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1 Person Water Towables - Flying Water Tube
1 Person Water Towables - Flying Water Tube
RAVE Sports, AVIVA Sports and SportsStuff Inflatable Towables, Ski Tubes, Stunt Tubes, Banana Boat Towables, and Sea Sleds
Welcome to the RAVE Sports, AVIVA Sports and SportsStuff Inflatable Towables Department
RAVE Sports is a quality banana boat manufacturer of inflatable water playgrounds, trampolines and ski tubes. Now you can turn your water entertainment into a group sport with RAVE Sports towables. Jump aboard the PWC styled Towable for a real kick. These cool water inflatable ski tubes are half pull toy, half space shuttle. They can seat from up to three people with the Tow-behind who will giggle in delight throughout their joy ride. The boat towables are versatile enough for a nice and easy ride for the younger kids or a fast and furious ride for the teens and adults.
The Triton Series of Water Sleds are available in three sizes. Keep it "three's company" with the three-person Water Sled or bring along the whole family or neighborhood with the six-person Waterboggan Water Sled.
RAVE Sports makes their Boat Towable Tubes larger than the competition. They run flat with platforms that have plenty of grip handles for hanging on for dear life. We have customers landing on this page searching for discount Ski tubes, towables, towable ski tubes and inflatable tubes, but the quality is too good to sell them on the cheap. Discounts are available for quantity purchases.
Resorts and camping outfits can take advantage of the commercial-grade Water Sled in a three-person style or get together a troupe and pull the Sea Sled for a fast smooth ride. RAVE Sports Banana Sleds are constructed of 28 guage PVC Tube Material and have 1000 denier nylon covers for years of reliable use. Take to the water this summer and have loads of fun with any one or more of the fabulous RAVE Sports Inflatable Towables.
Replacement parts: contact RAVE Sports directly at 800-659-0790 for more information.
RAVE Sports backs up their extensive line of Inflatable Water Toys with a line of handy accesssories, maintenance products, and repair kits. Click on Inflatable Accessories to view the support product line.
Rave Sports Inflatable Towables Information and Frequently Asked Questions!
RAVE Sports Rave Sports Commercial Towable Ski Tube Information
New this year is the world famous Aviva Sports Inflatable Towable Ski Tube line. One of the inflatable towable leaders in the industry, Aviva Sports offers a complete line of ski tubes to choose from. Shipped directly from our warehouse, if you need it fast, you'll get it.
We welcome innovator and industry fun factor inflatable manufacturer SportsStuff. These guys take boat tubing seriously and offer a complete line of wild and crazy water sports tubes. Everything from an inflatable that you wear like a suit, to one that fits over your head to attachment boat tubes that you can hook up together and create "tubing trains." SportsStuff makes some of the most popular Ski Tubes on the market including the Big Bertha, a ski tube that can carry up to four friends for a water tubing experience not to be forgot. SportsStuff likes to take things to the extreme. They want to push the envelope on water sports fun. So join us and get your water 'Sports Stuff' today and start enjoying your summer!
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Ski Tube 101
WARNING: Towing people behind a boat can be dangerous. Risks of drowning, collision, propeller contact and injury from a snapped rope are apparent. It is your responsibility to be aware of such risks and communicate them to everyone on your boat or ski tube.
The following is intended for general information purposes only. It is essential that you read the specific instructions included with your towable and your boat to be as safe as possible.
Click on any of the following water ski tube topics:
Types of Water Ski Tubes
Water Ski Tube Assembly
Inflating a Water Ski Tube
Inflatable Ski Tube Valves
Maintaining a Towable Ski Tube
How Water Ski Tubes Work
Using Water Ski Tubes
Tow Rope Specifications
Water Ski Tube Safety & Tips
Troubleshooting Towable Ski Tube Problems
TYPES OF WATER SKI TUBES:
Towable Ski Tube popularity is on the rise. In answer to this rising demand manufacturers have come up with many exciting and fun designs. There is no right answer in design…it’s merely a matter of preference and performance.
SINGLE RIDER TUBE: Single rider tubes can only hold one rider at a time and are usually high speed, high performance models for adult users. A single rider ski tube is ideal for tricks, jumps, flying, and high speed as they are much more maneuverable. Single rider tubes are perfect for towing behind jet skis. In addition to being more affordable and easier to store, single rider tubes can use standard strength towing lines and harnesses.
MULTI-RIDER TUBE: Multi-rider ski tubes hold from 2-6 people. Multi-rider ski tube towables are an excellent choice for families or groups of small children. Multi-rider ski tube towables are big, heavy and fairly slow in the water. They should only be used with a heavy duty tow line and harness. Take caution and make sure you adhere to weight limits and stress limitations on all equipment or your tow line might snap and whip the riders, causing serious injury. Multi-rider ski tubes are more expensive and harder to store due to their size.
