Ski: 2012-2013 Line Pandora, 172cm
Dimensions (mm): 142-115-139
Turn Radius: 15.5 meters
Boots / Bindings: Rossignol Radical World Cup 110 / Marker Griffon/ (DIN) 8
Mount Location: Factory Recommended
Test Location: Niseko, Japan
Days Skied: 5
(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Pandora, which is unchanged for 12/13, except for the graphics.)
Given the width of the Line Pandora, I assumed that I would dedicate the bulk of this review to its powder chops, then spend the rest of my time commenting on its performance in other conditions that it wasn’t necessarily designed to excel in.
But after my first two days of skiing on the Pandora in powder, chop, and a few hardpacked bumps, I realized that the Pandora might actually be one of the most sturdy and fun all-mountain women’s ski available.
The Pandora has a clean, twin tip shape, with similar dimensions in the tip and tail. Line, in collaboration with artist Clair Scully, designed a beautiful topsheet this season with an incredibly detailed blue octopus. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, and the 12/13 topsheet is fantastic, too.
Not that graphics are any indication of how a ski will perform, obviously, but a good-looking ski definitely appeals to me.
Not only did Line nail the graphics, they also nailed the design.
Unlike other all-mountain powder skis that have either full rocker profiles (e.g., the Volkl Kiku) or both tip and tail rocker (e.g., the Moment Bella, Black Diamond Element ), Line decided to forgo the tail rocker for the Pandora.
Here in Niseko, where we’ve been skiing fresh snow every day, the Pandora has provided adequate float, but has also handled firm, wind scoured sections of the mountain remarkably well, too.
I first skied the Pandora about a week into our trip. We had two extremely deep days when we first arrived, and I was hoping to have another similar day while I was on the Pandora.
Last Saturday, we went out with the Hanazono Powder Guides on their First Tracks program. Basically, we had the opportunity to take several runs before the lifts opened, with our guide, June, showing us plenty of sweet stashes. There was about 20cm of fresh snow stacked on top of the previous day’s fresh—and we were the only people in the vicinity.
For our first run we headed straight to Strawberry Fields, a local favorite. It’s a mix of open terrain and glades, with lots of fun, natural features.
While there was new snow on top, there were sections where harder bumps could be felt beneath, and more variable conditions throughout the day. I started to pick my way down through the birch trees, warming up my legs and also getting a feel for the skis.