2015-2016 Kastle XX110

We wanted to keep our lap quick, so we dropped straight into Errare Humanum Est, a 2000-vertical-foot chute that drops you right back at the base of Marte. Here we found deeper snow in most places, while in other spots along the way down the wind had done its work to create everything from a soft crust to an impenetrable slab.

Jason Hutchins on the Kastle West 110
Jason Hutchins, Errare Humanum Est, Las Leñas Ski Resort

Because of the steepness of the slope, varying snow, and exposure, I kept my speed well under control with short- and medium-length arcs. Again, the XX110 Wests offered up no surprises. The full-length, 24-meter sidecut provided just enough pull through each turn to keep me from feeling like I had to push the ski into each turn. It also did so while not being so aggressive that changes in snow caused them to feel like they wanted to over turn and constantly battle me for the position of who’s in charge.

My opinion of the flex pattern remained positive as well, providing a large sweet spot I could trust, while being soft enough at the tip to stay on top of any snow condition I encountered.

For the remainder of my time riding the Kästle 110 West, the story remained the same. Whether I took them into a tight chute off the Las Centinelas, where I had to execute quick, short turns between two rock walls on chalky hardpack, or into the wide open spaces below Eduardo, where I let the skis run through the sun and skier effected chop, the West simply took everything in stride.

On my final day on the 110 West, I decided to spend the morning lapping the park here at Las Leñas. Although conditions were a little firm (and, admittedly, I’m a little rusty), I had a great time getting a few simple moves back under my belt.

For being nearly 187cm long (straight tape pull), the XX110 Wests spun with great ease, and throwing shifty 3s and a couple of 5s didn’t feel like a bit of work. I also had fun trying a few nose butter 3s off the smaller features. And, once again, that progressive flex pattern provided a stable platform for takeoffs and landings.

Though my time in the air is limited on the West, I feel confident in saying the skis won’t be holding anyone back from throwing down on natural features and backcountry booters.

The 110 West felt very comfortable skiing switch because of its symmetrical shape, though I would have really liked to have been able to move the bindings another 1-to-1.5cm forward for switch pow and see its effect on overall performance.

Jason Hutchins skiing switch pow on the Kastle West 110
Jason Hutchins, Nausicaa, Las Leñas Ski Resort

The Kästle XX110 West definitely contends with any ~110-underfoot powder/jib tool I’ve ridden over the past few years. And as there are so many great options out there, the key is to find the ski with the characteristics that you’re looking for most.

The Kästle West’s biggest strength is its rock solid ski-ability with an incredibly predictable feel. With its Hollowtech tips, the 190cm West offers the stability of a longer ski, but feels much more like a 180cm ski in terms of swing weight. This is a great benefit when in tight spots or in the air.

For me, the 11/12 Sickle still ranks at the top of my list for overall feel, but the 110 West is right there. The slight continuous rocker profile of the Sickle provides a little surfier feel when feathering the edges, while still being able to carve any turn in any condition with a vengeance. The Kästle XX110 West has a little more of a traditional feel to it.

The 11/12 Sickle is also slightly wider in the tip, which combined with its continuous rocker leads me to think that it might handle the super deep days a little better (which is only important, of course, if this is your deep-day ski). And I also like how a little more sidecut through the tip of the Sickle feels when carving off jumps.

However, one big trump card the Kästle has over the Sickle and other skis in this category is length. (And for 12/13, the Rossignol Sickle actually gets a little shorter than the 11/12 Sickle.) For those looking for a playful ski that still feels comfortable on big-mountain lines at resorts like Las Leñas or Jackson Hole, the true 187cm length of the West 110 will set the Kästle apart.

I’m confident there are going to be a lot of people out there who dig this ski—including Will Brown. Check out Will’s review of the XX110 West, with comparisons to the Moment Deathwish and the Salomon Rocker2 108.


13 comments on “2015-2016 Kastle XX110”

  1. Looks like a very cool ski, and a fun daily driver here in UT.
    2 seasons back I put some dukes on my 190 bibby’s and due to hole conflicts, I was forced a few cm forward. I liked being more centered on the ski in any consistent conditions but once things got mixed up they were a real handful with all that stiff tail back there. Ended up moving the dukes to a different ski to put my boots back on the line.
    Been thinking about a more centered ski ever since. Like, one that’s designed to be centered.
    So you think these things would do well around -2 or -3 from center?
    Odd that the recommended mount is so far back. 7.5 on a symmetrical ski?!?
    I guess that’s what happens when old school Austrians make a ski like this.
    Symmetrical ski? “Da” Tip rocker? “Da” Tail rocker? “eeerrrrm ok Da” Center mount? “NEIN!!!!”
    Also, when you say relatively soft tips and tails, are we talking like s7 soft or k2 [insert name of flopstick model here] soft?

    • Hi Al,
      I do believe they will perform well with a mount further forward. It might take a little bit of time to get the feel of a more centered mount with less tip in front of you and more tail to push around. Personally I would recommend staying in the range you mentioned, so you don’t lose too much of the all-mtn/all-condition performance these skis have.

