Today’s Kästle has adopted one of skiing’s venerable names, but behaviorally the skis they are crafting in the present share zero DNA with the skis the brand made in the past. We know whereof we speak because we skied the Austrian Kästles of thirty years ago and they were beastly things to bend. (Kästle also formerly concocted all kinds of cockamamie skis, too numerous to mention here, including the hilarious, hollow-core B-52. But we digress.) Where their flagship skis of yore demanded total commitment from a well-conditioned athlete, today’s Kästles couldn’t be more amenable. Okay, the fattest BMX models do take some persuading to tip and turn, but there’s nothing in the past to compare them to as such Powder skis were non-existent twenty years ago.

Kästle isn’t embarrassed to charge a premium for their sticks, nor should they be. They invest a premium in assuring an exquisite finish, a vital ingredient many so-called boutique brands overlook. Their exceptional on-hill comportment is attributable to far more than just a well-polished edge, however; they flow downhill like a molten, slippery liquid, clinging to terrain. Like parting lovers, each passionate embrace ends suddenly, only to be repeated in the next moment. They impart a sense of security as dependable as a mother’s love, always supporting and encouraging their charges to excel. They’re able to deliver these sensual sensations because Kästle don’t skimp on construction quality and they’ve figured out how to marry a fairly forgiving longitudinal flex – the better to adapt to terrain – to sufficient torsional rigidity to hold on granite. To which we say, bravo.

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