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Sandmannd

Towing a Tube

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Hey all,

I bought a ski tube off Craig's List as my girls are getting into boating and I want to have as much fun with them as possible. Anyway, I'm wondering how fast you go when pulling kids on these things? They are 12 years old. My boat will do 30 mph with five in the boat. Do you want to go that fast, or do you just plane it and then drop it back around 15 or 20 mph?

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I suggest that you let them dictate how fast they want to go. Once they get more comfortable, they will want to hit the big waves and be outside the wake. I do know some kids that went on their first ride with a driver who assumed they wanted to go fast...now they don't like to tube at all.

Enjoy!

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If you were my Dad, as fast as the boat can go. This was a 17' Lund with a 115 on it. I never saw how fast we were going because I was on the tube holding on for my life! Just try it out slow and have them let you know what they're comfortable with.

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The tube will give you some indication of the right speed too. Too slow and it will plow the water, too fast and it will bounce like crazy. My young kids like going at the slowest speed that keeps the tube on plane on top of the water -- usually 10-12 mph but depends on how much weight is on the tube.

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I used to make circles, which created huge choppy waves, then drove near the big choppy waves, and turned away from them, forcing the tubers right over the chop. You can get the little suckers 6 ft in the air!!! LOL>

You can make a "U", and then drive down the center of the "U" from the open end, the waves from the 2 sides of the "U" will be crashing into each other, especially closer to the closed end, it's fun to give them a little bounce.

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You have to experiment with timing, as far as how far to go in each direction, so that you will time the maximum peak of the waves. You will be amazed at the size of the waves created from the two sides crashing into each other. But timing is everything.

If you wanna stop by, I can loan you my knee board, they're fun too. I think your 12 year old could probably handle it.

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I agree, let them dictate until they're comfortable. Once they get used to the tube, they'll get crazy.

One piece of advice, as fishermen, we are usually quite aware to stay away from other fisherman. But also be aware of waterskiiers. Nothing sucks worse than hitting a calm stretch of water for a couple of slalom runs and having a tuber move in and kick up a bunch of waves!

Enjoy! We're justing getting our nieces into tubing and kneeboarding. Trying to get them on skis, but they are sissies smile

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Oh yea, I'll be considerate for sure. I know how much I hate it when they ruin my fishing. Garrett, thanks for the offer. I think I'll get them used to the tube before they hit a knee board though.

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30 is fast and can hurt when you fly off on the corners, when there's 2 people you can hit each other get injured that way.

I had my friend pull 2 of us up to 50 MPH once, it was insane. I didn't even want to take one hand off the handle to signal to him to stop.

When I was younger the name of the game was always the boat driver trys to get the people off, we then progressed to 2 riders on seperate tubes vs each other, we had a point system and hand signals all worked out. Good times......

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I seem to rememeber either my tube or the tube rope recommends a max speed of 20. I've gone to maybe 25 or so on occasion, which seems plenty fast on a tube. Water gets pretty hard for kids when you are up in the 30-35 mph range.

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I think you are right most tubes say 20 or so mph is recommended. I'm going to a friends cabin this weekend for some tubing and skiing. Last year when we went my buddy was pulling my at 30-35 mph and it was a blast but not suggested for kids. When you fall off at 30-35 mph you skip across the water pretty good and it might hurt/scare littler ones.

Also he was pulling us with a ski pylon which creates a higher center of gravity for the tube and in turn makes it easier for the driver to flip the tube on you.

I'd take it slow at first with kids, figure out a set of hand signals so they can tell you faster or slower. Pretty soon they'll be begging for you to go faster and faster and faster.

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we use the thumbs up and thumbs down for the signs for fast &slow. Let them tell you, but you have control of the boat, they don't have to know what wide open is Right????? wink

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Yep, that's what I was thinking, the thumb up and down and just a wave now and then if they are doing good. I'm really pumped to get them out and have some fun.

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i 900th the go slow. when i was younger my cousins bounced me off a kneeboard at about 30.like nofish said at that speed you skip on the water not sink into it. very dangerous and painful. dont know how many pairs of our trunks are in the water. start slow like everyone says. thums up and down are easy and great. always have a spotter as well. good luck and stay safe.

