2021 Kastle FX96 W

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lengths: 156, 164, 172 cm
radius: 14 m at 164 cm
sidecut: 133/96/119 mm
price: $ 679

Ladies looking for versatility, light weight, and high performance don't have to look much further than the FX 96W. Unchanged for 2021, the skis retain all the power and response without gaining any weight. This ski is a great blend of weight and performance, as that's something the ski industry is quite obsessed with. How can we make a ski that performs and handles like a heavier ski but in a lighter package? Well, Kastle takes a light wood core and wraps it in fiberglass. This gives the ski a three-dimensional application for the glass laminate and ensures that the skis will have a damp, consistent, and appropriate flex for high-end skiers. Keeping things damp is the Hollowtech tip that removes mass from the ends of the ski. With less mass comes less vibrations, so Kastle figured out how to make the ski lighter and damper at the same time. Additionally, the lighter tips increase float, making these 96's punch way above their level in terms of surfiness. Thanks to the average camber, you get that versatile usage out of them, and the versatility is just off the charts.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
All Mountain, Powder

Shelby Parenteau skied the 164 and loved the stability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold of the skis, with each of those categories earning 5's out of 5. Lots of 4's to fill out the card, and some nice comments to go along with it. "Good ski to cut through the slushy snow. I can see it also skiing well though crud, powder, or ice. This ski was pretty stiff, but not to the point where I felt I couldn't maneuver it. Holds an edge and a turn well, but can still point it and have it be stable. Good ski for an advanced to expert lady who wants a ski that can do it all." Nifer Hoehn agrees with Shelby in terms of the stability of the ski, and sometimes it's hard to tell if the scores are weighted based on weight, but when we see consistent scores in this department, it usually indicates that the ski is independently and unabashedly stable. On the 176, Nifer notes that "these were nice feeling-solid underfoot and through the tip. Not particularly playful-not as much pep coming out of the turn, but solid and came around nicely. These are a work horse and I don't know if I would recommend these over some of the other skis, but I liked it and enjoyed skiing it. Nice edge hold and I had a lot of confidence throughout the turn."

On the 164, Catherine Ferguson had lots of 4's on the scorecard including one for overall impression. "This ski was great to put an edge on. Very fun and fast on the groomers, especially as things are getting scraped off. On the trail, this ski made it unnoticeable. The responsiveness was great overall and I found it easy to transition my turns. Would recommend it to a female skier looking to rip it up on the groomers." While the 96 mm shape is ideal for any and all conditions, when paired with this build, it seems like it's better suited to carving and lighter snow skiing versus charging through heavy mank at high speeds.

Ladies who are looking for that high-end performance and feel out of a ski will love the Kastle FX 96W. For advanced and expert skiers who want the versatility of a lighter ski with the snap and power of a burlier stick, the FX 96W represents a top-end of the spectrum type of refinement. For pretty much any conditions and turn shapes, these skis will answer the call.