2022 Kästle PX81

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Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Philpug: The Kästle PX81 is the modern incarnation of the original LX82. Where the LX82 was a really nice mid-range carver, the PX81 takes that thought and steps it up not just one but two notches. Yet, it still knows its place in the Kästle hierarchy, which is below the MX84 and even the updated FX86 Ti.

The sizing is dead on. The first day I skied the 172 at Waterville and was so intrigued that I went back and skied the 179, which was just as easy and just as much fun. The PX81 is the value-priced Kästle that you should be proud to ski. On-snow performance was smooth, and turn initiation from the oversized Hollowtech 3.0 tip was smooth and reactive. The only downside I found is that the tip is a bit noisy on the snow; it can resonate like a snare drum. Every brand slips a sleeper into its line that punches above its weight class: this is Kastle's offering.
Insider tip: If you are between sizes, go down; it will still hold for you.​
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Those who want a Kästle but don’t need the power of an MX, or even an FX.
Who is it not for?
Stronger, more powerful skiers. Don't worry, there are still the MX and FX.
Skier ability
  1. Intermediate
  2. Advanced
Ski category
  1. Frontside
  2. All Mountain
Ski attributes
  1. Groomers
  2. Moguls
Segment
  1. Men
  2. Women

Specifications

Available sizes
151, 158, 165, 172, 179
Dimensions
132-81-107
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. All new
Ski Weight:
1685g w/binding
Binding options
  1. System
right ad
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Philpug

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B3C3EE9A-4099-42F4-AFBC-384D7C33DCF0_1_201_a.jpeg

Long term update: Both @Andy Mink and I skied the new PX81 at Mt. Rose today in ideal zoomer groomer condtions. While I would have been happy with this ski in a 172 or 179, When offered, I chose the 172 for our test fleet because it is a ski that, IMHO, if you were to choose between two lengths, I would usually grab the shorter of two offerings and in this case it would be the 172cm.

At $749 with the Tyrolia based K11 PRD it skis well above it's price point. No, the PX does not pretent to be an MX but it is a ski that stands and skis on it's own merits. The Hollowtech 3.0 might be a little more audible than I would prefer but that goes away and in barely heard over your giggles and your inner monolog constantly reminding you that a ski at this price point should not be this good.

IMG_6483.jpeg
Base finish out of the box is one of the better I have seen even in skis that are 50% more in price.
 

Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
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Both @Andy Mink and I skied the new PX81 at Mt. Rose today in ideal zoomer groomer condtions.
I skied this setup last season at a demo day for a few runs at Palisades and thought it was pretty good, especially hopping from the MX the run before. Today not only reinforced that thought but amplified it. It is deceptively easy to ski slowly and still get on edge but can be pushed faster when you wish to. There is a limit but it's further than you'd expect from a $749 package ski. The PX81 would be a really good ski for the advancing intermediate who is getting a feel for carved turns but doesn't want their ski to run out of steam as they get closer to the expert level. As @Philpug mentioned, there is some audible noise from the Hollowtech but it doesn't translate to any buzzy feel at the foot. The ski damps vibrations well while remaining lively.
 

Andy Mink

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Long term update: Another day, another fun time on the PX81. Conditions at Mt. Rose are chalk, plus some groomer marbles in spots. The PX81 is not just a good $749 package ski, it's a damn good ski, period. I've noted my Hollowtechphobia but, really, it's not a deal breaker. The noise from the Hollowtech disappears as the wind whistles in your ears. With just a touch of tip rise, the PX81 is very polite when going across piles and lumps, preferring to go over rather than through them. This politeness belies the ability to hold an edge at speed, though there is a limit where a heavier skier can start to feel the tips start to get a bit overwhelmed, however nothing happens abruptly and it certainly doesn't cause a lot of concern. For those who need more high speed grip, see the MX series. In the trees the PX is light and quick on the chalky surface and pivots on and around the bumps. The PX81 is a comfortable pair of jeans, a friendly Highland single malt. It'll carry you through quite nicely until you're ready to step into a different category of front side skis. Kästle did their homework on this one. It's price point will draw skiers in and it's performance may well make them Kästle fan boys or girls.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Long term update:

While I would have been happy with this ski in a 172 or 179, When offered, I chose the 172 for our test fleet because it is a ski that, IMHO, if you were to choose between two lengths, I would usually grab the shorter of two offerings and in this case it would be the 172cm.
imagejpeg_0.jpg
Since I tend to ski most carving skis in the mid 160s and big mountain or powder skis in the 170cm+ range, I took these out today at Mt Rose while skiing with the test team that included @Philpug @Andy Mink & @Stephen.

After reviewing skis for several years, I rarely shy away from skiing on skis in a variety of lengths even if they are outside of the norm for something I'd normally ski. Today was one of those days as I clicked into the Kästle PX81. We did our usual warm up runs at Mt Rose, which is always a good test for a new (to me) ski much like ordering chicken piccata at every new italian restaurant to see if it measures up to @Philpug's piccata. My first impressions were similar to the first impressions when I skied the FX96. There was a noise that resounded from this ski that implied vibration in the ski but I didn't feel it. When I dismissed the noise and just skied I enjoyed the smooth experience one would expect from a Kästle.
A full morning on this ski took me (and it) through a variety of terrain from scraped off firm, to chalky groomers, chalky bumps and unfriendly bumps. The PX81 handled every one of these conditions very well.

My take away: Even though Phil said he'd grab the shorter length, this ski in this length served me very well. Now I'm intrigued to try it in the 165 cm length.
I'm betting this is one of those skis that you can't go wrong when you choose a size.
 
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Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
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Long term update:


Since I tend to ski most carving skis in the mid 160s and big mountain or powder skis in the 170cm+ range, I took these out today at Mt Rose while skiing with the test team that included @Philpug @Andy Mink & @Stephen.

After reviewing skis for several years, I rarely shy away from skiing on skis in a variety of lengths even if they are outside of the norm for something I'd normally ski. Today was one of those days as I clicked into the Kästle PX81. We did our usual warm up runs at Mt Rose, which is always a good test for a new (to me) ski much like ordering chicken piccata at every new italian restaurant to see if it measures up to @Philpug's piccata. My first impressions were similar to the first impressions when I skied the FX96. There was a noise that resounded from this ski that implied vibration in the ski but I didn't feel it. When I dismissed the noise and just skied I enjoyed the smooth experience one would expect from a Kästle.
A full morning on this ski took me (and it) through a variety of terrain from scraped off firm, to chalky groomers, chalky bumps and unfriendly bumps. The PX81 handled every one of these conditions very well.

My take away: Even though Phil said he'd grab the shorter length, this ski in this length served me very well. Now I'm intrigued to try it in the 165 cm length.
I'm betting this is one of those skis that you can't go wrong when you choose a size.
Considering the skier weight and height difference between @Tricia, @Philpug, @Stephen, and myself, the PX81 skied well for all of us. It's not often a ski of one size can do that across an approximately 80# weight range and from 5'6" to 6'+ without feeling over or under skied.
 

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