Sledders hit the slopes — on cardboard
Parkites are used to sliding down snowy hills in the winter, but not usually on cardboard, as they did at a new event Saturday.
Like dozens of sledders, Trip and Miles Hunter showed up to the first annual Cardboard Sled Derby at the Park City Sports Complex in style. Under the team name Macadamia Nuts, they wore Rastafarian hats with dreadlocks and sped quickly down the three-lane course to the cheers of more than 100 onlookers.
Trip, Miles’s father, said they weren’t sure if the cement tubes they cut in half and fashioned into a vehicle like a catamaran boat would hold up as well as they did.
“We used, like, 15 rolls of duct tape and every piece of cardboard in our house, so we finally got rid of it,” the father said. “No idea whether that thing was gonna stay together or not. I felt some things breaking, but we got across the finish line, so that's all that really matters.”
Miles said it was a bumpy ride.
“It was really fun,” said the son. “I thought we were going to go out of the flags, but we somehow corrected it, and I'm surprised we just didn't explode.”
Teams were only allowed to use cardboard, duct tape, string, twine and paint on their sleds. Winners for farthest distance, best wipeout, most creative sleds, fastest time awards and an overall judges’ choice took home trophies.
Zuleyma Castro-Alvarado rode with two cousins in the kids’ division. Their fast, narrow red sled carried them far beyond the finish line.
She said it wasn’t their first time sledding on that hill. On Saturday, they came as the Daredevils and had something to prove.
“We decided that, [we] think that we're gonna win,” Castro-Alvarado said. “I was panicking right now because I thought when it was broken already, it wouldn’t go fast anymore, [but it did].”
Spencer Madanay was one of the organizers with Park City Recreation. He said the goal is to hold the event annually, like the Cardboard Boat Race. That has happened the past three summers.
“This seemed like a really fun idea to kind of show the spirit of Park City,” Madanay said. “It's a super fun opportunity for kids to, you know, join in with their parents and learn about building something and see something really come to come to fruition you know, and see their hard work and then you get to end with like a super fun event.”
The other main organizer Lauren Wall also said they hope to hold future cardboard sled events, depending on weather conditions. She credited the Mountain Trails Foundation for grooming the sledding hill, which she said made the derby possible.