Riding solo or with a passenger on the back is what most people think of when they think of using a jet ski. But there are plenty of other things you can do with a jet ski: fishing, camping, swimming, and inner tubing. While not every jet ski makes a great tube tower, there are plenty out there that can easily pull an inner tube, providing you and your family with hours of fun.
There are lots of different types of tubes that can be pulled behind a jet ski, but some are better than others. If you’re looking for a tube to use with your kids or family, you’ll need a high-quality, multi-seat product. We’ve put together this list of the best jet ski tubes for families, broken down by the number of people that fit on the tube.
- 1 Top Questions People Have About Jet Ski Tubes
- 2 5 Best Jet Ski Tubes for Families
- 3 Conclusion
Top Questions People Have About Jet Ski Tubes
Before you run out and buy a tube for your ski, you may have some questions about how safe they are and how to use them. Here are some of the top concerns people have about towing an inner tube.
Are they safe?
The number one question people ask about jet ski tubes is “are they safe?” You may have heard horror stories about people being injured or even killed in jet ski tubing accidents. These stories are certainly distressing, and it’s important to keep in mind that there are unique safety concerns that must be addressed for tubes.
For example, a tube cannot be pulled as fast as a jet ski can go. The tube is much lighter than a jet ski and can easily flip or fly out of the water. When pulling a tube, you should never drive faster than 20-25mph. Not only is driving too fast dangerous, it is also very uncomfortable for the rider and a surefire way to make them never want to do it again.
The next safety measure to keep in mind for jet ski tubing is the number of people on the tube. Flying elbows and knees can cause plenty of damage to noses and other body parts at high speed. Never overload your tube and make sure everyone on the tube understands how to ride safely.
How To Safely Tube behind a Jet Ski?
Before you start towing people—especially kids—it’s crucial that you and everyone aboard understand how to safely tube behind a jet ski.
First of all, make sure you have the proper equipment. This means a sturdy, high-quality inner tube, not an inflatable, PFD, water wings, or any other kind of water equipment. You will also need a proper rope for towing. This means investing in a new, strong, brightly colored, floating rope. Finally, you will need a secure spot to attach the rope to your jet ski. This can be the tow hook under the seat, or if you don’t have one, consider installing a ski pylon.
Next, choose the right location. You need a large area free from rocks, tree stumps, shallow areas, sandbars, rough waves, and high winds. Ideally, you also want an area without too much water traffic. A placid lake in the early morning before it gets busy is your best bet.
Appoint a “spotter” on the tube. This person’s job is to watch out for obstacles and obstructions, to communicate with the jet ski driver, and to alert the driver if anyone is in the water. If someone does fall overboard, the spotter should also keep an eye on the person in the water until contact is made.
Finally, make sure everyone on board understands the rules of safe tubing. No jumping from the tube, no standing, no fighting or pushing.
Does a Tube Work Better With a Particular Jet Ski?
There are definitely brands and models of jet ski that work better for tubing and other tow sports. Most manufacturers make a tow model that is geared toward use for watersports. These models are usually more stable, have a lower top speed, and include handy features to make towing easier.
Some of the best models out there for tube towing in 2022 include the Sea-Doo Wake Pro 230, the Sea-Doo GIT SE 130, the Yamaha Waverunner EX Sport, Yamaha FX Cruiser HO, and the Yamaha FX Limited SVHO. Most of these models are also geared toward carrying multiple riders, so they’re a great choice for families.
5 Best Jet Ski Tubes for Families
A jet ski tube for a family is going to need space for at least two people, and possibly up to four. There are also various different positions that can be experienced with different types of tubes. Let’s look at the 5 best inner tubes for families available in 2022.
Airhead Slice: Best Two-Person Tube
Airhead is known for making some of the best towable tubes on the market, and their 2-person Slice tube is no exception. It’s the fastest two-person tube around, due to its unique incline design. The front of the tube is slightly raised, and it slopes down to just 6 inches high in the back. The tube is designed for two people but can be used by a solo rider.
Not only does the raised design give the tube more speed, but it also makes for a more comfortable riding position for those on their bellies. Be aware that because the front of the tube is raised, it requires a little more upper body strength to stay on the tube, and so may not be good for very young kids.
Airhead HotDog: Best Three-Person Tube
When multiple people get on a tube, limbs start flying and accidents can happen. This is especially true if everyone is piled into the middle of a round disc or donut. Airhead solves this problem with their hotdog tubes, which come in many sizes, up to eight people.
The three-person hotdog allows riders to straddle the tube and be spaced at regular intervals. This makes holding on much easier and prevents injury from flying knees and elbows. The slight downside is that it must be towed more slowly than a lower-profile tube to prevent tipping. The upside is: it’s a hotdog!
Airhead Great Big Mable: Best Four-Person Tube
The Great Big Mable is designed for four riders, but can safely carry anywhere from 1-4 people. It’s the most comfortable ride on this list, with its cushy backrest, comfy foam seats, and lots of leg room. It has dual towing points, so can be towed from either the front or the back.
The Great Big Mable is ideal for great big families, and is also a great choice for groups of adult friends due to its large size. You can easily fit four adults on the tube. It’s a very stable ride, so it may be preferable even for smaller groups of riders.
Sportstuff Poparazzi Towable: Best Stand-Up Tube
Remember when we said, “never stand up on a tube?” We lied. This tube, you can stand on. It’s designed for three people: two riders lying down in front and one standing behind. It’s intended for three people, but can be safely used by one or two.
Because it requires one person to stand, the Poparazzi may not be a good choice for families where all kids are very young. An older kid with good safety sense and a strong grip should stand on the back. Never ride the tube standing solo.
Airhead Mach 2: Best for Very Young Riders
The Airhead Mach 2 has a unique cockpit-style design that makes it an excellent choice for young kids. The tube features two recessed seats that are sunk low into the tube and provide a safe nook for little kids to sit. The recessed areas are large enough for adults to sit in too.
The tube is designed for two riders. The one drawback to this tube is that, due to the recessed seats, it can’t be ridden lying down.
Jet ski tubing is an exhilarating experience that your family will love. For kids, especially, it’s a great activity that burns a lot of energy and gets them out on the water. Just be sure to take every safety precaution and make sure you have the right equipment before you go.
With a little preparation and some adherence to strict safety protocols, you’ll be having fun in the sun with your fam in no time! Do you have a recommendation for a great family jet ski tube? Let us know in the comments!