Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby is one of the most exciting activities in Scouting each year, teaching scouts about physics, light woodworking, and good sportsmanship. Each scout designs and builds their own race car from a starter kit consisting of a block of wood, wheels, and axles, and then gets to race them against others in the pack. Cars are awarded based on speed and appearance.

Mark you calendar! The 2023 Pinewood Derby will be Sunday, January 29th, 2023 at Coastside Fire Station 40 in Half Moon Bay.

Pinewood Derby Car Clinic

In the weeks before the derby, we will have a car clinic where scouts can cut, sand, and paint their cars.

We will have a band saw and scroll saw available to cut the car blanks into the Scout's desired car shape, a sanding station to smooth out rough edges, a painting station to apply a base color of paint, and weights to help gives cars that extra bit of speed! Additional painting and decoration should be done by the scouts at home.

How to come prepared:

  • Make sure you have your pinewood derby car kit and examine what it contains. This should have been given to you when you paid your dues. If you do not have your car kit, check with your den leader.

  • Plan your car shape. There are lots of resources online for how to optimize a car for speed, and is one of the best place to start. Scouts should sketch out their desired car shape on paper, and then transfer it to their wood blank from the car kit. Having their design drawn on the blank will help speed things up on the day of the car clinic. If Scouts have not already done so when they come to the car clinic, we'll have some templates available to choose from.

  • It's not just about speed. Some scouts prefer to focus on having fun with the look and design of their car. We will have a station at the clinic to spray paint a base color on their cars, so scouts should think about what color they want (we'll do our best to accommodate). Additional painting and decoration will be done at home. Many stickers, lights, and decals are available online and at the scout shop for decorating cars.


The basic Pinewood Derby Rules can be found at

We do require that scouts use the official Pinewood Derby car kit, and that the car be constructed during the current scouting year (do not reuse cars built during previous years).