Kastle MX88 Ski Test: Bigger is Better!

The verdict is in for our Kastle MX88 ski test: bigger is definitely better!

If you want to test skis designed for bombing big all mountain lines Thredbo is the place to go down under. Australia’s longest runs luckily for us matched with covid-lockdown emptiness allowed us to lap hard and fast with zero wait time.

Racking up huge amounts of vertical in no time doesn’t get much easier, or more fun, then on the super stable Kastle MX88s. The legend just gets better in the current incarnation.

Setting bindings on Kastle MX88 skis for test
Mitch Harrison will set your demo Kastle’s up in no time at Harro’s © snowaction.com.au

Funny to think a few years back 88mm underfoot was “fat ski” powder size. For those still locked into skinny world, trust us, bigger is better.

Even versus their stablemates the MX84 I found the MX88 just more solid, more stable and more effortless to carve at speed on. Which was handy chasing our snowboard guru Peter Wunder on his Kessler board.

After no skiing all northern winter for the first time in over 20 years, and a very covid-curtailed local season in 2020, I was a bit worried I would be a drag on the rest of the crew and drop off the pace. And be all over the place technique wise.

They even matched my helmet and jacket © snowaction.com.au

But jumping on the MX88s was like getting together with an old mate. We bonded instantly, the skis and underdone me.

The Supertrail is Australia’s longest ski run, the Kozi chairlift our best single lift vertical at 560m, and with fresh snowmaking and a good grooming job that didn’t get chewed up till lunchtime it was an absolutely perfect day for fast laps.

Back at Kastle HQ in Austria they have endless long slopes and massive vertical drops to play with, so not surprisingly they design skis to tackle them. With consummate ease.

You expect rock solid stability from Kastles, and the MX88s certainly provide that. But they are pretty effortless to drive too. I proved you don’t need to be ski fit to ride them hard, and you don’t need to be an expert 100 days a season skier to benefit from them.

Testing the Kastle MX88 at Thredbo
Misty GoPro lens cover, sorry, but you get the idea © snowaction.com.au

These are the ultimate all mountain weapon for any competent skier that will give you years of pleasure.

As the day wore on we moved around tackling more chopped up runs, and finding everything from sheet ice heading out to Balls to The Wall, to some soft snow in pockets there, before running down onto a very solid underfoot Funnelweb.

The Kastle’s did it all in style. My quads finally didn’t, giving up the ghost on the last lap, but that’s my covid-enforced lack of ski fitness, not the skis’ fault.

For strong intermediate and better skiers who like groomed runs and long pistes at home or wherever, the Kastle MX88s will make life easier for you.

The width is enough for some powder and great for slush and chopped snow busting.

I have a Chinese philosopher’s approach to bumps – you only have so many turns in your knees, don’t use them up too fast – and the more open it is, the more you will enjoy big arcing turns.

But the early rise and sidecut make them easy enough to manoeuvre tighter if you feel the need.

The Kastle MX88 test Bottom Line:

Best all-mountain ski I have tried for quite a while. Ultimate Thredbo chargers.

You don’t have to take my word for it: drop into Harro’s Snowsports at Lake Crackenback and demo a set as soon as you can. Harro’s are the official Kastle importers for Australia, so they know the brand backwards.

Cost: AUD $1,399

Demo day is $85, which is deducted off if you buy skis after

Kastle MX88 © Kastle

Kastle MX88 Specs & Tec

I tried the 180 (I’m 183cm), pretty perfect. The Hollowtech saves a bit of weight, but they are Kastle solid underfoot and no lightweights in any sense of the word.

Tip130 mm
Waist88 mm
Tail114 mm
159 cm14,0 m1705 g/Ski
166 cm15,5 m1780 g/Ski
173 cm17,1 m1859 g/Ski
180 cm18,8 m1934 g/Ski
187 cm20,5 m2005 g/Ski
Kastle MX88 crosscut construction view
Crosscut Kastle MX88 construction © Kastle
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