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Yep, that's what I was thinking, the thumb up and down and just a wave now and then if they are doing good. I'm really pumped to get them out and have some fun.

For sure have the communication clear. The thumbs up and down. The wave or ok sign that everything is good. And don't forget to communicate a STOP signal. Remember that when you make turns they gain a lot of speed. I know when I first started using my boat to pull the tube I couldn't get the tube to go over the wake. I shortened the rope up a bit and now have the control I want. Have fun.

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I can tell you that it only takes one bad ride for them to not want to go back on. Last summer my brother in-law was pulling my 3 year old son with me on the tube with him over big waves, and he would not go back on one the rest of the summer. He is back on one this summer, but it took a lot work to get him back out there. Go only as fast as they want.

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Well I got them out tubing yesterday and we all had a blast!! Even my three year old got in (with one of the other girls at a time) and had a smile so big, that's all you could see of her face. The girls loved it, but wanted to fish as well. I'm cool with doing both with them of course. We started slow and my neice would keep giving me the thumbs up till I hit 20 and told her that was it. She loved it all. My daughter liked it more around 12-14 mph.

I tried to swing them out but I think I need to tie the rope right to the boat to do this? I have a cable that goes across the back of my boat and a red float that is on a pully a pully. Doesn't seem to let me knock them out of the wake at all.

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20 mph is about where I would top it out for kids as well. Once you get them out of the wake they will pick up ALOT of speed. If you are turning and they get outside the wake they'll be going almost twice as fast as the boat it self which is where you get the skipping across the water which is fun when a little older.

My buddy pulled me on the tube this weekend and thought it would be fun to get going a little faster. He said he got it up to 45-50 mph but being that close to the water sure makes it seem faster. Luckily he wasn't able to dump me at that speed that might have hurt a little.

Anyways I'm glad the kids had fun. Always nice to find more ways to get enjoyment out of the boat. Makes the expense of it all the more worth while.

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.....

I tried to swing them out but I think I need to tie the rope right to the boat to do this? I have a cable that goes across the back of my boat and a red float that is on a pully a pully. Doesn't seem to let me knock them out of the wake at all.

That is the same set up that I have, but sharp turns will get them on the outside of the wake. From there, if you keep turning they will really pick up speed. Then if you make a sharp turn the other way, they will fly back over the wake to the other side at just under the speed of sound.

I wouldn't suggest the above for young kids, they'll never trust you again. Start slow, and at the next switch up, ask them if they want more bumps or speed.

I remember being on the tube and going on the outside so fast, all I could hear was wind...Kind of Fear Factory scary!

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I cant believe you have to question how fast to pull your 12 year old kids. Slow would be my answer. I think you would feel a lot worse if they got hurt going fast than if they didnt have quite as much fun going slower. I would say 20 tops.

Once they get older and stronger than bump it up a bit and increase the tightness of turns.

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Seriously Northlander, I wasn't sure. I knew not to go full out but I wasn't exactly sure what speed or what to do. This is the first with a tube for me, I didn't grow up with them. I thought this site was about asking questions and answers?

I'm thankful for the answers I got and we all had a great time. Couldn't ask for anymore and I'm glad I asked the question. I'm sure I ask more questions folks think are dumb cause they've done it their whole lives. I can live with that though.

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You're going about it the right way, Sandman. Start out slow and as their courage increases, so will the speed. We used to have a blast on those things when we were kids. You get going fast enough and hit the water just right and I'll tell you what, it may not be sanitary, but those lakewater enemas shure cleanse the colon.

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I would suggest you do not take the kids in a circle pattern as you will eventually bring them over the multiple wake waves, causing them to bounce like crazy.(You most likely paid thousands for dental braces so don't risk paying additional money to fix a dental injury). I take my kids in a slalom pattern. They do get whipping when outside of the wake. Just watch when their tube slows down to make your next turn or you will rip the tow roap from the tube. I have found the best deal on a 2 man tube at the big outdoor store in Owatonna and Rogers. About 50% of the cost compared to most other dealers.

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