2022 Kästle FX96 Ti

SkiTalk Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Posts
632
Philpug: The FX96 Ti has been updated with more metal in the construction for 2022. The current shape replaced the outgoing FX95/FX95 HP, which was somewhat polarizing, ie people either loved or liked it (very few haters). And now with metal, the Tri-Tech and all-new 3D shape will bring any fence-sitters into the the "love it" category. The new FX96 HP takes the best of the previous FXs: it has the precision of the FX94 and the playfulness and ease of the FX95 HP, and really you cannot ask for more that -- but wait, yes you can! How about a new, lower price?

Insider tip: And now offered in a 164cm length.​

FairToMiddlin: Listening to the recording I made after handing these back to Kästle, I used words like "amazing" and "best in test." I’ll stand by those spontaneous utterances. First off, this is an all-new ski, and there is no HP/non-HP (ie, with metal/without metal) distinction in this generation; just Ti. Whatever, this ski is a revelation.

The construction is fairly light, but Head is managing lightness/stability/good snow feel pretty well these days, and now so is Kästle. Off piste in its intended world, the new FX is next-level, speed-of-thought quick (in the way that the Atomic Backland 107 is for the One Oh Something demographic), yet also strong and unruffled regardless of what you stuff it into (something it pulls off better than the Backland). On the frontside, the 96 is a capable and satisfying carver, with better-than-most torsional rigidity when up on edge (reminiscent of the Salomon XDM 84 and Völkl RTM 86). It also provides great communication about the snow underneath you in any condition.

I loved the first-generation FX94 (it remains my touring ski). I was underwhelmed by the relative numbness of the second- and third-gen FXs, but next year’s heir to the FX bloodline is fantastic, a new-school take on old-school snow feel.

Drahtguy Kevin: "Easy and accessible all over the mountain" describes the FX96 HP. Any turn shape or size is a snap on this ride. Kästle brought back the metal and kept carbon this year, and the results are fantastic. The FX96 has excellent float and strength in soft, variable snow and an engaging tip with secure feel with power on the groomed. Turns happen at thought with giggles to follow. Wherever I took this ski, it performed admirably. Kästle took some huge steps with this build. Perhaps the best ski I was on at the Copper test. Time for me to start saving up....

 
Awards
Who is it for?
A skier looking for versatility in the 90-something category with the Nth degree of refinement. Those looking to reduce the herd. This ski fills several slots in a quiver, justifying the price.
Who is it not for?
Kästles are not for everyone; some cannot justify the premium price. That's fine, there are viable options at lower price points. Skiers not willing to commit. This ski lives to perform.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. All Mountain
  2. Powder
Ski attributes
  1. Off Piste
  2. Trees
  3. Touring/Backcountry
Segment
  1. Men

Specifications

Available sizes
164, 172, 180, 188
Dimensions
133-96-119
Rocker profile
  1. Camber with tip rocker
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. Updated construction
  2. New graphics
Ski Weight:
1935g
Binding options
  1. Flat
right ad
Last edited by a moderator:

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
32,724
Location
Reno, eNVy
Long term update: The new FX96Ti is just what Dr. Kastle expected out of the ski in this class. I like the outgoing, one year, FX96 enough, it was a really good ski but some felt it lacked some backbone and begged Kastle to add some metal to the construction and Kastle listened to them and added the two little letters that make aggressive skiers happy, "Ti". I for one is a person that is usually concerned when too many people get into the design process, does the camel come to anyone else's mind? Well this is not the case with the FX96Ti, adding metal didn't ruin the ski at all, it did just what Kastle wanted it to do, give it more strength but not step on the toes of the MX98, these are still too different animals and neither are camels.

Out of the box base structure is a pristine chevron and the edges were set a little more hard than soft snow biased so it was a little catchy in the deeper cut up fluff but was scalpelesque on the run in. No worries, this can be addressed quickly with a gummy starting at the extremities.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

USCskibum

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Posts
117
How does the FX96 compare to the 2022 Stormrider 95? On a recent trip, a store which sold both Kastle & Stöckli indicated that Stöckli was the superior skis due to the quality of their craftsmen ship and time it takes to build a pair of the skis. The sales guy referred to the Kastle as a “Chevy” and the Stöckli as a “Ferrari”??? I thought this was a very interesting analogy and was not expecting that kind of response.
 

