Cage Match Comparison 2021 Kästle MX88 vs. 2021 Augment All Mountain 88Ti

Philpug

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Kästle MX88 vs Augment AM88 is a battle of the high-priced big hitters. Let's start with a little history. A little over a decade ago, Kästle invented the premium 88mm segment with the MX88. Now, in its newest incarnation, it has taken a whole new persona ... a more mature, mellower attitude. The all-new MX88 is much more relaxed in design. It has abandoned its Nth-degree top end. Think along the lines when all German cars had a top speed limited to 155 mph. Kästle is now willing to forgo speed for agility. Where the old MX88 needed speed to get going, the new one has a power band that is much more obtainable and, while it will go fast when asked, it doesn’t require you to do so. The new MX88 (and other MXs) are, in one word, deceptive.

Augment? Some still ask "Who or what is Augment?" and "What did they do to warrant a price tag in this range?" Well, Augment is producing one of the best-built skis on the planet, on par with the brand opposite in this Cage Match. The AM88 is the old Kästle MX88, the ski that has no sense of humor, that even in its softest flex option demands your attention. Yes, Augment offers its skis in multiple flexes. I would suggest the “soft” for most skiers; “medium” for stronger skiers, 11/10th skiers, and Clydesdales; and the “stiff" for ex-World Cup racers, skiers who have runs named after them (not in epitaph), or the severely ego-driven.

The Augment AM88 is about as traditional as they come with no early rise in the rounded tip, a longer 20m+ radius, and a solid feel, not too dissimilar to the MX88 from a decade ago. The all-new MX88 is a modern take on the same design. From my early impressions of these two skis, both have out-of-the-box base finishes that are also worthy of their steep price tags.
  • Why choose the Kästle MX88? Chances are this won’t be your first Kästle, and if that's the case, maybe you don’t need to drive the ski hard all the time but still expect the best.
  • Why choose the Augment All Mountain 88Ti? You want it all and you are willing to work, and pay, for it. Having a ski that has a race-room build and performance to match at 88 underfoot is not too much to ask.
 

Calbearski

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It appears the Kastle MX88 and the Stöckli Stormrider 88 could be cousins from competing brands? From what I just read, the MX88 sounds like my Stormrider 88.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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It appears the Kästle MX88 and the Stöckli Stormrider 88 could be cousins from competing brands? From what I just read, the MX88 sounds like my Stormrider 88.
Ding Ding Ding. But the Kastle has a bit more hard snow gumption.
 

wallyk

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A very relevant and appropriate cage match for the SkiTalk crowd.......

@Philpug Do you believe that the current iteration of the MX88 is too refined and lacks the energy associated with the name "SR88"? For comparison, Stöckli's SR88, with the tartan print on the top skin, was deemed by Stöckli as too refined and the company hastily introduced a redesigned version the following year. Would this be the case with this year's MX88? If this is the scenario, is the Augment 88Ti really "in a league of its own" at the 88mm segment?

On a side note, I own the SR88, tartan top skin, and while it's great at lower speeds (accessible with my 7 year old) it leaves me wanting at higher speeds.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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A very relevant and appropriate cage match for the SkiTalk crowd.......

@Philpug Do you believe that the current iteration of the MX88 is too refined and lacks the energy associated with the name "SR88"? For comparison, Stöckli's SR88, with the tartan print on the top skin, was deemed by Stöckli as too refined and the company hastily introduced a redesigned version the following year. Would this be the case with this year's MX88? If this is the scenario, is the Augment 88Ti really "in a league of its own" at the 88mm segment?

On a side note, I own the SR88, tartan top skin, and while it's great at lower speeds (accessible with my 7 year old) it leaves me wanting at higher speeds.
I need to spend more time on the new MX88 but the MX83 is just a better ski than the outgoing model and I expect more of the same from the MX88. As far as being too refined, I am reminded of Salieri telling Mozart that his concerto had "too many notes".

At this point, the Augment 88 is indeed in a ski class of it's own, think of it an Audi RS6 Avant (although that has the MB E63 and Panemera Sport to go against). Yes, the refinement is there, but it also has absolute power in it's arsenal.
 

tromano

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I demoed the AM88 last spring and wasn't really impressed. I think you can be serious about carving, serious about charging big mountains, serious about bumps even. But AM is a category where serious doesn't pay off. AM skiing to me is about mixing it up and just going where the trail takes you even though AM skis aren't optimal anywhere. That's the fun, that's the challenge of AM.
 
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