Ski: 2012-2013 Line Pandora, 172 cm
Dimensions (mm): 142-115-139
Turn Radius: 15.5 meters
Actual Tip-to-Tail length (straight tape pull): 171.4 cm
Boots / Bindings: Nordica Hot Rod / Marker Griffon (DIN at 6)
Mount Location: Factory recommended
Test Location: Alta Ski Area, Snowbird
Days Skied: 30
(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Pandora, which is unchanged for 12/13, except for the graphics.)
My first day on the Line Pandora came after Alta had received seven inches of fresh snow, so right away I got to test this ski in what it was designed for: powder. The Pandora is a relatively wide women’s ski at 115 mm underfoot, and an early rise tip helps to give it amazing float in pow.
For my first few runs at Alta, I headed straight to Thirds, where I had entire fresh lines to myself. In Julia Van Raalte’s Line Pandora review, she mentioned how beautifully the skis floated in Niseko’s pow, and the same was true here.
The Pandora cut through the deep powder with a smooth, effortless ride. They felt very stable as I made large arcing turns in the open upper section of the slope, and even at higher speeds they weren’t hooking at all; the Pandora’s shape begins to taper closer to the tip and tail, which creates less opportunity for the ski to catch on the snow.
From Thirds I headed to Eagle’s Nest, where I slowed down and began to pick my way through the steep trees. Similar to Julia, I found that the Pandora was very responsive and maneuverable, especially for a larger ski. I was able to swing the skis quickly and easily sideways to reduce my speed, as well as make fast, controlled turns through the trees. As Julia mentioned, the light swing weight and stability has to do with a combination of the light-but-stable aspen core and thin tips and tails.
I also felt the same pop and playfulness that Julia described, which made the Pandora incredibly fun to ski. I would put pressure on the skis through the first part of the turn, and they would rebound into the next. This sweet spot was easy to find during the large, faster turns on Thirds, as well as in the tight, quick turns through the chutes and trees in Eagle’s Nest.
Throughout the day, however, the powder got skied off and the snow became choppy. I expected to be thrown around as the skis hooked and grabbed the variable tracked-out snow, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the skis let me carve clean, smooth turns. Again, this can be attributed to the early rise tip and early taper tip and tail, which help the skis slice smoothly through chop. The overall flex pattern of the Pandora also absorbed much of the impact and vibration, creating a smooth ride. In both powder and choppy snow, the Pandora was certainly comfortable at high speeds.
While Julia got to test the Pandora in almost nothing but powder, I was able to ride them in much more variable conditions, which was a bit of a challenge at first—though that was likely due as much to my own learning curve as it was the ski itself.