Kids Recycled Raft Race

Thank you to everyone that created and competed in the Kids Recycled Raft Race.

The Kids Recycled Raft Race


What is it?

Full day of activities for the Longmont Kinetic Sculpture Race.  Kids Recycled Raft Race (KRRR). This is an activity for kids 8-15 years olds to get creative, and use the STEM skills.   Make a raft out of recyclable products, and race peers in Union Reservoir.


  • Make a craft out of cardboard or recyclable materials that can be raced against other teams for prizes and fun.
  • 8-11 year olds
  • This race will be an out and back in the swim beach.
  • Distance is approximately 40-50 yards.
  • 12-15 year olds
  • Distance is approximately 80-100 yards.           

Rules for Participation in the Kids Recycled Raft Race

Building Materials and Boat Construction:

  • Recyclable materials should make up 100% of the hull and structure of the recycled raft. A recyclable material is defined as any material that can go in a mixed recycling bin (ex: cardboard, cans, bottles, plastics). No wood, Styrofoam, recyclable steel, PVC, or rubber materials.
  • Any containers from toxic/hazardous materials may not be used.
  • Duct tape is the only material that can be used for joining or fastening raft parts (no glues, caulk, epoxy mixtures, etc.)
  • Pre-treated cardboard is allowed. Otherwise the cardboard cannot be treated with any other waterproofing substance other than duct tape!
  • Be creative with finding supplies and cardboard. Cardboard does come in blocks and tubes, not just boxes!
  • Use the duct tape well. If you have corrugated cardboard, you’ll want to seal the edges with the tape, otherwise your cardboard will start siphoning water into your boat.
  • Have a goal when designing your recycled raft! Will yours be the fastest?
  • The most creative? Best theme? Will you take home the coveted Titanic?
  • The materials that can be used are listed on the Longmont City Receycling Page

Awards will be provided for finishing time as well as creativity!

  • Believe it or not, physics is important! A box that is 1ft x 1ft x 3ft will float you if you’re less than 190 lbs (but just that probably won’t win very many prizes).
  • A long boat will usually be quicker, but a shorter boat will generally turn faster. Your recycled raft will have do both! Try to aim for 8-12ft, although there is no set min or max size.
  • Consider how boats and rafts throughout history have worked and go from there. Some possible recycled raft designs are included below!
  • Make a model before starting – cut up and tape some cardstock or a file folder to get an idea of how your recycled raft will work
  • Paint must be cured before the day of the event. Paint is meant to be decorative in nature and should not be intended for waterproofing.
  • Try to reinforce the areas where your teammates will sit/stand/kneel. While it might be funny, you probably don’t want to lose your power paddler through the boat’s bottom. Multiple layers of cardboard can add crucial support.
  • All raft debris must be removed from the water after the race.


  • Boat themes, decorations, and team costumes are encouraged!! Have fun out there!!
  • Be creative and have fun! Costumes and imaginative designs are highly encouraged!
  • Recognition and awards for themes and decoration will be awarded! Be creative, and don’t forget to make it fun.


  • Boats must be person powered – paddles and oars work best (these don’t have to be cardboard). No electric, gasoline, or rocket engines allowed.
  • This is not a swimming challenge so all body parts should be in the boat.
  • You are responsible to provide your own paddles. These will not be provided the day of the event.
  • No “crew areas” of the boat can be enclosed.
  • Crew must remain in the boat while racing. Sorry, no chariot style rafts with your little siblings towing in the front!

General Information:

  • All participants will have to pay the Kinetics entrance fee (????per car) to enter the reservoir.
  • Registration for the KRRR….. will be $10 per team payable the day of the event during check-in.
  • All crewmembers MUST wear a PFD (personal floatation device) at all times during the race. These will not be provided at the race, you need to bring your own.
  • Lifeguards will be on duty to monitor the participants.
  • Engaging in piracy is strictly against the rules. Even if you’re dressed the part.
  • Team check in will be between 1:30-3:30 pm on race day.
  • Teams will complete a team biography and have their boat inspected at this time.
  • All forms and waivers must be completed no later than 3:30 pm on race day in order to participate.
  • Your boat’s crew can have between 1-3 people, ages 8 -15 only. Parents and older friends can help build your recycled raft, but it’s up to you to pilot it!
  • If you have crew members from both age groups you will move to the 12-15 year old race.
  • Judges have the final authority on the rules!
  • In the spirit of the event, teams will be judged on costumes, theme, engineering, design, and finish time.

This is a fun, relaxed event. Practice good sportsmanship and enjoy yourselves. No name calling, trash talking, or dumping water in other boats.

Registration ($10 per Team) and waivers will be available starting at 2PM on Sat June 24th. Union Reservoir, Swim Beach (Registration Tent).

Please have a signed waiver for all participants.  The waiver needs to be signed by a parent or guardian, not a sponsor.  If a family has more than one participant on a craft they can sign one waiver with multiple family members listed on the same waiver. 



Waivers will be available for family members to sign the day of the race at the registration boot. 


Questions: e-mail