How to tow skiers, wakeboarders and tubers
Towing a skier, wakeboarder or tuber behind your boat isn't as simple as just throwing out the rope and going - you need to be using the correct techniques, depending on the kind of activity the person you're towing is doing.
What do you need to know before you start towing people behind your boat?
What kind of boat do you need for water sports?
To use your boat for water sports, it's going to need a few features. First is a hull shape that creates an appropriate wake. Flatter wakes are better for skiers whereas more aggressive ones are preferred by wakeboarders. Provided the boat has enough power, you can ski or wakeboard behind almost anything, but the experience is definitely enhanced when the wake suits the sport.
Your boat will also need the appropriate attachment points for tieing tow ropes. The best way to attach to these points is with a ski brindle. This is a rope setup that allows the person being towed the most freedom to move over and around the wake.
How to tow a skier
Towing a skier takes some level of finesse. Your spotter (the other person in the boat whose job it is to watch the person) will let you know when the skier's grasping the handle of the rope and ready to go. You want to give enough power for the skier to pop out of the water, but not so much that the boat moves away too fast and they can't hold on. This requires a bit of practice to get right, and relies on your spotter letting you know what's going on behind you.
Once they're up and skiing, continuing to tow them isn't too much trouble - all you need to do is keep a consistent speed and be ready to turn around and restart should they fall off.
How to tow a wakeboarder
Towing a wakeboarder is similar to towing a skier in the sense that you need to careful about how you start. Too much gas and they won't be able to hold on; too little and they'll be stuck under the water trying to get up.
You need to maintain a lower speed with wakeboarders than you would with skiers -going too fast makes it difficult to manoeuvre on the board.
How to tow an inflatable
This is the easiest of the all the things you could tow. Once you've connected the appropriate rope, all you need to do is go. As there's no process for the tuber to get into a certain position - they're just sitting/lying on the inflatable - you can just make your way up to the appropriate speed.
For more on all things boating, including water sports, take a look at some of Hunts Marine's other blog articles today. If you like what you see, sign up for our monthly newsletter using the signup box on the right hand side of the page.