2021 Kästle MX88 or 83

David Edwards

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Now that Kästle is making the MX88 in a shorter 173 size, it's on my radar. With the addition of tip rocker, will they still ski fairly long? I tried the MX84 last year in a 176cm on the same day as the 175cm Laser and they felt long. I am 5'11 190 and don't think the MX88 in a 180 would treat me well. Looking for the 88 with the Kästle bindings- who has the deals ?
 

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Now that Kästle is making the MX88 in a shorter 173 size, it's on my radar. With the addition of tip rocker, will they still ski fairly long? I tried the MX84 last year in a 176cm on the same day as the 175cm Laser and they felt long. I am 5'11 190 and don't think the MX88 in a 180 would treat me well. Looking for the 88 with the Kästle bindings- who has the deals ?
at 5'11", 190, the 180 is your length. If you are between sizes go the the MX83 in the 176, not the MX88 in 173.
 
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David Edwards

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Are they pretty much the same in terms of all mountain performance? Was looking at the 88 since I live in Colorado. I can always put on some winter weight and ski the 180 lol
 

Ken_R

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Now that Kästle is making the MX88 in a shorter 173 size, it's on my radar. With the addition of tip rocker, will they still ski fairly long? I tried the MX84 last year in a 176cm on the same day as the 175cm Laser and they felt long. I am 5'11 190 and don't think the MX88 in a 180 would treat me well. Looking for the 88 with the Kästle bindings- who has the deals ?
I would go with the 180cm MX88. It is the reference length and if its as good or better than the MX89 it is a superb ski that will offer a refined and smooth ride no matter the conditions.

I skied the MX84, MX89 and MX99 at Loveland in various lengths and the 180cm MX89 was MONEY.

(I am 6-2 190)
 

markojp

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Are they pretty much the same in terms of all mountain performance? Was looking at the 88 since I live in Colorado. I can always put on some winter weight and ski the 180 lol
No need. It's not as stiff as the old 88 or 89. You'll be fine in the 180.
 
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David Edwards

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I tried the old MX88 in a 178cm and it was okay. The MX84 from last year in a 176 felt long but could of been just making one run on them. I will start my hunt for the MX88 in Colorado.
 

Tony S

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No need. It's not as stiff as the old 88 or 89. You'll be fine in the 180.
Do you have testing notes on these skis? Apologies if I missed them.
 

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Wasatchman

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Eh, the new MX88 sounds like a downgrade versus the MX89. @David Edwards , I would consider shopping for an mx89. And probably cheaper than the 2021.

Not sure what Kästle was thinking fully redesigning a ski that didn't need to be redesigned. Was it because they moved production to a new factory I wonder and couldn't make it there so they redesigned it?. I had my concerns when Kästle got bought out and was going to move production to the Czech Republic. Then completely redesigning the MX88/89 right after to make it more accessible and losing some performance as a result? Uhhhh, no thanks. That's like Porsche redesigning the 911 and giving up performance. Bad, bad move I think. You buy a Kästle MX89 for its top end performance. What's the point, now?
 
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Eh, the new MX88 sounds like a downgrade versus the MX89. @David Edwards , I would consider shopping for an mx89. And probably cheaper than the 2021.

Not sure what Kästle was thinking fully redesigning a ski that didn't need to be redesigned. Was it because they moved production to a new factory I wonder and couldn't make it there so they redesigned it?. I had my concerns when Kästle got bought out and was going to move production to the Czech Republic. Then completely redesigning the MX88/89 right after to make it more accessible and losing some performance as a result? Uhhhh, no thanks. That's like Porsche redesigning the 911 and giving up performance. Bad, bad move I think. You buy a Kästle MX89 for its top end performance. What's the point, now?
One question. Have you skied the new ski?
 

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Eh, the new MX88 sounds like a downgrade versus the MX89. @David Edwards , I would consider shopping for an mx89. And probably cheaper than the 2021.

Not sure what Kästle was thinking fully redesigning a ski that didn't need to be redesigned. Was it because they moved production to a new factory I wonder and couldn't make it there so they redesigned it?. I had my concerns when Kästle got bought out and was going to move production to the Czech Republic. Then completely redesigning the MX88/89 right after to make it more accessible and losing some performance as a result? Uhhhh, no thanks. That's like Porsche redesigning the 911 and giving up performance. Bad, bad move I think. You buy a Kästle MX89 for its top end performance. What's the point, now?
It's not a downgrade. Let's nip that in the bud. It's a different ski.
 

Wasatchman

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It's not a downgrade. Let's nip that in the bud. It's a different ski.
I have not demoed it. So I have to be careful of being overly dogmatic about a ski i haven't tried. But I am concerned from the review. I like the MX89 because it's a race car and super smooth and damp, ridiculous locked in turns that gave me incredible confidence. If you sacrifice that performance I'd be concerned it wouldn't be nearly as compelling of a ski. What would them make it materially different than many other skis in the hyper competitive 88-90 width market and why would it still be worth the premium?

Edit: you take a ski with a cult following, totally redesign it and move production from Austria to Czech Republic? I doubt I'd be the only one concerned. What could possibly go wrong for Kästle in this scenario??
 
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I have not demoed it. So I have to be careful of being overly dogmatic about a ski i haven't tried. But I am concerned from the review. I like the MX89 because it's a race car and super smooth and damp, ridiculous locked in turns that gave me incredible confidence. If you sacrifice that performance I'd be concerned it wouldn't be nearly as compelling of a ski. What would them make it materially different than many other skis in the hyper competitive 88-90 width market and why would it still be worth the premium?

