There are many great water sports to enjoy on the open sea or lake. For a great experience with water sports, it is important to have the right water towable so you can have a fun time with friends and family. Often called tubing, the sport has come a long way from just being pulled around on the water. There are new materials, new designs and extensive features that give users a thrilling tubing experience, high-tech and considered an extreme sport. When looking to buy water towables or ski tubes online, it can be a little confusing to understand all the terminology. Below is some information about the basics to help you find the right product. There are water towables for all skill levels and ages to enjoy.

1. Materials

Some of the more popular materials used to make ski tubes and water towables include nylon, polyester, vinyl and neoprene. Nylon is the most commonly used material and comes in different thicknesses and weights. The thickness and weight are referred to as its denier. The higher the number, the thicker the nylon will be.

Polyester is another material that is commonly used with towables. It is coated with PVC to strengthen the material and provide a higher denier nylon. They can also be found in solution-dyed form, which is most often found on awnings or boat lift canopies because it can retain color and does not fade as easily as other materials.

PVC is often used on the inner tubes and bladders of water towables. It is a very heavy duty material. Neoprene is often found in wetsuits. This material can stretch, is soft and is perfect for covering soft foam layers. It adds extra comfort for towable users because it keeps your skin from chafing on high rub areas such as the elbows, head, knees, ankles and hands.

2. Shapes

These days, water towables can come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The shape of it is often the determining factor with how well it’ll perform out on the water. Additionally, the shape and position of your body will determine how the boat drives. No matter what size you are, you will be able to find a ski tube or water towable to suit your needs. The most traditional shape is the round donut. It is often the most affordable type of ski tube available on the market.

Traditionally, round donut water towables were for one rider. These days, you can find round ski tubes big enough to fit multiple people at one time. This can greatly improve the fun you can have. Keep in mind, this type of towable can easily tip over and may not be best for young children. Deck tubes can come in round or delta shapes. These are good for use with one or more riders at the same time. The bottom of the donut is fully covered and allows for a thrill-riding experience.

3. Ride-In/Ride-On

Ride-in tubes are similar to deck tubes and can be found in lots of sizes and shapes for multiple riders to use at the same time. Many of the models come with inflated seating and floor areas to allow for comfortable, dry areas for each rider. These types of ski tubes have a low center of gravity which makes them harder to flip.

As opposed to sitting inside of a ski towable, ride-on tubes allow riders to straddle the towable while riding. These can be a little unstable because of their long, narrow shapes and high centers of gravity.

4. Concepts

Concept towables can roll, fly and perform other unique tricks. These kinds are often more expensive, but they are perfect for those looking for a thrilling ride when out on the water. These types of ski tubes are better for those who have experience riding.

5. Ropes

No matter what type of ski tube or water towable you purchase online, it is important to use the correct type of rope to pull it. Water ski ropes were not designed to be used with tubing products. It is important to use tow or tube ropes because they were designed specifically to stretch more and have a higher breaking point. The ideal length for a towing rope is between 50 and 65 feet.