This is my first real season riding as well, so I know exactly what you're feeling. I say "real season" because I did go snowboarding about 5 years ago once, but haven't been back until this season, and I've gone like 8 times I think this year alone, so I've made some serious progress.
Anyway, getting comfortable with speed mostly just comes with practice. I was in your shoes not even two months ago, feeling that I wasn't stable at all when I picked up speed, but part of my problem was that my equipment was cheap bottom of the line Lamar stuff, so I did some research and bought a Ride Machete, Rome Targa bindings, and Salomon Savage boots, all new for this year, and it made such a dramatic difference in my riding ability and confidence. My goal for this season was to be able to ride the blues by the end of the season, and I'm already cruising down blacks. What I did is I went to the top of the mountain to try out some blues even though I still wasn't comfortable with speed on the greens, and after going down a few blues and linking turns all the way down, I really got the hang of riding at higher speeds, partially because the blue runs are much longer than green runs where I go so you have more room and time to practice. You just have to throw yourself out there and get real aggressive with controlling your board.
Here are some pointers for your technique. Start riding dynamically, as in bending your knees when you initiate a turn, then slowly "stand up" on your board as you cross the fall line to plant the edge of your board into the snow. Imagine that you're pushing your board through the mountain as you turn. You can really feel a difference between a skidded turn and a proper carve, and you'll notice that you have much more control of your board when the edge carries you through the turn. Skidded turns are useful when you need to bleed off some speed on steeper terrain, but other than that, get those edges up. Something else to pay attention to is how much weight you put on your front foot as you ride. Essentially you want the weight even between both feet, which means you should be leaning slightly down the hill as you ride, but when you initiate a turn, really get aggressive with bending your front knee and putting weight down on your front foot to dig that edge. I figured out that was my problem when going down blacks, because my toe side turns felt really good and comfortable, but I would always wash out on my heel side turns because my board would bounce around like crazy. I discovered that I was leaning back on my heel side turns and had almost no weight on my front foot, so I was always losing the edge. You should think about leaning forward and plowing through those turns, especially on steep terrain.
Last edited by Frostee; 03-31-2011 at 08:19 PM.