Stockli SR95 vs Kastle FX95HP -- To Replace Motive 95Ti.

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by SnowDuck, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. SnowDuck

    SnowDuck At the base lodge Skier

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    Time to think about replacing my grab and go sticks -- Fischer Motive 95Ti (180cm). Alas these will become my early season skis since conditions this year have been early season-like all year. Sad.

    I knew that reading these posts would get me in trouble but am hooked on the idea of a premium ski. Do they really feel that smooth? Seems folks here are convinced and I am ready for some of that Austrian or Swiss boutique goodness.

    So, would very much appreciate any insights from those who have skied both. Also if you have been on the Motive and can compare. Not a big demo guy these days, honestly just too impatient when I get to the hill. The knowledge on this forum seems to be an excellent stand-in.

    Often work in the Tahoe area, and the Motives have been my in-the-car skis. Those that I take when I think I can get in some hill time after meetings etc. Also of course on dedicated ski days. So an all condition ski for Alpine/Squaw and Heave/Kirkwood. Mid 90s underfoot seem to work best. Terrain-wise think steep hard pack (or worse) dropping in from the ridges down into bumps and crud then schussing groomers back to the lift.

    Me: 65 y.o., 5’9” 175, fit, solid advanced skier (occasionally ski with younger locals so I know I am NOT an expert – but they let me play chase). Enjoy all terrain types, conditions allowing of course (alas the off piste hits to my poor Motives). Like to push speed when the terrain opens up. Deliberate and careful in the trees, sharp bumps and steeps. Wisdom hard won.

    What I would change about the Motives: somewhat less rocker (shorter splay?), a slightly better tail release for steep bumps, a little longer, much more speed and rough snow stability, damper, more even flex pattern. So a fairly traditional ski with a good pinch of new school off trail attributes. I have found the Motives to be very versatile and very forgiving for how well they perform. Pretty much as folks have described here and the old Epic forum. Was a good choice but with a speed limit and their lightness could get tossed in gnarly conditions.

    Your time and comments much appreciated!
     
  2. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The SR95 and FX95 are completely different animals. Both are going to do what you are looking for the ski to do, with both having less tip and tail shape, it jsut comes down to how far do you want to swing the pendulum. The Stormrider is a nice step towards what you want, the Kastle is a leap, the question is, is it too much of a leap? The Kastle has the off piste part nailed down but will really need to be driven to come across the hill on the groomers where the Stockli is a real nice balance. I think @WadeHoliday might have a pair of 95's that he is replacing. I will have him check in here.
     
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  3. Thread Starter
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    SnowDuck

    SnowDuck At the base lodge Skier

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    Greetings Phil,

    Thank you. Exactly the input I was looking for. I get the impression that the SR95 would be the more seamless transition since it seems to have a more traditional shape. Though intrigued by the "automatic" description of the Kastle in the rough, I do lean toward smooth-at-speed.

    Also as a traditionally taught skier and given that Sierra conditions do seem to be trending toward more hard pack, edge hold at speed may be better for me than quickness in the rough. And that's where words like smooth, silky, and damp ring for me.

    However, thoughts from FX95HP owners on hardpack groomer performance are much appreciated.

    Also I will look into other options including the Renoun line since many here seem to like that new entry. Also to add more to the mix there is the yet to be released, but much anticipated, Kastle MX99. Anxious to read reports on that ski.

    Finally, your thread about almost-premium skis was enlightening. Don't want to miss a great ski if it fits. The demise of the Monster 98 does make me wonder if a pair of those should be acquired as a backup for future seasons like this one. Even the Motives are soon to rest in peace and I can't imagine subjecting a premium ski to extremely low tide conditions. Have used a trusted old pair of fully cambered 184 Mantras this year on the hard fast runs and grit my teeth to think both sticks are now scarred.

