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A toboggan is a simple sled traditionally used by children. It is also a traditional form of transport used by the Innu and Cree of northern Canada.
In modern times, it is used on snow to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill or other slope for recreation. Designs vary from simple, traditional models to modern engineered composites. A toboggan differs from most sleds or sleighs in that it has no runners or skis (or only low ones) on the underside. The bottom of a toboggan rides directly on the snow. Some parks include designated toboggan hills where ordinary sleds are not allowed and which may include toboggan runs similar to bobsleigh courses.
Toboggans can vary depending on the climate and geographical region. Such examples are Tangalooma (Australia) where toboggans are made from Masonite boards and used for travelling down steep sand dunes at speeds up to 40 km/h (25 mph).
Before white colonists arrived in America, toboggan was an Algonquian term for a type of man-hauled cargo sledge made from bark, hardwood or whalebone, and deer or buffalo hide.Sledges of this type have been in use on the Great Plains and the Great Lakes since 3000 BCE. During the tribes' yearly migration to their winter campsites, these sledges were used to transport bulky personal possessions and small children before the introduction of the wheel. A smaller variant of the toboggan, used for recreational purposes, was known as a Tom Pung. As the settlers displaced the Indians, the term was appropriated and applied to the low-profile wooden sledges made by the colonists.
The Mountaineer [Innu] method is the only one adapted for the interior parts of the country: their sleds are made of two thin boards of birch; each about six inches broad, a quarter of an inch thick, and six feet long: these are fastened parallel to each other by slight battens, sewed on with thongs of deer-skin; and the foremost end is curved up to rise over the inequalities of the snow. Each individual who is able to walk, is furnished with one of these; but those for the children are proportionately less. On them they stow all their goods, and also their infants; which they bundle up very warm in deer-skins. The two ends of a leather thong are tied to the corners of the sled; the bight or double part of which is placed against the breast, and in that manner it is drawn along. The men go first, relieving each other in the lead by turns; the women follow next, and the children, according to their strength, bring up the rear; and, as they all walk in rackets (snowshoes), the third or fourth person finds an excellent path to walk on, let the snow be ever so light.
The precursor to the modern American toboggan was the small, utilitarian sledge used by woodcutters in Russia, Scandinavia, and especially Germany, to transport logs when the snow made roads inaccessible. Sledge races were a popular winter sport in mountainous countries during the pre-Industrial Revolution era, and early German colonists in America improved upon the design of the traditional toboggan by giving it a lower, more streamlined profile to increase its speed.
The traditional American toboggan is made of bound, parallel wood slats, all bent up and backwards at the front to form a recumbent 'J' shape. A thin rope is run across the edge of end of the curved front to provide rudimentary steering. These usually lack the iron runners of the older woodcutter's sledges. The frontmost rider places their feet in the curved front space and sits on the flat bed; any others sit behind them and grasp the waist of the person before them.
Toboggans come in a variety of shapes. Modern recreational toboggans are typically manufactured from wood or plastic or aluminum. A small plastic sled on which a rider sits and raises their legs while sledding may be known as a bum slider. Larger, more rugged models are made for commercial or rescue use.
Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Playing areas and fields consist of either snow or ice.
Bobsleigh or Bobsled is a team winter sport that involves making timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sleigh. International bobsleigh competitions are governed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. National competitions are often governed by bodies such as the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, and the German Bobsleigh, Luge, and Skeleton Federation.
The Innu / Ilnu or Innut / Innuat / Ilnuatsh ("people"), formerly called Montagnais from the French colonial period, are the Indigenous inhabitants of territory in the northeastern portion of the present-day province of Labrador and some portions of Quebec. They refer to their traditional homeland as Nitassinan or Innu-assi.
Snowshoes are specialized outdoor gear for walking over snow. Their large footprint spreads the user's weight out and allows them to travel largely on top of rather than through snow. Adjustable bindings attach them to appropriate winter footwear.
A sled, skid, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle that slides across a surface, usually of ice or snow. It is built with either a smooth underside or a separate body supported by two or more smooth, relatively narrow, longitudinal runners similar in principle to skis. This reduces the amount of friction, which helps to carry heavy loads.
Skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled, known as a skeleton bobsled, down a frozen track while lying face down and head-first. The sport and the sled may have been named from the bony appearance of the sled.