STANDARD TUBE DESIGN: A standard ski tube is comparable to a large inflatable inner tube. Passengers have a choice of laying across the top of the ski tub on their tummies, sitting in the hole or on top of the tube with their feet in the hole. Standard ski tubes come in both single and multi-rider models.
DECK TUBE: A deck tube is flat and looks like an inflatable mattress. When riding a deck tube towable, you would lie on your stomach and hold on to the handles. This gives the rider a greater perception of speed because their face is forced to be closer to the water. Deck towable tubes offer the best high performance features.
RIDE IN TUBE: A ride in ski tube is much like a raft. Riders sit on a seat or on the floor, with sides surrounding them.
CONCEPT TUBES: Other fun water tube designs include stand-up chariots, inflatable kneeboards, ride-on-top jet skis, hydrofoil boats and multi-rider hot dogs.
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WATER SKI TUBE ASSEMBLY:
You should always read the assembly instructions for your specific inflatable. In general, most ski tubes are put together as follows:
1. Place tube (bladder) inside its nylon cover.
2. Line up the tube valves with the openings in the nylon cover.
3. Inflate the tube until it's firm and the nylon cover is taut.
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INFLATING A WATER SKI TUBE:
Proper inflation is critical to safety and tube longevity. Check for proper tube inflation prior to each use. Always inflate your water tube's safety chamber first. The safety chamber can usually be blown up with your mouth - much like a beach ball.
Most ski tubes are made of an exceptionally durable material called PVC. When the ski tube is firm to the touch and shows no wrinkles in the cover, it has been inflated correctly. It should be difficult to place your hand between the nylon cover and the tube.
You definitely don’t want to over-inflate a ski tube. Over inflation happens to be the foremost cause of damage to PVC material and can rip seams in the nylon cover. The air inside any inflatable will expand in hot weather, so you might need to release a little air throughout the day.
An under-inflated tow tube is also hazardous because it sits too low in the water making it drag through the water instead of being pulled across it. This will cause the ski tube and cover to stretch out of shape.
Ski tubes require a ton of air. The quickest method of inflation is to reverse the flow of a shop vac. Just hold the hose securely to the speed valve and inflate. This approach only takes a couple of minutes. Do NOT use a hair dryer to inflate your water ski tube as the heat may permanently damage the valve.
Ski tubes lose air over time. So air will have to be added periodically. If used frequently, the air will disapate faster. A good way to tell if you need more air in your water tube is if it is slipping out of its cover.
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INFLATABLE SKI TUBE VALVES:
SAFETY VALVE: This push-in valve is used on the safety chamber and looks a lot like the air valve on inflatable pool toys. A safety chamber is a separate inflatable area of your ski tube that will remain inflated (and float) if the water towable should pop or otherwise loose air. Make sure to inflate the safety chamber until firm.
SPEED VALVE (RAISED & RECESSED): A speed valve can be used with a standard electric air pump, shop vac, leaf blower or vacuum equipped with a reversible flow switch. Adapters are available that allow you to use a speed valve with an air compressor (tire fitting).
RECESSED MULTI VALVE: This valve is similar to a speed valve, but has a built in adapter for use with an air compressor (with a tire fitting.) To inflate, unscrew the cap and attach the hose from your inflator. To close a speed valve screw the valve bottom into the base.
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MAINTAINING A TOWABLE SKI TUBE:
Use soap and water or mild detergent to clean your towable water tube. Never use talcum powder or strong solvents. Only store your ski tube dry, deflated and in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. To deflate your ski tube, simply unscrew the entire valve from the base. Do not store a ski tube on the beach, dock or boat while inflated! Heat will expand the air inside and cause over-inflation.
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HOW WATER SKI TUBES WORK
A towable ski tube is basically an inner tube with handles and a connection for a tow line. The inner tube (sometimes called a bladder) is generally constructed of a strong PVC material. Higher quality tubes feature nylon covers to provide protection for the tube. It really is worth the extra couple of bucks to get a covered tube.
The ski tube is attached to a nylon ski tube tow rope that will float in the water. Children should be towed with a shorter rope to prevent them from gaining excess speed when moving back and forth across the boat's wake. (Never tow with a rope shorter than 20 feet. This helps to reduce the riders' carbon monoxide exposure from the boat's exhaust.)
This nylon rope is connected to a boat with a water ski towing cleat or harness.
