Excitement from the get-go
Those lacking the skills or guts to water ski can now find aquatic thrills with boating tubes. Boating tubes are colorful, inflatable water towables for all ages. Ski tubes are available in various shapes and sizes, from round models that resemble innertubes to hotdog-, kite-, and shoe-shaped tubes.
Boating tubes are attached to boats with a towrope, and carry one to four riders. Some are designed for one adult or child, and some are geared for two adults or one child and an adult. It's as easy as getting in the boating tube and holding on for a thrilling ride! Some designs shoot plumes of water into the air.
Thrills and spills
If being pulled behind a boat by a towrope sounds boring, hold on, because as the boat zigzags across the water, the water ski tube makes its way across the wakes. Depending on the driver and how he maneuvers the boat, the boat tube can whip across the water or sail through the air.
Safety should always come first. A responsible and informed boat driver is a must. Be aware of the capabilities and the limitations of both the boating tube and its riders. Check and secure the towrope connection; check the rope for fraying. Never load a boating tube beyond age and weight capacity, and follow speed limits and requirements.
Never ride without a life vest, and never let the line slack. Base speed on conditions and ages of riders (8-10 mph for young children; 10-15 mph for older children; 15-25 mph for older teens and adults). There are other boats on the water; never zigzag when another boat is approaching, and keep boating tubes away from obstacles. Speeds should be reduced when driving over wakes, especially when riders are on their stomachs. Above all, avoid extreme stunts.