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Kastle FX96 Ti Review

Let this super predictable beast take the decision-making out of the equation as you explore the whole mountain
kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review
Credit: Kastle
Price:  $1,099 List
Manufacturer:   Kastle
By Bobby Garrett ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 21, 2022
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 9.0
  • Carving Ability - 20% 8.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 7.0
  • Crud Performance - 20% 8.0
  • Terrain Playfulness - 20% 6.0
RELATED: Best Skis

Our Verdict

Kastle builds upon previous FX versions and presents us with their new FX96 Ti. Clearly targeted toward the strong advanced-expert skier crowd, this ski delivers the quality we expect from Kastle. We discovered this iteration of the FX96 Ti is demanding in that it knows how it wants you to ski it. This may seem disconcerting, but we still found much performance and fun baked into it. The FX96 Ti prefers medium-long radius turns while still feeling powerful through all conditions. Its magnetic-feeling edge grip, predictable rebound, and super stability at speed make it a strong-scoring ski in our review.
REASONS TO BUY
Stable
Feels extremely well made
Magnetic ride feel
REASONS TO AVOID
It skis you
Sluggish edge to edge

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kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review
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Kastle FX96 Ti
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,099 at Backcountry
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Pros Stable, feels extremely well made, magnetic ride feelStable, confidence inspiring, magnetic ride qualityStiff, explosive, carving machinePowerful float, stable at speed, can arc or smear turnsPlayful, responsive, versatile
Cons It skis you, sluggish edge to edgeDamp, heavyHeavySome vibration, sometimes feels softVibrates at high speeds, overly soft tip
Bottom Line Let this super predictable beast take the decision-making out of the equation as you explore the whole mountainWith these on your feet, you'll be ready for anything the mountain has coming at youA combination of raw explosive power and stability puts this ski well ahead of the competition for carving and is ideal for even the firmest snow daysThe unique rocker/camber profile and wider 102-millimeter waist width promote versatile performance wherever your powder stash may bePlayful and adventurous, this ski is also manageable and forgiving. It encouraged us to explore the changing terrain over the whole mountain
Rating Categories Kastle FX96 Ti Volkl M6 Mantra Nordica Enforcer 94 Blizzard Rustler 10 Faction Dictator 2.0
Stability at Speed (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Carving Ability (20%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
5.0
7.0
Powder Performance (20%)
7.0
8.0
5.0
10.0
7.0
Crud Performance (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Terrain Playfulness (20%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Kastle FX96 Ti Volkl M6 Mantra Nordica Enforcer 94 Blizzard Rustler 10 Faction Dictator 2.0
Waist Width 96 mm 96 mm 94 mm 104 mm 96 mm
Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width) 133-96-119 mm 135-96-119 mm 127-94-115.5 mm 133-104-122.5 mm 127-96-117 mm
Available Lengths 164, 172, 180, 188 cm 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm 165, 172, 179, 186,191 cm 164, 172, 180, 188 cm 163, 171, 179, 187 cm
Length Tested 180 cm 177 cm 179 cm 180 cm 179 cm
Turn Radius 18.1 m 18 m 17.1 m 17.5 m 19 m
Camber Profile Rocker/Camber/Rocker Tip-Tail Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Tip-Tail Rocker Tip Rocker/Freeride Flat Tail
Manufacturer Claimed Weight 8.6 lbs 9.0 lbs 8.9 lbs 8.9 lbs 8.2 lbs
Core Material Paulownia/Beech/Poplar Poplar/Beech/Double Titanal Wood/Double Titanium/ GR400 Carbon Glass Multi-layer Woodcore/Carbon /Fiberglass/Titanal Poplar Woodcore/Double Titanal

Our Analysis and Test Results

Kastle's latest creation of the FX96 Ti contains components of titanal, poplar wood, and fiberglass for a traditional GS ski overall feel. This translates into a strong advanced-expert ski with a magnetic-feeling edge grip, stability at speed, and a satisfyingly predictable snap; quality features that we expect from such a renowned brand. We found the FX96 Ti to be particularly demanding when forcing it into narrower spaces and shorter turns. If you're ok being the co-pilot, this ski will take you all over the mountain.