    Cheers
     
  4. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Have you tried the Pro Mountain 95? As much as I liked my Motives, I like the PM95 better, especially the shape, though the radius is shorter, I feel like the balance between tip and tail is better than on the Motive. The added carbon isn't bad either.
     
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  5. Michael Kane

    Michael Kane Kano Skier

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    I concur with epic. I also when from free MotiveMto the PM95 and like them better
     


  6. WadeHoliday

    WadeHoliday Getting on the lift Skier

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    tough choices...

    so, I've owned or own all the skis you first mentioned.
    a couple seasons and lots of tahoe off piste steeps, hard snow, bumps on the FX 95HP, a season on the motive 95 (had both 174 and 180), and I now have an SR 95 that I am not yet to totally bond with.

    based on what you say like about the motive and direction you want to go, the FX almost seems too "new school". It is super solidd off piste in funky conditions, but not nearly as fun on piste as the others. Also, for me, it took a technique tweak to get the most out of it. I only sold mine as I was going to get the non HP, as I had loved it. Then this season came, and I skied so many days on my MX 74 that full tip to tail contact and more shape has changed what I'm looking for in my "in" the snow ski... that make sense?

    The SR 95 is almost a smoother more refined version of the motive 95, very similar traits imo. Could be the natural transition for you.
    I am having trouble bonding w/ it for a couple reasons, 1. see perceptions above with 40 hard snow ice bumps days on my mx74... 2. I believe the SR has a bit of split personality. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the tip is super friendly and new school, and the tail skis a bit more traditionally with more full contact. and , 3. I haven't had any real snow to ski "in" to see if it skis soft snow like it should, so my contrast if coming with mx74 and monster 88 (which I have 5-6 days on recently).

    To your 2nd post, much of what you said you want and like seem to point me toward your idea of buying a monster 98. That one had a very traditional feel, and does so much well. At 160lbs and a slower, careful skier, it was a bit too stiff for me.
    The MX 99 seems to be where I should be based on what I'm telling you, but I anticipate it to be much more demanding skiing big icey chicken heads down west face then the motive, SR or FX...

    I also skied the renoun 90, and don't think it's what you are looking for. As helluva skier said, super feel and construction, top end ski. For me, the shape, especially in the tail was a bit too much for Tahoe off piste skiing. I think that builder can use that exact layup, build more like a monster 88 shape and will have a true home run. their 98 is a better shape, but haven't skied it, and seems it went to far in early rise and big turn up in the tail for a great off piste ski.

    Cheers!
    W
     
  7. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    So, I've got a pair of 2013 Motives 86ti 168 that have the early rise and traditional feel and it's stiffer than what you're describing of the newer incarnation. It busts crud well and I haven't found the speed limit on them. Because of their weight, I don't think of them as playful skis. I also don't do much off piste so can't compare/relate to those comments. I know these didn't sell well, so, maybe find some New Old Stock (NOS)?

    Given the current conditions, my focus has been towards on piste carvers.
     
  8. ARL67

    ARL67 Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life Skier

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    Wade, are you on the newest SR95 175cm ( silver with blue plaid ) or the previous carbon tip & tail SR95 174 / 183 cm ?

    I had the last top-sheet iteration of the Motive 95 180cm, and also the carbon tipped SR95 183cm.
    Shape-wise, I think the SR95 checks the OP's boxes.
    The 183 might have been a bit long for me, but the 174 sounded rather short.
    Scott's review of the newest SR95 175 suggests that the length is "good" with the latest construction tweaks.

    FYI - the FX95-HP & BMX105-HP, both in 181, didn't work for me ( a bit much work ).
    But I'm really liking the versatility of BMX105 non-HP in 181 that I recently took to Austria for a week, though I am not a hard-charging skier.
     
