By David Herring
If you see me standing at the back of my car scratching my head it’s probably because I can't decide which pair of Kastle's I want to ski on, the FX or the TX. The decision used to be easy, FX inbounds and sidecountry and the TX for longer tours. This was until the new TX came out this year.
The FX 95 is still my go-to ski for sheer all round pleasure. They ski fast and hard through just about anything, have enough width at 95mm underfoot to float in powder, especially ozi pow, yet light enough at
just under 2000g to tour on. Ideally suited to a binding like the Marker Kingpin, I still ride mine with a lightweight frame binding, the Ambition. With an 18m radius they have a genuine GS feel about them on the groomers and the early rise and dual radius of its tip with only a slightly raised tail make them a dream ski. Chris Davenport would be proud of the development of this ski and their popularity this year is well deserved. If you are looking to get into the sidecountry and want one ski to do it all in and out of the resort this could be the ski for you.
As a fan of lightweight skis on longer tours, and I mean skis weighing in under 1600g, I have been less than impressed with the downhill performance of these skis in the past. We all tend to rate skis on North American and European reviews and it’s hard to make sense of it when trying to decide on a ski for Australia with its often varied and harsh BC conditions. Most go fine uphill but I found myself looking for a heavier damper ski to get me home. The new Kastle TX is a real game changer for me. Kastle is not the first brand to introduce an ABS sidewall constructed lightweight ski and I can't say I have skied on all the others, but weighing in at about 1400g this ski offers everything I have been looking for in a package, sharing all the things I like about the FX. The new graphics are great and mounted with a tech binding, in my case the G3 ION, they are bound to become a popular choice for many backcountry tourers. The 90mm under foot is probably my choice for Australia but my 98s will be on the plane to Japan with me for sure.
They are not a resort ski at any stretch but I now have a ski that will get me home late in the day when the sun has gone and the conditions are difficult. The decision at the beginning of the day is just a little easier.
Pre-cut climbing skins are available for both the FX and the TX .
Harro Snowsports at Crackenback Village are the Kastle importers and
have all models for demo and sale.
The FX and TX are also available at Mont Adventure Equipment in Canberra.