2024 Kastle MX98

Ski Stats

Sidecut 137/98/120
Radius 20.9m @ 178cm
Lengths 169,178,187
Weight 2070g @ 178cm
MSRP $1199
Power Score: 8.97

Finesse Score: 8.86

The MX98 is an outlier in the All-Mountain West genre, the only ski in the category that headlines a family of fully cambered carving skis. Its only concession to the requirements of off-trail travel is a long (270mm) front rocker that’s so gradual it’s imperceptible. Given that its classic core of wood (silver fir and poplar), fiberglass and Titanal (.5mm sheets) isn’t particularly lightweight, how can it ski comparably to an armada of competitors with double-rockered baselines and lighter weight constructions? Well, it doesn’t. It behaves differently from most (not all) of its competition in how well it maintains snow contact.  What’s remarkable is how well this translates to the irregularity of off-trail skiing.  While the MX98 can float in fresh snow, it’s not bobbing on the top as much as it is trenching through whatever lies ahead, regardless of depth or consistency.  Its chassis may be built for carving, but its 98mm girth at the waist allows it to plane sideways - in test-card parlance, to drift - over the most manky crud with a calm that would make the Buddha proud. When pointed downhill, the MX98 gets the message to giddy-up, hewing close to the fall line. Finishing a short-radius turn on edge isn’t going to happen, but the MX98 can switch from a carve to a drift, and visa versa, in the blink of an eye, so it can always swivel across the hill to brake or change route. Few conditions are as intimidating as bone-flat light, where all terrain features disappear in a miasma of misty grey. Not that this is anyone’s idea of Nirvana, but it happens, and when it does it would be good to be on the MX98.  It exudes confidence, a blessing when the pilot has little of his own. Like the Bonafide 97 and the Mantra M6, the MX98 doesn’t care where you aim it. Its tendency is to stay pinned to the planet, rolling over whatever is presented in its path.  While one wouldn’t call it agile, neither is it nervous or indecisive. Whether flat or on edge, it’s a ski you can trust, which is of paramount importance when you can’t see squat. 
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