  9. wallyk

    wallyk Would rather be ski'n Skier

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    @Philpug just nails this comparison. I was in the market for a new ski this year and was deciding between the Kastle, MX88, FX95 and the Stockli SR 88 and 95. The difference between these skis is night and day. I demo'd the FX95HP and the MX88 along with the SR95 and was amazed at the difference. The Stockli was a smoother ride, with a huge sweet spot that is very easy to work in a myriad of conditions. The SR series is pleasant, and rewarding all at the same time. I'm a technically proficient skier who can ski a diverse terrain selection but know my limits. The SR is equally at home on groomers and off piste, and at 42yo w/ kids the SR does everything I need and want.

    The Kastles are fine products but again Phil nails it when he writes that the Kastle needs to be driven across the hill.

    I believe in one post @Philpug refers to the SR series as a luxury sedan and he's right.

    I purchased a SR88 in December and was the right purchase and ski for me. For where I ski, how I ski, what terrain I ski, and with whom I ski with, I love the SR88.

    There have been so many superlatives and posts here describing the Kastle and the Stockli products that a little research has the potential to yield positive dividends.

    Good luck
     
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  10. WadeHoliday

    WadeHoliday Getting on the lift Skier

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    I have the new on in the 175.

    to reiterate, the fx95 may not for everyone, but the OP was describing places where that ski is super duper.

    Cheers!
    W
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  11. Thread Starter
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    SnowDuck

    SnowDuck At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks everyone. Why I read this forum! And I now admit to be fully caught up in ski acquisition syndrome and spending way too much time on research as fun as it is. Though a nice distraction from the daily, ah, etc.

    Yes, Wade, sounds like the SR95 would be the easiest transition from the Motive 95. Yet it has the somewhat split personality the same as the Motive with a very forgiving tip and stiff body. Not really an even flex? Perhaps that requires a more traditional design that is becoming difficult to find. Though I am not above attempting a transition to new school technique as so well described by Wade in his take on the FX95HP in that ski review post. Ski from the arch rather than work the length of the edge.

    For those familiar with the Tahoe region I should have mentioned that I often ski at Sugar Bowl. A quick 90 minute day trip when roads are clear. Great roosty, friendly, and very underrated hill by the way. Thinking the FX95 would be a perfect SB stick or when planning to focus on skiing off piste in the upper steep and tighter terrain areas or trees at SV lets say. Meanwhile the other more wide open hills seem best suited to the SR95. SR95 also might be great for the ocassional trip to the Wasatch or the Rockies though, compared to Sierra Cement and Cascade Crud I think I could ski on a piece of plywood and enjoy that delightful low water content snow. So SR95 a better grab and go travel ski?

    I do like the luxury sedan analogy. Actually, given this season's hard fast bouncy conditions, was imagining a heavy old Euro sedan cruising unperturbed down the autobahn at 150mph type-ski.

    Anyway, the snow goddess help me, but now I am thinking about a quiver! A multiple ski acquisition? A ski to fit the mood, and where and with whom I may be skiing. Oh and then there's front side specific carving, AX, Redster G9, etc. Don't even want to start down that road.

    A note on other options mentioned. Thank you much for the suggestions. Yes, looked at the ProMtn95 and it does seem to have a more balanced flex and carve-ier personality than the Motive. Interesting. However it is supposedly even lighter and I wonder if we are entering a state of diminishing returns on lightness, especially when stiffness is added. Have begun looking at ski weights for the first time and I do like the heft of the Stockli. Should probably start a thread on that. And the Monster 98 looks like an all day charger. But trying to not lose it here, so am going to stick with the original intent of seeking premium ski sensations. Unless someone can testify that the M98 is as smooth as a premium. Same sensations underfoot.

    Finally, will be interesting to see reports on how the new Kastle MX99 responds. Depending on flex pattern and lengths available it could be the ticket (hopefully will come in a 180cm) Have always wondered about the mythical MX98 but a 174 seems short and the 184 long for my particular performance envelope.

    Meanwhile forecasts for a weather pattern change and coming snowfall in the Sierra is a real lift. Thank you all!
     
