Towables, Floats & Lounges
industry has heated up when it comes to cool new towables, tubes,
lounges and floats.
It wasn't that long ago that floating down a river
was done in a tire innertube and a "lounge" in a pool was called a
"raft." Now it is all about big, colorful and FUN on these modern designs.
There are no limits in size and design, from one person to six person towables and doables. The new towables and manueverable doables are all the rage and with names like "Sidewinder" and "Wake Ryder" you can imagine the fun you can have or watch one of the great videos of these new era tubes in action.
Lounges have evolved from a one person air mattress style to much more. There are even trampolines that float and kayaks and tobbogans for the water. Imagine it and it is probably available for you and your friends and family to take to the water with and enjoy every wild minute onboard.
Whether you are looking for that more relaxing ride experience or a wild
and crazy one, there is a towable for you. There are towables and tubes
designed for one person or for an entire group. There are ones covered
in vinyl and ones covered in nylon and many with inner bladders or
tubes.Let's take a look at a few of the classifications of these new items:
If the towable is your thing, what are YOU looking for in that tube?
- Towable - these are usually classified by the number of people that can
ride on them. They are towed behind a boat and can go from somewhat
tame to wild rides
Doables - these towables have hidden abilities to do more twists and turns than any other and they border on extreme sports
Tubes - these are puffed up versions of the old tire innertube you used to float down the river. Now they are bigger, better and more colorful
Lounges - no longer called a "raft," these feature cup holders and canopies on some models. Definitely not your mother's "raft" any more!
Floats - saddle floats are all the rage. Just strap these on, grab a
cold one and you are out on the lake all day suspended in comfort
without a care in the world
Other than the number of riders, what is the primary difference between single-rider and multi-rider tubes or towables?
of riders? Usually they are one to six on towables. Some of the big
mats and inflatable floats will hold many more. Usually they will
indicate the number of pounds the product will handle.
- Number of
grip handles? More usually means more options and positions onboard
the tube or towable when riding and manuevering.
- Knuckle Guard
Materials needed? These are designed for comfort and protection of
your hands. Available in EVA and Neoprene usually.
- Cup Holders needed? Many of the loungers have cup holders to store your drink while out on the water.
kind of cover do I want? Usually of vinyl or nylon, you will find the
nylon descriptions including whether or not seams are double stitched
and the denier quality rating.
- What is a cockpit style and do I want one? Riders are cushioned in a seat or cockpit rather
than on the top of the tube/towable. Seats come in a variety of
configuration and support material
- What's important when they talk about the bladder of my towable? Most towables have a tube or bladder inside the vinyl
or nylon cover. It is usually made of PVC and are rated by gauge. The
higher, the strong gauge of PVC.
Single-Rider: Many of these tubes or towables that hold one rider are designed for that one person to be able to "show off" and can bring on the skill of that person. Maneuverable and designed for jumps, tricks and going airborne, you can take these to whatever level you desire. Many can even be towed behind a PWC (Personal Water Craft). They are usually affordable, easy to store and require very basic tow line and harness.
Multi-Rider: Most of these tubes or towables will hold up to six people. They are great for families and groups and are a particular favorite of kids. Remember these tubes can be very big and heavy to move about. Many weigh in excess of fifty pounds. They require heavy duty tow ropes and harnesses. One consideration is to make sure you know the weight limit for these and do not over stress the tube with too many riders. The number of hand holds and recommended riders must be taken into consideration. Storing is also an issue and to keep your tube in the best condition possible make sure you have adequate storage for your tube if you do not plan to deflate it after every use during the season.Now that we've covered the variety of information on the new era of towables, tubes,
lounges and floats, it is time to talk inflation, maintenance and safety
of these fun inventions.