Depends where you ride. I ride in Nagano and because the terrain is a little steeper I would say you can get by on the proto, maybe the occasional silly deep day where it will struggle.
If we are talkin hokkaido with flatter terrain and deeper snow I would say you want a proper pow deck. Hakkoda as well.
If you have the means a pow deck is the way to go but if you know how to ride pow and if you are not a big heavy guy the proto does very well indeed.
I ride lots of pow and regularly blow past guys on their fish tails (mostly aussies) on my proto.
Rider will always be more important than the board. I aslo know the runs at my regular resort and that helps a lot too.
Sweet cheers! Who am I kiddin, I always jump at the chance to add to my gear.. i'll definately be buying a pow stick
Yea almost certain the work will be around the Nagano area, I'll be interested to hear what the Japanese based boarders have to say about that area compared to say Hokkaido. No need to rush though, probably 8 months before I have to look into it!