for christmas, my bro got me a used all mountain/freeride board for like $50, plus a pair of his old boots. I figured, what the hell, give it a shot.
I took a little group lesson, and the best thing i learned was how to travel with one foot out of the binding.
After that, it took about 3 hours (really fast now that i think about it) for my bro to teach me how to leaf, another hour to link turns. By the end of the first day, i was going down "double-blacks" with some degree of difficulty. Im over in the midwest, so it's most definitely not a double black diamond. Still, pretty good, if i do say so myself.
In the weeks following that, i got out as much as i could (once every two weeks, maybe) and now i'm bombing down the steepest trail here.
IMO, snowboarding waaaay increases confidence (as opposed to skiing), being that you have to be more aggressive and all that.
goin with my brother and a couple of his friends up to canada over spring break to snowboard and get drunk!
edit: come to think of it, i learned how to snowboard SHIT fast. XD