Author Topic: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker  (Read 1642 times)

trundlebunny

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Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« on: March 13, 2011, 08:34:34 am »
I'm new - don't delete me!

While I'm here, is the tweaked Volkl Aura on the 2012 test list? Have a dilema whether to buy the 2011 version now with 30% off or wait for the rockered version in 2012 and pay full price. Desperately trying to track down opinions on whether the rocker addition is a significant improvement.

Cheers!


jim-ratliff

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 08:48:02 am »
There isn't a list of skis to be tested for next year. Peter Keelty has relationships with a number of ski shops across the country. The shops test whatever skis they want for their own reasons, and then send review cards to Peter who collects all and summarizes the results on his Real Skiers pay site.

I would guess that the Aura would be included next year since Volkl has pretty wide distribution in shops.

Feel free to tell us about you as a skier and I'm sure you can get opinions about rocker versus non rocker, at least in a general sense.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 11:13:40 pm by jim-ratliff »
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trundlebunny

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 02:46:59 pm »
Thanks, hadn't realised that was how it worked. Yes, very open to input /suggestions:

Me- fairly solid level 7 skier, progressing to level 8. Currently skiing about 60/40 on piste as hubby has only started to learn this season. As such, using the time on piste to work on my technique on the steeps and varying terrain. currently skiing Rossi attraxion viii 154, really enjoyable and great for skills development at lower speeds but start to show their l

trundlebunny

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 03:01:01 pm »
Oops, wrong button!

Cont from above - .....start to show their limits at speed and in more than a few inches of pow.

Looking for - something that will be more stable at higher speeds and handle deeper powder /crud BUT still needs to be manageable and enjoyable on piste and manoeuvrable / not a brute at low speeds (know I may be asking the impossible here!).  Dont need a true powder ski at the moment, idea is that this ski will be the start of a quiver (so in addition to the Rossi's).

Stats - 5'7", 115-120lbs

Was primarily looking at skis in the mid 90s and heard great things about the aura. Unfortunate, if I want the 2011 non-rockered version it will be sans demo but 30%+ off. If I wait for next season I can demo but will be full price.

However, also open to exploring other suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 01:32:38 pm »
Trundlebunny (and where's THAT name come from):

Not exactly sure of the Attraxion viii, whether that is a 70mm or 75mm waist.

I looked at Peter's review of the Aura and it does "read" like a pretty good ski, I like that it's described as having lots of versatility for both on and off-piste.
Some general thoughts, you need to decide whether it applies to you or not.? Note that the following are my thoughts, but I would also classify myself as anti-rocker and also not in the "the wider the better" camp.? There are others who have other viewpoints, hopefully you will hear from them.

Have you demoed the Volkl Aura, or have you skied and liked any other Volkl skis in the past?? As a general statement, not necessarily gospel, but historically the "French skis" (like Rossi, Salomon, Dynastar) often have a completely different (softer, more lively and less damp) feel than the "Austrian" skis such a Volkl, Head, Atomic, Fischer.? .

What led you to you mid-90's width focus?? Have you rented skis in that width and liked them?? I know Midwif skis a Fischer Zeal that is 84mm width.? She is your weight (the main consideration) but a couple of inches shorter and is plenty happy with that width both on-piste and in knee deep snow.

Turn Technique. In my view, there are two main types of turn technique.? Group 1 seeks to tip the ski on edge and let the sidecut and the bend of the ski create a turn.? Group 2 appears to force the skis from one set of edges to the other, either by pushing the tails around or by twisting the whole ski about its midpoint.? I try to ski like Group 1, but a wider ski makes this progressively harder to do.? I have one pair of skis that is 71mm (which is your Rossi waist width) and my other is 101mm -- there is a world of different between how much effort the two require to make decent turns on-piste, but there is also a world of difference in how well the two float in soft snow or in trees.? If this will be your only ski, you don't want to go so wide that it gets in the way of skill development?