TheArchitect

Working to improve all the time
Skier
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Posts
2,196
Location
Metrowest Boston
How does the FX96 compare to the 2022 Stormrider 95? On a recent trip, a store which sold both Kastle & Stöckli indicated that Stöckli was the superior skis due to the quality of their craftsmen ship and time it takes to build a pair of the skis. The sales guy referred to the Kastle as a “Chevy” and the Stöckli as a “Ferrari”??? I thought this was a very interesting analogy and was not expecting that kind of response.

You laughed at him when he said Chevy, right? Ferrari and Porsche maybe. This guy was either trying to upsell you or doesn't know much about Kastle. I'm recently new owner of the SR95 and have yet to ski it but I've been on Kastles for 10 years and they are a high end premium ski. As for how they compare to the FX96 I'm sure someone who has skied both will chime in.
 

USCskibum

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Posts
117
You laughed at him when he said Chevy, right? Ferrari and Porsche maybe. This guy was either trying to upsell you or doesn't know much about Kastle. I'm recently new owner of the SR95 and have yet to ski it but I've been on Kastles for 10 years and they are a high end premium ski. As for how they compare to the FX96 I'm sure someone who has skied both will chime in.
In the shop, I asked for the quick 2 minute comparison between the Stöckli Stormrider 88 vs. Kastle MX88…and his response was as indicated above.

Would appreciated any input and insight between Stöckli vs. Kastle in both their 88’s and 95’s/96’s: turn initiation, foregiveness, and dampness. Seems like all the reviews always use “smoothness” for Stöckli…are Kastles equally “smooth”?

SkiMag ranked the Stöckli 95 #2 and the Kastle FX96 Ti #11 in their reviews???
 

Attachments

  • 549D8547-F86A-48E6-A5A8-1781A4AB51DA.jpeg
    549D8547-F86A-48E6-A5A8-1781A4AB51DA.jpeg
    68.5 KB · Views: 4

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
7,238
Location
Maine
In the shop, I asked for the quick 2 minute comparison between the Stöckli Stormrider 88 vs. Kastle MX88…and his response was as indicated above.

Would appreciated any input and insight between Stöckli vs. Kastle in both their 88’s and 95’s/96’s: turn initiation, foregiveness, and dampness. Seems like all the reviews always use “smoothness” for Stöckli…are Kastles equally “smooth”?

SkiMag ranked the Stöckli 95 #2 and the Kastle FX96 Ti #11 in their reviews???
Those are all good skis. The question is, which ones make YOUR toes curl? Hard to know until you try a few. Sometimes, with enough good input factors, educated guesses can be made. Ski Magazine is too blunt an instrument for that. The whole Chevy / Ferrari thing is bullpucky on its face.

I haven't been on the new Kastle. I've been on a slew of older ones. As a very gross generality I'd say that compared with a typical Stöckli a typical Kastle needs you to hold the match to it a little longer before it catches. They like speed. Also, the snow feel tends to be a little less muted. This can be good or bad depending on your tastes.
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
32,724
Location
Reno, eNVy
The sales guy referred to the Kastle as a “Chevy” and the Stöckli as a “Ferrari”???
There is either an uneducated salesperson or is a regular in the Stöckli thread here and has drank a lot of Kool-aid. Both of these skis are very good skis but there is a difference. The Stöckli s a little more surfy and the Kastle has a more postitive feel on the snow, reactionary.
 

TheArchitect

Working to improve all the time
Skier
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Posts
2,196
Location
Metrowest Boston
In the shop, I asked for the quick 2 minute comparison between the Stöckli Stormrider 88 vs. Kastle MX88…and his response was as indicated above.

Would appreciated any input and insight between Stöckli vs. Kastle in both their 88’s and 95’s/96’s: turn initiation, foregiveness, and dampness. Seems like all the reviews always use “smoothness” for Stöckli…are Kastles equally “smooth”?

SkiMag ranked the Stöckli 95 #2 and the Kastle FX96 Ti #11 in their reviews???

If you have an opportunity to demo please try to do so. These are expensive skis and while you may fall in love with one of them it's still a bit of a crapshoot. The quality is excellent with both ski brands but that doesn't mean either one of them will "speak" to you. I demo'd my first pair of MX88's (after demo'g a bunch of other skis/brands) and I knew almost immediately that Kastle MX skis were the ones I'd marry and live the rest of my life with. I now have MX74, MX84, MX88 along with a FX94 and BMX105. That said, there are other models and years within the Kastle brand that I've demo'd and did not like at all (the 2017-20 FX9x offerings in particular).

