2nd Look: Line Pandora 110

Blister Gear Review reviews the Line Pandora 110
Line Pandora 110

Ski: 2017-2018 Line Pandora 110, 162 cm

Available Lengths: 152, 162, 172, 179 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 168.1 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 142-110-125

Stated Weight per Ski: 1707 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 16 meters

Core Construction: Aspen + Fiberglass Laminate

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Scarpa Freedom SL & Lange Rx 100 / Marker F12 Binding

Test Locations: Ski Santa Fe, NM; Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Wolf Creek, CO; Taos, NM

Days Skied: ~40 days / 2 full seasons

Reviewer: 5’1”, 103 lbs.

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 Pandora 110, which was not changed for 15/16, 16/17, or 17/18, except for the graphics.]

Intro

While the Line Pandora has developed a reputation for excelling in deep snow, the Pandora has actually been my go-to, all-mountain ski for the past two seasons.

Julia Van Raalte noted in her review of the Pandora 110 that, for the 14/15 season, Line narrowed the ski from a 115 mm underfoot to 110 mm. The ski has not changed since then (aside from the graphics), and it is coming back unchanged for the 17/18 season.

Initially, there was some concern that slimming the Pandora down was going make it less fit for deep snow. But in my experience, it seems that this re-design compromised little in how the ski performed in powder, and more than anything, it expanded the ski’s versatility. So while I think it’s right to say that the Pandora still shines in deeper snow, I have also found that the Pandora 110s can hold their own in pretty much all conditions and terrain. In what follows, I’ll run through how the Pandora performs across a variety of conditions and terrain.

Sascha Anastas reviews the Line Pandora 110 for Blister Review
Sascha Anastas on the Line Pandora 110, Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Powder & Soft Chop

I was fortunate to get the Pandora 110 into perfect powder conditions my first day on the ski. I just so happened to get them mounted mid-February, 2015, right before Taos’ storm of the decade. Seventy inches fell over the course of three days. My first run in deep, untracked powder was down Lorelei Trees, a steep, gladed run with a Northeast aspect. The Pandora 110’s lightweight tips and rockered tails allowed me to surf and easily navigate the trees, while the wide tips kept me from diving into the deep thick snow. As the heavy snow was somewhat skied off and conditions turned into the usual resort chop over the next few days, the skis still kept me afloat in the soft, choppy snow and drove through soft crud and tracked well in crud without much tip deflection.

In powder conditions on open, steep terrain (such as Taos’ Kachina Peak and Aspen Highland’s Bowl), the Pandora 110 felt at home, and was comfortable making larger turns than I had anticipated, given their tight 16-meter sidecut radius. I was able to stay on top of the snow while carrying out fast and aggressive wide turns across the fall line. The aspen tips were advantageous on this more technical terrain as it was easy to load the ski at the end of the turn and lift the tips off to initiate my next turn. I would agree with Julia in her previous review that the early rise and rockered tips do provide exceptional float while maintaining stability.

Mixed Snow / Firm Crud

As mentioned above, the performance in soft chop was a notable characteristic of the Pandora 110. In the harder and crud, I was still impressed. I found that when I drove the tips through this more set-up snow, the wide lightweight shovels were fairly easy to get off the snow to move about the crud. It’s important to keep in mind that I’m smaller than Julia (and skiing on a shorter Pandora 110), but I had a different experience than Julia in hard chop in that I found the wide, light shovels to be supportive and uncompromising on steep, big-mountain terrain, whereas she felt that the ability to charge and ski fast was limited by the lightness of these tips. She writes, “[the] shovels sometimes felt too light to drive fast down the fall line in thicker, heavier snow. In this way, the Pandora probably won’t satisfy those looking for a serious hard-charging, big-mountain crud ski.” I, however, would happily still grab the Pandora 110 in steep angle crud without a second thought.

Packed Powder and Hardpack

On hardpack, do these “pow skis” suck? No.

I found that the Pandora 110 could edge into corduroy at high speeds without chattering — if that corduroy was even very firm corduroy. With a wider stance, I could get the Pandoras to initiate turns easily and intuitively. And once I flexed the ski and took advantage of the camber, I was able to roll my edge into a pretty aggressive carve.

However, I do think there is a caveat for fully enjoying these skis on hardpack and icy terrain. For these skis to do their magic on hard pack, the skier must enjoy and be fairly comfortable on their edges while locked into a high speed arc. And even more so for icier and / or man-made snow conditions. On icy terrain, I was forced into an even more dramatic edge-to-edge response. I would say that, overall, carving a turn with the Pandora’s healthy dollop of sidecut was extremely rewarding.

Moguls

I did find it challenging to control the 110s in moguls. I was a bit ambitious for my first run selection in that I chose Longhorn (Taos’ notorious quad-crushing ~2000 foot mogul run) as my last run of the day. After much stopping throughout the run to regain feeling in my legs, I found that I could maneuver about the moguls with a bit of a technique change; I had to employ a hop turn to get the skis to come around just in time for my next turn. I would certainly attribute this to their lightweight tips. At the bottom of most runs, I was often folded over with a fleeting thought that I should have done more off season ski conditioning.

Backcountry Touring

I mounted the Pandora 110s with the Marker F12 binding so that I could tour around Colorado and New Mexico. Since the skis proved to be so versatile inbounds, I was eager to test their performance on the often sun-baked, crusty backcountry snowpack.

I found that again the wide shovels sliced through crustier snow sufficiently. In some instances, the 142 mm tip was wide enough to keep me on top of the crust — I did have to weight my heels to maintain a turn without breaking through.

Because I chose to mount the ski with an AT frame binding instead of a lightweight tech binding, I did find the ascension to be arduous, and the weight of the F12 nullified the Pandora’s light weight. So I would love to see how these skis descend in the backcountry with a tech binding, since going uphill on these with a tech binding would be lovely.

Bottom Line

I’ve found the Pandora 110 to far exceed its reputation as a powder ski. As a wider all-mountain ski, I found it to be nearly as adept in all other conditions; it is surprisingly stable and can carry high speeds on hardpack and on steep, technical terrain, and also in both soft and hard chop. I would certainly agree with Line’s claim that the Pandora 110 is “surfy through playful powder and precise on hardpack piste.” They offer stability, playfulness, and I think are one of the most versatile skis for women out there, and I would recommend the Pandora 110 to advanced skiers as a wider, one-ski quiver — for inbounds and / or backcountry use.

1 comment on “2nd Look: Line Pandora 110”

  1. Hi Sascha, i am an advanced to expert skier, 173cm and about 65 kgs. Would you recommend the 172 or 179 for this ski? Thanks

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