Jib / Flippy Spinny Stuff
In this department, again I have to agree with Jason. Throwing 3s and nose butters off cat tracks is hardly any work on the XX110 West. I approached jibs around the mountain on the West the same way I would on a narrower, ~98mm underfoot ski. The light swing weight makes the ski light in the air, and the progressive flex pattern provides a forgiving platform for landings. (The same can be said of the Rocker2 108.)
The important difference is that the XX110 West has more splay in its tip and tail rocker, particularly in the last 5-6” of the ski, which turns up abruptly. The Rocker2 108 has a more subtle splay profile, with a flatter, more continuous rocker line in the tip/tail. The 108 also has a tail that is narrower than its own shovel at the widest point (not symmetrical), and its a touch narrower than the Kastle’s tail.
What I’m getting at here is that the Kastle does carve switch a bit better than the Rocker2 108, and will likely handle switch pow landings better, as the tails are more likely to plane on top of the snow for you.
So if you’re really looking for a honed backcountry jib tool, something to carve switch off kickers and land switch in powder, the symmetrical, more splayed out XX110 West is probably going to work better for you than the Rocker2 108.
A Note on Mount Point
Especially if you’re serious about getting the most out of the XX110 West as a BC jib ski, then I’d suggest mounting it at about -2 or -3cm from center, if not closer, to fully take advantage of the symmetrical design. Unfortunately our test pair was mounted with the demo track at a traditional mount point, and I could only ski it at about -5cm from center.
Still, for all-mountain skiing and hitting a kicker, I’d have no issue going to -3 or -2 on the West. There’s really no reason to stand so far back on this ski given its design. I would bet a more centered mount would make the West’s single radius sidecut more enjoyable than I found it, placing you in a better position to work the sidecut and edge as you wish.
Final Comparisons: Kastle XX110 West vs. Moment Deathwish vs. Salomon Rocker2 108
The Kastle XX110 West is comparable to the Moment Deathwish in terms of float in powder and stability in variable conditions, but preferable in terms of its swingweight, and its feel on edge. For those last reasons, I’d personally take the XX110 West over the Deathwish.
But between the XX110 West and the Salomon Rocker2 108? I think they’re both equally good, very fun skis that bring some slightly different things to the table. Going with one or the other is going to depend on some specifics of what you’re looking to get out of the ski.
First, you’ll have to decide if you like the sound of the more traditional feel of a full-length, single radius sidecut (which is a big feature of the West) over something more variable (as I’ve just described with the 108).
Second, you’ll have to consider if and how serious you are about really using it as a backcountry/pow jib ski. If switch landings are definitely in your future, then the West would probably make more sense over the 108.
Future Comparisons: Kastle XX110 West vs. Line Sir Francis Bacon vs. K2 Shreditor 112
Both the 190cm Sir Francis Bacon and the 189cm K2 Shreditor 112 also seem to sit squarely in this class, but unfortunately I’ve yet to ski either of them. Jason Hutchins is on the 190cm SFB currently, and I hope to post a 2nd Look to his review. We’ll definitely be comparing it to the Rocker2 108 and the XX110 West.
The Kastle XX110 West is light and playful, super predictable and intuitive. If you’re looking for a freestyle-oriented ski to take into the resort and the backcountry, the XX110 West has to be considered.
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