Hi, thanks for reading! This is going to be a bit long, but i want to give enough info to get the best feedback (and don't want to be standard "What board should I get...")
I used to ski race GS in my younger years up through college, and after college lost the passion for snow; ski days weren't fun anymore, almost boring. No longer training daily, I was frusterated that I was just getting worse with each passing year and lost the passion for snow.
4 years ago I decided to try snowboarding and totally fell in love with the feel of riding the mountain. It completly rekindled my love of snow sports. Now I try to go 30-50 days a year and split 60% boarding / 40% skiing.
About me: 178 lbs, 6'0.
board - 2009 Arbor Wasteland 163
bindings - Ride SPI 2009ish
Boot - Ride jackson Boa coiler size 11
My first board was a Burton Custom ~156 which I rode for 2 days. When switching to the Arbor for the past 4 years, I found it didn't turn as easily and just felt slightly "off". That feeling never really has gone away. I find it a bit hard to initate turns, and when switching from edge to edge there's always a tiny bit on unstability i feel.
On a board I currently ride 80% groomers, 0% park (no interest) and 20% trees, moguls and powder if available. I'd say I'm an advanced boarder, expert on groomers, less so in more unstable terrain. I still get a kick out of riding switch, maybe about 20% time. I love carving deep and long with the board, but want to expand beyond this.
Starting this year I'll be riding only Squaw/Alpine in North Tahoe.
My goal in getting a new board is (besides a new toy and my old one is pretty damped out) I really want to expand into a more powder,tree line and non groomer rider. I Still have no interest in park/tricks, but I want to be able to float through deep powder, tight ride in treeline or off groomer and still be able to have fast fun on a groomer 20% of the time (and still ride switch). I don't feel the board I currently have is aimed at this.
And lets be honest, I got a gopro recently, and I want to up my game for the videos I make.
Groomers are boring videos.
Reading these forums and thegoodride, I've focused on four and listed them from most powder friendly to most groomer friendly:
1) Never Summer Cobra
2) Jones Mountain Twin
3) Lib Tech TRS
4) K2 Turbodream
My questions are:
1) Are the ride SPI bindings and Ride jackson boa boot good enough that I don't need to upgrade them?
2) Based on boarding only in north tahoe (squaw), what do you think of the four I've selected. Are there others?
3) To demo them first, I can get all except the cobra at REI. Which means I'd try 2,3,4 first and then go to the cobra if I'm still not happy, but the Cobra I'm leaning towards as my favorite - do you think Cobra is the best match? I could use dogfunk to try it and then try 3/4, but they don't have the Jones in my size
4) I was thinking of going for 158 as a size. Does that seem right based on above?
Sorry it's such a long post, hopefully someone has had similar desires and found a happy solution.
Thanks so much!