Edit: you take a ski with a cult following, totally redesign it and move production from Austria to Czech Republic? I doubt I'd be the only one concerned. What could possibly go wrong for Kästle in this scenario??
You are very quick to dismiss and discredit a ski that you haven't skied based upon many misconception. I would suggest you forget what you think you know...especially until you actually ski the product.

Very few jumped on the Kästle bandwagon before myself. I was retailer of the year for the east coast out of a little mom & pop shop the first or second year Kästle hit the market. Making a product more obtainable is not a death sentance. Yes, forgoing the Nth degree if performance was a cost but it is a much better ski for the vast majority. The finish of these new skis is jewel like top shelf and the skis are worthy of the price tag. If you had even had one of these new skis in your hands or even skied one, you would have see that.

Regarding moving the production to a new start of the art facility? Is a BMW no less of one if it comes from North Carolina, a Mercedes from Alabama, a Honda from Ohio, Chevrolet from Canada? The list goes on.

As far as the "cult following" what cult every paid the bills? If you want what the MX88 was, I suggest you take a look at the Augment AM88.
 

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Back to the cult following. it reminds my of my days with Subaru. When the square Loyale was introduced in 1985, the purists said "Oh my god, you are ruining Subaru, I will never buy one again"....you know what happened? Sales when up. When the Legacy was introduced in 1990, the purists said "Oh my god, you are ruining Subaru, I will never buy one again"....you know what happened? Sales when up. When the redesign of the Legacy happened in 1994 and the Outback was introduced, the purists said "Oh my god, you are ruining Subaru, I will never buy one again"....you know what happened? Sales when up. the same thing happened in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014. The cult following does not pay the bills. FWIW, I could replace Subaru with Volvo and Loyale and Legacy with 240, 850, 940 and S60/V70. ;)
 

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Alexzn

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i didn’t ski it but I looked at the geometry and I didn’t like what I was seeing. And 300 g weight loss in an MX Ski does not sound right to me either. so I’m with @Wasatchman .

I don’t fault Kästle for trying it sell more skis, it is just the old Kästle was a jewel, a ski that was squarely aimed at a certain customer who could appreciate what that ski could do and in many instances pay a premium for it. Now it seems that they want to compete with a Brahma or any other 88s from mainstream brands. I am sure they will sell a lot of MX88 pairs, but people who swore by Kästle of old will look elsewhere.

It’s a story with many brands: they make a great product, they get a name and a cachet and then they go “mainstream“ to chase revenue and “dumb down” the product. What happened with the new “dumbed-down” FX series? Last year was weird, but I don’t think those skis got much buzz on the hill. And I know people who stockpile previous FX series. I also know three good skiers who I recommended to test a Kästle and they bought a pair immediately after the demo (2 MX89s and an FX95) I doubt the new models will get the same response.
 

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It’s a story with many brands: they make a great product, they get a name and a cachet and then they go “mainstream“ to chase revenue and “dumb down” the product. What happened with the new “dumbed-down” FX series? Last year was weird, but I don’t think those skis got much buzz on the hill. And I know people who stockpile previous FX series. I also know three good skiers who I recommended to test a Kästle and they bought a pair immediately after the demo (2 MX89s and an FX95) I doubt the new models will get the same response.
As @markojp said the new MX is not a downgrade but it's different. Different isn't bad, it is just different. The previous FX that you speak if was also just that, different. Different than the previous generation. You know people who stockpiled them, me? I couldn't wait for them to replace them and go back to a design that was more similar to the original one. But, I skied the ski before I made that decision. How many times have I said there are few bad skis, just wrong skis? Well, now the Kästle MX might be the wrong ski for you now. Just as the last FX was the wrong ski for me.

There are quite a few models out this coming season that are again, different than the versions they replace. I am finishing up an article right now on just this and the Kästle MX's are included in that. Some of these changes I agree with, some I don't, but..I actually skied them all first before banished them to the discount rack by the dumpster or sung their praises.
 

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Well. Let's see. @Alexzn and I have not demoed them. But let's delve further into why the visceral reaction to something we haven't demoed.

Kästle is a boutique premium ski brand so messing with a cult classic that I would argue is an enormous part of the brands very identity is frought with peril in a market that is already fully saturated. Yeah, I guess Kästle wasn't making much money. And perhaps they thought hey, let's take our most popular model and make it a bit more accessible to see if we can boost sales while also adding a bunch of lower priced models to a boutique premium brand. Oh, and move all production to a lower cost country while we are at it.

But they risk everything by doing this. There was already a good debate by Kästle enthusiasts about the wisdom of adding lower priced models made in the Czech Republic after the brand re-emerged spending a number of years as a premium boutique. But now they seriously mess with their cult classic as well that was a huge part of the company's very identity?

Once a large ski brand loses its mojo it is damn hard to get back. K2 anyone? Who just happened to move their production to China and totally mess up up a brand that was built on being American. And they are still struggling to regain their lost glory and buzz ever since as much as some like the new mindbender series. K2 may find simply building a very good ski alone is not enough to get their lost mojo back given how saturated the ski industry already is.

Well, guess what? Wasn't a decent part of Kästle's branding that it was made in Austria? But then you take the cult classic and seriously change the design? And in a way that reduces the top end that gave that ski the cult following in the first place? So no, we have not been on the ski. But there is plenty here that would have us very understandably concerned. And I have a feeling their plan to really boost sales with all these changes better work well, because otherwise I see a good chance that it actually completely destroys the brand. So yeah, maybe we gotta now go to Augment to try and get what the MX88 was when we replace our skis. And meanwhile Kästle risks destroying their brand completely.
 
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