Skip to Main Content

Cardboard derby

A group of kids in derby decorated with Ska Brewing stickers

Save that holiday gift box—it could be part of your winning derby vessel! That’s right, the McDonald’s Cardboard Derby is back at Purgatory on March 11, and we want YOU to participate! This ridiculously fun winter competition is a local favorite you don’t want to miss! Register in advance and get building because this year’s competition is bound to be fierce!

A group of kids in derby decorated with Ska Brewing stickers

What is the Cardboard Derby? 

The McDonald’s Cardboard Derby is a classic event that’s just as much fun for spectators as it is for participants. Racers wield cardboard and duct tape to construct “vessels” that they use to navigate down the tubing hill. If you want to be a part of the action, you can sign up as an individual or sign up in a team.

Dad pushing son down the tubing hill

Tips for building your derby racer:

  • Sled-shaped vessels tend to get the best momentum.
  • Duct tape on the bottom of your vessel increases momentum.
  • There are different kinds of cardboard—some have plastic coating (wink).
  • Weight distribution matters. The heavy part of the sled (wherever you are seated) will naturally want to be in front.  This means that rear-weighted vessels will tend to spin 180 degrees and send you down backwards.
  • Adding runners to the bottom of your vessel may increase your speed by reducing surface friction with the snow.
  • Weight = speed.  Adding bodies to your vessel will make it go faster.

Need some inspiration? Watch this How-to video from a previous year’s event.

Each vessel will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Proximity to the scoring zone
  • Creativity of concept and design
  • Enthusiasm

You may also win prizes for:

  • Best derby vessel name
  • Largest derby vessel
  • Loudest competitors
  • Slowest vessel
  • Most colorful derby vessel
  • Most creative vessel
  • Best costumes

See you on Derby Day!

3 kids in airplane derby

Power Pass Resorts