Ski: 2014-2015 Volkl Aura, 170cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 132-100-118
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 170.5cm
Stated Sidecut Radius (m): 21.5
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (g): 1956 & 1936
Volkl is making some big changes to their women’s freeski lineup for the 2014-2015 season; most notably, the new One W will replace the Kiku, and the Aura will have full rocker.
The Volkl Mantra (men’s version of the Aura) is also ditching the traditional camber, and like Jonathan mentioned in his preview of the new Mantra, I too never really imagined the Aura as a fully rockered ski.
Volkl claims the new “Aura’s soft snow performance is greatly improved” as a result of the ski’s “early taper in the tip, a new 100mm waist width, and Full Rocker.” Volkl’s next description, however, caught my attention: the ski’s “hard snow performance is as good as ever.”
Over the last several seasons, earlier generations of the Aura have been the go-to ski for so many of my ex-racer friends on the east coast. Simply, it carved beautifully and skied exceedingly well on ice for its width. It wasn’t the best ski for powder days, but certainly made up for that given its hardpack performance.
While it makes sense that the new Aura will ski better in softer conditions, I am curious how it will stack up against the cambered, narrower iterations of the ski on firm snow.
Although the 14/15 Aura is considered fully rockered, the rocker profile is incredibly subtle. The ski is actually flat underfoot, while the tips and tails have fairly minimal splay. So, while the Aura has “Full Rocker,” it is not as dramatically rockered as the Volkl One W or the Kiku.
Like the 13/14 Aura, the new Aura still has two sheets of titanium reinforcing a new poplar and ash core.
Bottom Line (For Now)
I am eager to get the 14/15 Aura on snow soon and determine how it compares to the earlier Aura, as well as the Blizzard Samba, another ski that is impressively stable in firm conditions. Given the fairly significant changes made to the Aura, it may, in fact, have to be classified as a completely different ski– one meant to work well in a wider range of conditions and accessible to a larger number of skiers.
While the previous Aura truly excelled as a firm snow carver, will the new Aura sacrifice some of its hard snow performance for a little more versatility? I have a little bit of trouble completely believing Volkl’s claim that the 14/15 Aura’s “hard snow performance is as good as ever,” but again, these are merely predictions. We will be sure to update you soon from Canterbury, New Zealand.
NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS