Let me first say thanks to Snowolf and others who helped me get started this year. Your advice on equipment and technique has been great. I've only been out three times now. I'm able to do big wide curves across the face of the mountain pretty well. The thing is, on busy days I feel like I'm constatnly in someones way as I zig zag across the entire face of the mountain. At times, I'd like to be able to kind of pick a line and just head down the mountain in somewhat of a straight line without speeding out of control. I see guys able to do this and it almost looks as if they are kicking out their back leg and digging in their edge alternating from hs to ts to control their speed. They go in pretty much a strait line, but at a reasonable speed. Does that make sense? Maybe my expecatations are too much seeing I've only been out a few times? Any pointers or ideas are appreciated though. Thanks.
Hey congrats on being able to do your wide curves. Don't worry, we've all been there as beginners and needed what seemed like the entire face of the mountain to be able to board. People should realize this as they've all been there as well. Honestly it doesn't bother me when I see a new boarder taking up the mountain as I just anticipate his/her direction of travel and make sure we don't cut each other off. Unfortunately there are those that believe they own the mountain and don't heed way for a beginner. At any rate, the straight line you're talking about are those boarders who are more advanced than you are at this point in time. It takes a bit to be able to board straight down the mountain while controlling your angle of heelside/toeside edge...and all this while controlling speed. My suggestion is to progress at a comfortable rate. If you try and advance yourself too fast, you'll miss the opportunity to learn proper riding techniques (and possibly develop bad habits). What I recommend is just practice narrowing the radius of your curves as you feel comfortable. Do this to a point of where you're able to effectively and efficiently board straight(er). You can imagine a line down the mountain and criss-cross it. In time start narrowing the intersection points up to the point where you're nearly going straight.
Every beginner wants to be up there with the good riders and a lot of mistakes I see are people who are trying to ride beyond their abilities to get there. If you exercise patience and really try to learn the basics and progress at a comfortable rate, you'll notice several things: 1) you'll be a more rounded boarder as you progress; 2) you'll balance our your skills for each type of riding technique (i.e. body mechanics, board/mountain feel, heelside turns, toeside turns etc), 3) you'll have a more enjoyable experience and 4) you'll reduce the chance of big injuries or accidents.
I'm sure others will chime in with additional advice. However keep at it and don't be self conscious about taking up the mountain. Most will acknowledge the fact as they have been there before. For the ones that don't...well shouldn't be on those runs or better yet...move up to the black diamonds where they're the newbies and can experience the apprehension you are.
Best of luck and enjoy the ride!