Let’s just be clear before starting this: you should probably not be pulling two tubes behind a boat. Here’s why.
“I quit pulling two tubes two years ago, after a rope got some slack and nearly wrapped around the neck of my friend’s kid. Wow. The tubes and ropes were identical, but the weight of the kids on the tubes was disparate. The kids aren’t happy about it, but not worth the risk to me.”
In order to properly pull two tubes, the weight must be exactly the same on both tubes. Only a few pounds of difference can create extra slack or tension that will affect the other inflatable. If there is no weight equality, then you are putting people at risk by pulling two tubes.
It’s that simple.
If you are going to be pulling two tubes behind a boat no matter what, then here are the safety tips we have developed that we recommend you follow to the letter to make sure that everyone comes home at the end of the day.
- Make sure the riders are wearing helmets. Tube collisions are common when pulling two tubes. Smacking heads during the collision happens more often than is documented. Make sure everyone on an inflatable is wearing at least a helmet in addition to their life vest.
- Go low and slow when driving. When pulling two tubes, you’ll need to be going slower than if you were pulling just one tube. Keep it under 5mph whenever possible. Never exceed 10mph. If you feel the need to go faster, then pull one inflatable instead. Always follow the speed recommendations of your inflatables as well.
- Use the stern eyes for best results. Many boats have tie-down eyes at the corners. These are typically the best place to attach the towropes for the two tubes. It will give the lines some extra space to avoid a tangled mess when you are towing. If you have a single ski eye or similar bridle with placement for only one hook, then only pull one rider. Purchasing an adaptor for multiple lines will not eliminate the safety risks of having one-line attachment.
- Drive in straight lines. If you are towing two tubes behind a boat, then straight lines are going to be your best friend. Only turn when it becomes necessary to do so for the safety of the boat or both riders. Do not use zig-zag patterns or other movements to create a “crazy” ride. With two lines, curves and zig-zags will also shorten one rope, which increases the chances of tangling occurring.
It might be fun to tow two tubes behind a boat, but a better solution might be to purchase a larger inflatable which can carry multiple riders safely.
Otherwise be extra careful, have some common sense about the water conditions, and take your time whenever you need to make a turn. This will help you be able to make sure no one gets hurt when trying to have a day of fun.