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of dog that was originally bred for its strength and endurance, to haul heavy freight as a sled dog, and as a hound. It is similar to other arctic breeds such as the husky, the spitz, the Greenland Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, the Siberian Husky, and the Samoyed.
A snowmobile, also known as a snowmachine, motor sled, motor sledge, skimobile, or snow scooter, is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, but most are driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby. Common brand names in the United States include Arctic Cat, Polaris Inc. and Ski-Doo.
Sledding, sledging or sleighing is a winter sport typically carried out in a prone or seated position on a vehicle generically known as a sled, a sledge (British), or a sleigh. It is the basis of three Olympic sports: luge, skeleton and bobsledding. When practised on sand, it is known as a form of sandboarding. In Russia sledges are used for maritime activities including fishing and commuting from island to island on ice.
Mushing is a sport or transport method powered by dogs. It includes carting, pulka, dog scootering, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting, and weight pulling. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled, most commonly a specialized type of dog sled on snow, or a rig on dry land.
A travois is an A-frame structure that was used to drag loads over land, most notably by the Plains Indians of North America.
A pulk is a Nordic short, low-slung small sled used in sport or for transport, pulled by a dog or a skier, or in Sápmi pulled by reindeer. They are classically made out of wood and other natural materials but are nowadays made of plastic, which makes them inexpensive.
Korketrekkeren is a tobogganing track and former bobsleigh and luge track in Oslo, Norway. The tobogganing track runs between Frognerseteren and Midtstuen and is operated as a public venue by the municipality. Return transport to the top of the hill is undertaken by riding the Oslo Metro's Holmenkollen Line. Tobogganing in the area started in the 1880s, with several roads being used during winter evenings. Auto racing took place in the hill in 1921 and the following year it saw its first luge tournament. The first major tournament was the FIL European Luge Championships 1937. Tobagganing also took place in the nearby Heftyebakken, but from 1950 Korketrekkeren became the sole tobogganing hill and Heftyebakken was used for cross-country skiing.
An Aerosledge is a propeller-driven sledge, sleigh or toboggan which slides on runners or skis. Aerosleds are used for communications, mail deliveries, medical aid, emergency recovery, and patrolling borders in countries such as northern Russia, as well as for recreation. Aerosani were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and World War II.
The Camden Snow Bowl is a small, town-owned ski area in Camden, Maine. Located about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Penobscot Bay on the eastern slope of Ragged Mountain. It also features a toboggan run on which the U.S. National Toboggan Championships are hosted annually. During the summer, visitors are able to hike, mountain bike, or boat and fish.
A summer toboggan is an amusement or recreational ride which uses a bobsled-like sled or cart to run down a track usually built on the side of a hill. There are two main types: an Alpine coaster or mountain coaster is a type of roller coaster where the sled runs on rails and is not able to leave the track, whereas with an Alpine slide the sled simply runs on a smooth concave track usually made of metal, concrete or fiberglass. Both of these types of ride are sometimes denoted with the German name Sommerrodelbahn.
A rescue toboggan, also known as a rescue sled or emergency rescue sledge, or by the Finnish word ahkio, is a carrier for transporting a person or goods on snowy or icy surfaces. It is used by mountain rescue or ski patrol teams to evacuate an injured skier or snowboarder. There are related designs for use on water to carry accident victims or emergency equipment.
A qamutiik is a traditional Inuit sled designed to travel on snow and ice. It is built using traditional Inuit design techniques and is still used in the 21st century for travel in Arctic regions.
Prompt Payment and Stealing a Ride are two 1911 American silent short comedy films produced by the Thanhouser Company. Prompt Payment focuses on a lawyer who evades his creditors, dons a disguise and plays against them in a game of poker. After winning a large sum of money from them, he excuses himself and returns to pay them with their own money. Stealing a Ride is listed as a comedy, but has a clear dramatic element. Susie and Johnnie are out sledding when Susie's parents are about to go out for a sleigh drive. The children ask to come along, but are refused. The children hitch their sleds to the back of the sleigh and follow along, only to fall off and get lost in the woods. The parents later track them down and bring them home. Both films were released together on a single reel on January 27, 1911 and were met with praise by critics. Both films are presumed lost.