2018 Volkl Aura Women's Skis 2018 Volkl Aura Women's Skis

2018 Volkl Aura Women’s Skis

The Volkl Aura is the widest ski in the women’s all mountain freeride collection sitting next to its sisters the Kenja and Yumi. The Aura, however, is significantly different than those two skis thanks to its full rocker (reverse camber) profile. Combine this rocker profile with the ski’s 100 mm waist width and you’ve got a ski that, on paper, seems very versatile. In theory it should be wide enough for some powder skiing, stiff enough for fast, aggressive skiing thanks to its two sheets of metal, and versatile enough to be able to ski and enjoy the entire mountain. We had great conditions for testing the Aura thanks to a mix of firm, frozen snow and softer, wetter snow as things softened throughout the day.

Ali Berlin really enjoyed skiing the Aura, which perhaps is best communicated by the smiley face she drew on her test form. In addition to the visual representation of her mood, we also got some nice comments about the performance of the ski from Ali. She tested the 156 cm length and described the Aura as “a fun ski that handles well going fast on groomed and choppy snow.” She also referred to the Aura as being “surprisingly versatile.” We can understand this comment as it’s relatively easy to characterize the Aura as a heavy, stiff, aggressive ski, but it can do more than just ski fast. The Aura “did respond well to a smaller radius turn, but handled best on big turns pointed straight down the hill.” Because of the reverse camber shape the Aura is relatively easy to “pivot”, which allows the skier to manipulate turn shape much more easily than on a cambered ski. On the other hand, the two sheets of metal provide vibration dampening and stability that makes fast, aggressive skiing smooth and fun.

Elissa DeGolyer skied the 163 cm and was really impressed by this maneuverability. She described the Aura as a “very strong, solid ski.” She thought it “lived up to expectations,” which is saying a lot considering Volkl is known for their high performance all mountain skis. Elissa scored the Aura 5 out of 5 for flotation, stability, versatility, and overall impression. Forgiveness was the only category that didn’t receive a pretty high score, which we can understand as the Aura is relatively heavy and the two sheets of metal make it relatively stiff and powerful. Elissa did, however, comment that it “turns on a pivot point to allow for any size turn on any type of terrain,” going back to that impressive maneuverability the Aura provides.

Karly Acker felt right at home on the Aura, which isn’t a total surprise as Karly openly admits she’s a fan of Volkl skis. After taking some runs on a 163 cm Aura she described it as a “nice wide, fun powder ski. It turned very good on groomers and can charge down the hill with total stability that I don’t often find in other skis. The weight is perfect to cut through anything! Obsessed.”

The Aura is a high performance, relatively aggressive all mountain ski. It’s not really suitable for intermediate skiers, and beginners should certainly stay away, but as Ali Berlin puts it the ski is “suited best for an advanced skier that can drive the ski forward. Less forgiving if your weight is in the back seat.” Chances are an Aura skier already knows they’re an Aura skier, but if you’re the type of woman that is frustrated by “dumbed down” women’s specific skis there’s certainly nothing about the Aura that falls into that category.

Testers

Elissa DeGolyer Ski Tester Headshot Image

Elissa DeGolyer

Age: 28Height: 5'8"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Precise, aggressive, extensive ski racing background

Ali Berlin Ski Tester Headshot Image

Ali Berlin

Age: 40Height: 5'"Weight: 110 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast Frontside Free Spirit

Karly Acker Ski Tester Headshot Image

Karly Acker

Age: 25Height: 5'9"Weight: 145 lbs.

Ski Style: Retired racer who loves to rip steeps

14 Comments on the “2018 Volkl Aura Women’s Skis”

  1. I am skiing the 2016 Aura in a 170 I love the ski and love the 100mm waist love the stiffness .What in the Volkle family would be a comprable ski if I wanted to keep the waist but wanted a longer ski .I am finding in steeps and moderate powder I need a longer ski which is most the time but love the performance of this ski … looking for 173mm-177mm length

