Making Sure Your Towable Water Tubes are Properly Inflated is Important for a Good Time Out on the Water...
Once you’ve purchased a new inflatable tube, it is so important to use it correctly. Not properly inflating your tube as recommended will affect its performance and overall safety of the tube, which isn’t good for anyone. Here's a 2 minute video to help you get it right:
Points to Keep In Mind:
1) Towables are meant to be very firm when fully inflated, with little to no wrinkles visible in the cover.
2) The nylon cover should fit like a second skin over the bladder and an adult should be able to stand on it without sinking in more than an inch.
3) A good pump is vital here because even the healthiest lungs don’t have the kind of power needed to blow up an entire tube.
The Right Pump Can Make All the Difference:
Tubes don’t require high pressure during inflation. They are built to be low pressure / high volume products. Most towable tubes can be inflated using one good electric pump or a combination of a 12 volt pump with a hand pump.
The AIRHEAD 120V Super Pump can do exactly what you need. It inflates and deflates at unprecedented speeds. Peak pressure is nearly 3.0 psi, which is plenty of pressure to get your towables nice and firm.
Don't Forget to Bring a Hand Pump Along For Top Offs...
Once you’ve been on the lake for awhile, you'll want to check your tube pressure, and take a minute to top off with a hand pump if it's gone a bit soft. Under-inflation causes the towable to sit lower in the water which puts more stress on the tube, cover, rope and even your boat because you are dragging the tube through the water instead of pulling it across the top. For your tube, there’s a big difference in those two motions.
Also, the added stress of dragging instead of pulling an under-inflated tube can cause the air inside to be displaced and your tube could rupture. This same stress can cause the nylon cover to tear and ropes to stretch. So keeping your tube inflated isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity if you want to get the most out of it.
Take Care On Shore In the Hot Sun
When you are off the boat for the day, you probably plan to hang around and grill dinner up. This is a wonderful idea. But don’t forget to take care of your tube first.
Don’t leave a full tube sitting in the sun for any period of time or it will expand. Release the air and set it in the shade. This will protect your investment by making it last longer.
Now that you know how to inflate it correctly, grab the family and the tube and head out on the water!
This article originally written by Katie Burke, Editor of Houseboat Magazine, on July 2014, with updates by the Kwik Tek team on 4/11/16.