For Comparison’s Sake: Towables

Three tubes that’ll knock your socks off this summer.

June 21, 2011

When it comes to towables, one is fun but two is better. if you’re shopping for a replacement for that faded and patched tube from the ’90s, you’ll be happy to learn that there are some new twists on some old favorites, thanks to advances in materials and updated designs. So hook up, and hold on!

O’Brien Super Screamer
Our Take: This modern, user-friendly iteration of a classic design is equally suited for whips, bumps or just cruising. There’s room for two, but it’s also fun for one, with plenty of handholds, which will come in handy when hitting the wakes. Rugged construction should provide years of trouble-free fun.

Particularly Radical: Padded knuckle guards and belly pads help riders stay glued to the deck when the action heats up.


Numbers: 70-inch diameter, 26-gauge PVC, 420D nylon cover, six handles with EVA knuckle guards, two EVA pads, quick-connect hook, Boston valve. $149.99;

Rave Tirade II
Our Take: Twin sit-in cockpits create a sports carlike ride, while also providing extra security for young and novice riders. Padded headrests and inflatable floors soften the bumps. It performs best with riders of similar weights; more adventurous single riders can straddle the center divider.

Particularly Radical: The low center of gravity lets you hit the bumps and catch some air without fear of going overboard.


Numbers: 86x62x20 inches, 26 pounds, 30-gauge PVC bladder, 840-denier UV-resistant nylon cover, rave tail, Boston valve, quick-connect tow point. $199.99;

Sevylor Double Clutch 2
Our Take: It’s a disk, only faster. By adding its proprietary Sharkglide finish to a standard Double Clutch 2, Sevylor turned a favorite inflatable into a high-speed thrill ride for two. The scalelike bottom material reduces drag, dries faster and folds smaller for storage.

Particularly Radical: The Sharkglide finish really comes into its own for big-wake whips, carrying the speed out into the flats even after the boat stops turning.


Numbers: 70-inch diameter, 30-gauge PVC construction with additional 22-gauge PVC on bottom, four handles with neoprene knuckle guards, belt-loop tow system, double-lock valves. $146.99;


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