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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Water tubing safety

Summer is the season that tends to see the highest volume in terms of outdoor sports and activities—and with good reason: many of these activities simply cannot be enjoyed at other points in the year. This is particularly true of water activities, as the water may be too cold (or altogether frozen) during the other seasons. One such activity that sees a considerable increase in popularity during the summer months is water tubing. Water tubing is a great way to relax while soaking up the outdoors, but to keep it enjoyable and not dangerous, the following tips should be followed.

Dress appropriately. The most important piece that you don when water tubing is a life jacket. You really shouldn't be participating in this sport without one. This is not a requirement on condition of being able to swim well or not: you cannot always anticipate how waters will behave, or where you may end up in the water despite your best laid plans. Wearing a life jacket will protect you in those instances when things go awry. In addition to wearing a life jacket, the rest of your clothing should be suitable for aquatic activity. Usually when people engage in water sports they wear bathing suits, and this is your best bet here, since you want to minimize dragging, and to avoid clothing that will weigh you down in the water, making it harder to swim if and when it becomes necessary.

Be familiar with your gear. Water sports equipment is not learn-as-you-go equipment: you need to become very familiar with it well before you plan to use it. For example, you don't want to learn by trial and error that the number of people you were planning to share a tube exceeds its capacity. Learn the size, weight, and occupant limits of the tube you are using, the speed it is rated for use at, and any other pertinent manufacturer information.

Be a good driver. If driver performance is key to safety when on the road, then it follows that the same holds true on the water—perhaps even moreso, since travel is not restricted to certain pathways on the water, but can be in any direction. Whoever is operating the craft that is towing the tubes should be sober, well hydrated, and in good health. Additionally, it is important to maintain as much distance as possible from other crafts in the water body you are sharing, and to be constantly aware of hazards as they arise in order to avoid them in a timely fashion.


Know the rules. Part of being a good driver—or rider, for that matter—is observing the rules. This can only be done if you know them to begin with. If there is a certain waterway that you plan to spend time sporting on, be sure to find out well in advance what rules they have for water sports. Do not proceed with your plans until you can find this information out, and commit it to memory.

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