Home > Recreation > Boating > Tubing Safety

Tubing Safety

At one time, water skiing was the preferred water sport on Mississippi Lake.  Now, it’s tubing -  no skill required; just hang on.

 

A water skier knows the hand signals: speed up, slow down, take me home.  How many tube passengers know and use the same signals?  A water skier has the ability to steer and alter course.  A tube passenger is at the mercy of the vectors of speed and direction.  The tried-and-true safety rules of water skiing apply to tubing, along with some additional considerations, given the inability of the passenger to control speed or direction. 

 

In a dire emergency, a water skier can simply drop the tow rope and slowly come to rest in the water.  A passenger who ejects from a tube will experience

an out-of-control high speed skid across the water before coming to rest.  While it looks quite benign, tubing is inherently more dangerous than water skiing. Airhead, the company that manufactures a wide range of inflatable towable products, publishes the following safety rules for tubing:

WATERSPORTS RESPONSIBILITY CODE

Be aware that there are risks in Boating and Tubing that good judgment and personal awareness can help reduce. To increase your enjoyment of Tubing, follow the ten elements of the Code:

  1. ALWAYS familiarize yourself with applicable laws, waterways, and inherent risks

  2. ALWAYS have a capable observer in addition to driver, and agreed on hand signals

  3. ALWAYS wear a properly fitted life jacket approved by Transport Canada

  4. ALWAYS read user’s manual and inspect equipment before use

  5. ALWAYS ski and ride under control, at proper speeds, and within your limits

  6. ALWAYS turn ignition off when anyone is near watercraft power drive unit

  7. ALWAYS stay clear of engine exhaust to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning

  8. NEVER “Platform Drag” or touch swim platform while the engine is running

  9. NEVER ski or ride near swimmers, shallow water, other boats, or obstacles

  10. NEVER operate watercraft, ski, or ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

THE WARNINGS AND PRACTICES SET FORTH ABOVE IN THE WATERSPORTS RESPONSIBILITY CODE REPRESENT SOME COMMON RISKS ENCOUNTERED BY USERS. THE CODE DOES NOT COVER ALL INSTANCES OF RISK OR DANGER. PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE AND GOOD JUDGMENT.

To really understand the risks and safe practices of tubing, watch this Inflatables Safety Video