As I said, I have a new pair of Stöckli SR95's that I didn't demo and have yet to ski. I bought them knowing that they might not be for me but their reputation along with some reading and a few questions makes me believe that I'll be happy with them. If not, well, they hold their value well and I can always fall back to my Kastles ogsmile

Phil and Tony both gave a bit of info on how they ski. I'll just add that I agree with what they said that the Kastles want some speed to really come alive. They want to be driven and not rode.

Good luck!
 

Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
Moderator
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
8,009
Location
Reno
Long term update: I had the FX96Ti out on incredible chalky conditions at Mt. Rose. Chalk in the trees, chalk in the bumps, chalk on the groomers The massive storm has left us with a great base and most of the powder has settled or blown into a nice wind buff. The first run down in some very flat light was not what I would consider a good introduction. The skis felt very grabby in the packed chalk when I was trying to just slip turns when I couldn't make out lumps and bumps. I've been on enough skis, though, to know I was more the problem than the skis. I was skiing tentatively. Luckily, the clouds receded and the sun came through and the skis shined. As @Philpug mentioned above, the tune is geared towards groomers but once we shook hands and made friends, the FX's had me heading back up the lift instead of back to the truck for another ski.

The skis feel very light and are easy to pivot on top of bumps or make quick changes in direction by either slipping the tails or just getting them off the snow. In the widely spaced trees I felt confident to pick up may speed a bit and enjoy the ride on the firm snow. On the groomers, fast GS turns were handled with no chatter, flap, or hesitancy. There is plenty of torsional stiffness to hold the ski in firm snow. The skis feel quite damp for being as light as they are. I've mentioned before that the Hollowtech makes for an audible ski and the FX96Ti is no exception. It sounds light and carbony but skis smoothly and quiet. I'm looking forward to riding these IN snow as opposed to ON it. If they're half as good in deeper conditions they'd be a fine part of a one or two ski quiver for most Tahoe-type conditions.
52112.jpeg
 

givethepigeye

Really, just Rob will do
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
1,310
Location
The CLT (or a plane)
@Andy Mink - just how big a boy are you? And what length 96? I picked up the 106ti and thought they were great. You are so right about the sound, but Lord they are fun and ski great.

I really like my SR95s (the old plaid ones) but there will come a day…….and I didn’t care too much for the 2022 version. So thinking but the 180 seems short and the 188 seems long.

also, that Chevy vs. Ferrari is BS. Having skied the FX104, moved to SR95 and now skiing the 106Ti as well - they are all great but different.

Also have an SR115 and a set of MX83’s.
 

Drahtguy Kevin

après aficionado
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
1,436
Location
Northern Colorado
@givethepigeye, Andy is shorter than you but thicker in spots, even excluding his calves. The 188 would be my size for all conditions. If you’re wanting something for tight terrain, the 180 may be the ticket. Like I posted somewhere earlier, I’m vacillating between the 96 and 106 as a second ski in my touring quiver. I’d go 188 and a late-model HP 192 respectively.
 

Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
Moderator
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
8,009
Location
Reno
@Andy Mink - just how big a boy are you? And what length 96? I picked up the 106ti and thought they were great. You are so right about the sound, but Lord they are fun and ski great.

I really like my SR95s (the old plaid ones) but there will come a day…….and I didn’t care too much for the 2022 version. So thinking but the 180 seems short and the 188 seems long.

also, that Chevy vs. Ferrari is BS. Having skied the FX104, moved to SR95 and now skiing the 106Ti as well - they are all great but different.

Also have an SR115 and a set of MX83’s.
I'm at about 200# (stupid holiday season!) and 5'10". The test skis are 180. I'm not a "charger" skier and usually prefer (am limited by skill) to slower, well considered lines. I like skis that don't spank me when I goof. The FXs treated me well!
 

givethepigeye

Really, just Rob will do
Skier
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Posts
1,310
Location
The CLT (or a plane)
@Andy Mink and @Drahtguy Kevin - thanks 184/186 is where I kind of mental sweet spot for me. I guess I’ll have to try them since the sizing at either ends.

if the 96s ski anything like the 106 (shape/flex), 188 might not be out of the question. they are really fun, 184 never felt too small, but certainly was easy to smear, turn and drift around. Almost a perfect ski, maybe a smidge wide unless it’s soft.

My perfect test day of 106

 
Last edited:

Sponsor

Top