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Tobogganing is the most common type of sledding. A toboggan is a long, flat-bottomed lightweight sled, usually made of thin boards curved up at one end and with low handrails at the sides. It typically carries one (or more) people, usually children. Toboggans vary from simple, traditional models to modern engineered types. A toboggan differs from bobsleds or sleighs in that it has no runners or skis on the underside. The bottom of a toboggan sits directly on the snow. However, the Olympic version of this sport is the bobsleigh ,which extends the curved front of the toboggan to full sidewalls and includes runners. The traditional toboggan is made of bound, parallel wood slats, all bent forward at the front to form a sideways 'J' shape. A thin rope is run through the top of the loop to provide rudimentary steering. The front rider places their feet in the loop and sits on the flat bed. Others sit behind front rider and grasp the waist of the person before them. Modern recreational toboggans are typically manufactured from wood or aluminum. Larger, more rugged models are made for commercial or rescue use.

The toboggan is a traditional form of transport used by the Innu and Cree of northern Canada. Toboggans are also used by most ski patrols to transport patients. Most of these type of toboggans are made of fiberglass and have attached handles extending from the front. A patroller skis while positioned between handles. Some ski patrol toboggans have a second set of handles at the rear for a second ski patroller, or a safety line attached to the rear. Most ski patrol toboggan handles are hinged so that they can be folded backwards either for storage or uphill transport on ski lifts.


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