Towables can be one of the most fun ways to enjoy boating and be out on the water. The wind blowing through your hair, the rush of being pulled behind a boat and the refreshing water surrounding you all combine to create a wonderful experience while out on the lake. But as much fun as it can be, steps must be taken in order to make sure that the activity remains safe. Here are a couple tips to make sure you are doing all you can do to keep towables fun, while not putting the rider in danger.
Adhere to the Rider Limit
It’s best to make sure you don’t load more riders on the towable then the amount of people it’s designed for. Both size of the towable and number/placement of handles are important in making sure everybody stays safe. Just because it seems like you’ll be able to fit three people on a two person towable doesn’t mean that it’s safe to do so.
Personal Flotation Devices
It is imperative that the rider always wears a life jacket that is rated for water sports and fits properly. Being a great swimmer is no excuse not to wear one. Getting thrown off a towable can cause an injury that could hinder your ability to swim or even knock you out on impact. Using a properly fitted life jacket is the best option when out on the towable.
Not Too Fast
While it may be fun to test the limits of speed while being towed, its not safe too go too far. No more than 18 mph is recommended for Adults and 15 mph for children. It’s best to start off even slower than that for riders who are not used to towables.
It’s both safer, more efficient, and better for the health of the towable to make sure that it is properly inflated at all times. The towable should be firm and wrinkle free when properly inflated and should be riding high on the water when in use. If not properly inflated it will be more susceptible to pop, harder to drag (thus wasting more gas), cause the rope to stretch and force the nylon cover to tear. All of these can not only be costly, but can injure the rider.
Know the Riders Limits
Make sure to have a conversation with the rider before hand to make sure you know how fast they’re willing to go. While a rider in their twenties may like higher speeds, whipping turns and a liberal utilization of the wake, a twelve year old may not be able to handle it. Make sure to know how far the rider is willing to go before pushing them too hard.
Use a Skier Down Flag
It is imperative (and in many states a law) that you alert other boaters when your riders fall off the tube. Use a bright skier down flag so that other boaters are aware that you’ve got someone in the water.
So remember to stay safe, have fun and enjoy your time out on the water. As always, remember to check out SavvyBoater.com for all of your towable and boating needs.