Are you in need of new skis? A pair of Kastle skis may be just what you’re looking for! These skis are solid performers, and you can feel it as soon as you strap them on. No matter if you’re a novice or an expert, a man or a woman, or even a child. Kastle skis have something for you.
In contrast, you can buy (or rent) a pair of cheap skis like I used to do. You know the ones I’m talking about. The bindings don’t stay attached to your boots. The finish is worn off. They’re full of notches and warps. When you start your run, you spend more time fighting with the skis than the powder. That’s no fun!
For instance, I once hit moguls on a pair of rentals. I wiped out but, because I was really moving, I ended up plowing down the rest of the hill face-first. I reached the bottom and lifted up my goggles. What did I see? A 10-year-old laughing at me while he held a set of yellow Kastle skis.
All About Kastle Skis
Skis are just one item in Kastle’s awesome outdoor inventory. Kastle also makes bindings, poles, skins, and other skiing accessories. In 1924 an Austrian ski fanatic, Anton Kastle, built his first pair of skis. A legend was born. Since then 132 skiers have won Olympic medals wearing Kastle skis.
If Kastle skis feel special when you put them on, it’s because of all that history. These skis are made using the same design principles as those original skis and are also melded with modern technology. Kastle calls it “Hollowtech.” There are hollow chambers inside the skis which create a shock-absorbing system.
This translates into minimal vibration and impact. You feel like you’re floating above the powder. This gives you awesome performance, especially for frontside rippers. Kastle skis come in four variants: Kastle FX, Kastle MX, Kastle BMX, and Kastle LX. They all have that innovative Hollowtech design implementation.
First in Kastle’s ski lineup are Kastle FX skis. They come in the FX85 and FX95. The only difference between them is the waist size. The FX85 has an 85mm waist, while the FX95 has a 95mm waist. Both sets of skis have softer flexibility, which makes them easy to use on any terrain. They are designed for all-mountain freeride use.
Customers love the Kastle skis. These skis “want to be driven hard.” They're not great on groomed trails but are fantastic on powder and crud.
Next up are the Kastle MX skis. These all-mountain skis are what average downhill skiers picture when they think of skis. They handle well. You can carve beautifully with these Kastle skis thanks to two sheets of titanium giving them extra sturdiness. The MX is made with Hollowtech tips with traditional camber.
The Gear Institute, which tests and reviews consumer goods from all over the world, rated the Kastle MX skis 85 percent. They said these were the most versatile skis they had ever tested. They also subtracted points for being very sluggish at low speeds.
Big mountain skiers will love these Kastle skis. The BMX line is a purely freeride ski for big terrain. A 105mm waist allows these skis to handle all types of snow, from powder to crud. Fir wood and titanium give these skis a super-solid feel. They adapt to changing conditions as you wind your way down wind-swept mountain faces.
Gear Institute gave the Kastle BMX skis a 93 percent rating. They loved the ease of turns and how well these giant skis can handle any type of terrain. The reviewers didn’t like that these skis are for experts only. Also, they’re extremely pricey.
Finally, we have the Kastle LX skis. These are the skis that hobbyists and amateurs will appreciate. Designed for the piste, these are the skis for you if you're looking for an easy-going run. A silver fir wood core is wrapped in fiberglass, and Kastle’s signature Hollowtech tips provide excellent float. This is a stable platform for most tourist-friendly slopes.
These Kastle skis are perfect for smaller skiers such as women, and they did well in reviews. Gear Institute gave the LX skis an 85 percent rating. Testers said the skis were graceful and gritty, and not too dainty. They also said these skis were less stable in high-speed arcs and didn’t handle as smoothly at speed.
One thing that I don’t like about Kastle skis is their lack of manufacturer warranty. Kastle doesn’t provide any warranty. They prefer to let licensed dealers manage warranty issues. This means your warranty will vary depending on where you buy your skis.
This is a major downside to these skis. I have a hard time trusting companies who don’t stand behind their own products. When it comes to large purchases, such as these expensive skis, I would expect to see some protection against manufacturer defects.
How Do They Compare?
If you’re looking for the perfect skis, then you’ll want to do a lot of research. You don’t want to end up like me, face-first in the powder, being laughed at by children. Kastle skis are versatile, strong, and innovative. They have a lot of history behind them. How well do they stand up to the competition?
