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Kästle FX 95 HP

Overall: 5.0 Resort Float: 4.7 Carving: 5.0 Dimensions: 126/95/115; $1,199

There’s a reason the updated FX 95 HP costs $350 more than most premium skis. It’s not built like most premium skis. From the vertically laminated silver fir wood core, to the ultra-high molecular graphite sintered racing base, to the two sheets of titanal, and even the quality of the edge’s Kästle specs, Kästle’ HP offerings are simply the highest quality skis you, the consumer, can buy. (Elite athletes get their special makeup skis for free.) The old version of the FX 95 HP also won a Best in Test award. The new version is better still. Kästle subtly softened the flex of this damp and stable ski so that it’s easier to lock into a carve on groomed snow. Still, at our Snowbird tests, we didn’t notice any loss of agility or tracking off-trail. “It’s the most powerful ski in the test, but the tapered tip and tail let you slip it around in the trees and bumps, too,” said a tester. As for how this world cup quality build feels on the hill, the word “precise” appeared on six test cards, nearly as many said “bomber.” Swami Gripe: You pay for this level of performance. Swami Like: After two seasons of heavy use on the old FX 95 HP, we can attest that the durability warrants the cost.

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