Kästle FX 104 review
Austrian ski brand Kästle has a long history, but production of skis had stopped until 2007, when the name was resurrected by a group of Austrians focussed on high-end ski manufacture. The “FX” in the name denotes freeski mountaineering, and the ski is intended to be a lightweight ski that can handle a wide range of snow conditions. It features Kästle’s trademark “Hollowtech” cut out zones on the tip and tail to reduce weight further.
Somewhat unusually for an all mountain ski this season, the FX 104 has an entirely traditional camber profile with no rocker whatsoever, and its 133-104-123mm sidecut profile give it a turn radius of 26m for its 184cm length. Unlike some skis which employ trick dual radius side cuts (like the Scott Crusade), the FX 104 has a single radius from tip to tail.
On the snow, the FX 104 is a relatively stiff and “damp” feeling ski, thanks to two layers of titanium incorporated into the ski’s chassis. This gives the ski great stability in uneven snow conditions, but means that the ski lacks some “pop” when linking a series of turns together on the groomers. It’s an extremely precise ski, which is ideally suited for the adventurous all mountain skier, and particularly someone who is interested in using it for some ski touring. However, if you’re only going to gain your altitude via a ski lift and stay mainly on the frontside of the mountain, there are probably other skis around that will suit your purposes better.
- Extremely precise and stable
- Very well made
- Traditional camber may not suit some and requires a bit more effort to ski
- Not the most playful ski