My affinity for Kastle skis began with a faded poster of Swiss ski racing legend Pirmin Zurbriggen and a pair of RX12’s in 1989. Since their resurrection as a brand in 2007, this storied Austrian company continues to be synonymous with quality.
One of the company’s best and most versatile frontside skis is the FX95 HP. This is a burly ski that’s well-suited for firm snow. The HP has no speed limit. The ski is stable and handles predictably with a balanced swing weight. A relatively stiff flex pattern available in sizes 159-189 centimeters (with a 22-meter turning radius in the 189-centimeter length) should provide an option for almost any skier out there, so long as it’s not deep pow they’re after.
The HP model differentiates itself from the standard FX95 by including two sheets of Titanal in addition to fiberglass in the layup. Low camber, dual rocker, semi-cap/sidewall construction combined with a precision milled silver fir and beech core (machined to within 1/10 millimeters) are the ingredients in the 95’s success. The contact points on the tip and tail have been moved toward the ski center, which dramatically reduces the hooky sensation that often accompanies skis designed with on-piste endeavors in mind.
A long, smooth rocker profile on the tip provides additional versatility in soft snow and an ever-so-subtle pintail aids in the ski releasing from a turn. Another key features in the Kastle line are their Hollowtech inserts. Excess material removed from the tip, which reduces swing weight, allows the shovel to absorb an impact and recover to the natural profile quicker without deflection and increases torsional rigidity. Hollowtech 2.0 in the new iteration of skis changes the size of the insert to correspond with each model depending upon length and width. —Sam Cox