Jump on a jet ski and enjoy the ride. Soar over the water in a tube as the wind whips your hair around. Look up at the blue sky, feel the sun on your face, and hear your laughter ring out. Life really doesn’t get any better than this!
The jet ski tubing experience is all about getting back to basics and letting go of all your worries for a few hours. With this activity, you can forget about traffic jams, deadlines, and even gravity! The best part? It’s a thrilling experience that everyone can enjoy together.
Why choose jet ski tubing?
Obviously, there are other watercraft to consider for your tubing experience, including boats. So, why go for a jet ski?
Here, we’ll look at the reasons that make jet skis the better choice for tubing than boats and other watercraft.
When it comes to speed and safety, jet ski tubing is definitely the way to go. Jets skis can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph, making it a favorite for kids or grownups who like a good thrill.
Also, because jet skis are faster than boats, it means you’ll get you back sooner in case there’s a change in weather or an emergency.
Compact and maneuverable
Jet skis are small, lightweight personal watercraft. Most average around 400-750 pounds and measure 120-130 inches long and 45-50 inches wide.
Hence, they’re easier to transport than boats if you need to move them around or have an emergency situation. In fact, they can fit in just any trailer. Also, the compact size makes them easier to maneuver as there’s less drag.
Easy to explore out of the way places
A jet ski can go on top of the water and in shallow waters where boats can’t. This makes them a great choice if you want to go to a secluded beach that’s not easily accessible by boat or if you want to explore areas off-shore where there are coral reefs.
They are also perfect for getting around on those rivers or lakes that have no bridges connecting them with the shore. Even better, jet skis are capable of getting on top of the waves and will not get stuck on top of the wave like a boat might.
To top it all, it can navigate shallow waters. It can run in waters as shallow as 3 feet or even less at higher speeds. Just ensure it doesn’t suck up objects, such as sand and rocks.
Cheaper than boats
Jet skis are a lot cheaper than boats. At the low end of the spectrum, a new jet ski will typically cost around $5,000. A good example is the Sea-Doo Spark jet ski.
Jet skis are also more affordable because the fuel is less expensive. In addition, there are fewer parts that can break, hence requires little to no maintenance.
So, if you want to go tubing on a budget, nothing beats a jet ski!
It allows family fun
Jet skis have less seating capacity than boats. But that doesn’t make it unsuitable for family fun. They can have a seating capacity of up to 4 people, which is enough for a small family. Not only that, but it can also pull multi-rider tubes.
How much horsepower do you need for jet ski tubing?
If you’re looking for the best jet skis for tubing, 110 horsepower is the minimum you should consider. Higher horsepower models will give you a much smoother and faster ride, whereas lower horsepower models may overload when pulling a tube.
At 110 horsepower, a jet ski can tow weights of up to 200 pounds. Well, that’s enough for the average person. Still, you can choose a higher horsepower if you plan to pull multi-rider tubes.
How to choose the best tube for a jet ski
Buying the right tube for your jet ski is important to ensure a safe and fun experience. But, with so many qualities, features, and options to consider, it’s hard to know where to start. But we’re here to help!
Here are some things you should consider when buying a tube for your jet ski.
- Always buy high-quality towable tubes as cheaper ones barely last a day on the water. Most often, the best boating tubes have reinforced PVC bladder. Also, consider valves that are easier to inflate and deflate. The best example is the Boston valve.
- Also, consider comfort. Padded tubes are going to be much more comfortable. Though not a make or break feature, ensure it has ample padding on the seat and sides.
- Choose a tube that has sturdy handles. It will help with stability and also makes it easy for riders to mount the tube. Plus, the handles should have knuckles guards that make them comfortable to hold onto for longer.
- Also, save time by choosing a tube that has quick connect tow hooks.
- The size of the tube should complement the seating capacity of the jet ski. Standard jet skis, for instance, have a seating capacity of 3 people, including the driver. Hence, if you want the best tube for such a jet ski, choose one that can seat one or two people.
- What type of water do you plan on using the tube on? Will it just be freshwater lakes, or does it need to withstand saltwater too? It’s always best to pick a tube that can withstand both salt and fresh water.
Tips for attaching the tube to your jet ski
Use the correct rope length and type
According to the Water Sports Industry Association, towing ropes must be at least 50 feet and a maximum of 65 feet. The extra distance is to avoid spraying the rider in the face when a spill occurs. Also, it prevents the rider from coming in contact with the jet ski in case they take a tumble across the water.
In addition, the jet ski and the tube don’t go at the same speed, especially during turns. In fact, the tube travels at almost double the speed during turns. So, if you turn the jet ski at, say 20 mph, the tube will travel at double the speed, 40 mph. So, it’s better to have a longer rope to keep your distance.
Also, choose the correct type of rope. For example, never use one that is frayed, has knots, or is sun-damaged. Hence, take time to inspect it before heading out on the water.
In addition, only use ropes designed for tubing. Never use those designed for water skis, wakeboards, and kneeboards.
Choose a rope with enough pull strength
How strong should your tow rope be? Well, to answer that, consider the chart below.
Maximum Weight of Riders (pounds)
Rope Tensile Strength (pounds)
NB: The tow rope specifications outlined above are a recommendation of the Water Sports Industry Association. Hence, it gives the best guideline for choosing a rope strong enough for your needs.
Add a booster ball
A booster ball will protect both the tube and the rope. For starters, it keeps the rope from being sucked into the pump. Also, this all-in-one solution prevents rope slack when turning as well as reduce face splashing. Simply put, it helps create a smoother ride.
How to keep safe from the dangers of towing with a jet ski
Jet ski tubing is extremely fun. However, to get the most of it, you need to follow basic rules.
- Like most watersports, you should always wear a life jacket. This applies to both the driver and the tube rider.
- Pay close attention to any twists and turns you make while pulling. After all, most riders tend to fall off the tube during such times.
- Jet skis must be a three-seater. It should have a seat for the driver, a spotter, and the tube rider when they need relief.
- Don’t pull too close to the shoreline. Allow at least twice the distance of the rope from the shoreline.
- For beginners, always maintain a steady speed to ensure a smooth ride and avoid any surprises. Also, keep the speed at under 20 mph for those starting out.
- Always attach the tow ropes securely to an approved attachment point.
- Beware of your local water regulations since it varies from state to state.
- Avoid alcohol as it’s the leading factor in most water accidents. So, before heading out, ensure the driver or the passengers are sober and aware of their surroundings.
- Drivers should watch out for docks, pilings, and other watercraft while whipping and towing tubes.
Tips for removing the tow rope from the engine
As mentioned, there are instances where the rope might get sucked into the engine. When this happens:
- Turn off the engine immediately and have the jet ski towed back to the shore. Also, ensure to remove the key to prevent accidental starts.
- Put the jet ski on a trailer to allow you to remove the rope underneath. Depending on how much rope is sucked in, you might have to remove the spark plugs or even rotate the engine.
- NB: You should avoid tipping the jet ski when removing the rope as it can damage the exhaust system.
- Ensure no rope is left behind. Otherwise, you run the risk of damage the seals.
Jet Ski Tubing is a fun and exhilarating activity for those that enjoy being on the water. It offers a more thrilling experience, far more than tubing behind a boat.
However, it can also be very dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Even for those who have been tubing many times before, it’s important to remember that anything can happen. Hence, always consider the safety precautions before you head out for everyone’s safety.