In the competitive world of ~100 mm underfoot skis, being able to do multiple things is of the utmost importance. The Kastle entry into the fray, the 2021 MX 98, might just be one of the best at checking a lot of boxes. For most skiers, the 98 mm waist is a great place to be, especially if you're a pretty even split between on and off-trail skiing. Enough width for flotation, but still narrow enough for strong torsional stiffness and carving performance, the MX 98 is a high-performance ski that can do a lot of both. Some skis in this category can do a little bit of everything, but thanks to the build, shape and profile of the MX 98, it can do a lot of everything, and that's just what Kastle is looking to do with this new ski. These skis carry a pretty big price tag to match the ski's personality, and while personal finances will dictate if this ski is even an option for you, please know that the materials used and the way in which they're put together does make a big difference in the overall performance of the ski. Is it twice as good as a ski that's half the cost? That we can't really tell, but they do have a different feel and personality, that's for sure.
Rocker / Camber
Classic Sandwich Construction
All Mountain, Powder, Groomers
The MX 98 has an interesting construction, consisting of wood, fiberglass, and metal. In the core, the central portion of the ski is a blend of poplar and beech stringers sandwiched vertically together, and that part is fully wrapped in a fiberglass sock, of sorts. When fiberglass is used in a vertical or three-dimensional manner, this drastically increases the stiffness of the ski on the fore/aft plane. On the outer side of the central core is poplar wood only, and this softer wood allows for more playfulness and soft-snow capabilities and compliance. To top it all off, Kastle adds a sheet of titanal to keep the ski smooth, strong, and damp. Speaking of damping, the Hollowtech Tips make for a silky-smooth ride to boot. By removing mass out of the shovel, the skis become less vibratory, allowing skiers to maintain their intended line with confidence, and in the case of hard-charging skiers, aggressiveness. Additionally, the lighter weight in the tips increases maneuverability and flotation, increasing the ski's soft-snow prowess while leaving the meaty part of the ski alone for strong on-piste carving performance.
Even though the skis are on the wide side for a front-side application, they do have a lot going for them in terms of carving ability. Not only does the build lend to a smooth, stable and damp ski on-trail, but the taper shape and rocker profile also contribute to the precise mentality of the skis. More dramatic taper and rocker in the tip make the skis perform better in softer snow, while the flat tail and camber underfoot are strong ways to get that on-trail carving performance to be boosted to the next level. The metal, combined with the unique core construction also add to that hard snow capacity, allowing skiers to really access the whole mountain, from front-side groomers to back bowls and beyond. They're not the lightest skis out there, but you do get a heck of a lot of performance for what they are.
Advanced and expert skiers will be able to access the full spectrum of performance from the MX 98. With a strong core and a versatile shape, these skis are built to tackle anything the mountain can throw at you. As one of the higher-end all-mountain skis on the planet, you can rest assured that you're getting spectacular quality and precision, even in a wider and beefier package.