$50 Backyard Rollercoaster

backyard rollercoaster

This is great. What happens when you bet a group of friends they can’t build a roller coaster in their backyard for under $50? They build one.

They built it almost entirely out of old forklift pallets, some wood from Home Depot, assorted nails and screws, some caster wheels and a folding seat from an old arena. It was built in just over 9 hours by three people. Once assembled they tested it with a 15lb cinder block — safety first right? The cinder block survived the ride, and by that logic, a 160lb+ person should be fine as well!

Well… they were right! To finish it up and get into the holiday spirit they also decked it out in Christmas lights and let the neighborhood kids use it all night. The total came to $49.27 from Home Depot for the wood and wheels.

Stick around after the break to see a .GIF of it in action!

roller coaster test

We covered a similar backyard roller coaster last year, which featured PVC piping for the rails made by a father for one very lucky child.

[via Reddit]


  1. FormerUtahrd says:

    Typical Utahrds! It’s okay if one of the kids gets hurt — they have at least 8 spares!

  2. ERROR_user_unknown says:

    Dodgie brothers amusement parks “free tetanus shot on entry”

    seriously thought this is awesome great work.

  3. lulersnacks says:

    ‘forklift pallets’

    As opposed to Hi-Lo pallets, or lift-truck pallets, or fork-truck pallets, or crane or boxcar or.. you get the idea.

  4. Hirudinea says:

    Next project, how to build a wheelchair from a $50 rollercoaster. Still cool though.

  5. xchip says:

    That is not $50, he probably spent a lot of money before in tools, wood and stuff. We should try to be more realistic and honest.

    • Jay says:

      He also had to buy a house that had a backyard…
      I don’t personally consider “tools” to raise his $50 build cost. If it required something fancy (laser cutter or lathe) then I probably would, but it doesn’t look like this build needed anything major.

      • Indyaner says:

        I’ve ebt my left foot he also went to the barbershop at least 10 times in the last 20 Years. If he hadnt gone there, his hair would have been way to long to see anything or even get trapped in the electric drill. Therefore I’m all for counting the barber of the last 20 Years into the BOM-Calculation. Seriously.

    • rexxar says:

      He also probably spent a lot on electricity to power the tools, gas to haul the supplies, and food to give himself energy to build with. Hell, if we want to be really honest and realistic, we should include the cost of the hospital stay when he was born.

      Generally, you don’t include the cost of tools in the project because they a) aren’t consumable and b) aren’t actually part of the project. For my $200 electronics project, should I include $500+ in the quote for the soldering iron, oscilloscope, power supply, etc that I already own? No, that’d be ridiculous.

      Here’s a tip for the entire internet: Don’t be a pedantic ass unless you’re right.

    • Leif says:

      Yeah, and he bought food for the calories he spent working on it. Surely something from his education was involved, somebody spent something on that.

      Come on, it took less than $50 that wasn’t already going to be spent anyway. That should be what counts.

    • notmyfault2000 says:

      Wood and stuff was included in the price. And there’s nothing stopping them from using a large rock to hammer in those nails. For those without convenient access to large rocks borrowing a hammer from your neighbor will do.

    • Ren says:

      “That rollercoaster in your back yard, you didn’t build it!”

  6. Jonathan Wilson says:

    Even if the total cost wasnt $50, its still cool. Backyard roller-coasters are ALWAYS cool. :)

  7. That’s really awesome.

  8. pcf11 says:

    This is why I don’t have neighbors.

  9. soupvw says:

    Tools are sunk cost (everyone should own anyways other wise your just a hack)

  10. Augur says:

    It needs a few large model rocket motors on that sucker!

  11. Leif says:

    Wow, no Phineas and Ferb comments on HaD? I’m going to have their theme stuck in my head for the next hour or so. I have a 3 y/o.

  12. Addidis says:

    I wont lie I expected a death trap, but the thing looks safe enough to put the people next door’s kids in.

    • Lou says:

      I work as an amusement park tech. Safe is far from what I would call this. It’s definitely a lot more solid than I expected, but there’s nothing about that thing that says safe for someone else’s kids let alone my own.

  13. Vonskippy says:

    Hopefully version 2 will incorporate the trampoline.

  14. furiousd says:

    Apparently at least one of them is a mechanical engineering student and this isn’t the first thing they’ve built. Zip lines and ski jumps preceded this. Already torn down but with plans to rebuild using PVC.


  15. liuite says:

    wile e coyote came to mind when I saw the tracks

  16. B W says:

    I don’t know if I would encourage people to steal the pallets behind Home Depot. – There have been several people arrested doing so at the HD near Sacramento. – A former HD employee

  17. Jamie says:

    the gif link is broken, is there another somewhere?

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