You might think that buying a tow rope for wakeboarding, kneeboarding, water skiing, or tubing is as simple as finding the length you want and hooking it up. The reality is that it is not that easy, and if you will be active in any one of these activities in the summer, you need to know the differences among the different types of tow ropes.
The best tow rope breaks strength capacity as well as length and stretchability, giving you just the right balance to enjoy your riding. Thankfully, our list contains the best tow straps on the market that will help you make an easier decision. A comprehensive buying guide and FAQs, on the other hand, will provide answers in detail to your questions.
How To Choose A Tow Rope – Buying Guide
Here is a list of the most important criteria to consider in order to find the best rope for your needs.
Type and Material
Non-stretching tow ropes are made from an incredibly strong and durable material called “Spectra.” A great material choice, Spectra is 10 times stronger than steel, incredibly lightweight, and gives absolutely no elasticity to the rope.
A low stretch option, on the other hand, is made from either nylon, polyester, or polyethylene material, with a flexibility rate of 2-3%. A rope made from nylon has a much higher break strength and definitely an appealing option while Polyethylene has a UV resistant coating, which makes it last longer and far superior in terms of durability.
Generally speaking, we recommend a tow rope that is a minimum of 50 feet in length with a maximum of 65 feet. Beginners, on the other hand, need a longer rope closer to the 65-foot range.
The weakest tow ropes have a breaking capacity of around 2000 lbs. Some companies rate this by the number of riders a rope is able to accommodate. This can range from 1 to upwards of 4 or 5 people for some specialized tubes.
In today’s market, most tow ropes are designed not to absorb water. In fact, you now get ropes of higher quality with features such as weather-resistant offering UV protection from the sun. Some ropes come equipped with a special coating to increase the overall quality of the rope making it much stronger and durable.
Hook and Handle
Most wakeboarding and wake surfing handles have a carabiner that allows them to be attached to the end of the tow rope. This allows you to quickly and easily transfer from a handle to tubing in no time. If you get a tow rope that has a handle braided into it you will only be able to use it for sports that don’t require it to be attached.
Q: Why Do You Need A Tow Rope?
A tow strap makes riding a wakeboard or water skis possible. Without this key piece of gear, you won’t be able to ride behind the boat. A tow rope attached to the boat is what makes this sport so entertaining. The length of the rope also plays a key role in how fast your turns are and how much wake you ride.
Q: How To Attach Tow Rope To Boat?
Most boats these days have a wakeboard tower and have wakeboard tower speakers. If they don’t, they have a hook on the back of the boat where you can attach your rope to.
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Q: How Much Load Can Be Carried?
Most wakeboard tow ropes have quite high carrying capacities. This is because you put more strain on the rope than just the weight of your body and the skis. Even the ropes with the lowest breaking capacity are around 2 000 lbs.
Q: How Long Should Tow Rope Be For Tubing?
For beginners, a longer rope at around 65 feet will be ideal. In general, your rope should be between 50 feet – 65 feet in length. This does vary with other types of water sports though.
Q: Should There Be Handles Or Hooks Attached To The Tow Rope?
You want a handle to hold onto when wakeboarding. It’s one thing to have a tow rope but it’s a whole other thing to have a rope with a comfortable handle attached to it. This will be a bar that both of your hands grab onto. It should be wrapped in a comfortable material that also increases your grip. This should be detachable as well.
Q: How To Attach A Tube Tow Rope?
Most tubes have a quick connect system where you simply feed the loop through a hole and attach it around a hook system, ensuring that the line stays connected without coming undone halfway through your run. It also makes switching from a tube to wakeboard or water skis easy.
Q: How To Attach A Tow Rope To A Pontoon Boat?
Most pontoon boats have a strapping system that you can attach a tow rope to. This will allow you to connect a tube so you can enjoy being towed by the boat. Some boats use a shackle to connect the rope to. This is one of the easier ways to attach a tow rope to your pontoon boat. You’ll simply have to loop the rope through and screw at the end of the shackle.
Q: How To Tie A Tow Rope?
Modern tow ropes come with loops on both ends. This completely eliminates the need for you to tie the rope. All you need to do is to loop it around the attachment point on the boat and tube or handle and you’re ready to go.
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Before you choose your next rope, we recommend reading through the rope reviews to learn the experiences of other users. Knowing the background information on the company, their warranties and the quality of the rope will make your decision much easier.