SportsStuff Poparazzi ($429.99)
It’s fair to say the SportsStuff Poparazzi was the most eagerly anticipated inflatable on hand. With its integrated arch, rockered bottom and in-your-face graphics, it just looks cool to the kids. Closer inspection reveals that the 72-by-68-inch base offers plenty of real estate for passengers to lie, sit, kneel or stand. Lay all three passengers below the arch, put two standing behind it, or mix up any combination of positions. Neoprene pads provide protection both to passengers and the tube along the floor. Padded grab handles, with neoprene knuckle guards, are at the ready in all forward positions to keep everyone hanging on. Additional webbed straps are located inside the arch for those who want to apply a little added leverage.
And you can leverage this tube. The rockered bottom and weight shifts generated by a standing passenger (or two) give the Poparazzi maneuverability. Ride it straight and it’s surprisingly stable. But throw that body weight around — especially when standing — and you can get things rocking and rolling, carving in and out of the wake.
The Poparazzi was the lone towable in our test to feature a speed valve. A simple two-part, plug-style valve, it allows inflation with anything from a Shop-Vac to a designated inflator. Pulling the larger, lower plug assists in quick deflation.
Best for: Multipassenger versatility; those who like the idea of teetering...as they’re tottering.
More info: SportsStuff Poparazzi