So,,, I went with a 22 1/2" stance, that's in one on the front and back binding. This board is an entire new world over my Rossi Taipan. Part of it is the length, and part of it is the board. My Rossi is a 158, which is much too short for what I want to do.
This BSOD can hold and edge and plow through anything I threw at it today. It is nimble, stable, and fast. I found myself going over chop at speed with my frontside damn near touching the ground at times and feeling no worries. Down the steep stuff it was solid enough to plow through what I threw in front of it, and nimble enough to turn at just the right time working my way around the junk.
In powder it's hard to tell because I don't have a lot of deep pow experience. It seemed that with effort the board floated, but didn't hold speed. And if I dropped the nose forget about it.
Here's a pic after a run down bowl 4 at Mt. Hood. Meadows. Snowolf can give details on how steep it is, the picture doesn't do justice. The other pic is my powder track and the last one is actually the tip of my board buried. Luckily I stalled just before a nice down slope and it didn't take long to hop my way out of it.
All that said, the 165 is great but I'm going to drop down to the 162. I believe I'll get the same benefits from it and not have to work quite so hard to ride it. I could keep and get used the 165.. I just don't think it's necessary.
Turns out the mountain board shop had that board in a 162... what are the chances?? I'm going to pick it up tomorrow morning before I got out. If for some odd reason it's too small... I have 30 days to exchange it. And they had some nice boards in that shop.... Can't see that happening though.