After its big sister, the Super Mable, wiped the board in our last towable test back in 2005, we had high hopes for the slightly smaller Airhead Big Mable.
Resembling an inflatable sofa with a padded back wall and cushioned side rests, we were looking forward to a more relaxed ride after the rough and tumble of some of the other boat tubes on test. Little did we realise that the Airhead Big Mable was going to provide some seriously large jumps, rivalling the O’Brien Screamer for the biggest air award.
When running in a straight line behind the boat, the sofa design provided a comfortable ride with the deep base and back rest helping absorb any impacts and the handles being well placed to hang on to. The side rests also proved invaluable for counterbalancing any tipping when being flung outside the wake.
However, the relatively short base of the Airhead Big Mable, compared to the Super Mable, meant that either our legs hung out over the front of it, causing them to bounce around uncontrollably, or we hunched them up but risked knees flying unnervingly close to faces at times.
The most interesting feature on the Big Mable is that it has dual tow points, meaning it can be ridden sitting down sofa-style or turned around and ridden chariot-style with the riders kneeling down behind the back rest.
The chariot method was harder to ride for any length of time due to the riders’ weight being higher and further forward, making it more prone to flipping as it rode over the wake or the riders slid over to one side during a turn.
This resulted in frequent spills, shorter ride times and reduced fun as we spent almost as much time in the water as we did on the tube.
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- Good airtime
- Dual towing points
- Floating sunlounger
- Lack of leg space
- Unstable in chariot mode
- Not as good as Super Mable
Overall, the ride was still very enjoyable and delivered a good mixture of fun and stability with the potential to cater for all ages and adrenaline levels. It also doubles as a comfortable floating sunlounger when at anchor but we’d be inclined to upgrade to the Super Mable to solve the issue of leg space or consider the more supportive and entertaining two-person Jobe Binar instead.
Capacity: 2 people
Dimensions (deflated): 69"L x 66"W
Thrill rating: 3/5
Comfort rating: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5