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JUST HOW RISKY IS IT? - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Tuesday June 12, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Tobogganing has been banned in some of Australia's big resorts - is this favourite past its time or has health & safety gone too far?

It has to be the original snow sport.

Find something that'll slide - sit on it - speed down a snowy slope.

It's easy, cheap, fun and age old.

And now tobogganing has been banned in some of the big Australian ski resorts.

New South Wales resorts Perisher and Thredbo claim that it is very dangerous, and so just before Winter'18 kicked off Down Under, have banned the family favourite activity.

Thredbo resort photoThredbo tobogganing statement image - it's really making its point...

"To maximise safety for guests, employees, and resort property, Thredbo prohibits the use of toboggans and other miscellaneous snow sliding equipment that is associated with "Snow Play" within our leasehold area," a formal statement published on the resort's website reads.

According to Thredbo, tobogganing has increased the risk of:
  1. A collision with another sled, vehicle, skier or snowboarder;
  2. Loss of control of the equipment;
  3. Falling off of the equipment; and
  4. Collision with natural and man-made objects
Children in sledgeKids sliding

This new rule will surely have an effect on the number of families visiting the resort.

Families with young children, toddlers too young to ski, who will now not have an activity or be able to enjoy the snowy mountain resort as skiers or riders do.

Keeping families and young children interested in snowsports is crucial - the next generation of mini rippers.

And surely to get to being on the slopes strapped in to skis or onto a board, it all starts with the simple sliding - or even being in resort.

The chief executive of the Southern Alpine Resort Management Board said to The Age publication that tobogganing and snow play were central to her resorts - Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain near Victoria - and were ideal for beginners.

''These activities allow people to become familiar with snow and are often a forerunner into skiing, boarding and a life-long love of snow sports," Ms Conman said to The Age publication.

Just how dangerous is it?Just how dangerous is it?

Some ski resorts in Victoria say they have no plans to ban tobogganing like the major NSW resorts have.

Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek in fact welcome tobogganing families.

CEO of Mt Buller Mark Bennetts and Mt Stirling Resort Management Board have said that Victoria resorts instead provide safe designated areas for tobogganing and snow play.

''[We] wish to assure returning and first-time visitors that they are welcome to enjoy tobogganing and snow play activities," Mr Bennetts released.

Marshals are employed during the season to make sure children and tobogganers are safe whilst sliding.

He spoke on behalf of Snow Victoria, representing Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Dinner Plain, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Lake Mountain and Mt Stirling.

The has been speculation that Thredbo's decision has been for financial reasons.

Tobogganists don't buy lift tickets but do take up parking spots in the resorts crowded carparks.

A reason for the ski resorts surrounding Victoria relaxed attitude towards snow sliders may be because they welcome more day visitors.

Thredbo is more remote and relies on overnight stays.

"The cost of managing tobogganing runs might outweigh the benefits'' it's been reported.

What do you think?

Sensible and safe, or a ridiculous new rule?

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