Looking for freeride board suggestions
I'm 6'1", 170lbs, size 12 US shoe, and have been riding my Gnu 11-up MTX 158w for a few years now. I've started to get more into off piste and powder runs recently, and this board really sucks in powder. I have the bindings all the way back but if the slope levels out I have to lean back and lift my front foot so much that only the rear 1/3 of the board is touching the snow, it is so exhausting and when I'm really tired it's not uncommon for my tip to go down and yardsale it.
I hit a nasty rock in some powder last week on a ski trip in France and borrowed an Apo Dragon 162 board while mine was being repaired. I've looked up the specs on it now and it has rocker. It was SO much better in powder and so much more confidence inspiring at high speeds. There were some really slow flat cat tracks between the chair and some runs, and this board was so much better at maintaining speed. The board was kind of "loose" when flatbasing, so I wasn't at all worried about catching an edge. All my other friends on boards had to borrow poles or unclip and I made it through with absolutely no problems, multiple times.
Anyways, on the groomed runs and especially the runs that had ice it was not as good as my Gnu, so I've been researching and trying to find something that will be much better than my Gnu 11-up in powder, but still work well on groomed runs. I do not do any park/freestyle, and almost never ride switch unless I have to. I like going off natural features though.
I'm leaning towards the Lib Tech Skunk Ape in 161w, but would like to hear some other suggestions because I really don't have a lot of knowledge of the different brands.
Also my Vans Fargo boots are pretty beat, so if anyone has a suggestion for replacements there it would be appreciated. Looking for something on the stiffer side of things.