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VAYU have been busy. For a brand only formed a couple of years ago with a 100% focus on winging they have hit the ground running – and then kept on going… Aside from their line up of wings, they have also been snapping up high profile team riders who – aside from representing the brand – have also been helping out on the R&D side of things.
The new addition to the wing family, complimenting the VVING V2, is the AURA. With a more specific focus on waveriding and ease-of-use, the AURA also sees a new approach to the main battlefield in the world of wings at the moment: handles! For those who struggle to choose between soft and hard handles, you can struggle no more as the AURA has the option to easily switch between the two… This is done through simply unscrewing the soft handles and then switching in the hard handles which secure with brackets at either end. It was a little bit fiddly but took 10 minutes max to switch in the hard handles. The weight difference between soft and hard handles is 250 grams. So not a lot. Aside from the option to switch the handles, the other main ‘different’ element of the AURA is the center strut which tapers in behind each handle, giving plenty of space and ensuring that scuffed knuckles are never going to be a problem. Beyond these two distinctive new features, the AURA has a lightweight construction with a relatively high dihedral angle highlighting its wave focused flagged-out intentions. Inflation is via two valves, ensuring you can max the inflation on the center strut.
We had the 4m AURA on test and rode it in a range of conditions. First observation is that this is a very stiff wing. Comparable to a ‘boomed’ wing for us with pretty much zero flutter even when pumped hard or overpowered. The low end is good and with good pumping abilities was enough to get us going in sub 15 knot conditions. Once you are riding the AURA it is light and responsive. The handles are of a narrow diameter and super stiff and you feel the difference in the ride when compared to soft handles where small inputs are immediately transmitted to the wing. The handles are well placed and wide and – if you have ridden with handles before – then you will appreciate the fact that you can micro-adjust through shuffling your hands slightly forward and backward to give a different feel to the wing and level of feedback.
For transitions the AURA spins around confidently and the stiffness ensures that you can inject power again quickly and continue on your way… The handles also give you more to get hold of so for beginner/intermediate riders or for hectic conditions they give you more chance of grabbing hold when you need to. For flagging the wing behind you, the AURA remains stable and holds its position comfortably.
Overall the AURA ticks all the boxes. It is fun to use, successfully showcases some new innovations, and most importantly, it works very well within the freeride and wave sectors it is designed for. AH