wassup Rich....you should have a blast man! i taught myself to snowboard without lessons...and here are a few things i learned the hard way:
1) Get a tailbone protector. I cannot stress enough how much time you are going to spend on your ass. My first time out was spent falling on my backside on frozen snow...ass hurt soo bad that night and the next day that i couldn't even enjoy the rest of the trip. Here's a link for the one that I actually used: http://www.xsportsprotective.com/azz...protector.html
While it looks like it may be big and cumbersome...you wouldn't even know I was wearing it underneath the snowboarding pants and jacket.
2) It's actually easier to maintain your balance and maneuver when your moving with a decent amount of speed. For an analogy, think of riding a bike at an extremely slow rate of speed, you have to keep moving the handlebars to stay in balance. When riding faster, you can pretty much keep the handlebars straight, making only small adjustments to stay balanced.<if that makes sense...lol>
3) I grew up skateboarding...and snowboarding felt completely different to me. Having both feet strapped down to the board may have something to do with this!
4) Be very careful when using your hands to brace yourself for falls. Its very easy to tweak your wrists when throwing your hands out front to brace a fall. Some recommended wrist guards...like the roller bladers use...not a bad idea at all.
5) Keep your knees bent...you can't ride stiff as a board. Someone mentioned doing squats or something to prepare your legs for the abuse....I thought I was the only one who did that!
6) Most importantly, aside from having fun, is to be aware of your surrounding at all times. You may have other snowboarders and skiers zooming by you at a high rate of speed...and a collision on the slopes could result in some serious injuries. If you fall...get tired...decide you need to take a minute to gather yourself...move off to the side so as not to become an obstacle for someone else.
Let me know how it goes bro!