Never Summer Aura Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
This board finished at the top of the group, just ahead of the Burton Family Tree Story Board and the Gnu Klassy. The Aura and the Story Board both handle powder and big mountain riding about the same, but the Aura has a bit more flex, giving it a bit more pop and making it a bit more playful to ride. The Klassy is a versatile and well-rounded board, that performs just a little bit worse than the Aura, but it retails for quite a bit less, making it a much better budget option.
To pick out which all-mountain snowboard is really the best of the best, we bought all the most promising boards and pitted them against each other in a series of head-to-head tests, riding and scoring them in across the mountain in all sorts of conditions. We split our testing process into five weighted rating metrics, with the Aura's above average results discussed below.
The Never Summer Aura has absolutely fantastic edge hold, earning it a 9 out of 10 in this metric. Edge hold is our most significant metric, responsible for 25% of the overall score for each board. We tested and scored the boards in all sort of snow, paying particular attention to how grabby the Aura is in hardpack, ice, and chop. The Aura has Never Summer's Vario Power Grip Sidecut that creates a ton of contact points when the board is flexed, giving it superb edge hold even on ice. It's super responsive and we were never once worried about losing an edge when riding the Aura.
Following our edge hold tests, we moved on to score how well the Aura floated in deep snow, which constitutes 20% of its final score. Yet again, Aura delivered another top-notch set of results.
This snowboard has the feel of a much larger board and has a directional shape, giving it tons of float and making it one of our favorites for deep snow. However, this board is a bit on the heavier side, but it is still one of the best at ripping down steep slopes in deep snow.
Our next metric is for anyone who likes to rip down groomers at racing speed. We took the Aura down the steepest groomers we could find to see if it got any undesirable speed wobbles or chattering at maximum speed. This also accounts for 20% of the final score. The Aura is exceptionally stable, earning it a 9 out of 10. This board has one of the stiffest flexes of the entire group and is absolutely built for speed. It wants to go fast and can back it up — never displaying any chatter or wobble — and is a great board for anyone who loves flying down runs at top speed.
The Aura's performance dropped a little bit in this metric, with it earning an 8 out of 10 for its second-tier playfulness. We rated and scored how each board flexed and turned, taking them through natural features and boardercross courses to see how much fun it is to ride each one. In total, this metric accounts for 20% of the Aura's score. This board doesn't flex as well as the most fun boards, but it is very responsive and likes to carve. The Aura is decently playful, but you can tell that it would rather be straight-lining a groomer than playing around in the trees or the park.
Pop and Jumping
For our final metric, we looked at how easy it is to launch off a jump with the Aura, which is responsible for the residual 15% of the total score. This board didn't do the best, earning another 8 out of 10. This stiff snowboard doesn't have a ton of pop and won't really launch off lips or jumps. However, you still can get air if you push hard enough and hit it with enough speed, just don't expect to fly as far as some of the other boards.
The Aura by Never Summer is a true big mountain board that is much more at home on the steeps than in the park. This fast board is super stable, making it great for steep icy terrain, and has tons of float for the deepest days. However, it doesn't have a ton of pop or playfulness, so it isn't the best for the park or mellow spring riding.
The Aura is a decent value, combining excellent performance at a reasonable price. It is a little bit more expensive than some of the other boards, but it isn't exorbitantly priced.
All in all, the Never Summer Aura is a great board for steep, big mountain riding, but it is a bit deficient when it comes to playfulness, parks, or pop. It's fantastic for an aggressive all-mountain rider, but not as versatile as other boards we have seen.
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