I see lots of size debate - big guy, small board personal experience here.
been an inactive troll for a while, but I figured I'd offer so personal experience on the whole small board debate. I'm an east coast guy, but i put my work in and also made my way out west 4 times in 4 years. 4 years ago when I started I was sold a 156w and size 11 boots, I'm 5'11 225 (then maybe 210). Long story short boots were wrong size, never needed a wide blah blah. Always had problems with this setup because of boot size being a size to big.
My two friends who are 15+ years experienced always preach super small boards, both are about 5'8 ones about 175lbs, the other 195lbs and they ride 149.5-150 boards, and I have to give them credit...they're nasty. I rode my 156 in park city utah, on my second year (with correct fitting boots) and did much better on it. The next year we hit jackson hole, thats when everything changed. My first day there I decided the hell with it, and rode my friends 149.5 arbor draft which is super soft and flexy, and I'm WAYYYYY out of reference range for this board....and I absolutely tore ass with this thing. Groomers, back country, pow, jumps, high speeds...my friends were shocked my riding was instantly 100% better then it ever was, on my first day in unfamiliar territory, on an unfamiliar board. Next day I went out and bought one. Realizing 150 was a little TOO small for me, i passed it off to my friend, and now found my sweet spot.
Now at 5'11 225 lbs (no im not fat, im a gym meathead) my main deck is a Libtech 154 TRS xc2 btx which I destroy all terrain on. Rode that board twice out west this year, snowbird utah, and keystone colorado...snowbird is some tuff none groomed terrain and I have no stability issues AT ALL. I also ride a 150 Burton NUG restricted camber, which technically I'm in ref range on that board so it doesnt count...and I only have that board because I got it for $100 bucks and it was never ridden.
We shot over to Blue Mountain, PA today, and it was the usual east coast hard packed groomers, bumpy, icy, and beat up terrain...and we were legit rocket shipping. At one point I did have some chatter, but my whole crew noticed it because the ground was covered in what seemed like pebbles of ice...but no washing out, no edge hold issues etc. I was also hitting some jumps, rails, wall rides, etc...nothing too crazy I'm 30 and I started late, but I was doing what I had to do and the board size NEVER WAS ONCE AN ISSUE.
To sum it up, I'm not an expert by any means...but based off experience, I feel like a huge part of it comes down to preference. I won't lie though, I am light years beyond riding wise what I was when I rode my 156W, and now that I'm a way better rider, I would be interested in seeing how I fair on a bigger board at speeds just for comparison....but personally I can't ever see myself going back. Almost every board shop we walk into, were all told were crazy riding these small decks, and it makes no sense...but it works just fine for us.
I'm welcoming responses, critiques, reasons etc as to why this is a good/bad thing...want to hear peoples opinions and experiences!