shorter length. He calls it a “smooth, quick turn, all-mountain ski for advanced intermediates to expert skiers. Not a long turner, but rather a more medium to short turn ski.” Again, this might be a factor of the ski size, as the longer lengths do have longer turn radii. But, given the shorter size, he did fin the “edge to edge quickness made it enjoyable in the bumps and woods.”

Kelby Furrer wished he could have tried the 180, as he found the 172 that he tried to be on the short side. As a result, his score of 5 out of 5 for quickness and maneuverability is unsurprising. Torsional stiffness, edge hold, and stability all got 4’s so that’s a pretty good thing. He notes that it has “amazing responsiveness. It felt more like a race ski than an all-mountain ski.” Due to the shorter length, Kelby “did not feel comfortable on the crud, but ripped the groomers. I would not feel bold in the woods with these.” A valid concern from Kelby, and the camber and flat tail most likely have a lot to do with those feelings.

This is your typical “race ski on steroids.” Built like a World Cup GS ski, but with a wider platform, the MX 89 can crank out some serious G’s and speeds. Experts will have the most fun, but the turniness of the ski makes it accessible to a broader audience.

Testers

Dave Carter

Age: 61Height: 5'9"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: They don't call me "carving" Dave Carter for nothin'

Kelby J. Furrer

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Awesome blend of speed and style

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

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