Like lowlyffe said, it take some getting used to, and i feel you loose a little edge hold, but the riding is actually easier, which i think makes up for it.
Definitly the TFA over the element. the element is very fagile. also the charlie slasher is a awesome pow board.
boards i would suggest over both of those, Ride Highlife UL or Never Summer Raptor X. Many feel that these are the preimier freeride boards out right now. I really like my Lib banana magic, it does everything really well.
Good gear doesn't make you better; good gear makes it easier to get better