During week two of the drought, I got an email asking me to test and review the Never Summer Aura and Never Summer Proto Type II. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to ride these boards and experience the new technology; however, at the same time, I questioned whether it was possible to form an opinion on a snowboard based on its performance on morning hard-pack with a chance of afternoon slush.
I took the Aura to Telluride, Snowmass, and Wolf Creek while riding Purgatory any chance I could while I was home. Most of the time I found snow within a day or two of the storm, but a few times I got lucky and hit it on the right day.
Never Summer Aura Review
Although I can appreciate a soft board that is fun to spin and jib like the Never Summer Aura, I prefer a board that can ride over chop and crud without compromising stability. I truly like to ride all-mountain during variable conditions, so stability is always the number one attribute to determine whether a board is compatible with my riding style. So when all the starved powder hounds of Durango showed up and tore up the mountain fairly quickly, and the Aura was able to bomb straight through the chop without chatter, the board passed the stability test with flying colors.
Given the snow conditions, the board handled exceptionally well everywhere I went: trees, moguls, steeps, flats, rollers, and groomers. I was really impressed by how responsive the Aura was in tight trees and moguls, and how it naturally flowed with the fall line of the mountain in wide-open spaces.
I loved the Aura right away, but I wanted to maintain a neutral opinion until I rode the board over various conditions and unfamiliar terrain.
Instead of basing a decision on the performance of a board on a perfect untracked line, it is important to understand how the board will handle in less than ideal conditions, conditions that one will be riding most of the time.
Some of my favorite highlights of the Aura from my Snowboard-Road-Trip was how the Aura floated when I got fresh tracks in Horseshoe Bowl at Wolf Creek after a 10-inch storm. Or at Snowmass, when they hadn’t seen snow in a week and conditions were hard pack, how quickly it zipped through the gullies, how fun it was through the natural halfpipes, and how easy it was to lay down carves on the groomers.
Even though the Aura I was riding is considered small at 148 centimeters, the reversed camber in the nose made it seem much larger floating down the steep face of Palmyra Peak at Telluride through about a foot of windblown snow.
The more time I spent on the board, the less I noticed it as if it became an appendage on my feet versus the experiment it was. I found myself having to try hard to evaluate the board instead of just putting my music on and riding. This board does exactly what you want to do with little effort.
An added bonus to my required preferences is that the board is actually pretty playful for being so stable. It was easy to ride switch and spin little 180’s and 360’s, which was super fun at the end of a powder day when my legs were too spent to hike to fresh snow or ride choppy snow, but the snow was still too good to leave before the chairs stopped spinning.
Never Summer Aura Video
My favorite thing about the Never Summer Aura is how responsive it was, which seemed to improve my confidence resulting in me riding faster through bumps and trees. I also feel like my riding has much more flow and finesse when riding the Aura.
I can now say objectively, having ridden the Never Summer Aura for a little over a month on four different mountains on approximately 15 different days, that the Never Summer Aura ($509.99) snowboard is fantastic choice for a women’s all-mountain board.