Rocker. There are variety's of rocker (Peter has K2's description for these on the main site, I believe).? In my opinion, rocker can definitely make it easier to ski powder; I believe that rocker can also make it easier for Group 2 skies to ski on-piste since there is often significantly less edge to resist twisting.? But I also think rocker can get in the way of Group 1 skiers trying to improve and use the edges of the ski (because there is often less real edge to work with).?

Adding rocker to a ski that is already well reviewed doesn't necessarily mean that the ski will be even better -- it will more likely make it a different feeling ski.

Recommendation:? we always say this -- demo - demo - demo? ?Try out other skis and see what you like.? However, even though everyone says this, all of us wind up buying skis that we haven't demoed.

If you are comfortable with a pretty big jump in waist width from 70 to 94, and
if you are comfortable with moving to Volkl from Rossignol, and
if you think the people that were raving about the Aura are similar in style and ability to you, and
if you have already checked eBay for new Aura's from past years that might save even more than $300, then
save the $300 on the ski that is the known quantity rather than waiting to spend more on a ski that isn't likely to be dramatically better!

Just my thoughts. Top of my head other suggestions would be Fischer KOA 84, Blizzard Viva 8.1, Dynastar Exclusive Eden,?

Gary, what are some skis that Alice has liked for all-mountain conditions?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 03:15:30 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Gary

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 05:33:33 pm »
Hey Jim and TB....

First of all I must say I am NOT anti rocker completely....some rockers are just a blast to ski and some...have way to much rocker or rise.

My Ross S3's at 98 underfoot carve like a GS ski and are capable of short brush turns...so poo pooing all rockers is like saying all electric cars suck...new technology is here to stay because I think there are some benefits.

As far as my wife...she demoed tons of skis and actually fell in love with Kastle MX78 before I did. What we now both like about that ski is given its healthy width underfoot, these skis are a blast to ski tight hard fast turns as well as crud, boot high pow, bumps...I mean very versatile. On pow above her boot days, she has a pair of Atomic Heave and Hells...99 underfoot.

It would be nice TB if you could take a little time to demo some of the new product out there....glad to see you posting with us...keep us up to speed on your ski evolution!

Best, Gary

trundlebunny

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 05:55:21 am »
First, many thanks to Jim and Gary for your detailed responses. Apologies for the delayed reply, I'm in the UK so missed your posts on Monday night and was away until late last night. As for ?trundlebunny?, bit of a long story. I did a lot of travelling when I was younger, seemed like a good email address about 10 years ago and has stuck  - keep using it as I have a lot of log-ins and tend to forget them otherwise! Nothing more suspect I promise  ;D

First - volkl v rossignol.
Back in the days of ?straight? skis I did have a pair of Volkls but couldn?t for the life of me tell you what they were ? except that they were bright yellow! I spent a week on a pair of Blizzard SLR Magnesium?s earlier this season when my Rossi?s went for a bit of an "adventure" of their own, courtesy of a certain airline which shall remain nameless. I wasn?t expecting to hire so went in a bit blind, told the guys I wanted something quick and nimble and ended up with these. On reflection I didn?t find them particularly easy (and having read Peter?s review I now see why) but I put it down to a lack of pre-season training! Great at speed but a PITA at anything less. Didn?t feel like I had particularly good edge grip either which I suspect was a result of being too stiff and not getting full edge contact underfoot. Really should have changed skis but never mind, still had a great week. 

So the short answer is no, I haven?t tried them, I?m going on write-ups. I live in the UK so demo options are highly limited except when I?m away in Europe and that won?t be until December / Jan 12 now  :'(. It?s only because some good deals are popping up that I?m looking at this now, but naturally is requires taking a bit of a punt if I?m buying without a demo.

RE mid 90's as a choice:
The Attraxion viii is a 75mm waist and I?m intending my new purchase to be a 2nd ski rather than my only ski. I picked the 90?s as my starting point as I felt that many of the offerings in the 80?s would be too similar (although I appreciate a different sidecut / construction can make a world of difference) to what I already have. 

