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A toboggan is a simple sled which is 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.
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 frontmost rider places their feet in the loop and sits on the flat bed; any others sit behind them and grasp the waist of the person before them.
Modern recreational toboggans are typically manufactured from wood or plastic. Larger, more rugged models are made for commercial or rescue use.
A hill for tobogganing in the winter in Ahuntsic Park in Montreal
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The toboggan is a recurring prop in the Calvin and Hobbes comic. Comic author Bill Watterson uses it (or, alternatively, a wagon) as "a simple device to add some physical comedy to the strip, and [he] most often use[s] it when Calvin gets longwinded or philosophical."
The National Championships of Tobogganing were won this year by the Barstool Bad Boys of Bogan'n at Camden, ME.
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