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Toboggans are sleds without runners and are a wonderful way to enjoy the thrills of outdoor sledding. They offer hours of inexpensive fun for the whole family and make terrific gifts. Traditional style toboggans have a long flat surface with a rounded front end. They can be made from wood or plastic. These toboggans often come with a pad that takes some of the bumps out of the ride. Modern toboggans are made from one piece molded plastics and come in various speed enhancing shapes.

Consider the following when buying a toboggan:

  • Traditional toboggans are most frequently made from strong, steam bent northern hardwood slats which have been tightly fastened together to form a solid plank. Look for woods such as maple or ash. These sleds are usually 12 to 16 inches wide and come in lengths from 3 to 7 feet. Waxing the bottoms of these sleds will increase their speed.
  • Traditionally designed toboggans also come in plastic. These sleds often come in bold, bright colors that children love. They are lightweight and easy to pull. Plastic models are usually 12 to 16 inches wide and are available from 3 to 7 feet long. They can be less expensive than wood sleds but make sure the plastic is tough and durable. It should be able to withstand the low temperatures in your area without cracking.
  • Modern toboggans are made of one piece molded materials such as polypropylene. They have been designed to maximize speed and often include hand holds on the sides. They are lightweight and easy to pull up hill. These sleds do not usually come in the longer lengths, so they will not hold as many riders. You should make sure that the toboggan will retain its full strength on your coldest winter days.
  • Pads for toboggans should cover the actual seating area of the sled. They should have a tough, durable non-slip cover made from a material such as polyester. A good quality pad will be filled with 1 inches of high insulating material such as polyurethane foam.

Tobogganing is a sport best enjoyed in hilly areas. Before heading down the slope, be sure to look for obstructions and obstacles and allow plenty of room at the bottom of the hill for stopping.
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