Ski Review 2020
SKI REVIEWS 2020
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
The "Best Ski" last year, the MX67 at Kästle keeps all its qualities.
What meets the eye (or the foot?) when testing the MX67 is the compromise between accessibility and agility.
The ski engages curves intuitively, without excessive engagement. A small lean on the edge and hop, the nose takes, the ski deforms and we are already comfortably installed in a curve, naturally rather tight. An honest rebound allows us to jump very quickly into another turn. The curves follow each other at a high rate with great fluidity.
The ski is easy in all circumstances and tolerant; it forgives most positioning mistakes. You can't make it any easier. It's great in tight little sculls or small carving turns on the piste.
It is, however, somewhat difficult in very dynamic and high-speed handling. It seemed a little less efficient than the model reviewed last year, while the model does not seem to have evolved.
The MX67 from Kästle is an excellent ski that we recommend to good to excellent skiers who want a very agile, comfortable and accessible ski.
Quick and intuitive trigger
Easy to deform ski, agile ski
Small turns are easy
Disliked: Reduced performance at high speed and with very dynamic handling...
RX12 SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
The RX12 SL from Kästle plays the card of accessibility and fun. The reviewers were unanimous in enjoying its user experience. The word "pleasant" came back on five review sheets out of six. That's saying something…
The ski, with its "immediate initiation", shows great docility for this category. Turning is done spontaneously with a limited need for commitment. The ski is incisive, reactive, without ever destabilising.
A little less at ease in large turns, it is able to vary cut/slid/skid riding with fluidity.
In return for this accessibility, it shows its limitations a little earlier than some of its competitors in this category, particularly at high speeds and when taking considerable angles. It is also less at ease in large curves.
The RX12 SL is an excellent ski for practising sporty carving and an introduction to performance. We recommend it to good to very good skiers who want the liveliness of a slalom ski with a good dose of versatility but without sacrificing comfort and accessibility.
Liked: Excellent accessibility
Lively and incisive ski
Good overall approval
Sliding and skidding handling
Intuitive corner entry
Disliked: Performance behind Dynastar/Rossignol and Völkl
Less at ease on big curves...
FX96 HP [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
The FX96 HP (for "High Performance", indicating the presence of carbon reinforcement this season) is a new ski from Kästle, replacing the FX95 HP.
It is a very versatile ski, perfectly comfortable in this All-Mountain 50/50 programme. On the piste, it is comfortable in all types of handling, carves well and is quite agile.
The reviewers especially liked the gentle way it worked. The reactions are sound and progressive and the FX96 HP perfectly flattens the rough edges of the terrain. It is a "true cruiser" capable of gulping down descents without tiring.
The ski is very calm and stable up to a certain speed. Beyond that, the supports become less solid and the ski tends to drift.
Off-piste, the ski goes everywhere easily and always behaves very gently. Transitioning to choppy snow does not pose any problem for it and its buoyancy is great in deep snow.
The FX96 HP is an excellent All-Mountain ski, at ease on all terrains, very nice and comfortable, and fun to ride. We recommend it to good to very good skiers. Experienced freeriders and skiers who want to go very fast can turn to a more rigid ski.
Liked: Piste behaviour, all types of handling
Stable ski, with gentle and reassuring behaviour
Generally pleasing to use
Transition to ...
Disliked: The ski is limited at high speed and in committed handling: the supports become less solid and the ski tends to give way in curves...
RX12 GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
The comments we made last year for the RX12 GS from Kästle are absolutely valid this year.
Its overall performance is good. Curve entry, intuitive and incisive, was particularly appreciated by the reviewers.
The ski is versatile, able to slow down the pace or even evolve into skid handling, comfortable on all types of curves. Its intermediate radius, cut shape and certain flexibility make it a very efficient and pleasant ski in carving handling.
The RX12 GS from Kästle, a flexible ski for this category with a reduced radius (16 m) is not a real giant ski despite its "GS" badge. Its performance at very high speeds is out of line with Dynastar or Völkl.
On the other hand, the ski offers a remarkable accessibility/fun ratio. While the professional reviewers lamented a lack of performance, the non-professional "expert" reviewers all said they "loved" the ski. The ability to take angles, the quality of the anchor at intermediate speeds, the versatility and liveliness of the ski make it a sensational machine.
We recommend the RX12 GS from Kästle to good to excellent skiers who want to have fun on a sporty ski that is homogeneous and "very pleasant". On the other hand, fans of giant-type curves will turn to a more specialised ski.
