Whether you’re wakeboarding, waterskiing or tubing, there are a number of rules that you need to know about.
If you’re the person being towed, you must do the following:
- Wear a lifejacket
- Be at least 7m behind the boat
- Keep the minimum distances-off
- Return to shore safely
- Not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tubing can be a lot of fun, but there are few things you need to keep in mind.
- As a tube rider, you have little or no control over your direction. You cannot steer from side to side
- If you’re the observer or driver, you need to make sure the riders are safe from any hazards above or below the water
- When you’re towing tube riders aim for a slower speed. If you travel too fast the tube will slide or whip out when you turn and may collide with banks, trees or other hazards
- Make sure you choose waterways with plenty of room and not too much boating traffic.
- Some tubes are designed to carry two or three people. When you have more than one person on a tube there is a risk of banging heads, so protective headgear is a good idea
- Remember, you cannot tow more than three people at any time.
Communication and hand signals
If you’re involved in tow sports, you should know the basic hand signals:
Towed person down - observer signal
The observer holds one arm straight up to tell other vessels that a skier, wakeboarder or tuber has fallen off and is in the water.
When you see this signal, keep a lookout for the person in the water.
Towed person down - OK signal
The towed person clasps both hands together above their head to show they are ok after a fall.
If the observer doesn’t see this signal, they should tell the driver straight away so they can return to check on the towed person as quickly as possible.
Return to shore - towed person signal
The person being towed pats their head if they want to return to shore.
Turning the boat around
The driver or observer does a helicopter motion above the head to tell people the boat is turning round.
Change speed - towed person signal
Thumbs up or thumbs down signals are for going faster or slower.
Cut motor - towed person, observer or driver signal
A hand across the throat means stop the boat immediately.
For more information on towing visit our FAQs.