2014-2015 Kastle BMX108


Whether on storm days when I was spinning quick tram laps through the JHMR sidecountry areas like Ship’s Prow, or bluebird days after storms on steep open faces like Cody Peak’s Pucker Face, the BMX108 provides an extremely stable and confidence-inspiring platform for making big, fast, powerful turns. These skis do not seem to have a speed limit, and instead become livelier the faster I go. They are not, however, a new-school powder ski that will allow you to playfully alter your turn shapes. Instead, the BMX108 is built for going fast and to ski with power, not finesse.

Matt Pincus, Kastle BMX108, Blister Gear Review
Matt Pincus on the Kastle BMX108, JHMR Side Country. (Photo by Charlie Caspar)

Additionally, the early rise in the tip allows The BMX108 to float much more effectively than the non-rockered FX104, despite being only 4mm wider. I’ve found the small amount of early rise to make a huge difference in both flotation and increased confidence when straight-lining out of runs.

Wind-Affected Powder

Unsurprisingly, when compared to both the Black Diamond Megawatt, which is significantly wider underfoot at 125mm and has a lot more tip rocker (like many new-school powder skis), the BMX108 does not float nearly as well. This hasn’t proven to be a problem for me when skiing light, low-density powder or even more settled cream cheese-like snow, since the BMX108’s rockered profile allows them to float more effectively than their 108mm waist might suggest.

However, in wind-affected powder, I find that the BMX108 can get grabbed at the bottom of a turn, making it much more difficult to smoothly link turn after turn. This is especially true at slower speeds when skiing couloirs like the Shady Lady in the Jackson Hole side country, where the confines of the chute prevented me from opening it up and making higher-speed, longer-radius turns.

Technical Lines and Steep Couloirs

For skiing technical lines and steep couloirs, the BMX108 has some major upsides. Its cambered profile with a small amount of early rise leads to very predictable skiing—it will make the same turn no matter what snow condition they are presented with. Additionally, I have found that other than in very wind-affected powder, the BMX108 is not at all hooky, and is capable of powering through variable snow. This predictability is a huge asset whenever venturing into no-fall terrain.

In these situations, however, The BMX108’s one drawback is its swing weight. When making tight hop turns, they can feel cumbersome to whip around compared to the FX104. I have found this to be an issue only in really tight situations like narrow couloirs, and in those situations, I am often forced to do a little extra sideslipping instead of making more technical hop turns.

Airs and Pillows

The BMX108 is at home in the air and provides a super stable platform for stomping landings, regardless of the snow conditions. During a recent big-mountain telemark competition at Grand Targhee Resort, I chose to ski the BMX108 on both days, and was impressed by its ability to handle a wide variety of landings.

Matt Pincus, Kastle BMX108, Blister Gear Review
Matt Pincus, JHMR Side Country. (Photo by Ryan Caspar)

Whether the landings were sloughed-out powder; punchy, rotten snow; already had several bomb holes in them; or had a chundery runout; these skis stomped as long as I stayed centered and landed on the balls of my feet. If I was slightly in the backseat, the stiff, non-rockered tails allowed me to recover quickly and continue skiing without the skis rocketing out from under me. In fact, this wheelie effect only occurred if I landed completely in the backseat and had no chance of skiing out without backslapping.

However, in lining up airs and in the air itself, the BMX108 is not a forgiving ski and often does not allow for last-second adjustments. I find this comes into play mostly when skiing pillows. While the BMX108 has plenty of flotation, its inability to quickly pivot and slarve like less cambered, more rockered skis such as the Megawatt or Salomon Rocker2 115 makes it much harder to quickly steer through pillow fields.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a hard-charging, powerful ski capable of shredding a backcountry line, stomping the exit air, and straight-lining out, the BMX108 is a great choice. The cambered design with a subtle amount of early rise allows these skis to handle everything from powder to variable conditions with ease.

However, it is important to reiterate that the BMX108 is not a new-school, playful ski, but is an old-school, big-mountain charger that demands to be driven at all times.

Ultimately, advanced or expert skiers who are looking for a traditional-style ski and spend a lot of time skiing in the backcountry will be happy with the BMX108 as part of their quiver, or even as their everyday go-to. On the other hand, skiers who have a more playful ski style or spend more time in bounds in moguls or on groomers may still enjoy breaking out the BMX108 on powder days, but should consider something else for their everyday ski or one-ski quiver.



