Best boat tube accessories: Brilliant add-ons to make tubing even more fun

Few activities on the water are more fun and rewarding than pulling a snotty and arrogant teenager on a towable tube and launching them off the edge of a boat’s wake into oblivion!

In order to get the most out of your boat tube, there are a couple of handy accessories that will make tubing much more enjoyable.

If you simply use one of the best boat tubes straight out of the box, odds are there will be some accompanying frustration.

These can include weak tow ropes that break when heavily loaded, tow ropes that spray water in the rider’s eyes and an arduous inflation processes – and that’s before you even think about how to store your tube.

So this guide to the best boat tube accessories aims to help make tubing the joyful activity that it should always be!

8 of the best boat tube accessories


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Best tube tow ropes

Many tow ropes that come with tubes, or are purchased for cheap sums afterwards, are exceptionally weak and stretch first, then break in short order.

Unlike other types of line, tubing lines must stretch to absorb shock, but not so much that force from the boat to the tube is reduced substantially.

Hence, tubing lines tend to be elastic. Similarly, I highly recommend upsizing your tow line and always getting longer and stronger line than you need.

As a result, this high-quality tow line offered by West Marine with a working limit of 4,150 lbs is more than up to the task of towing even large tubes at high speeds.

Reasons to buy

– Strong
– Long
– Has integral rope-keeper

Reasons to avoid

– Somewhat expensive
– Somewhat thick in diameter
– Only comes in one color

Buy it now from West Marine

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Seleware Heavy Duty Tow Harness

Designed for boats with no integral tow eye, this 8’ tow harness offered by Seleware allows boats of all types with transom eyes on to pull a tube.

For boats with simple, unreinforced ski eyes, weak pylons, or boats with only a tower tow attach point, this harness offers a much better tube towing solution.

It allows boaters to properly distribute the weight across two reinforced points, rather than relying on a single, weaker point designed for pulling wakeboarders and skiers, both of which create a lot less drag — and therefore load — on the towing attachment point.

This harness also allows jet skis to tow tubes and other towable devices much more safely and successfully.

Reasons to buy

– Rated at 6,000 lbs. working strength
– Has quick connect system that is easy to use
– Has an integral float which will keep the device free of the propeller
– All metal parts are fabricated of stainless steel

Reasons to avoid

– Only 8’ long
– Rope material could possibly fray over time

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Sportsstuff Booster Ball

One of my major annoyances while tubing over the years is the propensity for the tow rope to drag in the water, causing water to spray into my eyes.

Additionally, a lagging tow rope can create a sudden whipping effect, which can cause less experienced riders to capsize.

To alleviate this, the Booster Ball was invented to make sure the tow rope is alway raised above the water’s surface.

Reasons to buy

– Will raise the tow rope out of the water, preventing annoying spray and whipping effects
– Will reduce sudden jolting motion when tow boat accelerates
– Will smooth out the ride, but also allows for more rider/driver control
– Includes a serviceable tow line

Reasons to avoid

– An additional expense
– An additional failure point
– Makes setting up and breaking down take longer

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Airhead Line Floats

Best value boat tube accessories

If there is a theme here, it is that tow line left to its own devices does not work very effectively: without a line float, the line both gets stuck in the water, thereby increasing the whiplash effect upon takeoff and turning, in addition to relentlessly spraying tubers in the eyes with water.

Another concern with float-less line is that it can tangle and/or get stuck in the propeller more easily.

One solution to this problem a simple line float. Costing a grand total of $8, this line float from Airhead will greatly enhance your tubing experience.

Reasons to buy

– Will keep line free of the propeller
– Will help keep line out of the water while tubing, reducing spray and whiplash effect
– Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

– Not as effective as other line float devices
– Bulkier than other options; not deflatable

Buy it now from West Marine

Best towable tube pumps

West Marine Premium iSUP/Tube Inflator

If you want to cut down on tubing set up time, a quality air pump is a must.

On boats with 12 volt outlets or accessible batteries, an electric pump is ideal, but a quality hand pump works nearly as quickly and with little more effort in my experience, and this affordable hand pump offered by West Marine is a good choice.

Featuring an integral pressure gauge, this pump can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including inflating tubes, kayaks or SUPs.

Reasons to buy

– Affordable and versatile; features many attachments
– Does not require electricity
– Features an integral pressure gauge

Reasons to buy

– Requires pumping and is not automatic like electric pumps
– Hose material is average to above average

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World of Watersports Electric Inflator Pumps

Depending on your needs and power capabilities, an electric tube inflator may be a wonderful upgrade that is sure to make the tubing experience a much easier operation.

If you want to inflate tubes at home or a dock with AC power, this 2 PSI unit offered by World of Watersports is a wonderful option, featuring many different attachments and quality components and fittings.

Both of these air pumps may also be used for quick deflation, which in my experience usually takes even longer than inflation when done by hand.

If inflating onboard or near a vehicle, this 3 PSI DC powered unit is a great option, with alligator clips to connect directly to a standard 12 volt battery.

World of Watersports also offer a 1 PSI unit that can be plugged into a 12 volt outlet, but I don’t recommend this as it’s likely not powerful enough for large tubes.


AC Unit

Reasons to buy

– Affordable
– High quality hose and fittings
– Compact but powerful
– Can also be used for deflation

Reasons to avoid

– Does not have a DC power mode for use onboard without a DC to AC inverter
– Only has one inflation power/speed

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DC Unit

Reasons to buy

– Will run off the boat’s battery power
– Alligator clips make for a safe connection, as opposed to using a 12 volt outlet
– Can also be used for deflation

Reasons to avoid

– Larger than AC unit
– More expensive than AC unit
– Only DC; not also AC

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Best way to store boat tubes

While many tubes come with a cheap (often fabric bordering on paper) storage bag, a proper case will enhance your tubing experience greatly and this mesh case offered by Oumers is up to the task.

Made of a strong but porous polyester mesh, this storage case will keep your inflatables secure while allowing them to drain and dry, thereby preventing mold and mildew over time.

The bag is also flexible enough to store a wide variety of towables in various shapes.

Reasons to buy

– Polyester mesh material will wet towables to dry
– Large shoulder straps will make for easy transport
– Zipper will make sure your items are secure, unlike other cheaper options
– Additional zippered side pockets will hold odds and ends

Reasons to avoid

– Mesh material may catch and pick/rip over time
– Will require towables to be rolled into a rectangular shape for stowage

Buy it now on Amazon

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated boating page for more marine products.


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