For those who have just brought a Jet-ski or speed boat, you may be a little confused about what accessories you may need to go tubing or wakeboarding behind your personal watercraft.
As a family, we love the water. During the summer months, we take time off to go wakeboarding and tubing in the river near our home.
When we first started off we didn’t know what Jetski accessories we needed for fun on the water. It has taken a while for us to be totally set up so we know exactly what we need to have fun and stay safe.
In this post, we will be going over all you need to know about towable tubes for jet skis and speed boats:
- Jet Ski Water Tubing Accessories
- Towable tube air pumps
- Replacement towable tube air caps and valves.
- Different types of towable tubes for Jet skis, such as 1, 2, 3, and 4-person tubes.
- Quick connect fittings
- Ropes and floats.
Table of Contents
- 1 What size Jet ski to pull a tube?
- 2 Jet ski tubing accessories
- 3 Dangers of tubing behind a boat or Jet-ski
- 4 Safety Accessories.
- 5 Shade and Chairs
- 6 Conclusion
What size Jet ski to pull a tube?
Generally, a Jet Ski with 110HP or more will have enough power to pull a tube. My Sea-Doo GTI 130HP has more than enough power to pull a 3 person Airhead tube packed with 3 fully grown adults on it plus an observer on the Jetski.
Even when you whip them around from side to side the Jet Ski will stay on the right path provided you keep the speed and power on.
The more weight that is on the tube the more power you will need to get the PWC up to cruising speed from the start. Check out this post if you are having Jet-ski acceleration problems.
I have seen a Sea-Doo spark pull a 1 person towable tube. But it was very unstable as it is such a light and small Jetski.
Best jet ski for towing a tube
Any jet ski with a 130HP motor or above will pull a towable tube. Jet skis that have a supercharger perform very well due to the increased power that they can deliver. Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Sea-doo all make PWC with superchargers. A three-person seat is also recommended as there is more room for the observer who will need to sit backward. Plus you get to take an extra passenger if you want.
At the end of the day, it will come down to price vs performance. Like I mentioned earlier I only have a 130HP Jetski and it works great for towing tubes all day long.
How fast to pull a tube behind a boat or Jet Ski?
Most people tend to pull a tube at 20-25mph (35-40km/h) With younger children you can go down to 15mph. Any slower and you risk the tube becoming unstable and nose-diving.
Any faster than 25mph and you risk injury if the rider comes off. Be sure to always wear a life jacket and have a rear-facing spotter lookout person.
I have pulled some teenagers up to 30mph and they were struggling to stay on the whip. The smiles on their faces said it all, they had a great time.
The video below is our Sea-Doo GTI 130 pulling the G-Force Airhead 3 person biscuit. It is traveling slowly at around 18 mph due to a small child in the middle. Plus the DJI Mavic Pro drone was struggling to keep up.
Jet ski tubing accessories
Being safe while tubing is the number one priority. An approved live vest and a first aid kit should be packed first. Check out this post on what to wear while riding a Jetski.
First, you will need a towable tube. We use a 3 person tube from Airhead and we love it so much. It is perfect for 1-3 people of all ages and sizes. We have done a review on the Airhead towable tubes vs O’Brien.
Boats can get away with pulling 2x single person towable tubes. This is not recommended for personal watercrafts such as jet skis. I would also stay away from the Lounge tubes. These are large and have a huge surface area drag on the water which causes a problem for the smaller jetski.
You will also need a tow rope. These are thicker than a wakeboard or water ski rope. A 60-foot tow rope rated for 4 people will work well.
Don’t forget about the observer. They are important to make sure the riders are safe and that the rope doesn’t get sucked up into the jet pump. If it does you will have major problems with your jet ski.
You will also need a pump. An electric pump is quicker than a hand pump. But be aware of needing batteries or a 12v power outlet. I use a Ryobi 18v portable air pump from Amazon. It is also handy to bring a vinyl repair patch. Just in case you get a hole in your towable tube.
We have done a detailed post on how to patch a vinyl inflatable towable tube. Check it out if you require extra information.
Don’t forget a spare towable tube air valve. These tend to get lost all the time. I tend to tie mine off now with a small length of nylon rope.
Jet ski tow rope attachment
The easiest way to attach a ski rope to a boat or Jetski is to use a towable rope quick connector attachment. These are a small nylon block that has a hole in the center and hooks on one end. It is the best device ever invented.
These are quick-release attachment points that make it easy to tie your tube or ski rope onto your PWC. This saves you from having to tie knots that can cause a weak point on the tow rope.
Ours is made by airhead but there are a few different types out there. I can defiantly recommend getting one. Even our 8-year-old child can attach a ski rope safely now.
Jet ski tow rope length
This is a personal preference but most ski tow ropes are 60ft to 75ft in length. The longer the rope the more whip or pendulum effect you will have.
I prefer the shorter 60ft tow rope for my Sea-doo Jet skis. I have the WOW World of Watersports, Tow Rope which is rated for 4 people. I also use a pool noodle as a float to keep it away from being sucked into the intake grate.
Just make sure to buy a propper tube rope. Some people make the mistake of buying a thinner wakeboard rope that can break on the excessive pulling forces. Many ski ropes that have a breaking strain of 1700kg (3750lbs) or above will work well.
Jet ski attachments
This is where you will attach the quick release to your boat or PWC. Our Sea-doo came with one attachment point.
Boats on the other hand can have one or two attachment points. If you have two you have to share the load between the two attachment points. This way you will prevent the boat from being pulled to one side.
Jet ski towing bracket
As mentioned earlier all Jet skis have a rear towing bracket. Another option that you can add especially for BRP craft is the Sea-Doo Retractable Ski Pylon. These are a cool idea as it helps both the observer and the water skier.
Dangers of tubing behind a boat or Jet-ski
Tubing is fun outdoor water activity. We do it every summer in our Sea-doo jet ski. But like any thrill activity, there are dangers involved. I have listed the top dangers of tubing behind a boat or Jetski:
- Other boats and PWC in the area
- Excessive speed
- Objects in the water
- Old or broken ski tubes and ropes
- Appropriate life jackets
- Other swimmers in the water
- Marine creatures
- Sand banks and rocks
- Marker boays
- Overloading – weight limits
- More than the recommended people tubing
- Young children that have trouble swimming
This is a must for any boating or jet ski outing. All boat operators should have these onboard but be sure to include the following when you pack your car:
- Life jackets
- The best anchor for Jetskis
- Licenses and registration
- Lithium-ion Compact 1000A Jump Starter
- Towable tube pump – Manual or Electric
- First aid kit
Shade and Chairs
We like to bring a Deluxe Gazebo 3x3m. This gives us shade and is a good place to hang out. They collapse down so I can tie them down to my roof racks for transport.
A few folding chairs will save you from sitting on the grass or dirt while waiting for your turn on the towable tube or biscuit.
Don’t forget the fishing rod and some Yabbie pots. Never know you could catch dinner.
Hopefully, this full list of Jetski accessories will help you get set up for your next tubing adventure. Be sure to stay safe and watch out for people in the water.
Ski biscuit tubs are fun and with the right gear, it can be a great day out on the water.
Remember to always check your gear before use and don’t drive like a maniac. Keep your distance between other boats, PWC, and swimmers. Stay safe and have fun.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair and maintenance jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, Boats, and Computers so writing about them is easy. Working on them is fun.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.