Haha, Long time hardbooter here. Looks and sounds like you had a good inauguration! The last alpine "event" I attended had a few softboot riders in the fray, too. It was all good. You've probably figured out the reason for our passion...craving the crazy G-force, insanely tight carves, speed, precision, catapaulting from edge to edge, and loving the strenuous input, almost like fighting for your life. Unfortunatlely, there's no sensation quite like riding an alpine snowboard...other than riding an alpine snowboard...though a ride in my neighbor's Lamborghini Gallardo came close.
(Yeah, I have fun neighbors.)
If you had a good time, see if you have the same foot size as one of the riders and if they'd let you try their setup the next time you head out with them. Jump in any clinics you can attend, too. GOOD instruction is priceless...and MUCH harder to find as you become more advanced.
Just a few vids to add to your stoke:
This is new, from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. These are top level international racers and Olympians. Their comments and clips capture what alpine riders love. They don't "advertise" it, but for a nomimal fee, you can train with them for the day while visiting (as of a couple years ago, at least). It's crazy. You're literally in the midst of world class athletes and Olympians, and they are the most down to Earth and welcoming group of people you'd ever meet. It's amazing. Howelsen Hill, where they train, is a steep black diamond that gets treacherous when icy (when I was there). In one morning, Thedo pushed me way outside my comfort zone, kicked my butt, and had me breaking bad habits and riding better than ever. I seriously don't have the words to convey enough good things about this group of people. If I recall, half their group was at a race in Canada, and most of the rest in France, when I was there, so training was nearly one on one.
The SSWSC Snowboard Race Team - YouTube
Here's another clip that I found. Gate racers, again, but their interviews on their love of carving is spot on. "It's really, like, going from a jalopy lawnmower to a Ferrari or a Duccatti streetbike>.." Section 1:08 to 1:42 describes it well!
CARVE - Carve (Calgary Snowboard Club) - YouTube
Seriously, if you can get involved in some gate racing clinics, it will definitely help you're freecarving! (I'm a freecarver by heart, but realize this is true after gate runs.)
I never have figured what this is about, but the vaulted carves between 0:36 to 0:41 COMPLETELY captures "alpine" to me. 0:41 to 0:42 ain't bad as well...
Sigi Grabner Profile 2010 Trailer - Alpine Snowboarding - YouTube