Volkl Women's AuraSki:
So is the Volkl all-mountain Women's Aura just the men's Mantra with a fancy new graphic design? Absolutely not. While Volkl sometimes duplicates the dimensions of gender-specific skis while substituting the women's skis with lighter materials, the Aura's measurements from tip to tail are distinctly unique and specifically crafted for women who crave powder days and untouched backcountry bowls. Like the Mantra, the Aura has a versatile sidecut that's easier to turn on packed snow than those unforgiving, powder-only skis. That's the sort of thing you want for changing snow conditions, especially while glacier skiing where the wind often piles the powder deep in gullies while keeping the exposed ridges scored down to the blue ice. The Aura has a wide tip for busting up crud and facilitating turn initiation in powder, but the ski tapers down to a 94-mm. waist for reliable turns on hardpack. Unlike the Mantra, the Aura is female-specific to the core--an agile balance of Sensorwood Light made from vertically laminated poplar and beech wood and integrated with strips of balsa. This gives the Aura a dramatically lighter weight than the Mantra (at least 20% depending on which length you choose). The Aura also has a lower and shorter tip profile than the Mantra, which slightly reduces the overall swing weight and makes the Aura easier to turn (both on hardpack and in powder). Volkl balanced this agile core profile with their Power Construction design to keep you completely in control wherever you need to go. As with other manufacturer's female-specific skis, Volkl moved the bindings on the Aura closer to the ski tip than other unisex designs, so the effortless turn initiation feels almost instinctive.