Ski and Snowboard School FAQs
Bittersweet Ski and Snowboard School - Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear?
- Dress in layers. Lighter, thinner layers are best. Layers can be added and removed as conditions change. Moisture-wicking synthetics are best; denim and cotton hold moisture which can actually draw heat away from the wearer.
- Base Layer – Synthetic, moisture-wicking leggings or long underwear, long sleeve shirt, high socks (just one pair; wrinkles can cause discomfort)
- Middle Layer (the warmth layer) - Fleece, wool, or synthetic sweater, sweatshirt, or pullover.
- Outer Layer - Wind and waterproof jacket and pants.
- Eye Protection - Goggles are recommended but are not required. Sunglasses are also an option.
- Gloves/Mittens - Waterproof or water resistant work best. Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves.
- Face mask or neck gaiter. Scarves are NOT recommended for safety reasons (we don’t want something wrapped around your neck to get caught on anything, like a lift).
- Headwear - Helmets are highly recommended. They are insulated and it is not necessary to wear a hat underneath. A hat can cause a helmet to fit improperly. Helmets can be rented through our rental department or purchased at our ski shop.
Don’t have some of these items? Any or all of these things can be purchased at our ski shop in the lodge.
Are lift tickets included with lessons? No, lift tickets will need to be purchased at the ticket windows.
Are lift tickets required for lessons? Yes, lift tickets are required for everyone on our slopes, including youngsters who qualify for free lift tickets.
Is rental equipment included with lessons? No, rentals will need to be purchased at the ticket windows.
What information will the rental department need to properly fit the equipment to me? They will need to know your age, height, weight, shoe size, and skiing or snowboarding ability level.
Are adult lessons available? Yes. We have lessons available for anyone age 3 and up, and all ability levels.
Are intermediate or advanced lessons available? Yes. We have expert instructors who will evaluate your current level, and then provide one-on-one instruction specifically tailored to your needs.
How do I make a reservation for a private lesson? Please click the reservation link on the Ski School web page at https://shop.skibittersweet.com/lessons.
Can I make a reservation for a group or class lesson? Group lessons are offered twice a day and can be reserved online at the ski school web page https://shop.skibittersweet.com/lessons.
Can I take a lesson without a reservation? Yes! Reservations are recommended, but not required. Walk-in lessons are available, but they are on a first-come, first-served basis. If we don’t have an instructor available right away, we will put you on a waitlist and call you when we have someone available. We are able to accommodate most walk-ins on most days; on busy days the wait may be longer.
What if I have to change or cancel my reservation? Please call Bittersweet Ski and Snowboard School as soon as possible at (269) 694-2820, ext. 4.
What if I am running late for my lesson? Please call Bittersweet Ski and Snowboard School as soon as possible at (269) 694-2820, ext. 4.
Can I watch or accompany my child on his/her lesson? We prefer that the parents go off and have their own fun while their kids are in lessons. This way your children are not distracted from learning, as many children tend to behave differently when their parents are around. If you’d like to watch, please observe from a distance to prevent lesson disruptions.
The best way for families to ski or snowboard together is to reserve a private Family Lesson. See reservations page for more information on Family Lessons.
What is the optimal age to begin skiing?
All children are different, but in general the magic age is around 5. There are many things that factor into whether or not your little one is ready to begin. When introducing your youngster to skiing, the key is to provide them with a great experience so that they want to come back again, and share the love that you have for the sport. We offer a 30 minute private lesson for 3- and 4 year-olds who can answer yes to the questions below:
Is your youngster able to follow directions and feel comfortable without a parent’s presence?
Are they able to focus on and follow another adult’s directions?
Is your child enthusiastic about learning to ski?
Is your child able to use the bathroom unassisted?
Is your child well-rested for the lesson?
Is your child well-fed and hydrated?
Does he/she have warm and comfortable clothing that fits well?
Has he/she visited the restroom before the lesson?
Having all of these things in place does not guarantee success, but they absolutely increase the odds of your child having a fun and rewarding experience.
What is the optimal age to begin snowboarding? Snowboarding requires more strength, balance, physical development, and stamina than skiing. The golden age for snowboarding, when children are physically and developmentally ready, is usually about age 7. Every child is different, but it is around age 7 when children acquire the motor skills and balance needed to be able to engage the snowboard’s edges in order to stop and steer the board.
What if the person in the lesson has special needs? Please let ski school staff know! Awareness on our end helps to ensure the student is matched up with an instructor and an experience best suited for his or her needs.
What time should I arrive for my lesson? Lessons begin promptly at the scheduled time. Please ensure that you arrive at the resort early enough to allow for plenty of time to park, check in for your lesson, pick up lift tickets and rentals, and get all gear and equipment on, so that you can meet your instructor at the scheduled meeting place by the scheduled start time. For most people, arriving an hour ahead of your scheduled lesson time is adequate. However, on some busy days it might be necessary to allot more than an hour of “get-ready” time. If unavoidable circumstances create a situation where you are going to be late, please call the ski school at (269) 694-2820, ext. 4 and notify them as soon as you are able.
Can skiers and snowboarders be in the same lesson? No, skiing and snowboarding are different sports, and cannot be in the same lesson.
Can students with differing ability levels be in the same lesson? They can, but it is not optimal. Generally, the lesson can’t proceed any faster than the person at the lowest ability level. This can become an issue, for example, if one in the lesson is ready to move on to more difficult tasks and terrain, but another in the lesson is not. The instructor can offer different drills for each person, but cannot change terrain until all in the lesson are ready to advance. It is far better in a situation like this to reserve two instructors so that differing individual needs can be met, and learning time is maximized for each student. Please make sure that you book yourself and others in your party into the correct ability level group/s. We are happy to help with appropriate grouping if you are unsure. Please refer to our web page for detailed descriptions of the lessons or call the ski school at (269) 694-2820, ext. 4 with questions or for help.
Can I take a lesson to learn how to do rails, jumps, and park? Sorry, Bittersweet Ski and Snowboard School does not offer this type of lesson at this time.
Is it easier to learn to ski or snowboard? For most people, skiing is much easier to learn but harder to master. Snowboarding is much harder to learn, but easier to master. Beginning skiers tend to progress much faster than beginning snowboarders, and tend to have an easier time with lifts.
Where do I go for my lesson? Our lessons meet outside at the Ski School Meeting Area near the beginner hill. The area is marked by tall orange traffic cones that say “Lessons” on them. Please make sure you check in with the ski school desk first.
Should I make lesson reservations in advance? Yes! Making a reservation helps to ensure that a lesson will be available for you on the date and time you desire. Be aware that lesson slots do fill up, and the sooner you make your reservation, the better your chances are for getting exactly the date and time you’d like.
Will I (or my child) ride a chairlift during the lesson? Riding a chairlift depends on your level of skiing or snowboarding. Higher levels will certainly ride the chairlift. First-timers will start on the magic carpet, and graduate to the chairlift if and when an instructor deems they are ready. For some people, this can occur during the first lesson.
Will face coverings be required in Ski and Snowboard School this season?
No. Face coverings are not mandatory in indoor or outdoor spaces unless required by local public health departments or by CDC designation. Please wear a mask if you are high-risk or if you feel uncomfortable without one.
What is the range of sizes for rental ski and snowboard equipment at Bittersweet Resort?
- Smallest kid's ski boot size is 8/Shortest ski length is 80cm
- Largest adult size ski boot size is 16/Longest ski length is 180cm
- Smallest kids snowboard boot is size 1/Shortest snowboard length is 100cm
- Largest adult snowboard boot size is 15/Longest snowboard length is 165cm