Why does my tube go underwater? How can I stop it from happening? Find the 7 common culprits and their fixes, here.
Tubing fun can be cut short when the tube itself goes underwater. If this is what is happening to you, you have landed on the right page!
Our article here will tell you “Why does my tube go underwater?” Then, you can use the information to fix your situation and make the most out of your towable tube!
Why Does My Tube Go Underwater?
There are a number of reasons why your tube might be going underwater. Here are a few of the most common culprits:
- Your rider is sitting too far forward
- Your towable tube is under-inflated
- Your tow rope is too short
- Your tow rope has a low tow point
- Your tow rope is attached to an off-centered strap
- Your tow rope is not made for towable or inflatable tubes
- Your tow rope is not fed through the quick-connect hole from the bottom
For a detailed explanation of each of these potential culprits, continue reading1
7 Reasons Why Your Tube Might Be Submarining
Rider is sitting too far forward
When the rider is sitting too far forward on a tube, his/her weight will be placed in the front, causing the tube as a whole to lean forward. As a result, the front of the tube can tip or dip underwater.
This is a common problem, but it is equally easy to fix. You just need to spare a few minutes to check the rider’s position before you begin to pull the tube. In addition, you should remind the rider (ahead of time) to not shift his/her weight forward during the tubing experience.
As long as the rider is not sitting too far forward on the tube, it will not create an unbalanced platform, and the tube will not go underwater.
Towable tube is under-inflated
This is another reason why your tube might be going underwater. You must have enough air in the tube so that it is not under-inflated. A fully inflated tube needs to be firm and wrinkle free.
One way to make sure that it is adequately pumped is to have an adult stand on top of it. If it only depresses slightly, you are good to go.
Usually, a towable tube with the right amount of air has 2.0 PSI. You can read more about this from our “What PSI for towable tubes?” article.
Commonly, the ‘nose’ of an under-inflated tube will dig under the water and tip forward, resulting in something called ”torpedo-ing.” It hinders the tubes’ ability to deliver a satisfying tubing experience.
Moreover, it is dangerous for the tower and rider. There is added stress on the cover, rope, tube, and boat because the tube is dragged through the water. This displaces the air in the tubes and leads to ruptures.
Plus, the tube’s nylon cover is torn and the tow rope is stretched. The watercraft or the boat may struggle with taking off, and more gas will be consumed. Also, the tube itself can break or recoil under the strain.
So, to prevent your tube from going underwater, and thereby, make the most out of your tube while staying safe, be sure that it is not under-inflated.
Tow rope is too short
Lengthwise, tow ropes must be at least 50 feet. If your rope is shorter, it will tow the tube in the crest of the wake and thus, lead to your tube dipping underwater.
Therefore, to avoid submarining, check that the tow ropes you are using are long enough.
Tow rope has a low tow point
When your tow rope has a low tow point, the front of the tube will lean forward and dip into the water. This will cause water to be sprayed into the rider’s face.
To fix the low tow point problem, you can purchase a booster ball. It is designed like an inflatable buoy to keep the tow rope out of the water during towing; thus, drag, water spray, nose diving, and submarining is reduced.
Additionally, it helps extend the life of your towable tube by reducing stress and absorbing shock. You can rely on a booster ball for both the short and long run. The fun will not be cut short if you have one!
There are plenty of booster ball options in the market. You should be able to get them online or offline. Most range between 100 and 500 dollars. But you can also find ones for as little as 50 dollars.
Here are a few of our favorites:
SPORTSSTUFF Towable Booster Tube
This is a yellow, red, and black booster ball for 1-to-4=riders tubes. The total size is 38 inches by 28 inches.
You can count on this SPORTSSTUFF ball to keep your tow rope out of the water and your tube from nose-diving or submarining!
AIRHEAD Towable Booster Ball with Rope
This is a heavy-duty, blue and white booster ball that comes with a 60’ rope.
It is made of 840 denier nylon cover and equipped with a heavy-gauge PVC bladder. The total size is when deflated is 38″x 27″. You will not be disappointed with this AIRHEAD booster ball!
O’Brien Shock Ball Towable Tube
This shock ball from O’Brien is 41″ x 22″. It can be used for towables for up to four riders. There is an easy-to-use lightning valve that eases inflating and deflating.
You will also appreciate that it is accompanied by a 60′ rope. This ball works like a charm; you can kiss nose-diving and torpedo-ing goodbye!
Note: Booster balls are especially recommended for pontoon boats and low transom tow points.
Tow rope is attached to an off-centered strap
If the strap that the tow rope is attached to is not in the middle of the tube, then the tube can dive into the water rather than ride or skid on top.
Before you set it to run, check that the strap is not off-centered. Just make sure it is not higher or lower than the centerline, and you should be good to go!
Tow rope is not made for towable or inflatable tubes
Many people think that it is alright to use just 1 rope for various water toys, like wakeboards and knee-boards.
However, the truth is there are distinct ropes that are designed to pull each toy. Wakeboard and knee-board ropes are not made to pull the same amount of weight and do not have the same break strength as tow ropes.
Hence, your towable tube might be going underwater if you are using a rope that is not designated for towing.
Case in point: Invest in a tow rope to make sure the tubes you are using will not dip.
Most tubes have a quick-connect hole for the tow ropes to attach to. This makes it easy and convenient.
However, it is important that you do it correctly. The tow rope has to be fed through the hole from the bottom and not the top.
Otherwise, while in action, the tube can dig underwater or flip. Always make sure that your ropes are attached correctly!
Now that you have reached the ending of this article on, “Why does my tube go underwater?” you know that there are 7 potential culprits.
Check each of these with your own tube and let us know which of the 7 is prompting your tube to go under!
We will love to hear from you in the comments! Also, please help us share this content with your fellow tubers!
- Why Does My Tube Go Underwater?
- 7 Reasons Why Your Tube Might Be Submarining