Turn technique:
On better terrain and with a bit of speed behind me I?d pretty much say type 1, on harder terrain and slower speeds I?m guilty of slipping into type 2 ? but I do at least know when I?m doing it. I am aware that the width difference will result in different characteristics, this will be a 2nd ski but there may be times when it is not viable to take 2 pairs away with me (eg a long weekend), hence my concern about usability on groomers. Even when I do have both pairs away with me, I would be nice to be able to have a ski that cope with days where I am skiing a mixture of conditions, which may involve hardpack.

Rocker:
I have a completely open mind on the rocker front, I was really just looking to establish whether anyone had experience with both. Since my Rossi?s are not rockered and I?m looking for a ski to handle the conditions my Rossi?s can?t then it seemed like a reasonable idea. However, from your comments Jim, it does sound like something in the 80?s might be sufficient ? boot high is about the most I come across without going looking (and if I?m going to start venturing further I?ll probably hire proper pow skis to start).



Thanks for the ski suggestions, I?ll have a look at those. Having had a lengthly read through Peter?s list, another one that appeals is the Ski Logik Isis (formerly Go Girl I believe, female version of the Rave) ? any thoughts?

Finally, would you suggest sticking with a ski in the 155-ish length or go longer for ?big mountain??

Thanks for all the input!

trundlebunny

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 06:08:32 am »
I should add that there is some "logic" behind Ski Logik choice (really not the top sheet, honest!).

The Isis is 90 underfoot (92 in the 165) but still has a 15m turn radius which, in theory, should translate into reasonable manoeuvrability on piste with a bit of added float in powder - it's a bit difficult to tell from Peter's review if that is actually what happens. Off to hunt for some other user comments but any experiences of this ski or the Rave welcomed.

Thanks again!

LivingProof

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 07:04:26 am »
Hi TB

Welcome to the forum. Ski selection advice is the lifeblood of most members. You have more options now than ever.

One suggestion is to send pm to Snow Hot and ask her to check out this thread and give some advice. Trish works for Start Haus Ski Shop in Tahoe ( along with her minor S.O.  :: Philpug) and is our resident ski selection female guruette who could also offer some thoughts. Philpug is ski guru extraordinaire and he could offer some thoughts. Trish and Phil have some major good deals available via their shop.

I would not lock in to a particular brand of ski. Volkl's seemingly have this aurora about them for many, but, there are many good skis. And yes, skiing SL skies all day does beat up the body - they are not for most.

Good luck and ski more

jim-ratliff

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 08:55:40 am »
TB:

Well thought out answers, You answered my unasked question, which was your overall level of ski awareness.
Sounds like the Volkl would probably be a good selection, or anything else in the upper 80's to mid 90's since this is a second ski.

You asked about the Ski Logik.? I have the Ullr's Chariot and I love them, for much the same reason that you describe.? I get powder float from the wide waist while still getting good firm snow performance and short turn radius from the sidecut.? In a future year, as I get better at skiing powder I may want a real powder ski, but for my current mix of skiing they have made me a much better overall skier.? They are a little bit stiff at slow speeds on groomed slopes, but overall I am a big fan.? I wouldn't go any longer in length.? They are a twintip but they don't feel like a short ski.? Excellent stability even at scary fast speeds.

I assume that you have read the other Ski Logik reviews that are here? Midwif (5'4" and 120 lbs) had some comments on the Isis/Rave that she demoed at Vail that she added to the Rave reveiw started by SCSA (a guy).? And which topsheet would you pick to have put on your Isis?  Interestingly, Midwif was skiing faster than she normally does just because of the stability/comfort factor of the Ski Logik.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 09:03:49 am by jim-ratliff »
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SnowHot

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 10:50:11 am »
I'm new - don't delete me!

While I'm here, is the tweaked Volkl Aura on the 2012 test list? Have a dilema whether to buy the 2011 version now with 30% off or wait for the rockered version in 2012 and pay full price. Desperately trying to track down opinions on whether the rocker addition is a significant improvement.