To install a tow harness secure two closed hooks to your transom tie-down eyes and the harness will form a "Y" behind your boat. Hook the tow rope to the center of the "Y". Harnesses are also made of nylon. They have a built in float which prevents then from sinking and remain clear of the propeller.
If your boat does not already have a water ski towing cleat you can add one. It is imperative that installation of a towing cleat be in the correct spot on your boat. Please contact the manufacturer of your boat before installation to ensure correct placement.
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USING WATER SKI TUBES:
It is crucial to inspect the mechanical condition of your boat before towing any kind of ski tube. Water sports towable tubes place considerable strain on the engine and propulsion systems. It is a good idea to ensure all fluid levels are on target and all mechanical systems are operating properly. Always inspect your towing cleat and transom eyes and tighten as needed. Make a check list for the following necessities: a rear view mirror, skiing safety flag, life jackets for all aboard, a marine VHF radio and a cell phone, safety flares, first aid kit, fire extinguisher etc...
Inspect your towable tube equipment before each use. The tube should be properly inflated. Every towable is different, so read your owners manual to learn the proper inflation of your ski tube. The tow rope and tow harness should not have any fraying or serious discoloration. All hardware should be free of rust and working properly.
Be sure to select a safe area to tow your water tube. There should be a minimum of 100 feet of open water to each side of your boat so your tube can safely move from side to side and jump wakes. There should be at least 3,000 feet of unobstructed waterway in front of your boat - no docks, pilings, rocks, speed signs, etc. Water depth should be at least 6 feet and free of any underwater hazards like large boulders, stumps, large patches of plant life etc. Be certain you within the "boating fast zone" and adhere to the local boating laws.
It is best to have a designated spotter on board the tow boat. The spotter's should watch the ski tube and continually update the driver on the riders’ status. Spotters should also let the driver know of any approaching boats from the side or rear, and warn those boats of the ski tube by waiving a skiing safety flag – especially when a rider is down in the water.
The driver’s attention should always be on the water, obstructions and boat traffic.
Always discuss your speed and route plans with your water ski tube passengers and the spotter as well as review ski hand signals to ensure everyone knows how to communicate. Remind riders that towable tubes have no brakes or steering systems and make a plan for how downed riders will be retrieved. Discuss systems of boarding the tube and the boat at the conclusion of their ride. Make sure everyone knows where the safety equipment is stored in case of an emergency.
It is also important to choose a safe location to stop your boat. Always turn off the engine and remove the key - especially when someone is in the water near the propeller. Passengers should board the towable tube and paddle away from the boat and everyone on the boat or on a tube should be wearing a life preserver.
Never strap arms or legs to ski tube or place arms or legs between the tube and its nylon cover. If the tube flips over, the passenger could easily drown.
Never jerk start a ski tube or launch from a dock or land. Move at idle speed though the water until the tow rope is tight and aligned directly behind the boat. Only then is it safe to move at fast speeds. 20-25 mph for adults and less than 20 mph for children are safe speeds.
Depending on the weight of the passenger, towables will come up on plane at 10 to 25 mph. It is essential to keep the towables nose up until it planes.
When slowing or stopping, make sure that the water tube isn't catching up to the boat. The inflatable water toy should always slow at the same rate the boat does.
The safest and easiest way to tow is directly behind your boat, in the middle of the wake "V" pattern. If you are a bit more adventurous and would like to try jumps or tricks, have the driver make a series of S-turns. This pattern will force the ski tube to move laterally and jump over the wake. The driver should be cautious when performing this pattern because the sharper the turn the greater the movement of the ski tube. When turning at high speeds the tube is likely to flip over suddenly.
When towing at fast speeds be aware that the towable tube can move up to twice the speed as the boat. When moving in a straight line, the boat and tube move at equal speed, but as a ski tube turns sharply, its speed can quickly escalate to twice that of the boat. So when a tube is moving laterally with a 15 MPH boat speed the ski tube can be moving at 30 MPH.
You must also take into account Centrifugal Force and how it affects your riders. This becomes a serious factor when a ski tube jumps a wake and then makes a sharp turn back over the wake. During the turn the rider can be foreced off the tube and away from the boat. This is commonly referred to as the slingshot effect. The boat driver is responsible for controlling boat speed and the slingshot effect to ensure the safety of the ski tube passengers.
More often then not, fatal ski tube accidents are a result of riders colliding with a solid object while turning. Because caution is critical when making s-turn maneuvers at fast speeds. It only takes a moment of distraction to launch riders into a dock, piling, sign, channel marker, rocks or another boat. The other common factor for accidents is a rider loosing their grip while jumping wakes or making sharp turns.
