Surface lifts/drag lifts are used in small and smooth terrains, beginner slopes and to access glacier ski slopes. Here the people (skiers/snowboarders) stay on the ground of the slope and are pulled or dragged to the hilltop using the surface lifts. They require less maintenance compared to aerial lifts and can operate in extreme weather conditions. The surface lifts were the initial type of ski lift developed before developing the aerial lifts.
It is the most portable and easily deployed. People hold the rope/cable whose one end is powered by the engine that consists of a horizontal pulley which has been pulled up to the hilltop. The grip and strength of the person to grab themselves on to the rope/cable.
In a handle tow or pony lift, handles are attached to the cable/rope, so that the skier/snowboarder can easily grab the handle and pull himself upwards and don’t have to be concerned about having grip during the cold weather.
The nutcracker is attached to the harness of the hips which has been attached to a clamp that is connected with the rope/cable. Even if the skier/snowboarder did not hold the rope or clamp, they can safely reach the hilltop.
Poma lifts or detachable platter looks like a large pogo stick which has a metal pipe and a round disc shaped button on the end. You have put the metal pipe between your legs and the round disc behind and lean forward for the uphill ride. You cannot sit on the button to get pulled uphill.
Magic carpet is usually used in smaller areas and is slower than the other drag lifts. It is a conveyor belt installed on the ground where the guests stand to get displaced uphill. The length of the magic carpet is mostly around 300-400 meters or sometimes shorter than that.
They are similar to T-bars, but can carry on 1 person at a time. It has a J-shaped metal pipe attached to the rope or the cable that takes you uphill. T-bars almost replaced J-bars because T-bars have more convenient operation. Boardie offers very comfortable, wider, longer and ergonomic T-bar ski lifts.