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While the ZX 108 was the original, personally I’ve had a lot more success and love for the 100. For 2024, the Kastle ZX 100 returns with a graphics change but remains the same great freeride ski that’s it’s been since inception. By following the same overall footprint and blueprint as the wider 108, but in a narrower format, the ZX 100 is quicker, more agile, and more maneuverable than its fatter brother. The ZX line came about as more of a gateway set of models, ushering in a new generation of Kastle customers. By starting them with a lower-priced ski, but still offering high-quality construction and engineering. For skiers mainly in the advanced and expert groups, the ZX 100 also serves as a stepping stone for progressing intermediates who are looking for a ski around 100 mm that’s easier to turn and floaty for the fresh. It’s this type of application that makes a lot of sense here, and Kastle does a great job at harnessing that demographic and making a ski that appeals to this audience.

The blend of lighter weight and high energy is pretty amazing when it comes to the construction of this ski. While the FX and MX lines use narrower stringers to gain power and strength, the ZX uses wider strips of wood that require less epoxy and are therefore easier to construct. ZX 100 uses a mix of poplar and beech in the core to give a good mix of energy and stability, and that beech is certainly felt when engaged in a carved turn. On top and bottom, we get two layers of fiberglass that stiffen the ski and provide good energy and rebound. It’s impressive the amount of pop that these skis generate, and more on that in shape when we deal with the flatter tail. Kastle also uses Hollowtech in the shovel in order to reduce vibrations by removing mass from the tip. In the 181, the ski tips the scales at 1950 grams, and most of that is due to the glass laminate and beech wood. While the weight is somewhat on the hefty side, not a whole lot is found in the tips, which are very light and agile.

168, 175, 181, 189 cm18 m at 181 cm134/100/121 mm

Hollowtech 2.0
Preferred Terrain
Soft Snow

The shape also lends to the maneuverability of the ski, with the thinner profile in the front making it swivel easily and with a care-free mentality. There’s quite a bit of taper going on in the shovel, and long and low rocker to go along with it. This makes the 100 a very good floater for its width while keeping the underfoot zone and the back end stiffer and more responsive. We get an 18.1-meter turn radius in the 180 cm length, and this provides an excellent mix of long turning capabilities with shorter arc acumen. This is one of the best tree skis out there, as it mixes the agility of a narrower ski with the rocker and taper of a powder ski. It’s precise enough to handle firmer snow while remaining drifty for deeper snow and crud.

This is one of those skis that sneaks up on you. There’s a whole lot of hype surrounding the power and precision of the MX line, and then there’s a whole lot more attention focused on the versatility of the FX line. ZX gets a bit lost, but when you get on one, you’ll realize very quickly that there’s no feasible reason for that. The energy and pop are the most surprising attributes, while the flotation and agility (which are to be expected) are even better. This ski should not be overlooked by progressing intermediates through expert skiers who like a quick and agile ski in this width range.