13 comments on “2014-2015 Kastle BMX108”

  1. Nice review of the BMX108’s. It’s very interesting to read your perspective of the 188cm length. I’d be very curious to read your review if you went out on the 178cm length.

    I have the 108’s in the 178cm length, and it’s funny how many of the characteristics you described about the 188cm I feel can be turned on it’s head compared to the 178. I find the 178’s to be extremely playful, poppy, light and quick edge-to-edge. They can still charge, and also seem to have no speed limit, but they definitely don’t have the stability or confidence-inspiring ‘no speed limit’ big mountain beast type of feel that the 188s have. It’s almost like a different ski. I invariably choose the 178 BMX108 when I’m skiing chutes or trees because I find them so playful and light with very moderate swing weight, but still with enough width underfoot and tip rocker to be a lot of fun in semi-deep pow. Compared to metal laminated skis, I find these much easier to maneuver. But in deeper pow, this isn’t the ski.

    Like any 10x ski, they’re just okay on hardpack, but that’s not what they’re for. The traditional camber does make it a lot more enjoyable getting back to the lift. I actually don’t mind them in the bumps either, but they are a handful and you have to really stay on top of them. Like your experience, regardless of length, if you don’t stay on top of these skis, have fun in the backseat. For sidecounty or in-bounds non-groomer forays, I’d absolutely recommend the 178cms. For backcountry and big mountain charging, I’d agree that the 188 is a great time and the way to go.

    Either way, and typical with Kastle in general, these skis are top notch. Another great Blister review – looking forward to maybe seeing a 178cm review :).

  2. Nice review. I currently have the BMX 98 in 178 and ski mostly Vermont, but recently demoed the 108 in 178 while at JH. At 5’10’ and 155 the 188 length is just too much for me. But the 108 in 178 is really nice, and I have to agree with just about everything MG said about the ski in that length. It handles groomers ok though it’s not going to snap you back and forth across the fall line. And bumps, as long as they aren’t those big frozen over kind are ok. But get it into some chopped up freshies, crud, new snow, etc., and the ski really comes alive. And at 178 (while I am sure no where near as stable or powerful as the 188), it both plows thorugh everything and still smears fairly easily and quickly even though it’s not fully rockered. This is a ski I realy like being on when sking variable chopped up and new snow.

  3. Matt excellent review and I was pleased to see this review after the excellent Fx104 and XX110 reviews earlier. Rounds out three of Kastle big mountain skis, all uniquely different both from each other and much of what popular on the market..
    Form my own experience with the BMX108 in 178 & 188 looking at Matt’s stats and reading MG & HB comments that this ski’s character is closely dependant on the size and weight of the skier. For me I am 6’1″ 185, altheltic level 8 skier and for me the 188 is a fun and playful ski as much as it is big mountain iron.
    Outstanding ski.

  4. Hey matt,

    Love the review of the BMX and also really appreciate CJ’s comments above as we are closer in height and weight. I’m 6’3 185lbs and an advanced skier. I’m trying to decide between the 185 cochise and the bmx 188. I’ve heard the 2015 cochise will incorporate a little bit of camber underneath making it more like the bmx in design but some say a tad softer. Both skis seem to be the same weight and semi close in turn radius.

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on the two skis for a guy my height (knowing you haven’t skied the cochise ’15). I ski mostly snowbird (off the cirque and baldy), will ski the tree when vis is bad, dropping cliffs, and am looking to use this new ski for resort and sidecountry/backcountry.

    My current ski is the ’13 bibby pro 190. I am looking to use this other ski as a daily driver in between storms when its crud, choppy, corn and for bumbs, trees, big mountain, back/sidecountry, etc. Looking for something that rips through $hit no prob when conditions are not ideal but is also fun for my size–which is why i think 185 or the 188 is the right size. I am a directional skier looking for features to drop, not looking for spinny but can spin.

