Bought a 153 SL this season on boxing day sale. I'm a really small guy, so this board is actually bigger than is "recommended for freeride." Been riding it all season in the BC interior and it holds up everywhere I put it. Handles double black runs even when they've been skiied out, turns on a dime in thick glades, powder float is much better than my last board of the same length, I can stay afloat in ~3ft of resort powder without leaning back or putting any extra effort in. On icy snowpack I imagine it's as good as you can get it.
The board has not washed out on me once during a turn. It's a fantastic board and well worth the full MRSP price. The only thing you should know is that you should wax it before you take it out. I was a little let down the first couple days I took it out with factory wax but waxing gives it quite an improvement.
Anyways, it's a good board.