It was 1924 in the Austrian Alps when Anton Kästle built his first pair of wooden skis. For decades, Kästle was the ski of choice for many World Cup racers. But in the late 1990s production stopped.
This year Kästle is back. The company (www.kaestle-ski.com) was purchased by a group of former Austrian ski racers, and for the 2007/2008 season there are four models.
The MX88 is the line’s all-mountain ski, featuring an ash wood core, sandwich sidewall construction and two layers of titanium for stability and control.
A unique touch is Kästle’s “Hollowtech technology,” which mills an opaque oval of fiberglass in the ski tip to reduce ski weight by about 15 percent. The company claims this decrease in mass helps the ski minimize vibration and hold an edge more firmly on the snow.
The MX88 comes in a men’s and women’s model, the latter with more flex for a more forgiving ride.
Both come mounted with top-end Marker Duke or Jester bindings. The price tag is top-end, too, starting at $1,450 for these premium Austrian winter sticks.