      As for the flex, no they are not floppy soft, and as I mention they ramp up nicely as you work your way towards the center of the ski or into the flex. With a center mount you won’t be rallying down the deep chop we get here in UT while throwing everything you’ve got into the tips like you can on your Bibby’s. With a balanced stance though, you should be able to conquer anything with a mount around -2/-3.

  2. I was wondering how well this ski will do dodging tighter trees on both pow days and the times in between those big dumps of snow. Also wondering what you think about mounting a touring binding on them and skinning to some backcountry lines. Is this better for shorter or longer tours?

    • In powder you will be fine in tight trees. As conditions firm you will notice they are not the most energetic or quickest turning skis ever, but at slower to medium speeds you will have no trouble navigating tight spots.
      They would be fine as a touring ski, definitely for shorter length tours. Overall, with your areas of concern I think you might prefer the Praxis MVP or Rossignol Sickle. Both perform better in tight trees as well as touring.

  3. I bought a pair on the strength of your review and because I found a great deal. I mounted them at -5.5 as kind of a compromise between the AM line and your preferred spot. There haven’t really been many resort powder days here in Tahoe but so far so good. They seemed ready to hold their line in very grabby, saturated heavy snow during the last wet storm. That mank wasn’t doing anybody any favors so good news on the stability front.

    Out of curiosity, have you had a chance to compare them to the 190 BMX 108s?

  4. Hey guys, just following up on Josh’s comment above – I’m really curious how these stack up against the BMX108. Any insight or first hand experience yet? Thanks!

  5. Hey Matt,
    Great question and one I was asking myself late last season. First off I think Jason feedback was spot on on this ski and largely echo’s my own experience. Oddly enough I also skied the FX104 around the same time and again came to similar conclusions. Both the FX104 and XX110 are skis that I would buy but it came down to the quiver and what would give me the most usable quiver of 2 (for the time being).
    My other ski is a Kastle MX78 in 176. I bought the BMX 108 in 188 (I’m 6’1″ 185lbs, level 7) and have almost zero regrets. My take on it vs the XX110 is it is a more traditional feel and is a bit beefier more stable ski for hauling butt. That said it is remarkable quick in any 3d snow and is the best of the more traditional 105-110 skis I have owned or skied (eg Gotama, Katana, Elan Olympus..). It’s one of the most well rounded skis I have ever skied and would encourage you to check comments o EpicSki and ignore most mag reviews. It is not just an big mtn bruiser. It does lose out to the XX110 in tight trees and slarving and is slightly more demanding of the skier though. If you want to ski a lot of trees, ski the park or switch from time to time the XX110 is a great choice. If you don’t then I would say the BMX108 is a better choice.
    FX104 vs BMX108 – FX is a wide side bounds big mountain ski and would be an awesome mid quiver option if you had a carver/crud buster and a pow day ski. The FX takes more skill and input to ski well than any other Kastle I have skied and would offer up that its meant for Level 8 and up skiers who will really get the most from it and not fight it. The BMX 108 is more damp, more playful and forgiving and the XX110 more forgiving again.

    Jason I really like your reviews and I think a lot of folks would appreciate your take on the BMX108. Hope you can get some time on a pair soon.

  6. Thanks for this and all of your other great reviews – you really rock! Now to the West. I just ordered the West and the James (XX90) and am not entirely sure which one to keep or keep both. Here in Bavaria we have 5-20″ inches of deep snow conditions on not too steep hills. For this I think the James would be perfect. Also as I am starting out as a freestyler (ex-racer), I think the James would be easier to learn tricks on.

    Now the West (XX110) would be perfect for Austrian alps conditions where there are lots of untracked snow resorts (they specialise in depp pow, they claim). However a trip to the alps does also cost ressources, so I think I might ski the more smaller resorts in Bavaria more often for the time beeing. I ordered the West in 190cm (I am 6″, 190 lbs) and wonder if it wouldn’t be overkill for these smaller resorts with max. 5-10″ fresh and if it wouldn’t be a harder ski to learn tricks on in the park.

    Then a totally different question, I wonder if the Colby XX80 with its 80mm underfoot and no rocker would handle well in 5-10″ of fresh. I fear as an ex-racer I would overpower the XX90 or the West on-piste and the full-camber of the Colby might offer better stability. Best regards, Stephan.

  7. I am 6’4″ and 240 pounds and looking for a ski for bumps, trees, powder, and groomed.
    Any suggestions for a big guy? I ski some old Gotama’s currently with no rocker and 103 under foot. I Need something better in the powder.
    I ski Colorado ABasin, Breck, Keystone, and Vail. Is this the ski for me? Any suggestions?
    Need a ski that works for leading and chasing my freerider kids to hell and back.

  8. I have the 2013 Colby and what is not to like about them. I’m now 46 and a former racer. I still love to make quick turns and let them run out. These skis are stable and a blast on all types of terrain and snow. I have them center mounted which changes the feel on the edges but don’t go back even a CM. Ride well! Cheers from the Old Guy that doesn’t want to give it up!!!

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