    It’s been a tough call knowing the glowing remarks of the cochise on this site, but I’m leaning towards the BMX… All insight is much appreciated

    • Hi, Carlos – at the risk of being really unhelpful, I wanted to chime in here even though I’ve yet to ski the BMX. I do, however, love the 190 Bibby, and I know the Cochise well, and will be skiing the 14/15 this spring or summer. So I’m going to ask more of a question than make a statement – and I hope to hear from some people who have skied both the current 185cm Cochise and the 188 BMX 108 – but everything I’ve ever heard is that the BMX is a LOT more ski than the Cochise, and I’m prepared to believe this. (CJ does call the 108 ‘fun and playful’ – but I wonder how many folks would agree? Anyway, I have no pony in this race, and hope to ski the 188 BMX at some point. But we called the Cochise a ‘forgiving charger,’ the 190 Bibby a ‘playful charger,’ and I’m inclined to call the 188 BMX more “serious” than “fun.” (And for the record, I like ‘serious’, so that is no knock in my book against a ski; just depends on what you’re looking for.) Alright, I’ll step aside and look forward to hearing from others…

  5. Thanks for all the great reviews. I’m 5’5 inches and 135 lbs. Do you think the BMX 168 would be more finesse oriented. I definitely prefer a more traditional ski with out metal. Maybe I should be looking more towards the BMX 98 168cm. Have you skied it? I’m thinking that might be a more finesse oriented everyday off piste, backcountry powder and all conditions ski for my size and more finesse that power style? I have a Kastle TX 97 for touring and love the way it skis in an out of area. Just want something that will handle more variable conditions better for the ski area. Any other suggestions?

  6. Hey Gary,
    I own a bmx108 as per an earlier post above. I also have skied the bmx98 and just skied a tx107 last week in whistler. That tx was a great ski and I was surprised by how well it handled within the resort in some pretty challenging conditions. Imagine the tx97 is similar. For everyday resort I like you would want a bit more bite and beef.
    The 168 bmx108 should fit the bill pretty well but I suspect the slightly softer and more forgiving bmx98 is the better call of the two or a new fx104 in 164. Both the fx104 and 98 are more finesse oriented than the 108’s particularly at your weight. If you were 15-20lbs heavier I wouldn’t worry but I’d be concerned that you had to work them pretty hard at low speeds. If you were willing to go a few mm narrower the fx94 is probably the best off piste variable condition ski In the line up. It has a leg up on thebmx98 in edge hold and quickness but isn’t quite as good in softer snow. Check dawgcatching’s reviews for a more detailed summary of the kastle’s, his feedback is spot on IMHO.

  7. CJ, thanks for your comments. Got a mid summer deal and went with the FX 94 as I do have another ski I can use for the big dumps.

  8. Just wondering if you guys are getting a chance to ride the new BMX 105 HP or fibroglass version (or 115) this coming summer… With their new tail and and shovel, I’m quite interested to know how they ride. They do look utterly scrumptious , just wish they weren’t so expensive.

    If I can recommend a size: 189.

    Found a TGR forum post with a video that got me super pumped about them: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/287959-New-K%C3%A4stle-BMX-range-for-1516

  9. Hi!
    I’m just debating b/w the fx104 and bmx108. I’m 5’8 and 135 female, aggressive skier. These would be for backcountry and maybe a bit of sidecountry with variable conditions. I’m worried a bit about the lenght of the bmx at 178 given that they are not the most forgiving ski. The fx104 lenght seem great but not sure they’re the best for the conditions i’m looking to ski this ski in. Any help would be appreciated. Off to escape summer and ski chile in 3 weeks so need to decide asap woohoo!

    • Hello Erin,
      I’ve posted earlier and own and love the bmx108, TX97,MX98 and skied the FX 104 a few times. FX 104 is easier to ski than the 108 and more versatile in mixed conditions you’ll find in the bc. One of the best fatter 1 ski quiver skis if you fit the sizes it come in. The 174 lenght is a much better fit at your weight and height to. Suspect the 178 BMX would be a handful at 135lbs and 168 maybe a tad short or perfect!?
      If its for backcountry I would also seriously consider the tx107 in 167. Its a solid ski for rippin and a full pound lighter. the TX 97 I own has really surprised me and I don’t find myself having to hold back when skiing aggressively on them like do on other typical touring skis.
      All great choices. Have a great trip!

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