Advice - Tube Ropes

Advice - Tube Ropes

Things to Consider when Choosing a Tube Rope

When choosing a suitable Tube Rope please consider the value of what and who you are towing behind your boat and invest in the proper tow rope for the style of Tube. We have a great range of appropriate ropes:  One man Inflatable Towable Ropes, or Two man Inflatable Towable Ropes, or Multi-rider Inflatable Towable Ropes.

The governing body of the water sports industry (W.S.I.A.) has taken this matter seriously and has done extensive testing and standardisation to come up with recommended tensile strengths. These should be taken as minimum - you can always use a higher rated rope with your tube

Recommended Tensile Strengths.

  • 1-2 person - up to 2,375 lb breaking strength
  • 3 person or less - 3,350 lb. break strength
  • 4 person or less - 4,100 lb. break strength
  • 6 person or less - 6,000 lb. break strength

Don't buy just any rope.

Many consumers simply go to their local DIY store to pick up 60 feet of polypropylene rope. It's the same material right? WRONG! The material may be similar, but those types of polypro we has twisted construction with a only a tensile strength of 1,350 lbs. for 3/8" and 2,400 lbs. for 9/16".

Compare that with tube tow ropes of the same sizes with a strength of 2,375 lbs. for 3/8" and 4,175 lbs. for 9/16". As you can see, the difference in construction makes quite an impact on the performance. Add to the fact the tow ropes have pre-spliced eyes in them. If you purchase just standard rope you will have to tie a knot in it and knots will further reduce the strength of the line by up to 50 percent.

What length to choose

Most are between 50ft and 60ft – the length is not critical – be aware that a longer rope will give a more exciting ride as the whip will be greater – if you are towing younger kids at slower speeds than go for a slightly shorter rope.

For smaller craft use a shorter rope so for small to mid size Jet-ski/PWC a 50ft rope will be ideal and not pull the ski about as much.

Do not make the rope less than 25ft as this will be too close to the boat with a risk of contact between the tube and the back of the boat and also the passengers nay suffer unpleasant fumes.

I already have a wakeboard or water ski rope. Why can't I just use that? 

Ski ropes are made to take consistent loads. Tube ropes are made to take shock loading when the tube line goes completely slack and then quickly taught again. Not to mention many water ski tow ropes have a handle that cannot be removed.

If you pull 2 tubes at the same time make sure the ropes are the same length, so that one does not cross in front or behind the other tube.

Bungee ropes and Bungee extensions, These are really good to reduce the pull load on the tube and also on the back to boat, a 3ft bungee extension is definitely worth having as it reduces the shock load just enough to save your tube and reduce the load on the towing points of the transom, if using a full length bungee extra care must be taken by the driver as the tube can go a lot further out on the whip so more space needs to be allowed form obstacles and hazards. Greater driver skill is needed with a full length bungee.

If you have a RIB or your boat has an outboard motor and twin D-Rings then you will need a Tow Bridle or a Towing Harness. Tow Bridles simply connect to the two D-Ring tow points on the stern of your boat and form a "Y" shape from which the tow rope is then attached. Most tow harnesses have an integral float to prevent them from sinking and coming in contact with the boat's prop. Some also have a pulley to spread the load evenly between the two D-Rings.