Be aware of other boat wakes or swells and chops on your route. When two waves combine, you get a swell that has combined both wakes heights. For example: if your boat creates a 2 foot wake and a boat traveling next to you makes a 3 foot wake, when they meet the combined wake will be 5 feet tall! This can be perilous for a ski tube riders. A 5 foot wake will launch a ski tube much higher and with greater force then that of a 2 or 3 foot wake. This makes it difficult to remain safely in control…especially if the rider has been jumping 2 foot waves all day.
One family is known to have experienced the tragedy of this exact situation. While the children were being towed at a safe distance from nearby docks, two boats wakes combined. The children unfortunately lost their grip as they were launched off the giant wake. Because the wake was so large, the children flew much farther and much faster. They hit their heads on a dock (that under normal conditions was a safe distance away). One died and one is permanently brain damaged.
Always tow at speeds that are safe for the weight, size, strength and skill level of your passengers. Both the boat and tube should be under full control at all times. If you're not completely in control, slow down.
If a rider should fall off the water ski tube, it is imperative to pick them up immediately. It is difficult for other boats to see riders in the water, so the spotter should keep the rider in their sights and let the driver know where they are and what their status is. The driver should slow down immediately and the fallen passenger should give hand signals to the spotter letting them know if they are alright.
Always approach a fallen rider slowly while pointed into the wind or the current – which ever is the stronger. Remember to always turn off the boats engine and remove the ignition key when approaching a fallen rider.
If the rider is hurt but able to grab a rope, throw them a line and gently haul them in. If they cannot grab a rope, allow the boat to drift towards them with the engine off keeping the operator's side toward the rider. Retrieve the rider from the water only when your boat gets close. Only enter the water to retrieve an injured rider as a last resort. It is quite difficult to rescue people from the water unless you are trained in lifeguard safety. Practicing this technique is a good idea.
If anyone becomes tired, take a break. Boaters' and skiers' fatigue are a one of the main causes of accidents. As the day progresses, the risk of accidents increase while sun, motion, noise and muscle strain begin to lessen alertness.
When a ride is over, it is important to stop the boat in a safe location. As always, shut off the engine and remove the ignition key. Pull the tow rope into the boat with your hands to bring the ski tube closer, and let the riders re-board.
Make sure you safely secure the ski tube and rope out of the drivers view. Using a tie-down kits is a great way to secure a ski tube to a boat. It is wise to keep an air pump on board to deflate and re-inflate as necessary. A deflated ski tube is much easier to stow.
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TOW ROPE SPECIFICATIONS & GUIDELINES FOR WATER SKI TUBES:
WARNING: Always check with the manufacturer of your specific towable product for tow rope specifications. This is a GENERAL GUIDE ONLY published by the WSIA (Water Sport Industry Association) as recommendations for tow ropes reported by one tube manufacturer:
Number of Riders
Weight of Riders
Rope Tensile Strength
A standard tow rope should be at least 50 feet in length, but not exceed 65 feet.
The tow rope should be assembled in a manner appropriate for the water craft and tow tube.
Check all rope connections for frays, cuts, sharp edges, knots and wear and tear before each use. Discard any ropes that appear to be worn.
It is recommended that you replace each tow rope at the beginning of the boating season.
Tow ropes are subject to stretching during use. Warn riders and people in the boat of the danger of ropes recoiling.
DO NOT place arms, legs or head in the handle section.
Ensure that the tow rope is free from all body parts prior to towing a rider.
Do not use a tow rope made of bungee material.
Ropes and harnesses will deteriorate with direct exposure to sunlight so you should store them away from direct sunlight. Discard any rope that is frayed, discolored or raveling.
Do not add hardware to your ski tube that was not supplied by the manufacturer.
Avoid being the boat's propeller at all times. If your tow rope becomes tangled in the propeller, shut off the engine and remove key from ignition before untangling rope from the propeller.
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WATER SKI TUBE SAFETY AND TIPS:
Make sure your gas tank is full; boats burn a lot of gas while towing. Water sport novices are often surprised by the additional gas burned while towing.
Be aware of the riders' perception of speed. Once away from engine noise, perception of speed changes. Riders may want to go faster than is safe. Do not accommodate this.
A good way for riders to get used to a new towable tube is to use it in a swimming pool or near shore to see how it sits or how easily it tips over. It’s a good idea to practice climbing aboard as if re-boarding after a fall. Float around and enjoy it. You'll feel more confident and will be able to control it. Playing with the tube in advance of towing is especially helpful to children.
