U.S. National Toboggan Championships

Bananas. Penguins. Super heroes. Moose. Little Red Riding Hood. Brave Heart.

When it comes to choosing your costume for the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships, it helps to be a little nuts. Of course, being a little nuts is an important requirement of this entire undertaking, which returns to Camden in February. After all, it’s not just silly costumes. It requires plopping yourself on a thin sled, weaving your arms and legs together with your teammates and then speeding as much as 40 m.p.h. down a narrow, ice-covered, 440-foot-long wooden chute pointing precariously through the trees of a Maine mountainside.

And then, you do it again.

Yep, nuts just about covers it.

There’s no shortage of competitors, however. Over 400 teams have signed up some years, including those riding 2-person sleds, 3-person sleds and 4-person sleds (usually the most popular). There are also prizes for all-women’s teams, student teams, college teams, oldest teams, best toboggan and best experimental toboggan (don’t ask). And yes, there’s even a prize for best costumes.

Don’t have the courage or banana suit needed to compete? Fear not. Put on your warm clothes and come out to watch. The championships are great fun for spectators.

For more information, check in with Camden Snowbowl, the town’s ski area and site of the competition.

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