10 Tips For A Better Tubing Experience

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10 Tips For A Better Tubing Experience

There are many ways to have fun on the boat, one of the top choices for families is tubing, the kids love the adrenaline and dads generally love trying to toss them off into the water. While tubing is a great family fun activity there are a few safety measures to take before getting things started. Sportsman Boat's professional tuber and regional sales manager Bryan Greenwood is breaking down his top 10 tips for a better experience.

April 12, 2024
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Bryan Greenwood
Regional Sales Manager - Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West

Tubing behind a boat is an exhilarating water activity that brings joy and excitement to friends and family alike. Whether you're a seasoned boater or a newbie to water sports, towing a tube safely requires knowledge, preparation, and adherence to safety guidelines. In this guide, we'll delve into the essential steps and tips for towing a tube behind a boat, ensuring a thrilling and secure experience for everyone involved.

1. Choose the Right Tube: We are fortunate to be living in a time where we have more choices than ever before when it comes to the variety of tubes on the market. Before hitting the water, it's crucial to select the appropriate tube for your adventure. Tubes come in various shapes and sizes, from single-rider tubes to larger ones accommodating multiple riders. Consider the number of riders, their skill levels, and desired experience (e.g., gentle ride or wild spins) when choosing a tube. This is a great time to include the entire family in picking out a tube that will be the key tool to making memories on the water.

2. Inspect Equipment: Prior to towing, thoroughly inspect all equipment, including the tube, tow rope, and boat. Look for any signs of wear and tear and replace or repair as necessary. Ensure the tow rope is the appropriate length and strength for towing the tube safely. In most cases about 50 foot of rope is desired length for tubing.

3. Check Boating Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local boating regulations and any specific rules regarding towing activities. Some areas may have speed limits, designated towing zones, or restrictions on the number of riders allowed on a tube. Compliance with these regulations is essential for everyone's safety and enjoyment.

4. Preparing the Boat: Prepare the boat for towing by ensuring proper weight distribution and securely fastening the tow rope to the boat's tow point. Verify that all passengers are seated safely and have a firm grip on handholds.

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5. Communicate Signals: Establish clear communication signals between the boat driver and tube riders before starting. Standard hand signals, such as thumbs up for faster, thumbs down for slower, and tapping the head for stopping, are commonly used to convey instructions between the boat and riders. It is a good idea to designate one of the passengers to relay any feedback from the rider to the driver.

6. Start Slowly: Begin towing at a slow, steady pace to allow riders to get comfortable and adjust to the movement of the tube. Gradually increase speed based on the riders' comfort level and experience. For most adults 20 mph is as fast as you will need to go for a fun and safe ride while children will be most comfortable in the low to mid-teens.

7. Monitor Conditions: Stay vigilant of water and weather conditions throughout the tubing session. Be mindful of waves, currents, and other boats in the vicinity, adjusting speed and direction accordingly to ensure a smooth and safe ride. The captain must always be diligent about keeping an eye on other boats and obstacles in the area as conditions can change quickly. Always keep in mind that you are towing people behind you and must plan for the increased room needed to navigate safely.

8. Practice Safety Measures: Prioritize safety at all times by enforcing essential precautions, such as wearing properly fitted life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs). Encourage riders to hold onto the tube handles securely and avoid standing up or attempting stunts while in motion. Instruct them to remain aware of their surroundings and avoid collisions with other objects or watercraft.

9. Be Prepared for Emergencies: In the event of an emergency or accident, be prepared to respond swiftly and effectively. Designate a spotter onboard to keep an eye on the tube riders and alert the boat driver of any issues. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures, such as how to safely bring the boat to a stop or assist riders in distress.

10. Have Fun The final word of advice is to have fun. At Sportsman Boats we design our boats for a multitude of uses but everything we do is designed around having fun while creating memories. Enjoy every minute on the water!