The same inflatable tube you use to lazily drift on the lake in the summertime works just as well on a snow-covered hill in the winter — until you hit a patch of rough icy terrain. Then the odds of it getting punctured are all but guaranteed. So the makers of the Airboard, a more purpose-built inflatable sled, have reinforced the underside so it’s stronger and slides even better.
That’s not to imply that a traditional wooden toboggan doesn’t make for a wonderful ride down a hill. It’s just that getting it back up can be a chore. And if you’re inclined to hit a jump or two on the way down, you’ll definitely feel every landing. The inflatable Airboard is easier to fit in a car (when deflated), easier to haul up a hill, and it serves as a rideable cushion on the way down so you barely feel bumps and obstacles.
The adult version of the Airboard can support riders weighing just over 136kg, even over jumps, and its valve has been engineered to better endure the cold without leaking so the sled stays rigid run after run. At $US520 it’s far from the cheapest way to get to the bottom of a snow-covered hill, but it’s definitely the easiest way to keep an emergency sled in your trunk to take immediate advantage of unexpected snowfalls. [Airboard via Bless This Stuff]