First. The boat.
Last Monday I went to my local boat dealer to shop for a towable tube. I must say that my boat is a Crestliner Super Hawk 1950 with enough power in my 200 Mercury Verado. We have equipped this boat with a good sound system and a removable ski tow bar, these options basically made this hybrid boat perfect for the family and friends. We can go fishing, boating, and of course practice our favorite water activities such as tubing. Hybrid? yes, on occasion, the large stern livewell is used as an ice chest to make sure that we stay hydrated at all time.
Shopping for a towable.
So coming back to my shopping... I was shopping for a tube, almost end of August, because I knew I could get some discount off and we had the rest of August and September to use it. Yes, as we all know, September is still an excellent month for boating and using water toys. It is often warmer in September than it is in June, perhaps the marine industry should talk to the governments so that school classes end mid-July and starts end of September anyway...
a) A tube that could accommodate at least 3 riders. We usually go boating 6 to 8 persons so need to get more riders at one time so that if we don’t want to take the whole afternoon to please the kids, we are better pulling off more kids at once than 1 at a time.
b) Wanted to have a tube that is different from the rest of the crowds. All I see around my area are the round tubes or sit-in deck tubes with or without headrests.
c) The kids wanted to have a towable toy that would be interactive.
d) We all wanted a colorful tube that is visible on the river as we wanted being fun & attractive.
Assortment of towables.
The dealer still had a nice assortment of tubes and with all my needs specified, he guided us towards a $617,99 retail tube called SPORTSSTUFF POPARAZZI model made by the manufacturer Kwik Tek. The tube was on special and had a 25% discount so we ended paying $ 463,49 so still way more money than some single tubes that were available at $99,99 right but with the 1 full year warranty offered on an inflatable I thought that the product would be of an excellent quality and would be used for many years. The children loved the fact that the Poparazzi tube had that inflated tower and made it look so very cool.
Worth the money.
As I said, I was hesitating to spend that much money but the dealer gave me a nice sales pitch about this tube which can side roll- it glides across the water’s surface with minimal drag (helps the outboard RPM ), kids could be in a standing up position ( that is a head turning feature) and actually could sit, kneel, steer, lay, balance and freestyle at their own risk. As you can see on the picture, the tube went upside down a few times. On a nice sunny or not sunny day, it is still what the riders want, get wet and have fun. The other advantage that I can certified after trials, the high winged shape with rocker bottom creates minimal drag right in the center of the tube (see picture ).
Although this is a very personal comment, I think that paying more dollars for the Poparazzi turned out to be an excellent deal financially and time wise. Why?
Cost of fuel for taking off, stop, taking off again, etc... although I have not technically tested the fuel consumption of my theory, I can say that 2 hours of tubing of 1 or 2 riders with all the taking off and stops to accommodate 6 young adults would cost more fuel than having more people per ride, less stop/taking off/stop and everyone having a good thrill. found this in the POPARAZZI tube a great buy!
P.S. I know the manufacturer recommends the Poparazzi towable to be for 3 riders only but we tried it with 4 riders and still work great, sorry... rebel one day rebel for life !
TOWABLE TUBE POPARAZZI BY SPORTSSTUFF. PART NUMBER: 53-1750.