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.