Ski: 2016-2017 Kastle BMX 105, 189 cm
Available Lengths (cm): 173, 181, 189, cm
Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 188.2 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2300 g
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2265 & 2278 grams
Stated Dimensions (mm): 134-105-123
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 133-104-121.5
Stated Sidecut Radius: 23 meters
Core: Silver Fir + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 53 mm / 22 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -12.6 cm from center; 81.5 cm from tail
Boots / Bindings: Tecnica Cochise Pro 130 / Tyrolia AAAttack² 13 AT
Test Location: Arapahoe Basin, CO; Porters Ski Area, New Zealand
Days Skied: 7
Kastle calls the BMX 105 a “powerful freeride ski,” and, in our review of the former Kastle BMX 108 (the predecessor of the BMX 105), we pegged the ski as a “hard-charging, powerful ski” capable of “handling everything from powder to variable conditions with ease.”
Such remarks might be enough to lead you to believe that the Kastle BMX 105 is a close copy of the BMX 108. But the new 105 has certainly changed some — it incorporates different materials (said to be damper), more dramatic rocker lines, and a tighter sidecut radius.
Note: there is also a “HP” version of the BMX 105, and we hope to be getting on that ski soon.
So does the new BMX 105 live up to its heritage and its ad copy? Is it a powerful, big-mountain ski that really can handle any condition?
My first days on the BMX 105 were back in the fall on our review trip to New Zealand. Paul Forward and I both weighed in on the 105’s performance in our Flash Review, and we both felt that, while somewhat sluggish, it was a pretty smooth and stable ski in variable conditions. However, we also both felt that we wanted more control over the front of the ski. The shovels felt rather easy going or perhaps even insubstantial, at least compared to the back half of the ski. While Paul felt like this was improved by moving the mount +1 cm, I can’t say I ultimately ended up feeling the same way.
Other Blister reviewers then continued to get time on the BMX 105 over the course of the season, and to be honest, Jonathan Ellsworth and Mike Masiowski both struggled to identify where the ski really excelled; they both ended up feeling like it felt a bit out-of-balance in variable conditions and bumped-up terrain. So they sent the BMX 105 out here, to Colorado, to see if my initial impressions in New Zealand still held true. I’ve been able to get more time on the BMX 105 over the last few months and feel like I’ve been able to hone in on the ski’s strengths and weaknesses.
But before we get into the BMX 105’s on-snow performance, we should talk briefly about the ski’s flex pattern. From a hand flex, we’d sum up the ski like this:
I.e., this is not that burly of a flex pattern, especially when compared to other 105-108mm-wide powerful, directional skis, like the HEAD Monster 108 or the Blizzard Cochise. In fact, it’s pretty interesting to find that the shovels of the BMX 105 are far more in line with The Metal by J Skis, which is much more of a “fun times” directional ski than the Monster 108, Cochise, or the old Kastle BMX 108.
The 2014-2015 BMX 108 had a sidecut radius of 33 meters. The BMX 105 has a sidecut radius of 23 meters. While this is a pretty dramatic change on paper, the character of the BMX 105 on groomers hasn’t really changed from our review of the older BMX 108. It still feels like a long-radius, big-mountain ski on corduroy. It’s not particularly quick to come around, nor does it have a lot of pop or energy out of the turn. On the flip side, it is smooth, stable, and planted through a carve, and is relatively unphased by piles of crud that tend to build up by the end of the day. While the Blizzard Cochise could also be described in this manner, the two skis behave somewhat differently. The BMX 105 feels a bit more planted and smooth (at least in the back half of the ski), but it lacks the grip and strength that the Cochise has through the shovels.
NEXT: Moguls, Trees, and Tight Terrain, Etc.