The magic carpet
is one of the fastest ways for a someone to get down a snowy hill. It consists of a rectangular sheet of durable, low-friction, hard-but-bendable plastic
about a millimetre
thick and big enough to sit on. It has two handholds cut out of one of the narrow ends. The rider generally sits down on the carpet and holds the front end curled upwards between his or her legs.
They are cheaper (under $10) and easier to carry around (roll up to 5 inch diameter) than an inner tube, and they go about as fast. The rider is much more intimate with the ground beneath them, however, which makes the ride somewhat bumpier, and scarier, and more dangerous. This can also make it more exciting, of course.
I'm not completely sure if they're still in production. I'd be very surprised if they weren't, however, because of how cheap and effective they are. The ones I remember seemed to always be yellow for some reason. I may only be remembering the ones in our household, though.
2) The magic carpet is also one of the fastest ways for someone to get up a snowy hill. It is a lengthy conveyor belt for use on snow hills to carry up sledders, skiiers, snowboarders, or anyone else who wants to get to the top. In contrast to the variety of magic carpet detailed above, this kind has incredibly good traction, perfect for those wearing skis. Like the other kind of magic carpet, however, it very cheap relative to most alternatives.
It is used on the smaller runs on ski mountains, making it easier for new skiiers to get up the hill by taking away the intimidation of having to board and depart a chairlift.
If you happen to own a ski hill, you can order a magic carpet from the people at Magic Carpet Ski Lifts (www.magiccarpet.rmce.com).