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Never Summer Aura Review

If you want a big mountain board without a ton of pop, consider the Aura.
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Price:  $510 List
Pros:  Great stability, tons of float
Cons:  Second-rate pop, so-so playfulness
Manufacturer:   Never Summer
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 27, 2019
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Edge Hold - 25% 9
  • Powder Performance - 20% 9
  • Stability - 20% 9
  • Playfulness - 20% 8
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 8

Our Verdict

Never Summer discontinued the Aura in 2019.

The Never Summer Aura is a stiff big mountain board that is perfect for sending it on steeps and carving wide turns. It's responsive and has great edge hold, perfect for flying down steep groomers, even if they are quite icy. It has the feel of a much longer board when riding in powder, providing you with more than enough float for even the deepest days. Unfortunately, it is a stiff board and lacks the playfulness and pop that other boards have. However, it is a fantastic all-mountain board if you plan on staying out of the park and spending more time riding the trees or the steeps.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Never Summer Aura
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $510 List$500 List$569.95 at Amazon
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$549.95 at REI
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$499.99 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Great stability, tons of floatFantastic all-around board, great in powderUnmatched pop, great edge hold, supremely stableGreat for big mountain, cuts through anything, phenomenal for carvingGreat value, supremely stable at high speeds
Cons Second-rate pop, so-so playfulnessNot the best beginner boardNot the best board for powderHeavy, not for anyone who likes softer boardNot as much pop as other boards
Bottom Line If you want a big mountain board without a ton of pop, consider the Aura.If you want the best of the best all-mountain board, it’s hard to find a better option than the Yes. Hel Yes.Earning the Editors' Choice Award, the Ladies Choice by Gnu did exceptionally well in all our tests.If you are a hard-charging aggressive rider and want a board to match, the Story Board is for you.The Klassy is a fantastic all-mountain snowboard that won’t break your budget.
Rating Categories Never Summer Aura Yes. Hel Yes - Women's Gnu Ladies Choice Family Tree Story Board GNU Klassy
Edge Hold (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Powder Performance (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Stability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Pop And Jumping (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Never Summer Aura Yes. Hel Yes -... Gnu Ladies Choice Family Tree Story... GNU Klassy
Shape Directional Directional Asymmetrical Directional twin Directional
Camber/Rocker Hybrid Hybrid Hybrid Camber Hybrid
Flex 6-8/10 6/10 4/10 5-8/10 6.5/10
Tested Length 150 155 148.5 152 155
Measured Weight (Tested Length) 5.7 lbs. 5.4 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 5.8 lbs. 6.2 lbs.
Available Lengths 143, 146, 148, 150, 152, 155, 157 146, 149, 152, 155 142.5, 145.5, 148.5, 151.5, 153.5 142, 147, 152 145, 148, 151, 155
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material NS SuperLight Wood Core Wood Aspen/ Colombian Gold/ Polonia (Wood) FSC Certified Super Fly II 700G Aspen/ Paulownia
Waist Width 23.7 24.5 24.2 24.5 24.7
Radius 7.42 7.3 8.2/7.9 7.2 8

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.

The Aura is a great all mountain board for aggressive riders.
The Aura is a great all mountain board for aggressive riders.

Performance Comparison


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 Aura offers superior edge hold in all conditions.
The Aura offers superior edge hold in all conditions.

Edge Hold


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.

The Aura is a responsive and maneuverable board for hard-charging  all mountain riding.
The Aura is a responsive and maneuverable board for hard-charging, all mountain riding.

Powder Performance


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.

The Aura is a good choice for deep snow.
The Aura is a good choice for deep snow.

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.

The Aura is built for speed.
The Aura is built for speed.

Stability


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 is on the stiffer side and wasn't the most playful board we tested.
The Aura is on the stiffer side and wasn't the most playful board we tested.

Playfulness


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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.


Marissa Fox