I'm 5' 9/10" 145lbs. I ride a Custom 156 w/ Cartel EST's. I picked up the 156cm as an all-mountain board. I can press and ollie and nollie ridiculous on this jammy. I've been doing a lot of park stuff lately and I can say that it handles well for the kind of riding I do. I can still get twisty too fs and bs 180s and 3's no prob - a lot of fun in the half-pipe and quarter pipe. I also think you can style stuff out with a little bit longer of a board. If you go to short I think it looks weird (unless you plan on pulling bs 9's then I'd stray away from the 151cm). I would think that the 154/156cm would be a good size for you.
If I was going to do more free-riding, freecarve and powder type riding I'd have invested in a 160cm or bigger.
You might wanna change your stance on the board (get wide enough to be comfortable - My front binding is at 1.5 and my back binding is at .5 - that's if you're using the EST set-up - that also prob depends on how long your legs are and what feels comfortable).
How did the board feel initiating turns? Did you do any wall rides or try to pop off any kickers? Did you try any 180's? How did it feel? Too heavy? Too long to spin effectively? or good?
Remember resistance is your best friend when you're training/practicing. You'll be able to twist like a fiend etc from the extra effort applied on the longer board. That's just my opinion.
I get a lot of pop of the nose and tail of my 156. I like the little extra space from my binding to nose/tail. I can press really hard and pull-up front leg when i'm coming off the press for some serious height. This thing was tossing me off kickers, and launching me off jumps.
I think that this will be a good size for you to get good on and progress and then see if you want more of a freestyle board/free ride board in the future.
As far as ollie's go you might just need to work on the tech (if you skate it's like doing an ollie on a skateboard except your strapped in - crouch down, put pressure on the tail and as you release off the tail pull your front foot/knee up towards your chest and then do the same with the back foot knee, level out in the air and stomp a super fresh landing. Try doing stationary presses (nose and tail) and doing ollie's and nollies on flat surface/stationary then go ahead and do in on gradual slopes until you get comfortable with it.
first of all... thx for the detailed reply! I really appreciated.
after the 5 days (3/13-1/18) spring condition on breckenridge, keystone, vail...
I thought the 156 custom really was great. I felt pretty comfortable except had hard time to do ollies... but I'm just started to learn how to do it and that may be why lol
on the full stop, I felt doing nallie is way easier than olie.. (with pretty center stance)
I'm riding regular with binding set up 15/-6
I was just very curious about if the 5cm shorter board will make everything easier on mountain. I dont particular do much "very fast" riding.. and I did feel 156cm was comfortable for me (without shorter board to compare yet)
just started to learn some park stuff.. fall really ugly on a rail the last day! (it hurts!!)
after reading all the replies, 5cm seems a LOT difference..
Conculsion (for my 150lb wt):
156cm more stable high speed, more pop coz the extra space/spring??! stable for bigger jump/kickers
151cm way more esay to control and manuver, lighter??! (how much lighter??)
anything I missed??