The Never Summer Aura is similar to the NS Men’s West and offers up a very similar ride. Just a touch more directional. Not much has changed from the 2016 to 2018 models.
Approximate Weight: Feels normal but very sturdy.
On Snow Feel: The Aura has a feel much different than the other hybrid rocker boards they call Rocker & Camber. It’s got a stable feel very similar to hybrid camber but it still has that snap in the tip/tail that hybrid rocker has. Actually even more snap thanks to the camber. It’s much easier to one foot off the chair and flat base. The overall feel just says stable. It solves the stability problems that the Infinity and Raven have with their more mellow camber.
Powder: Like Ginger said it doesn’t really have the float that the other boards in the NS line that have less camber but we think that if it’s set back all the way and the right size it could have float that isn’t too taxing on the back leg. Here is Gingers take from a really thick powder day with the board unfortunately centered and not her right size. So take this with a grain of salt. We also found that the production models have more rocker between the feet so the board will float better than it did for Ginger.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Let’s start with carving. The NS Aura is the best board in their line and really is fun to lay into a hard carve. You can really feel that extra camber pop you out of a turn and give you that traditional camber resistance going into it that makes hard carving turns soo much fun. Wide to Medium radius turns are really fun too. Short radius turns don’t really engage the camber as much as medium to wide radius turns so they feel a little less springy compared to the rest. One of the things thats good about the Aura is it can skid a turn pretty easy in tight spots or when you need to slam on the breaks. It’s still mainly for Advanced to expert riders but its much more forgiving than a traditional camber board when you are off your game and have to skid out a turn. Also you can turn this board with a much more surfy stance and still have loads of stability instead of move your knees outward towards the tip/tail to put more pressure on the rocker to keep it down on a turn.
Speed: Now even though the flex and dampness rating on the site says it’s more mellow the extra camber and stability between the feet make this board feel faster and more aggressive than you would think. It holds it’s speed well in flat sections if it’s well waxed and it’s very bomb a big hill friendly.
Uneven Terrain: A real champ here and great for people that have to ride all day on a crowded Saturday.
Edge Hold: It’s got good hold but it’s more on the bottom end of the hard rating.
Flex: Now the flex isn’t that strong but it could be argued that with the extra camber in the tip/tail makes for a board that takes more to butter and press. Our girls didn’t find it too easy to butter. It took some effort and acted like a camber board does so if you are a stonger rider you might like that as it does have some nice snap after you exit the butter.
Switch: Much more doable than you would think for what they call a directional board. When centered up it’s not perfect either way but very easy to get use to riding switch.
Jibbing: No thanks.
Pipe: Fun pipe board and it has a pretty good feel wall to wall.
Jumps: That extra camber and stable feel makes the Never Summer Aura pop well on an ollie or nollie. It’s also fun for kickers of any size. If you like to go big or just want a more stable approach for going medium or small the Aura is really good here. It’s not as forgiving as the other NS boards if you are spinning as it can catch an edge easier but it can help you not land on your ass if you land more on the tail of the board thanks to the extra camber.
So all in all we were very impressed with the Never Summer Aura and found it to be a great All Mountain ride. The extra camber gives so much more spring in a turn and stability and solves the issues we had with their older rocker and camber profile ride.