Based on their performance in these conditions, I was excited to test them in deep snow. Luckily, two storms came through Alta this spring. The first dropped more than a foot of fresh snow, and I headed out for first tracks in Eagle’s Nest. I was expecting a great ride through the powder because of how large these skis are, yet I was still blown away by how incredible they were. As I made my way to the trees, I noticed the skis were nearly as fast cutting through the snow as they were on groomers, and they had the same stability.
Once I reached the trees and the slope became steeper, I didn’t even have to slow down. The Kodiak turned quickly and smoothly through each concise turn. The Kodiak’s “Lay Down technology” (we’ll just call it “rocker”) was once again at work, allowing me to turn such massive skis while feeling like I had a sturdy platform beneath my feet. With 120mm underfoot and early rise tips, the skis floated through the snow while still providing plenty of face shots.
After a few more runs down Eagle’s Nest and Thirds, the snow became choppy, but the Kodiak continued to charge through the snow without throwing me around. The Kodiak’s camber and slight rocker allowed such a large ski to transition between such different terrain and conditions while providing stability and maneuverability.
The following day the sun came out, and there was now a foot of heavier chopped snow. As I made my way through the same steep, upper trees in Eagles Nest, I had to remind myself to maintain a forward stance.
This was the most challenging aspect of riding the Kodiak, staying forward even when the tails were stubborn. This issue was not because the Kodiak couldn’t be trusted, but was a matter of getting used to taking charge of such a large ski (keep in mind I’m 5’2” and 120 pounds).
I would recommend the Kodiak to agressive, strong intermediate and advanced skiers looking for a phenomenal powder ski that can also be used to play on the rest of the mountain. This ski dominates in powder and is more than capable of doing the same everywhere else, even compared to a very good all-mountain ski like the LINE Pandora.
In fact, if I had to choose between the Pandora and the Kodiak as my all-mountain ski, personally, I would take the Kodiak. Both are big skis that require a good amount of work to move around. But because the widest part of the tip is farther back on the Pandora and the sidecut is shorter, the skis were a lot more responsive, but also a bit “twitchy.” I definitely adjusted to skiing the Pandora, which made them feel much more stable and predictable, but the Kodiak didn’t ever throw any curve balls in this department.
Both the Pandora and Kodiak are great on groomers—fun and fast. They’re both awesome in powder, too, and provide great flotation. The Pandora is more maneuverable, but the Kodiak felt more stable at faster speeds to me, and I really appreciated that stability and predictability. I like to go fast, and both of those qualities are especially important at high speeds.
Plus, given the how big the Kodiak is, it is also surprisingly maneuverable. But it does have less sidecut than the Pandora and turns less quickly, so (as always), it really depends on where you’re looking for a ski to excel.
Because of its size (especially for small-framed women) I would suggest the H2O Kodiak to aggressive skiers who are willing to work a little harder to make quick turns for the sake of gaining the Kodiak’s serious stability and predictability.