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Good review.
I have the 158 and I agree its sweet. I am also interested in the slackcountry. Maybe a 164 as a full on powder stick that can still make it across groomed runs to the pow. I have had my highlife in 40cm of pow and it was great but any more and it was struggling. I had to borrow a pow board the next day as it kept falling:D.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^I've had my Highlife in pretty deep powder and done fine as long as you've got some good setback on the bindings. A 164 in the Slackcountry is pretty huge. I own the Slackcountry in a 164 and it's almost overkill to be honest. A 161 Slackountry would have done just fine for me. I posted a review for the Slack in the same blog as well.....
 

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I've ridden a 168 slackcountry for 2 years now and it's great it deep snow. Makes it so effortless. I honestly have only been out a handful of days where the slackcountry was necessary but it was nice to have. Rides pretty well on groomers and crud also. You should see the looks I get riding the beast out here on the east coast.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
^^It all depends on the rider too.....I like my boards shorter!

Just curious what your weight is riding that 168.....that's a big board.
 

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6'1", at my lightest I'm 195, at my heaviest 205 to 210. I ride a vast quiver of boards from 157 to 175. My everyday decks are 157, 159, 161.
 

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I am 6ft and 170-175lbs. I prefer to ride a shorter board too for spins and tight turns in the trees thats why I have the highlife in a 158 rather than a 161. I am happy with that choice for 90% of my riding. When the pow is light and fluffy it will float through (I set back when its deep). Here in Japan last year we had some really heavy pow days. like I said over 40~50cm and as much as 1 meter of fresh but really sticky heavy pow.
On those days I managed to get a demo pow board for the day which was good because the 158 highlife was struggling.
I also have a 161 volkl zenit which is quite a bit wider and obviously longer than my highlife. Because its bigger it keeps moving better in the deep pow, but being full camber means it can nose dive unless you are always in the right position pushing the nose up.
A 161 slackcountry would give much more float than the volkl because of the rocker in the tip.
I have read your review of the slackcountry and like the look of it.

The question is 161 or 164?
I realize 164 might be overkill but for those deep deep days where its heavy pow I can be sure it won't let me down.

In your opinion the 161 would be enough for anything I could throw at it?

It won't get that much use because I enjoy riding the highlife so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^^Personally if I were you I'd go with a 161. The Slackcountry has more than enough rocker to stay nose up in deep, heavy pow at that length and your weight. I weight a bit more than you (185lbs usually) and sometimes wish I had a 161. I usually don't ride my Slackcountry in-bounds anymore, unless it's REALLY deep. It's mainly my cat/heli ski board at this point. So IMO if you're going for a deep pow resort board, go with a 161. If you're consistently going deeper than resort sidecountry, you might be better off with a 164.
 

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Great review. I just picked up a 163W Highlife (2011) that I plan to use for powder days here in Tahoe. I was planning on using CADs with it, but your statement about the playfulness has me a bit concerned. I mainly like carving big lines, going in and out of trees, and hitting natural features. Was it the stiffness of the CADs or the way you had them set up that took away from the playfulness of the board? I know you suggested the Ride Alphas, but what about SPi (I have those on my Bataleon Goliath)? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
^^IMO binding selection is all personal preference. The CADs are ridiculously responsive (as I'm sure you know), which I like for tight, technical runs and steeps. The SPi would be a decent option as well, but less responsive. Try them both, see which you like best.
 

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i've got a highlife-164 and a slack-168. i wish i'd gone one size shorter on both, they both ride long. the slack is crazy fun in the deep stuff but a handful in anything but just that. would enjoy the highlife-164 much more if it was a 161, it is just a tad long for my weight and becomes a pain to toss around in the trees, i just don't get out on it much for that reason; compared to my la nina 156 that is, which pretty much ride every day out now, and the slack-168 comes out on the waste deep days.
 

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Nice review. I'm nearly the same size as you, dreampow and mdc - about 6'0" and 185-90 lbs. With gear, probably near 200?

I'm been eying the 2012 Highlife given it just went on sale but am wondering which size I should opt for - 161 or 164? Or should I even think about a wide version? I've never ridden a wide board and am honestly not sure what the advantage would be (shorter board)? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

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161 is plenty in anything other than a deep powder pure back country stick.

Shorter means easier spins, lighter weight so easier grabs too and most importantly tighter turns for the trees.

All in all just better handling. The 158 was plenty for me even in pretty deep pow. I would definitely go 161 if I were you.

Also the 2013 Highlife looks better IMO, less stiff and with better float due to the altered shape of the nose and tail.
 

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161 is plenty in anything other than a deep powder pure back country stick.

Shorter means easier spins, lighter weight so easier grabs too and most importantly tighter turns for the trees.

All in all just better handling. The 158 was plenty for me even in pretty deep pow. I would definitely go 161 if I were you.

Also the 2013 Highlife looks better IMO, less stiff and with better float due to the altered shape of the nose and tail.
Whoops, meant the 2013 Highlife - the latest one on the Ride website. Thanks for the confirmation dreampow - curious, I know you own a Slackcountry as well, but did/have you ever considered the Berzerker? Sounds like a fun board as well...
 

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161 is plenty in anything other than a deep powder pure back country stick.

Shorter means easier spins, lighter weight so easier grabs too and most importantly tighter turns for the trees.

All in all just better handling. The 158 was plenty for me even in pretty deep pow. I would definitely go 161 if I were you.

Also the 2013 Highlife looks better IMO, less stiff and with better float due to the altered shape of the nose and tail.
Hey guys - so I listened to your advice and got the 161. It arrived late last week. I was just looking at it with my bindings and boots loosely installed and I'm wondering if I should have bought the wide version.

I have size 11 boots, which I think are low profile (Salomon F22s)? Angles are +15 and -9. Boots hang off about half an inch or so. Thoughts?
 

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F series from Salomon are low profile and half an inch is fine.. I have a Wide board with size 11 F4's and they still hang over about 1/2 an inch, my non-low profile hung over 1.25 inches :laugh:
 
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