How we reviewed
To compare Kastle skis against the competition, I researched the four most common skis you are certain to come across. I went to each company’s website to learn a little about them.
Next, I read customer reviews. I trust reviews by real people. Reading these reviews you a good idea of how well these skis handle in the real world and can give you an idea how they stack up to Kastle skis.
Rossignol Pursuit 200
First up in our comparison are the awesome Rossignol Pursuit 200 skis. Rossignol is a French company that’s been around since 1907. This makes them one of the oldest outdoor-gear manufacturers in the world! Like Kastle skis, Rossignol skis are synonymous with the Winter Olympics. They are a favorite among pro skiers.
The Rossignol Pursuit 200 is comparable to the Kastle LX line of skis. Made for beginners, for groomed runs, and for lightweight riders, if you’re looking to cruise a well-packed run casually, or if you’re still learning how to ski, these are a great set of skis. They are made of wood and fiberglass. They have a short turn radius, allowing you to react to slope conditions.
Because there were only two reviews on Amazon, I had to find some other customer reviews. In The Snow, Magazine gave them 9.7 out of 10 stars. Everyone said that these skis handle well on the slopes. They are smooth over bumps. There's nothing spectacular about them, and there’s nothing special about them. They just do what they’re supposed to.
Salomon BBR Skis
Next up is Salomon. This is another French company, and they are a favorite with hardcore downhill skiers. They make a range of ski and snowboard products. The Salomon BBR skis are comparable to Kastle MX skis. They’re designed for downhill intermediate and expert skiers who need to do a lot of carving. They have a unique flared “V” design with a small waist, making them resemble warped surfboards. I’ve never seen anything like them before.
These skis are full wood and have a semi-twin-tail tip. They look gorgeous. They carve beautifully. The unique flared V-nose gives them incredible stability and the small waist is placed behind the heel instead of under the foot. This gives the rider supreme control during an arc. Both beginners and experts alike praise these skis.
Reviewers raved about the affordability of these skis. Performance-wise, everyone seems to love them. I love that they are backed with Salomon’s two-year warranty!
K2 Sideshow RS1 Skis
Third in our comparison are K2 Sideshow RS1 skis. K2 is from Seattle, WA. The company was founded in 1969. You can find their products in stores across North America, as well as on their website and on Amazon.
In this comparison, we’re looking at their beautiful Sideshow RS1 skis. These compare well to Kastle BMX freeride skis. They are wide and can handle changing terrain conditions. You can hit big mountains and virgin powder with these unique skis. They are all metal, giving you unprecedented control and handling. They come with a K2 one-year limited warranty.
Customers love them and rave about their all-terrain capabilities and handling on big mountains.
Volkl RTM 81 Skis
Lastly, we have the Volkl RTM 81 “ski system.” These performance skis compare to the Kastle FX skis. They’re all-terrain skis with incredible speed, perfect for free riders and mountain surfers. Volkl is a German company that was founded in 1923. They were popular in Europe until the Second World War put a damper on the fun for a while. The company rebounded in 1960 and expanded distribution to the U.S. and Canada.
The Volkl RTM skis are thin, like the Kastle FX skis. They are fast and versatile. They were created with mountains in mind. If you’re not an expert skier, you probably want to pass on these speed demons. The wood core with steel laminate gives them excellent float on powder. Superb responsiveness is thanks to tip and tail rockers. There is no warranty except what your retailer offers.
Customers loved how fast these skis are. They force you to push yourself to your limits. One reviewer wrote simply “Awesome!”
Pros and Cons
Seeing how all of these skis have high ratings, it’s hard to decide which is the best one. Are Kastle skis any better than all of these other highly-rated skis? They’re certainly good skis, but they’re not perfect. Kastle skis do have some serious drawbacks to them.
The Final Word
Like I said at the beginning of this review: Kastle skis are solid performers. They’ll outperform any rental or second-hand ski you can find. They perform as well as any of the other skis we compared them to. If you want quality and you’re not afraid to spend money on it, then Kastle skis are perfect for you.
If, on the other hand, dropping a thousand dollars on a product that doesn’t have a warranty scares you away, I totally understand. For half the price you can strap on the excellent Salomon BBR skis, which come with a warranty. They outperform Kastle skis and look absolutely beautiful. I’ll be picking up a pair of Salomon BBRs myself with my next ski purchase. With the money I save, I’ll go eat steak instead of snow.