Performance Comparison


kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - this ski is powerful and stable enough to push you all day no matter...
This ski is powerful and stable enough to push you all day no matter your ability or terrain preference.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Stability at Speed


The Kastle FX96 Ti is among our strongest-scoring skis when it comes to feeling secure at any speed. Even with Kastle's blend of Dual Rise (their version of early rise tips) this ski dampens the terrain and kept us feeling confident throughout all conditions. We were pleasantly surprised to feel no chatter from the FX96 Ti (despite its width) in icy spring conditions.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - when the run opens up, push your speed limits and rail your way down...
When the run opens up, push your speed limits and rail your way down back to the lift in no time on this ski.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Carving Ability


The predictable snap and magnetic edge feel of the FX96 Ti help it to obtain strong scores for carving. While other skis are quicker edge-to-edge, once on edge, this ski offers quite a fun experience. We've mentioned before that this ski will "ski you" and by that we mean the FX96 Ti truly prefers a medium-long radius type turn.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - carve your way through the views and pistes on this stable ski.
Carve your way through the views and pistes on this stable ski.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Powder Performance


We tested the FX96 Ti in late spring 2022 and were unable to get the mileage we require in true mid-winter powder conditions. Kastle says this ski has "uncompromising performance" and we can't wait to push its limits in all conditions ourselves. We've given a rough score for this metric based on skiing some soft spring snow and will update this review with a complete powder portfolio once we've tested again in the deep stuff.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - slice through soft snow and stay true to your line on this stable ski.
Slice through soft snow and stay true to your line on this stable ski.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Crud Performance


Kastle's attention to detail really shines while skiing crud. While the FX96 Ti isn't particularly damp, the combination of paulownia, beech, and poplar wood in this ski helps it to absorb extra-firm terrain. Kastle calls their ski tip technology Hollowtech 3.0. This tech helps the FX96 Ti's tip regain composure more quickly through rattles and chatter and still reinforces a strong grip while on edge. With these construction features at play, the FX96 Ti is well-equipped to move you through refrozen suncups and the like.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - let this ski power you through refrozen terrain.
Let this ski power you through refrozen terrain.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Terrain Playfulness


The FX96 Ti can take you anywhere and show you a good time, but it falls short of others in this category. It can still be powerful and sharp at times, but also hard to make quick adjustments in tight mogul troughs (preferring the round line). We enjoyed skiing variable terrain on this ski through long days with no lunch but opted for other skis for more mogul-focused days.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - get into and out of nasty snow conditions with confidence on this...
Get into and out of nasty snow conditions with confidence on this ride.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Should You Buy the FX96 Ti?


Kastle is a brand revered by many for making higher quality products that last. As one of the most expensive skis in our lineup, the FX96 Ti lives up to its well-made heritage for us. The predictable response from every turn is truly a testament to its build quality. However, there are other skis in our lineup that have scored higher in our performance tests leaving the question to you; can you compromise on some versatility for more ski life?

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - skiers ride kastle
Skiers Ride Kastle
Credit: Nate Greenberg

What Other Skis Should You Consider?


At a hefty price compared to the rest of our lineup, Kastle still delivers stability, power, and overall quality. Ultimately this ski is going to do things the way it wants to; if you're a strong advanced-expert skier you may enjoy figuring out how to keep up with the FX96 Ti. If you're looking for something with a more balanced all-around performance, check out our Editors' Choice Award-winning Volkl M6 Mantra. If you're wanting a versatile ski that excels in soft, deep snow, check out the Blizzard Rustler 10.

kastle fx96 ti all mountain skis review - your buddies will be hard-pressed to keep up.
Your buddies will be hard-pressed to keep up.
Credit: Nate Greenberg

Bobby Garrett
 
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