2021 Kästle MX83

SkiTalk Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Philpug: The outgoing MX83 and MX84 were the gold standard for many of our readers as well as sales leaders in the MX collection, so the new MX83 has some big shoes to fill. Like the rest of the collection, the MX83 is all new with a level of obtainable performance that the previous generations never had, and that makes the ski better. In the past, there was a price of admittance to “Club MX," but it has dropped some.

Insider tip: The finish of these new MX skis far surpasses anything Kästle has offered before.​

Drahtguy Kevin: The MX83 is the best of both the MX75 and MX88. All the MX tips are grand, but the one on the 83 stands out. Driving it into the turn, feeling the irregularities in the snow vanish, and popping into the next turn -- it's all bliss. This ski trucks through soft piles while remaining nimble in bumps and tight areas. I'm not sure I want to test the speed limits of this confidence-inspiring whip.

Insider tip: Commit to the turn and let ‘er rip.​
Andy Mink: This is one that I know is better than the ski I was on. Late afternoon conditions at the upper runs at Mammoth were scraped off and very hard. I dropped in and turned -- no, slid -- down the hill sideways. In the hard bumps, they were very unsettling, with no grip on the hard downhill side of the bumps and in the scraped-off troughs. The edges were dull after two days of testing. In the softer snow lower on the mountain that didn't demand a sharp edge, they turned easily, engaging predictably. The Kästle smoothness was there. Turns were easily shaped from tight to long and flowing. The goodness is in there but, just like any other ski, a good tune is paramount.

Insider tip: Tune, tune, tune.​
Tricia: The MX line got quite the makeover for the 2020-21 season. One of the things you’ll notice is that the MX84 is gone, replaced by the MX83. The change in dimensions and wood construction have made the difference Kästle was looking for. This new MX comes with a gorgeous structure that you’d expect from this premium brand; it was ready to slice through the snow like butter. When I dabbled off piste a bit, the MX83 handled the bumps and crud pretty darn well, but it was clear that this ski really shines on piste.

Insider tip: For something a little better off piste, check out the MX88.​
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Instructors; this will be a great teaching ski because it gets going much quicker than the old model. Those who appreciate the smoothness of Kästle and want a narrower, easy carving, frontside ski.
Who is it not for?
Smooth and damp doesn't necessarily mean easy skiing. Beginners and low intermediates won't be able to wring out what this ski can do.
Skier ability
Advanced, Expert
Ski category
Frontside, All Mountain
Ski attributes
Groomers, Moguls
Segment
Men, Women

Specifications

HighFives
Available sizes
154, 161, 168, 175, 182
Dimensions
126-83-112
Rocker profile
Full camber
Construction design
All new
Binding options
Flat, System
right ad

Tony S

thread drift a specialty
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Nov 14, 2015
Posts
4,521
Location
Maine
Philpug: The outgoing MX83 and MX84 were the gold standard for many of our readers as well as sales leaders in the MX collection, so the new MX83 has some big shoes to fill. Like the rest of the collection, the MX83 is all new with a level of obtainable performance that the previous generations never had, and that makes the ski better. In the past, there was a price of admittance to “Club MX," but it has dropped some.

Insider tip: The finish of these new MX skis far surpasses anything Kästle has offered before.​

Drahtguy Kevin: The MX83 is the best of both the MX75 and MX88. All the MX tips are grand, but the one on the 83 stands out. Driving it into the turn, feeling the irregularities in the snow vanish, and popping into the next turn -- it's all bliss. This ski trucks through soft piles while remaining nimble in bumps and tight areas. I'm not sure I want to test the speed limits of this confidence-inspiring whip.

Insider tip: Commit to the turn and let ‘er rip.​
Andy Mink: This is one that I know is better than the ski I was on. Late afternoon conditions at the upper runs at Mammoth were scraped off and very hard. I dropped in and turned -- no, slid -- down the hill sideways. In the hard bumps, they were very unsettling, with no grip on the hard downhill side of the bumps and in the scraped-off troughs. The edges were dull after two days of testing. In the softer snow lower on the mountain that didn't demand a sharp edge, they turned easily, engaging predictably. The Kästle smoothness was there. Turns were easily shaped from tight to long and flowing. The goodness is in there but, just like any other ski, a good tune is paramount.

Insider tip: Tune, tune, tune.​
Tricia: The MX line got quite the makeover for the 2020-21 season. One of the things you’ll notice is that the MX84 is gone, replaced by the MX83. The change in dimensions and wood construction have made the difference Kästle was looking for. This new MX comes with a gorgeous structure that you’d expect from this premium brand; it was ready to slice through the snow like butter. When I dabbled off piste a bit, the MX83 handled the bumps and crud pretty darn well, but it was clear that this ski really shines on piste.

Insider tip: For something a little better off piste, check out the MX88.​
So ... I fell in love with the previous MX 83 based on demos. When the MX 84 came out with its allegedly friendlier tip, I thought, "even better!" Eventually I found a pair at a reasonable price and bought them. After three seasons of intermittent use, I remain slightly disappointed. The smoothness and high speed stability are there, but I've never been satisfied with the hookup, compared with the older MX 83. Please comment with regard to the new MX 83. TIA
 

Ken_R

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I found the MX84 meh, not nearly as exciting, damp or polished as the MX89. How does the new MX83 compare?
 

Philpug

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I found the MX84 meh, not nearly as exciting, damp or polished as the MX89. How does the new MX83 compare?
That has to do with tune since both were identical constructions. Compared to the outgoing MX84, the new MX83 is a lot more brighter, more playful but not quite as damp. The same can be said about 88 to 89.
 

