NOTE: Good technique equals confidence that will increase your downhill speed. High speed without good technique could lead to disaster.
Some people like climbing, some people just love to climb, and there are those who see climbing as a means to an end. I am of the latter group. I climb hills for two reasons, first the hill is in my way of where I want to get and second is my love for the reward of descending. To quote John Swanda "a good descent is where I can reach 50 mph or more." As I grow older my need to streak down a hill at 50 mph has lost some of its appeal but I still love the thrill of a fast technical descent. So, let me delve into what it takes to descend with utter confidence and skill.
Where to Look: The first thing, and perhaps one of the more important techniques, is where to look while descending. Many new riders have a propensity to look about 5 feet in front of them which is just about the worse place you should look. The reason is, at just about any speed, if you see any hazard just 5 feet ahead you will almost certainly hit it. We know "You Steer Where You Look," therefore, it would be best to focus your gaze at least 20 feet ahead and further when possible. Doing this gives you time to react to any hazard you see and avoid it with time to spare. Once I see a hazard and have chosen a path around it I no longer look at it but keep my focus forward and allow my peripheral vision to keep me safe from the hazard. One phrase comes to mind and that is "Keep Your Chin Level with the Ground." In other words always look way ahead.