Liked: General performance
Initiation and entry of curves
Anchoring and grip
Disliked: Performance below the top of the category
Less clear curves at very high speed
Less energetic curve exits
Radius too short for a giant ski...
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
From Kästle, the new DX series is designed to attract price-conscious customers with two models, the DX73 and the DX85, both priced at €599 with bindings.
"Docile ski", "pleasant and gentle", the DX73 is a delight at moderate speed. The ski's behaviour, very balanced and intuitive, the easy pivoting, the homogeneous skid handling make it a very easily accessible ski.
When you press the pedal, it accelerates up to intermediate speeds while offering a feeling of safety and flawless behaviour. Very comfortable in small turns, manoeuvrable and reactive, it allows you to chain turns at a good pace while delivering beautiful sensations. The DX73 is particularly effective and pleasant in small bends, cut or slid handling.
Less at ease at sustained speed, especially in large turns, not always comfortable when taking big angles, the ski has a slightly more limited range of progression than some skis in this category.
The DX73 from Kästle is, according to the reviewers, a "very good ski".
It also offers a very interesting price–quality ratio. We recommend it to good skiers looking for an "easy ski" that is "fun". It is the ideal ski for those who are starting parallel skiing and wish to improve their technique in skid handling, then cut handling at moderate speed.
Liked: Balanced ski, sound behaviour
Pleasant and gentle
Manoeuvrable and playful at low speeds...
Disliked: Limited in terms of performance
Poor behaviour in large turns and at sustained speed...
DX73 W [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
Kästle's DX73 W "Vogue" is a women's version of the men's DX73. The testers tried the ski very short (156cm) and would have preferred having a few extra centimetres in edge length.
Without a doubt, it is the accessibility of the ski that is its best quality. Put simply, it is excellent. Judged particularly "easy to handle", the DX73 W doesn't need special instructions, you are in control straight away. It behaves consistently, no surprises there.
Performance has not been forgotten, and this ski, despite its size and type, surprised the testers with its effectiveness in long turns at sustained speed. However it is a little less at ease on short turns.
Potential to improve technique is important and this model will allow a significant number of skiers to progress.
Kästle's DX73 W will suit intermediate skiers who wish to progress, as well as good skiers looking for a light, enjoyable, comfortable ski. It is a good deal at 599 euros including bindings.
Liked: Easy to handle
Controls long turns
Solid and consistent support with speed
Permits technical progressi...
Disliked: Tested too short
Less at ease on short turns...
Type of ski : Men's high-end
While the MX84 from Kästle brilliantly won a "Best Ski" medal last year in this category, the behaviour of the model reviewed this year appeared a step backwards. The reviewers found, in particular, that the ski was less precise, "stable and safe" than last year.
This difference is difficult to explain because the model does not seem to have changed. Maybe a problem with the preparation of the ski given to be reviewed?
Anyway, the MX84 is undeniably an excellent ski and we advise our users to base themselves on last year's review.
Liked: General behaviour
Width giving it a plus in soft or varied snow
Pleasant at intermediate speeds...
Disliked: Flexible ski, especially in the nose
Lack of liveliness
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
The little brother of the FX95, but not benefiting from the "HP" (High Performance) version, the FX86 from Kästle plays the card of lightness and ease. It is indeed one of the lightest models of this category, with 1.7 kg per ski, according to Kästle, in the size reviewed.
The FX86 is a homogeneous, versatile, gentle, easy, efficient ski as long as you don't go too fast. Its flexibility allows it to deform and carve with a minimum of commitment. Light underfoot, docile, it is a pleasant ski. On soft snow, it's pure happiness.
On the other hand, the flexibility of the nose penalises entry into curves somewhat, which is less incisive than with some competitors. At high speeds, the ski loses some of its beauty and the handling becomes less precise.
Off-piste general behaviour is good, with a slight letdown in choppy snow where the flexibility of the ski penalises moving through lumps of snow.
We recommend the FX86 from Kästle to skiers of intermediate to very good levels. They will appreciate the regularity and comfort of the ski on the piste and its abilities in powder snow when the conditions are right. Skiers more focused on freeriding and/or looking for more performance will be able to read the review of the FX96 HP, which is wider but also more powerful thanks to its carbon reinforcement, in the "All-Mountain 50/50" category.
Liked: On-piste behaviour, pleasant up to intermediate speeds
Easy and gentle ski
Buoyancy in powder
Demands little physical commitment, comfortable
Disliked: Rather flexible ski, especially in the nose
Lack of reactivity entering curves
Poor behaviour at high speed...
Type of ski :
A problem with the skis provided for testing by Kästle prevented us from properly reviewing the ski, so it has not been rated this year.