Under normal conditions, a safe towing speed for adults is about 20 to 25 mph. Safe speeds for children are less than 20 mph, depending on the age and physical capability of the child.
Allow the towable to dry completely before it is stored.
If you're storing an inflatable for several months, deflate it and store it indoors.
Do not tow a tube upside down. It will damage the boat ski tube.
Do not pull a towable tube at high speeds without a rider. This can damage the tube.
To prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning, make sure your tow line is at least 20 feet long. Riders who breathe in exhaust fumes will get sick, pass out, suffer impaired judgment or become extremely fatigued.
Water ski tubes can not be used as snow tubes.
Between tubing trips, stow the ski tube in a place that won't obstruct the boat captain's vision. If necessary, deflate your towable ski tube and store it in a locker or cabin.
Monitor weather conditions carefully throughout the day. Stop towing immediately if weather conditions deteriorate. NEVER tow or swim if lightning can be seen or thunder can be heard anywhere from your location. If lightning is close enough to be seen or heard, it's close enough to kill you.
It’s not a good idea to tube while its windy, rainy or the water is choppy. These conditions quickly create rider fatigue, and it's difficult for the driver to maintain consistent speed or maneuver adequately.
Wear a wet suit if tubing in cooler weather. Cold water and wind can easily cause hypothermia.
When towing young children, drive the boat at slower speeds and use a shorter tow rope. Children under 6 should not ride any type of ski tube. Children older than 6 should only ride with careful supervision.
Only pull ski tubes during daylight hours (it's the law in most places.)
Do not pull more than one tube at once. A line from one tube can easily hurt riders on another tube.
Do not buzz (spray) people or other boats. This can easily result in a crash.
Know your tube's maximum speed rating and don not exceed it. Remember, a tube moving from side-to-side behind your boat is traveling nearly twice as fast as the boat. Excessive speed will "slingshot" your riders off the ski tube and cause serious injury.
Know your tube's maximum number of riders and weight limitations. Know the strength rating of your tow line and harness. Do not risk breaking and whip lashing your tow line by overloading it. Multi-rider tubes require special heavy duty towing line and a heavy duty tow harness.
Insure that there is a lot of room between your boat and any nearby objects (pilings, docks, daymarks, signs, other boats, etc.) Keep the boat on a straight heading (and the tube directly behind the boat) if there are objects nearby. If a waterway suddenly becomes crowded, bring all riders and the tube back into the tow boat and find a better location. A good rule of thumb is: only tube in wide, long, deep and unobstructed areas.
When loading or unloading tube riders, always turn off your boat engine and remove the ignition key.
Assign a spotter to sit in the boat and monitor the tube riders.
Equip your tow boat with a rear view mirror.
Make sure everyone aboard the tube and the tow boat understands hand signals. This is your only form of communication.
Review the planned towing course, speed, towing technique and location of safety equipment with everyone prior to making a run.
Always wear an appropriate life jacket, know the boating rules for your area and study the tube manufacturer's instructions prior to tubing.
Of course never tube or drive a boat after drinking alcohol or tube with people who have been drinking. Tubing is inherently risky and that risk increases exponentially when alcohol is involved.
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TROUBLESHOOTING TOWABLE SKI TUBE PROBLEMS:
Problem: Tube doesn't hold air.
Solution: Make sure the speed valve is installed properly, and re-install if necessary. Check to see if the ski tube was inflated initially - and add more air if necessary.
Problem: Speed valve is leaking.
Solution: Check to see if the speed valve has a rubber gasket. Listen closely - can you hear air leaking? Make sure the valve and cap are screwed in straight and tight. Leakage can occur if the valve is cross-threaded. Make sure the washer is sealed property. Be sure the washer on the valve is completely flush against the top portion of the threads. Check the base of the speed valve for nicks or scratches that may appear on the ridge where the washer and the valve would join. If there appears to be nicks or scratches on this ridge, you can repair this at home by aiming a hairdryer set on a warm setting directly at this point. After one-to-two minutes the nicks or scratches should disappear.
Problem: Towable inflates but doesn't become firm.
Solution: Check to make sure it was inflated with a high volume air pump. If you are sure the tube was inflated property, check for leaks or re-install the speed valve. Applying soapy water to the surface of your ski tube while inflated will reveal leaks by creating soapy bubbles. If you do find a leak, use a patch kit (sold at stores that stock ski tubes) to repair the damage.
Problem: Towable tube nylon cover is loose.
Solution: Make sure the ski tube is placed inside the cover and is fully inflated. The cover should fit snugly over the well-inflated tube. If the cover remains loose, add more air.
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Towable Ski Tubes Inflatable Water Sports Towables
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