Board sizing advice needed.
I've read all the stickies and a host of information on other board sizing guides. Now I am seeking some real-world advice from you guys.
I am about 210 lbs which, according to most sizing charts from snowboarding sites and manufacturers alike puts me on boards in the 160cm + range, and I followed this advice when I purchased my first board about 5 years ago (mine is a 163). I was perfectly happy with it until I rented a "premium" board from a snow shop last year (some type of Ride, don't remember the model) that was a 155cm. When I asked the girl in the shop about the length vs. weight issue, she said that the board was plenty stiff and that I would like the shorter board much more with my short inseam. I rode better, faster and more confidently on that board than I ever have before. Going back to my old board afterwards, I felt like I was trying to control a canoe.
Thing is, I don't know if it was the fact that the board was shorter or the fact that it was a step up in quality / skill level than I was accustomed to that made it feel so good. Maybe the ride would have been even better on a longer version of the board?
I am about to get a new board now (looking at boards marketed as an intermediate - advanced, stiffness rating 6 - 7 depending on review), but I am still a little worried about going against the mfg recommendation that I should get the 160cm+ board.
What say you guys? I am an intermediate rider (no problems with switch, edge-to-edge, can land small jumps, can survive moguls though not gracefully, etc.) I am mostly a tree and groomer rider and only experiment with the park stuff occasionally. 5'8", 210lbsr, size 10.5 boot, 30" inseam. Think it is OK to go with a board in the 155 to 158 range?