Soaring through the waters at top speeds while clinging to an inflatable tube connected by a mere rope to a boat has become one of the top water sports for the summertime. Tubing is enjoyed by everyone from young kids to daredevil adults. This is true because you are able to easily adjust speeds and thrill to best suit the needs of the rider. The best tow tubes for advanced thrill seeking riders often look a bit different than a quality beginner tube.
Everything from build quality and materials to the shape of the inflatable will affect how it rides and how much fun you will have on the water. As there are so many good tubes on the market we have created a list of our top picks. These towable tubes have a great combination of materials and features that will see you have the most fun no matter where you ride.
The following is a list of the best towable tubes out there for both beginners and advanced riders. Ranging in price drastically, tubing is now a sport that just about anyone can enjoy.
How To Choose A Towable Tube – Buying Guide
There are many features you should look for when purchasing a towable tube. Walking into a sporting goods store and buying the cheapest one could not only make for a bad time on the water, but can be dangerous. Investing a bit of money in the best towable tube to meet your family’s needs can save you money by not having to upgrade later.
How many people can it tow?
Tubes will come with a set amount of riders it can safely carry. This is going to be 1-2 or 3-4 people. If you are buying this for your family it is important to think about how many people are going to be riding at a time. If your kids bring friends there may be a lineup for a turn on your floaty.
Additionally, a 1-2 person towable will be smaller than the 3-4 person rig. This could make it easier to pack for an afternoon outing that only a couple people want to attend. Larger tubes can also be more dangerous. Since they are larger 3-4 person towable tubes can build up speed around corners and get air off the wake – something to keep in mind if you are the driver.
This may be the most important aspect of your towable. If it hasn’t been built up to a high standard it could deteriorate on the water leaving your family injured. A tow tube that has proper construction will last years to come and have your whole family enjoying summer.
The standard materials for towables are high quality nylon covering a high gauge bladder. A solid material for the covering is a 420-denier nylon material. This will keep your bladder protected while still feeling comfortable against your skin. 840-denier nylon is an even better material. It is literally twice the protection of the 420-denier nylon.
The bladder will normally be a one chamber 26 gauge PVC chamber. Bladders can be up to 30 gauge and three chambers. These setups are generally reserved for the larger tubes so that the air can be dispersed over the whole towable tube. A single chambered bladder will usually have a quick inflate feature that will have you floating in no time. Since bladders are made of PVC they have the ability to have welded seams.
One of the most overlooked aspects of inflatables is how much you actually inflate them to. Most don’t have PSI indicators to tell you how much air to add. Factors like hot or cold days will play a small role in how your tube’s air will hold up throughout the day.
There is a few ways to tell if you have a properly inflated towable tube. If it is underinflated it won’t skim over the water. Instead it will be sluggish and take a lot of effort to pull which could also cause damage. Once the tube’s cover doesn’t have any wrinkles in it it should be good to go. Keep in mind that once you are on the water it is easier to take air out than to add it.
This feature allows you to keep riding for hours without pain. Essentially this is a piece of padding on the inside of handles which protects your hands from bashing the side of the inflatable. Without these you could end up with bashed knuckles or scrapes on your hands.
The standard floatable will come with EVA padding that keeps your ride comfortable. It can get bumpy on the water but having strategically placed padding will make you not even notice. Many companies have done tests to find out where most people’s elbows and knees rest when on the towable. They have added pads to these spots for your comfort and safety.
Q: What Should I Do In Case Of An Accident?
A: Accidents do happen, and there are steps you can take to ensure that you and your family are safe should the tube flip. The main thing you can do to ensure that everyone is safe is have every rider wear a lifejacket. If the tube does flip, then people will be able to float in the water until help can arrive. You should also make sure that everyone who is riding on a tube can swim so that they can get back to the shore if an accident does happen. If an accident does happen, then stay calm and help people out of the water.
Q: What Should I Do As Driver?
A: You are responsible for keeping your passengers safe when you are driving the boat. You are responsible for making sure that you have the correct size of tube and the correct number of riders for the tube. You should not exceed speeds over 20 mph, and you should make sure that you do not make any sharp turns or the riders can be thrown off. When you are stopping, you should dow down gently, or the tubes can hit into the back of the boat. You should also be aware of other boats and tubers in the water. Communicate with the people in the boat, and stay in contact with the people on the tube.
Q: What Should I Do As Passenger?
A: As a passenger, you are responsible for your safety on the tube. You should make sure that you are secure on the tube before the driver starts the boat. The other thing to decide on is some signals for communicating with the river and other people on the boat. When the boat gets up to speed, it can be hard to hear, so hand signals are better. You should also make sure that you are wearing your safety life jacket. As long as you are safe, you are going to have a lot of fun.
Q: How Long Should The Rope Be?
A: There is no towing without a rope from the boat to the tube. The first consideration is for the rope to be at least 20 feet long. This is to make sure that there is no chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. The ideal length of rope is between 50 and 65 feet.
Q: How Can I Enjoy Maximum Performance With My Towable Tube?
A: Some tubes will have a higher speed in the water than others. The less contact with the water, the easier a tube will be able to skim over the water. A convex shape is ideal. It will rise up in the water when it gets up to speed and skim across the water like a skimming stone.
You should also make sure that the tube is inflated properly. If your tube does not have enough air in it, then it will drag in the water. The less resistance you have, the smoother and faster the ride will be. You should also make sure that you do not over-inflate the tube or you run the risk of the tube bursting as it skims against the water.
Globo Surf Overview
Tubing has long been one of the most beloved water sports to do with your boat. It has come a long way since the typical black inner tube that was once used. From tubing on your knees, stomach or in the seated position there is more ways than ever to enjoy this sport. Some of the best tubes even go as far as having multiple riding positions and multiple people per ride. This makes it more of a social activity. The market is so saturated with towable tubes that it can get confusing. That is why we have compiled a list of the top towable tubes out there.
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Do you use one of the towable tubes from our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
Globo Surf Towable Tubes Review