The Volkl Aura is a great all mountain ski for women who like to rip the entire mountain. Like most all mountain skis, the Aura does well in a large variety of conditions and terrain, but doesn’t excel in any one area of the mountain. It’s playful (thanks to the new full rocker profile) and maneuverable, while still being solid on the groomers. Volkl also added 2mm to the waste help to increase the Aura’s float, and although it’s not a powder specialist, it’s plenty happy in deeper snow. The Volkl Aura is helping to push the women’s freeski movement, and although it’s not a specialist in any one category, hard charging women will love its versatility, and ability to take you anywhere on the mountain.
Conditions: Soft Snow (5”), Crud, Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Bindings: Marker Griffon
On the Snow Feel: For 2015, Volkl went with a full rocker profile for the Aura. Although this makes the ski a bit more nimble, I wouldn’t necessarily call it loose or playful. It’s much easier to break away the tails and pivot the ski (compared to 2014), but it still has plenty of stability.
Powder: Volkl added 2mm to the waist of the Aura, and when combined with the new full rocker profile, the 2015 Aura is better in the soft snow. It’s still only 100mm underfoot, and it’s no powder specialist, but it does offer decent float and surfy maneuverability in the soft snow. Heavier skiers may find the Aura a bit too short for deeper snow, but for lighter skiers, the Aura provides decent float for all but the deepest of days.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The new rocker profile makes the Volkl Aura feel quite nimble and easy to maneuver but still offers plenty of stability. Although it’s easier to pivot the Aura, I did find that the new profile makes the ski a bit harder to engage (though still not difficult). The sidecut of the Aura does match the rocker profile, allowing the entire edge to engage the more you lay the ski on edge. Although the Volkl Aura has a decent amount of rebound energy, I wouldn’t call it overly exciting. Still, it was fun carving medium radius turns down the mountain, and the full rocker profile makes it a bit more maneuverable and easy to swing from edge to edge. It has plenty of power for an all mountain ski, but don’t expect to it rail quite like a frontside specialist.
Speed: With its Power Construction (full sidewall) and titanium laminates, the Volkl Aura is a ski that likes to go fast. Although it’s not the heaviest ski, the Aura feels surprisingly stable, and even when hauling ass on smooth groomers, the Aura rides quiet and damp. It’s still a ski that likes to turn, so you’re not going to just point it and go, but even when carving high speed medium radius turns, the Volkl Aura holds up well. We never noticed much tip chatter, and there was still enough power underfoot when we needed to come to a stop quickly.
Uneven Terrain: As the snow gets firm and bumpy, the Volkl Aura becomes less stable, but its maneuverability makes it plenty capable of riding in the variable terrain. It’s not necessarily the type of ski that is just going to blast through everything in your way, but it’s easy to maneuver and turn around the crud. The full rocker profile and softer flexing tip really help to keep you on top of the crud, and absorb the terrain and allow you to charge a bit harder. So long as things remained soft, the Aura was really fun, but as things deeper and heavier we found ourselves slowing down a bit.
Moguls: The light-weight and nimbleness of the Volkl Aura made it quite fun in the moguls.
Edge Hold: The Volkl Aura feels relatively light-weight, but there is still a lot of power underfoot. The ski is designed with a full sidewall, and two layers of titanal. This helps to increase the torsional rigidity, and provide decent edge hold in firm snow.
Flex: The Aura us pretty stiff overall, with a slightly softer mid body and stiffer tip and tail.
Switch: The Volkl Aura is a directional twin, with a slightly turned up tail.
The Volkl Aura is a solid all-mountain ski for hard charging women. It’s a versatile ski that is solid in a large variety of terrain and conditions. It’s not the best on the frontside, nor the best in the deep snow, but it’s a solid carver, fun and maneuverable in the soft snow, and plenty stable at high speed or in variable snow. This is a great ski for those west coasters looking for that quiver of one. Heavier aggressive skiers may want to look at the mens Mantra, as the 170cm womens Volkl Aura may seem a bit short.