1. Most water tubes have a simple construction, consisting of an inner tube, also known as a bladder, made of durable PVC. Some water tubes often have a nylon cover for additional protection and enhanced comfort during riding.
2. Shape, handles, and towing connections are some of the features to consider as you shop for water tubes and towables. Standard, donut-style tubes usually are equipped with handles on the top. Water tubes often have floors, which allow passengers to choose from several riding positions.
3. Deck or platform towables feature flat designs, like floating mattresses with handles. Passengers lie on their stomachs, gripping the handles to stable themselves. Water tubes keep riders close to the water to provide the thrill of a high-speed ride.
4. Different water tubes are designed for different numbers of passengers. Single-person water tubes
are highly maneuverable, allowing for smooth, fast rides, as well as jumps and freestyle stunts for experienced riders. These towables can be used with boats or jet skis.
5. Multiple-passenger towables are designed to allow several riders to enjoy tubing together. These tubes provide leisurely rides at slower speeds. They require heavy-duty ski tow ropes
and more powerful watercraft to handle the weight of multiple riders.
6. When inflating water tubes, always pay close attention to the manufacturers specifications. Over-inflation may cause tears in the PVC tubing, while under-inflation may result in unstable rides that are prone to tipping. When properly inflated, tubes will feel firm, and nylon covers will appear wrinkle-free. Always use a pressure gauge to confirm proper inflation.
7. Safe towing speeds vary with the number of riders, rider skill level, and ski tube design. With young riders, never exceed speeds of 20 mph, regardless of tube design. For experienced riders on single-rider tubes, 25 mph is a reasonable speed limit. Ideal speeds for many multi-rider tubes usually fall between 10 and 15 mph. Consult the manufacturer's speed guidelines for specific water tubes.
8. With less experienced riders, towing should be done at slower speeds and with shorter tow ropes. This will allow both rider and watercraft operator to maintain control through steady straight-line rides and turning accelerations.
9. Remember that along with ski tube design, the strength, skill, and weight of the rider should determine proper towing speed. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for age and weight.
10. Be sure to let all banana boats and water tubes dry completely before storing. For long-term or off-season storage, all towables should be fully deflated and kept indoors.