Kästle busted a bunch of moves this off-season, but lest the lede get lost in the shuffle, the biggest by far was the creation of a new FX series. Since its inception, the off-trail oriented FX models have mimicked many aspects of the more successful MX series’ construction. Last season’s FX series in fact skied very differently from any of the MX’s, but in one key respect they were all too similar: the best models in both series cost an arm and a leg.
Ergo, the new FX series is made without costly Titanal, bringing the cost for a new unisex Kästle down as low as $799. The signature construction feature of the 2020 FX’s is a wood core within a wood core, with the center one wrapped in its own fiberglass sock. On the FX models designated as “HP,” which used to mean there was metal in their make-up, carbon is also woven into the interior torsion box. To further differentiate FX models from their relatives, their enlarged Hollowtech tip inserts extend almost to the edge. To simplify the collection, FX models now occupy the Big Mountain (FX106 HP) and Powder (FX116) slots formerly filled by BMX’s.
After years of pretending its LX series wasn’t really made for women, Kästle proved its point by re-issuing its LX models under a new DX label: the unisex DX’s retain the metal laminates found in the retired LX’s, while the women’s DX W’s run without the metal (and slip into lower price points). To complete the 2020 women’s collection, Kästle branded the FX96 with a “W,” while the FX96 HP is treated as a men’s model.
There are a couple other new items from Kästle this year that you probably won’t see on US shores. The PX71 is a Technical system ski that depends on carbon instead of metal for its power. Even at an MSRP of “only” $999, it will have a hard time finding a lot of homes in the Land of Freeride. Kästle is also diving headlong into the XC market. You’ll find reviews of skate skis here just about the same time that Hades hits absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.