Watching the enjoyment and excitement of tube riders is perhaps one of the best aspects of owning a boat. Whether it's the cocky cousin who needs to be flipped or a first timer who begs for a more mellow experience, boat tubes pack hours of fun for family and friends.
There are many types of tubes for boating and they all offer something different. Smaller, round tubes are designed for 1 person while the AIRHEAD Hot Dog and Super Mable can tow up to 3 riders at a time.
When selecting a tube consider the type of rider you will pull. While you personally may be drawn to the super fast Speed Ray tube, if you have more timid kids then an easy rider like the AIRHEAD Mach 2 is more suitable. On Down at the Dock you can find the right towable that ensures a good, safe ride for everyone!
Classic Single Rider
The classic boat tube is a round, inflated inner tube with a tough nylon cover for gliding across the water. Best for use with one rider, two youngsters can kneel inside as well. Sometimes a small child wants a parent to ride with them, in which case the child will sit on the lap of the adult who is sitting rear-down inside the tube.
The design and function of towable water tubes has significantly improved over the years. New tubes have one-way vents built into the bottom so that water does not build up inside and create drag. Furthermore, the connecting apparatus sewn into the tube cover used to require threading a water ski rope handle. Now the Tube Rope Connectors are built in for easy and more secure rope attachments.
For a reliable traditional-style boat tube, we recommend the AIRHEAD Blast Towable from Kwik-Tek. AIRHEAD has really done a great job when designing this tube for the rider. The fun racer design beckons for a fun time. Four handles mean riders can sit in the middle or lie on top to take on faster turns. Grab a book when anchored at the sandbar and the AIRHEAD Blast transforms into a comfortable leisure tube. Everyone we talk to is always satisfied after purchasing this durable tube for all general tubing purposes.
For more daring groups who might not require slow cruising in their tube, the appropriately named AIRHEAD Rebel is a flat tube for more aerodynamic turning and side-to-side action across the wake. Riders lay face down and hang on for their lives as they forfeit control to the whims of the captain. The Rebel is a leader in this new class of deck tubes and this particular bundle package comes with tow rope and air pump included. We want to get you up and started on this thriller as quickly as possible!
The latest generation of boat towables has reached whole new heights in terms of speed, durability, and multi-rider fun. This new group of what we call "Crazy Tubes" takes it up a notch.
Super Mable Tube
To start things off check out the new and improved Super Mable Tube. A three-rider behemoth, the Super Mable is the previous Big Mable Tube on steroids. Wider, stronger, faster, more versatile, this towable has built in two opposite tow points. Choose your preference of being towed forwards or backwards or kneeling or sitting. Either way, handles are placed in all the right places on the Super Mable for hours of towing fun.
Hot Dog Tube
The Hot Dog Tube has shot itself to the forefront of the tubing world. Before only seen on beach resorts in the Caribbean, the hot dog has now been adapted to a three-person version for recreational boaters around the US. We couldn't be happier that it has and seem to be able to fly through whole days bouncing around the lake on this best-seller.
Faulty quality used to plague the many different models that rushed out with a hot dog-type tube. AIRHEAD has emerged as the most reliable and this new and improved version uses one of the toughest types of 1,680D ballistic nylon available (originally designed for bullet proof vests!). You will get the proper mileage out of this product or send it back with a 90-day limited warranty. Pick this incredible Hot Dog Tube today and your children will love you for it.
Speed Ray Tube
There have been an increasing number of Speed Ray sightings around the lake recently and for good reason. After states started to crack down on the controversial flying Manta Ray Tube, the Speed Ray is the perfect legal alternative. While the Speed Ray cannot fly, catch the wake right and you are guaranteed to get some serious air.
The Speed Ray design features one or two riders lying face down and pulling up the front lip to hang on. This reduces drag so only the back edge makes contact with the water. Furthermore, the angled wings create further lift and frictionless movement in and out of the wake. Full Throttle has lived up to their name by designing perhaps one of the fastest tubes on the market today. Buy this tube and your teenagers will want to hang out with you every weekend.
Keep in mind that bigger tubes with heavier loads require stronger tow ropes. While in most cases a traditional ski rope can pull a single rider tube without a problem, we still recommend picking up a tube rope with heavier towing capabilities. A snapped tow rope is really dangerous if it snaps back in the riders' faces or gets tangled in the propeller. Therefore, best to err on the side of caution with heavy-duty ropes designed for pulling larger towables. Check out our tow ropes page for more information.
After purchasing a tube and throughout the tube's lifetime boat owners are faced with the task of blowing up these large inflatables. We prefer having an air pump do the heavy lifting for us. If your house is close to the lake, you might prefer an electric air pump that plugs into any standard wall socket. The AIRHEAD Electric Air Pump will do the trick. Other people like to store their towable water tubes on the boat and deflate after each use. Without electric hookups, the popular AIRHEAD Hand Pump with multiple nozzles can store easily on the boat.
The biggest fear with any inflatable water toy, however, is still suffering a crippling puncture or tear to the tube bladder. Fortunately Tear-Aid has developed a water tube puncture repair kit that can tackle any routine holes in towable tubes. We also recommend keeping the patch kit handy before an accident happens to get the tube back on the water as quick as possible. Illustrated instructions are included to make sure a tight seal on the patch is made.
Boat tubes bring the whole family together on the lake. It is important to be safe, abide by any state laws for towables, and of course have fun. Choose the right tube for your gang's riding style. If one type does not suit everyone, it is not uncommon to have 2, 3, or more tubes. Try towing multiple tubes at a time!
In our case, we usually get the hardcore tubers out early for those who crave speed and embrace the possibility of being flipped. As the afternoon progresses, more casual tubing ensues while cruising around the lake. Whichever style you develop, tubing behind a boat is one of the best ways to enjoy a day on the water with the whole family.