Dudeabides

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I'm looking forward to trying this new ski... I've owned 2 of the old mx83 and 3 of the 84's. While I liked the extra length of the 84, they made some adjustments for 'friendliness' that I did not enjoy (softer sidewall material apparently?). Still excellent, but a notch down from "the only ski."
 

Philpug

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C169A8B3-9D72-40B5-A7C4-9315CFA04EB4.jpeg Long Term Update. We have two days on the all new MX83 this season. The out of the wrapper tune left a little to be desired, the ski was a little "loose" on the snow and had trouble holding a turn even in the very good early season conditions. This is not an uncommon issue with many early production skis. I spent some time with the Toko Edge World Cup and brought the 90* edge to a much more skiable 88*. This change in bevel brought the MX83 up to an expected level of performance with a ski that has a comma in it's price.

Entry into the turn is with the new HollowTech 3 and new tip shape was as smooth as buttah. The 16.3 meter radius for the 175cm is right in the middle of the pack in this premium class and Kästle did a good job with the new design to create a ski that wasn't limited by just a single turn shape.

The recurring question we get, "How does the new MX83 compare to the outgoing MX84?" I try not to use ten words when I can use one but I would say one one word that the team at Kästle keeps coming back to is "obtainable". The whole new MX collection are now obtainable in in power, smoothness and refinement. Kästle was willing to admit a slight loss of top end to achieve this new goal, and after skiing the mew MX83 last year and now a well tuned pair, I have yet to feel the compromise. The one thing that might not still be obtainable is the price point, they are still a premium there but very few who bought a Kästle never said they were not worth the price of admission.
 

Skeezer

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This change in bevel brought the MX83 up to an expected level of performance with a ski that has a comma in it's price.
This was a ski on my radar. Call me naive, but I thought part of the price of admission into club ”premium ski” (Kästle, Stöckli, Augment, etc) meant you could count on a ski pretty much ready to excel from the factory. I am in no way trying to disrespect any particular ski manufacturer, but I do have a question. Is there little to no chance that one could buy a retail version that is a “early production ski”? I humbly ask for guidance and TIA. BTW, that is a magnificent looking ski.
 

Philpug

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This was a ski on my radar. Call me naive, but I thought part of the price of admission into club ”premium ski” (Kästle, Stöckli, Augment, etc) meant you could count on a ski pretty much ready to excel from the factory. I am in no way trying to disrespect any particular ski manufacturer, but I do have a question. Is there little to no chance that one could buy a retail version that is a “early production ski”? I humbly ask for guidance and TIA.
Tunes from almost every brand can be inconsistent at best. When you are playing in these leagues, tunes can be very personal and most people will get the ski set up to their pwn specifications. This is akin to buying a ski boot and getting a custom footbed, a very personal way to set up a boot.
 

Skeezer

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I don’t have anywhere near the ski experience or knowledge of Phil or most on this site, I just know I love skiing. Honestly, I don’t even know what my own personal tune should be. But from a novice point of view I have to respectively say I am lost by that analogy. Yes, I agree customizing a boot to fit a particular foot makes sense as we all have different feet (been there, done that). Which leads me to a question. So if I buy a MX83 should I expect it will come with a 90 degree edge or should I expect that edge angle is just not a predictable ”variable” from the factory? Please let me know if I am missing a finer point here. “Inconsistent” seems to be the key word that makes me unsettled. Maybe this is a discussion for a separate thread. Thanks.
 

Tony S

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I don’t have anywhere near the ski experience or knowledge of Phil or most on this site, I just know I love skiing. Honestly, I don’t even know what my own personal tune should be. But from a novice point of view I have to respectively say I am lost by that analogy. Yes, I agree customizing a boot to fit a particular foot makes sense as we all have different feet (been there, done that). Which leads me to a question. So if I buy a MX83 should I expect it will come with a 90 degree edge or should I expect that edge angle is just not a predictable ”variable” from the factory? Please let me know if I am missing a finer point here. “Inconsistent” seems to be the key word that makes me unsettled. Maybe this is a discussion for a separate thread. Thanks.
I don't know enough about the ski manufacturing process and/or the distribution chain to be able to say WHY it's true, but it does seem to be true that you can NEVER count on a ski having a perfectly flat base out of the wrapper, no matter what you pay for it.

I agree that this seems unreasonable, but it is what it is. If I were buying an expensive ski at full retail, I would treat the experience like buying a luxury car, and say that I wanted a perfect tune before agreeing to fork over. Of course this requires a way to KNOW whether the tune is good. It's never simple.

Ideally you would be dealing with a straight shooting shop that would A) be willing and able to evaluate the factory tune and B) know how to make it right if it was off. Tall order, unfortunately. Which is one reason sites like this exist. Sigh.
 
Last edited:

KingGrump

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So if I buy a MX83 should I expect it will come with a 90 degree edge or should I expect that edge angle is just not a predictable ”variable” from the factory?
It's a "No" on the 90 degree edge question.
The base and edge angle on a new ski can be inconsistent/variable due to the fact the ski was not fully cured when it passes through the tuning machine at the factory.
 

Tony S

thread drift a specialty
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the ski was not fully cured when it passes through the tuning machine at the factory
Right.

But to the OP's valid point, this doesn't answer the question, "Why not?" Shouldn't addressing this well-known issue be part of what a luxury ski brand does for me?
 

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