Cheers!
Haven't read the other replies (yet) but I've skied the 2011 and 2012 Aura's in tests and thought you may like feedback from someone who's been on both skis.
The 2012 is slightly better than the 2011, with a slightly softer tail(not terribly softer) and a slight(very slight) rise in the tip.
The difference between the two is there but not huge.
IMHO the 2012 Aura will not be changed enough to detract the Aura lovers, but it's (I'll be it slight) changes may draw a new fan.

All in all, I think the Nordica Nemesis and Salomon Geisha are better skis in that category.? If you want to go wider, the K2 Missedbehaved(102 under foot) is awesome!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 10:58:58 am by SnowHot »
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Gary

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 02:41:33 pm »
TB...I would suggest going longer for your pow and crud ski...maybe like 160 to 165 especially if you go rocker or early rise.

The wee bit longer and wider under foot ski provides much more stability in crud and off piste conditions.

Now go ski!  ;D


trundlebunny

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2011, 06:56:07 am »
Thanks Jim. Yes, I did have a look at Midwif's review comments but was a bit unsure which ski she had actually tried (the Rave or Isis). Looks like it was probably the Isis. As for topsheet - that's an even harder decision than choosing a ski  ;D. Really liking the "Tiger" and "Flower Power" (I know, totally different!) but also some of the previous custom designs.

SnowHot - thanks, that's a big help and good to know it hasn't changed for the worse. If I do go for the Aura I think I'll wait and try to demo the 2012, much prefer the 2012 topsheet so this, combined with lack of demo possibilities, doesn't make the 30% saving worthwhile. Interesting you mention the Nemesis though, that's another one I'm toying with together with the Atomic Century.

Gary - thanks also, I definitley will go longer if I go for a rocker / early rise but might stick with shorter if traditional camber.

Will let you know what I decide!


jim-ratliff

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2011, 08:03:05 am »
? ;D. Really liking the "Tiger" and "Flower Power" (I know, totally different!) but also some of the previous custom designs.

A minor consideration, but keep in mind that the binding will wind up covering much of the middle of the ski's graphics, so factor that into your topsheet selection.

"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

SnowHot

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2011, 10:10:08 pm »
Thanks Jim. Yes, I did have a look at Midwif's review comments but was a bit unsure which ski she had actually tried (the Rave or Isis). Looks like it was probably the Isis. As for topsheet - that's an even harder decision than choosing a ski? ;D. Really liking the "Tiger" and "Flower Power" (I know, totally different!) but also some of the previous custom designs.

SnowHot - thanks, that's a big help and good to know it hasn't changed for the worse. If I do go for the Aura I think I'll wait and try to demo the 2012, much prefer the 2012 topsheet so this, combined with lack of demo possibilities, doesn't make the 30% saving worthwhile. Interesting you mention the Nemesis though, that's another one I'm toying with together with the Atomic Century.

Gary - thanks also, I definitley will go longer if I go for a rocker / early rise but might stick with shorter if traditional camber.

Will let you know what I decide!


If you're thinking of the Atomic Century, then you should put the Elysian on your demo list.  When I did the 2012 ski tests, The Atomic Elysian was my #2 pick in its class, just behind the Blizzard Black Pearl.
I don't have all my reviews up, but will get some in order soon.
Sometimes you just need to let your Bad Self ski!!
~nolo

HighAngles

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2011, 04:20:06 pm »
I'm surprised SnowHot didn't mention the Blizzard Black Pearl sooner.  If you don't mind going a bit narrower than the Aura I would bet that the Black Pearl is the better ski.  I didn't ski any of the 2012 women's models, but I did ski the revamped Mantra and I feel that the Blizzard Bonafide is a much better ski than the Mantra.  I also liked the Bushwacker more than the Kendo so I would assume that the Black Pearl is the better selection.  Blizzard has some really good stuff coming next season.  At this point I think it's definitely worth the wait.

SnowHot

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Re: Advice on Volkl Aura & rocker
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 09:52:55 pm »
This is true........and 88 under foot is not necessarily a bad thing if you're looking for an all mountain ski with a powder bias!
Sometimes you just need to let your Bad Self ski!!
~nolo