You have to buy the right size board to do a proper evaluation! With your height and foot size, you should be on a 153. There is a significant difference in waist width between a 153 and 155. This difference is what accounts for your lack of nimbleness in turn initiation and edge to edge response. I am your size and have ridden both lengths. The NS SL does not shine in icy conditions. If you ride firm snow most of the time, a hybrid camber board or a Mervin C2 Btx board might be a better fit. Look for a board that has a waist width less than 25.0. You'll be a much happy camper.
I was wondering about the waist width when first researching the SL and based on Snowolf's review of the 158 Heritage (with a waist width of 25.4cm and his size 8.5 feet). I asked him if he thought the the board was too wide and he replied that the ultra-responsiveness of the camber sections in the RC tech was well suited for smaller-footed riders even at those widths. The SL has a 25.2cm waist width (for comparison, my Slayblade 153 has a 24.8cm ww). Other reviews of the NS men's boards (by Shayboarder who has smaller feet than myself) never mentioned the WW being an issue.
Another reason for going to a 155 board (and thus wider width) is that I generally ride in big-mountain resorts with more pow so that should be better than the 153 with respect to floatability.
Last edited by GeoFX; 12-23-2011 at 02:41 PM.