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Ski Review: Kästle

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Kastle is not at all popular and certainly not massive skiing in Russia, but popularity and interest in the modern world are not related things and despite its low popularity, these skis have always been very interesting in skiing. At a minimum, we didn’t come across any bad or uninteresting models on tests. Naturally, we can’t get past the lineup update and let's figure out what is new in the freeride ski category in the 2019-20 season.

In the new season, we are waiting for a completely updated, or rather, not updated, but a completely redesigned line of skis for freeriding - the FX series in which there are only 4 models. Not much, but is it necessary more? Outwardly, skis have in common with previous models: a straightened rocker profile, a lightweight sock with a “window”, but in fact they are completely redone models with a new and new form and technological content. All four models were made by a large-scale method: the models differ in waist width and each model following the catalog is a wider version of the previous model - they are similar in skiing rhythm, nature and style of skiing and all require extremely powerful expert skiing.

The FX86 model with the same waist width begins the series. These are, by and large, universal wagons, but made on the basis of freeride skis and suggesting that most of the skiing will take place, although not in the virgin lands, but not on the track either - on packed, but uneven and unprepared snow. Such skiing is very characteristic of many resorts in France when the tracks seem to be there, but only formally, and the main skiing takes place along the fields between the tracks, but you can’t call it free ride either because everyone skates there and even if it snowed at night, then from only memory remains, and all the space between the track by lunch time is a combination of rolled snow and knolls. In such conditions of skiing, width is completely useless for skiing, but cross-country ability and amortization are not unnecessary. Skis with a waist of 86 mm and with soft noses for such skiing just right.

The FX96 is already a more free-ride model and can rightfully be considered classic freeride wagons for combining skiing on packed inter-track snow with forays into full virgin snow and for skiing in the mountains where hard or blown snow predominates. The deflection profile and the shape of the side cutout in skiing promises a rather high efficiency in stability at speed, which suggests that skiing can be added by speed to the lack of ascent at their waist and can be used in the virgin snow, if any. But, again, we must understand that with such parameters, skiing is not at all for the first freeride trials and not for beginners.

In terms of freeriding, the FX106 is the most versatile model both in terms of skiing area and in terms of combining skiing and skiing. Of course, this is not ski skiing and for the ski tour they are both hard and heavy, but for use in a ski tour for the sake of descent it is quite applicable. From the point of view of skiing, these are expert freeride universals for longitudinal sliding and riding at speed with wide fast arcs.

The FX116 is the widest and most passable model for a large adult freeride in a large virgin snow. But, at the same time, the most incomprehensible model in theory. Castle wide freeride skiing has always been a problem with speed. They were always interesting, but only at speed. And here it turns out a mismatch: wide skis are needed for efficiency in soft snow at low speed to ride where, for various reasons, you can’t accelerate. For example, in a forest or on a closed terrain. It turns out right away that the skis are wide, but they work only at speed. In this case, the previous model with a waist 106 makes more sense because it also requires speed, but due to the smaller geometry it will work better for stability and will be more effective on hard snow.

All four models are interesting in their own way. All four definitely want to check in. Although Castle is, was, and will not be skiing for everyone, and it is clear that there will be no mass demand for them even if they are magical in skiing. There is something magical in them that makes them interested, to a certain extent admire, but when choosing skis for yourself, pass by. There is some kind of elitism and frightening exclusivity in them. But this is precisely their image, and, as you know, in our time: image is everything.