Tips For you and What to Expect

Tips For You

Take A Lesson!

Do not worry, we have all been there. Why wouldn't you want to take a lesson and learn how much fun skiing or boarding can be? We have designed our facility and lesson programs for people just like you. You will safely learn more in one hour than you will all day from your friends.

Everyone learns at a different pace. It is important to keep your expectations reasonable. This way both you and your children have a successful and rewarding day on the slopes. Some factors that can affect learning include your temperament (how open you are to new things), age, and physical ability. Both skiing and snowboarding take special skills that improve with practice over time. Ultimately, your expectations for you and your kids should focus on the fun and excitement of the overall experience.

Kids 7 years old and under MUST get a private lesson. Advance Reservations suggested ! Please call 309-798-2673

Things To Bring

No surprise here, bring clothes that will keep you warm and dry. We do not recommend cotton clothing (jeans and a sweatshirt) as an inner or outer layer. Cotton easily becomes wet. You will end up cold, wet and miserable.

Layer Up - The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. This gives you the flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your level of activity. Avoid cotton next to your skin, it will absorb sweat and make you cold. Synthetic or wool base layers help to wick moisture away from your skin. It is better to be warm than cold, you can always shed a layer.

Socks - One pair of light or medium weight only! No Cotton! Socks made of polyester, silk, wool, or nylon are preferred.Thick socks or multiple layers of socks, get uncomfortable, give you blisters, and reduce circulation: all of which lead to cold feet. Ski and snowboard boots are designed to be warm so do not wear more than one pair of socks. Resist that temptation!

Hat - 60 % of body heat is lost through the head. If your head is warm, the rest of your body is likely to stay warm.

Gloves - Gloves or mittens should be waterproof. Mittens are often better for those susceptible to cold hands.

Outer Layer - You probably have a winter jacket already. Again it should be water resistant. Water resistant pants such as snow bibs are very important. Your first day will introduce your butt to the snow, so keep it dry and warm.

You may not need as many layers of clothing as you think. On a sunny day, you may only need two layers - the waterproof outer layer and the synthetic (turtleneck/long underwear) wicking layer. But bring a middle layer (fleece or wool sweater) just in case. You can always take off a layer as you get warmer. In general, the three main layers are:

  • Wicking layer next to skin usually consisting of long underwear. Look for thermal underwear made of a synthetic (usually polyester). Such material will wick (move) moisture away from your skin and pass it through the fabric so it will evaporate. This keeps you warm, dry and comfortable. Wicking layer should fit snug but not tight.
  • Insulating layer (middle layer that keep cold out). This middle layer includes sweaters, sweatshirts, vests, and pullovers. This layer keeps the cold out and the heat in. Comfort is the key, it should be loose enough to trap air, but not so bulky that it restricts movement.
  • Weather protection layer - exterior layer guarding you against the winter elements. It should repel water from the snow and block the wind. Again, avoid cotton as it will absorb moisture from the snow and make you cold. This layer should fit comfortably, offering maximum range of motion.

PLEASE BE AWARE: Terrain features may be encountered throughout the area. Such features may be moved and/or modified on a daily basis

A New Way To Winter!

Big changes are happening at Snowstar Winter FUN Park! As we enter into our 36th year, change is a word that we've embraced. Under new management, Snowstar has dramatically changed with our guests and employees squarely in mind. Expect to be wowed when the snow flies and we open our doors. Our fresh new look that includes colors, attractive signage, a whole new brand/logo and many fun events and amenities including the addition of the Happy Joe's PizzaGrille. Our new fiber optic fed Wi-Fi will allow you to share your videos and messages with all your friends and family. Yes Snowstar is changing for the better and you don't want to miss experiencing all the change and the FUN!

How Safe Is Skiing?

Statistically, skiing is no more hazardous than bicycling or tennis. It used to be though! Back in the days of long, stiff wood skis, non-support boots, and non-release bindings, skiing did present safety concerns. Now, with modern equipment such as shorter shaped skis, high-support boots, and releasable bindings, skiing has taken huge strides in safety. For additional safety issues check out our Responsibility Code page.

How Long Will It Take To Be Able To Ski Or Ride?

Learning has become a whole lot easier with the new shorter shaped skis and the new Magic Carpet. With the addition of the Magic Carpet, the stand and ride feature makes getting up the hill easier, quicker, and more fun. Now, more time can be spent learning to ski instead of learning to use a rope tow. Just in your first day, you will learn how to make turns, control speed, and stop.

Generally, if you are trying skiing for the first time, you should be able to do quite a bit on your first day. Snowboarding is a bit more difficult the first time. However the learning curve is much easier after just a few tries. With today's modern teaching methods, you can exceed the beginner stage only after a few lessons, which means you can ski 50% of the ski trails in the U.S. and probably all the trails at Snowstar.

Do I Need A Lesson?

It is the easiest and safest way to learn. Learning from friends is typically not a good idea. Ask anyone who has taken that route or decided to teach themselves and you will get the same answer. It is too hard.....I cannot do it...Take a couple lessons and you will get to the fun stuff before you know it. After your lesson you should practice what you learned on the teaching area. After you have mastered the fundamental skills (turning, slowing down, stopping, and riding a lift) you will be ready to explore other trails while you practice your skills. Keep to the easier trails at first. Do not get on the advanced trails until you have mastered your control skills.

What Are The Basic Rules For Riding A Chair Lift?

  • Obey all loading and other instructions on lift.
  • Do not use a lift until you are familiar with its operation. Read the instruction signs, watch and learn, ask lift operator if in doubt and obey his instructions.
  • Ask your ski instructor for help when you are ready.
  • Slow down before approaching the entrance to a lift.
  • Load and unload at designated area.
  • Be polite and courteous in the loading area. Wait your turn, keep off other people's skis/snowboard, and ride with others to speed up the lift lines.
  • Have your ticket or season pass visible to the lift operator so you do not hold up the line.
  • On the chair lift, keep your ski/snowboard tips up as you leave the loading area and upon approaching the unloading ramp.
  • If you fall getting on or off, keep your head down and crawl quickly out of the way.
  • Do not bounce chairs. You may cause injury to yourself and others.
  • Move quickly away from unloading areas to make room for the next chair.
  • If lift stops, do not jump off.
  • Take special precautions to help small children load and unload. Do not allow them to ride a lift alone until they can do so safely. You are responsible for your children and their actions.

What About Renting Equipment?

We have state-of-the-art ski and snowboard equipment, including helmets to take care of your needs. When fitting the boots, remember one pair medium weight socks only! (preferably not cotton). The boots will fit snug, the toes should have room to wiggle and your heel should not pull up in the boot. A boot too tight or with thick multiple layers of socks will reduce circulation and lead to cold feet.

Please see our rental rates for more information

Can I Bring My Own Equipment?

Yes you can, but remember:

  • Old, out of date equipment is dangerous.
  • We cannot adjust old out-dated bindings.
  • All skis/snowboards must have devices to prevent runaways.
  • All snowboards must be safe. For your safety, we do not allow plastic or other unsafe snowboards.
  • Bindings mounted to a board indicate a safe board; bindings mounted through a board indicate an unsafe board.
  • All boards must have a metal edge.