  12. ARL67

    ARL67 Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life Skier

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    I took a last gen MX98 174 with me on my recent trip, along with the BMX105 181.
    I skied the MX98 for my first 2 days, then the BMX105 for the next 5 days. My last day at Garmisch Classic warranted the MX98 but I already had them packed away. The MX98 174 has a 24m radius and is a great groomer cruiser, and obviously great at plowing through stuff. At the short'ish 174 length and Hollowtech, it is still very easy to maneuver quickly as required, over/around bigger bumps, or to evade fellow skiers. The tip doesn't offer much in way of float or versatility for my non-expert skills. I'm glad I brought it along to see what it could do, but I find the BMX105 to offer most all I need out of a travel-ski.

    I too will be curious to see how the new MX99 shapes up.
    I'm assuming there will be a bit more rise & shape in the tip, similar to how the MX88 evolved into the MX89.
     
  13. WadeHoliday

    WadeHoliday Getting on the lift Skier

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    So, SR 95 worked better for me today... maybe just some time and snow away from making it dance for me.

    Sugar Bowl is a great mtn, as you say, Duck. I spent a ton of time taking laps under Lincoln when I was helping Eric DeLauriers launch All Mtn Ski Pros way back when. Great mtn for either of the skis you mentioned, but you should get out on the fx 95, I know blue zone has a demo of both the HP and non HP in their fleet right now.

    I don't have a SB pass, but if you ski Mt Rose, you could try out my sr 95 as well. Grab the fx95 demo and get a half day mixing the two up and you'll have a good idea. Conditions right now are good for it, as it's soft on top w/ skied out hard snow in between the bumps, classic tahoe low tide off piste.

    Cheers!
    W
     
  14. PTskier

    PTskier Been goin' downhill for years.... Pass Pulled

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    Nothing here tells why you need a ski as wide as a 95 mm. If you have a Stoeckli budget, seriously consider a pair of Laser AX, 78 mm, probably 175 cm long.
     
  15. PTskier

    PTskier Been goin' downhill for years.... Pass Pulled

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    Nothing here tells why you need a ski as wide at 95 mm. If you have a Stoeckli budget, seriously consider the Laser AX, 78 mm, probably the 175. I came from a Head Supershape i.Rally (76mm) 170 cm, fun ski, and the AX does everything better, more easily. (I know, the AX 175 is really hard to find.)
     
  16. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I could bring the Z90 and the FX95 and meet you two and we could make a day (or morning) out of it.
     
  17. Thread Starter
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    SnowDuck

    SnowDuck At the base lodge Skier

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    First apologies to those from other regions for Tahoe-centric converation. The Tahoe Basin can seem like an alternative universe sometimes. That said the big hills here are very interesting, diverse, and challenging mountains to ski, but if you come I suggest also visiting lesser known places like Sugar Bowl and Mt. Rose since both are little gems. No affiliation.

    As for why a mid 90s. I expect a premium ski to be my default ski. And for this region and my interests a mid90s has proven to be a do-all width. I also am almost entirely a weekday skier. Have my own operation so when I can break away midweek I do -- uncrowded slopes encourage high speeds and exploration. Mid 90s seem to apply. Also, per width, several years ago (10? ack!) I bought a Head Monster im82 and Mantra (94mm) as a two ski quiver. Ended up never skiing the Monster much since the wider Mantra did it all and better even on fast groomers. In steep cut bumps and trees both were a chore of course. Enter the rocker revolution to aleve that pain a bit. Thank you Shane McConkey?

    But yes, the AX sounds special especially the way this guy describes it. How can you not want a ski described with a French Canadian accent.



    Certainly the AX could be something down the road. Sounds amazing -- alive!? And he explains well why this premium ski idea, despite the cost, may be a worthwhile recreation investment over time. The good stuff takes time even in ski building.

