2021 Kästle FX106 HP

SkiTalk Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
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SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Posts
453
FairtoMiddlin: Kästle used the same all-new construction found in the FX96 HP here, and it works again. The result of this strong, metal-less stick is something you can rely on. Power jauntily through soft snow, only to hit a coral bump waiting beneath, and you can feel how dialed in the flex is; the response is composed and predictable. On harder snow, it has a tip shape and torsional rigidity that feels very willing to carve for a ski in this class, above average all around. This would be the toast of the test, were it not for some meddling kids.

The Elan Ripstick 106 Black Edition, the Mantra 102, and perhaps a well-tuned Rustler 10 are also quick and predictable, yet do so with less lightening of the wallet. Even Kästle’s own FX96 HP feels like a better execution of the construction, as if it is ground zero for where the company is headed. Still, the 106 is a step in the right direction in feel over the outgoing BMX105; Kästle is moving forward.

Drahtguy Kevin: The FX106 has characteristics similar to its narrower brother with an expected tilt toward off-piste performance. The tip on the FX guides the ski confidently through chop while remaining friendly in bumps and trees. I couldn’t find an area off Sierra and up on Union that this ski didn’t handle with ease. Kästle has a unique feel that shines in this model as well as the 96. The reduced weight of the 106 and 96 didn’t cause alarm in any condition.

Insider tip: Slap on some Shifts and tour, tour, tour.​
Review updated from 2020
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Lovers of agility and refinement, your ski is ready. Off-piste afficionados; this ski wants to see the entire mountain.
Who is it not for?
Those wanting to visit the ungroomed as opposed to living the ungroomed. Folks who just want to rage can get a strong ski for less money.
Skier ability
Advanced, Expert
Ski category
All Mountain, Powder
Ski attributes
Off Piste, Trees, Touring/Backcountry
Segment
Men, Women

Specifications

HighFives
Available sizes
168, 176, 184, 192
Dimensions
137-106-125
Rocker profile
Camber with tip rocker
Construction design
Carryover
Binding options
Flat
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edWhatEdword

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
Skier
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Posts
1
Location
Meyers, CA
Is there any update on these sticks? It’s hard to track down a pair to try...I’m 6ft 220 & I coach big mountain athletes for work. Currently have 184 BMX 105s which I abuse in choppy conditions. I like them but I feel they lack float for new snow days. They are also now toasted after skiing volcanic for several seasons.

I’m wondering about a few things for the FX106s - should I go 192? What is the effective edge? And is the tip flex really that soft? I read that the flex might be weird bc of the hollow tech...when makes me nervous to buy a ski primarily used for charging sierra cement with a bunch of teenagers! I don’t want it to fold on me. also read some funky reports of the tail flex?

Also- the ZX108s....seem awesome but perhaps a tad to wide for my purposes (I have a 177 Friend for deep days, and I usually ski 100-105 for “regular” days at Kirkwood - I was thinking the ZX fills a gap that I don’t really need......I mean, you always need skis but...). What would you think ZX108 vs Fx106? For a coach who spends a lot of days trying to keep up with Freeride teenagers?!
 

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