  2. I have the chance to get a slightly used Aura in 163. I adore my Kenjas in 156, perfect. I’m afraid the 163 will be too much for me. But since they’re all rocker, not sure. Never skiied them. I’m 5 ft 1 in 125 lb.
    I have a Nordica Nemesis in 98 mm 161 that are good, maybe a hair long, but they include camber.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Due to the overall stiffness of the Aura, the rocker doesn’t make a huge difference in making the ski feel shorter, but in deeper snow, you’ll love how they float, and on hard snow, they’re still pretty impressive carvers. I’d say they’ll feel long at first, and might not be as nimble/maneuverable, but I think you’ll be fine. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Lore!
      The Aura is built more like a race ski in that it has a wood core and two sheets of metal. The 100Eight is a full wood core and gets its stiffness from the 3DRidge construction, which is a bolstered ridge that runs the vertical length of the ski. This gives the center of the ski a lot of mass, making the edges, tips, and tails lighter and more flexible. The feeling of the 100Eight is a lot more playful while the Aura is more business-like. They’re both fully rockered, so they will perform very well in soft snow, but the extra width of the 100Eight makes it a superior floater while the stiffer Aura is a stronger carver. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. Where could I find a pair of auras to demo? I am a pretty aggressive skier. I’m on a 2018 kenja right now. I love how it operates however, I want a ski for when I go out to Colorado for college or Vermont. I also want something that makes quicker turns. I love to carve on the kenja but sometimes it isn’t quite as aggressive as I like it to be. Is the aura similar to that? I would like a more so powder ski. Please let me know. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rachael!
      You’ll be hard-pressed to find an Aura to demo I think. They’ve morphed into the Volkl Secret for 2019, so the 2018 Aura, which is simply a wider Kenja with full rocker, is mostly sold through including demos. Try the Secret if you’re looking for the wider and better Kenja! Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi, I’m a Volkl Aura skier…love the old ones and have just demo’d the 2018’s
    I just found out that the Aura is being discontinued. Can you give me any insight as to why…and would I be wise to pick up a pair of 2018’s?

    1. Hi Mary!

      There’s somewhat of a trend in the industry of going with a narrower waist width. The Mantra and Aura (100 mm waist width, reverse camber) have been replaced by the M5 Mantra and the Secret (96 and 92 mm waist width respectively). So, that’s why the Aura is being discontinues for 2019. Will we see a wider women’s ski in the Volkl line in the future? I would expect the answer is yes, but I’m not 100% sure of that. If you really like the feel of that 2018 Aura I would pick up a pair for sure. Reverse camber, 100 mm underfoot, and two sheets of metal is a rare combination as is!

      SE

  5. I have skied the Aura and now have 2012 kenja. Found the Kenja diuficult in even 1 foot of powder. Aura was great. Looking for new ski as I’m on fast groomed and piste all day sometimes. Looking at ;2018 Vokl aura or Black Pearl 88, 166cm. I’m 140lb, 5’7”, advanced/expert skier, 60’s but I’m great shape. I have powder skiis for the deep stuff, but I need more versatile all terrain ski for every day.

    1. Hi Gwen!

      I would say you should be considering the Black Pearl 98 and the Aura. The Black Pearl 88 is narrower than your Kenjas, so I don’t expect you’ll find them any easier in powder. Also, if you liked the feel of the Aura it probably makes most sense to pick up a pair of Auras. I say that because it’s relatively unique in the sense that it’s reverse camber and uses two sheets of metal. There really aren’t any other skis that use the same combination of design elements. The Black Pearls don’t use any metal, so I’m expecting you’d prefer the Aura.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  6. HI! I currently own a pair of 2014/15 Kenjas and love this ski! I do notice a little vibration in the front of the ski, depending on conditions and speed and wondering how the Aura would measure up against the Kenja? Thanks for any input!

    1. Hi Corrin!

      Hmm.. The Kenja is typically a pretty stable ski thanks to the metal in its construction. Would you call it tip chatter, or is there just a little bit of vibration? Does it happen in certain snow conditions? When was your last tune?

      The Aura and the Kenja essentially have the same construction, so I can’t exactly say I think the Aura will perform drastically differently in terms of stability and tip vibration. It’s also reverse camber (full rocker) so when riding a flat ski you can get a little bit of movement out of it. Makes it a lot of fun in soft snow, but definitely feels different on groomers.

      Let me know if you can provide any more insight into the vibrations you’re feeling and I’ll see if I can recommend a ski I think will work better for you.

      SE

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