    Thanks Wade will check out the FX95HP in greater depth and per the FX95HP review post begun by Alexzn, your input there was an eye opener regarding new style skis and associated technique. Could be good timing for both new sticks and skill re-development. And admit its time to take some pro lessons. Been too long (the old Sun Valley Austrian instructors yelling, bend zee knees!...) I always give that advice to take lessons to others, should take it myself. Want to keep playing in the mountains for along time to come and instruction can only help.

    Phil. Great offer! Thank you. Haven't been to Mt. Rose in a very long time. I do go to Reno or Carson for meetings now and then but typically head back up and over the hill afterwards. Will look for an opportunity. How much notice do you and Wade usually need? Also your shop location? Will need to stop in and chat at least. Finally turns out I have an opportunity to reconvene with some old college friends at Mt. Batchelor at the end of March. If so will stop by dawgcatching's shop and see if demos of the candidates are available.

    Also as I dig the options open up -- yes, will look deeper into the Renoun Z90. Interesting flubber stuff. Wow!

    My first real conversation here and very cool and informative. I don't know the demographics but I seem to be ok here, versus the ah bros at TGR, though I do go over there -- a hoot to read that the f-word is an essenstial part of a ski review. It is a flexible multiuse word.

    Hope the forecast weather pattern shift brings lush late season storms and smiles to us all who love to ski in North America, every one.

    QUACK!
     
  18. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I obviously haven't been on it. I'm a Kästle fan, but not at all the the exclusion of other brands. Given your criteria, I'm thinking you do not want to buy an MX series ski without a demo, unless you've already skied one off piste.
     
  19. Thread Starter
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    SnowDuck

    SnowDuck At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks for the suggestion Tony. Hopefully will get on one next season at least. And I expect there will be a lot of chatter when folks start skiing the MX99. For the time being it does bring up the quiver issue. And for a mid-90s ski that I will use the most (middle part of a 3-ski quiver?) it seems a range from those that reportedly excel at off piste conditions with the ability to run on groomers ok (FX95HP) to those that reportedly excel on packed trails / carving or high speed cruising but can run through mixed off trail mixed conditions ok (MX series or Stormrider). Basically a fairly regular storm cycle versus long dry spells. It's that enticing luxury sedan cruising on the autobahn that gets one thinking the MX series. And the long unsnowy dry spells.

    This may help -- if I could design my own ski it would start with my old 2007 Mantra, 94mm waist, 184cm. No real on piste speed limit for me (shrugs at dust-on-crust), surprisingly good in soft crud/bumps, and modest new snow (6"-8") -- fairly even but robust (not race) flex, but alas, unwieldy handling in big Sierra moguls and heavy or refrozen off trail conditions (stiff tip on the cambered Mantras). So, take that classic ski then add rocker (so my move to the Motive 95 the past couple of seasons) and perhaps a touch of tail rocker for release in said hard cut bumps/crud. Progressive flex pattern desired. Single radius side cut perhaps. TR not much under 20 and up around 25 or so fine for me. Then, extra dollars to get a smoother suspension per the much discussed premiums. Kastle MX rubber layer does it? Or Renoun flubber stuff. Or Swiss secret ingrediants per the above AX or Stormriders.

    Question is what is that default ski that I toss on the car just-in-case during those trips to the mountains -- and still have a blast -- aka, not run into disappointing limitations if the conditions don't turn out as expected.

    On a learning curve re premium skis for sure. Endless and happy possibilities. Potential wallet pain notwithstanding.
     
  20. WadeHoliday

    WadeHoliday Getting on the lift Skier

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    Quick follow up on skis discussed here...

    bonding w/ my SR 95. worked well for my yesterday, and this afternoon, 5-6inches of new on top of scraped bumps, skied well. Friendly tip was solid, tail allowed me to mix up turn shapes and drift it to next platform at will. More friendly in the snow then on it. Looking like I'll keep it!

    Cheers,
    W
     
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