O’Brien Screamer 1 person boat tube review

The O’Brien Screamer may look like a fairly innocuous disc but this towable boat tube had more than a few surprises in store!

It’s hard to know if it was down to the slightly choppier conditions at the time of our boat tube test or the flat, hydrodynamic design of the O’Brien Screamer but it proved to be an absolute jack-in-the-box out on the water.

We were thrown off left, right and centre despite some admirable efforts from the younger stuntmen to cling on long beyond the point of no return – at times it looked like they must have had double-jointed shoulders!

The O’Brien Screamer seemed to catch every wave going and spent most of its time airborne with riders dangling off it and at every possible angle – and a few impossible ones!

The handles with their EVA knuckle guards were fundamental to the enjoyment of the ride and although we felt they were slightly too far forward for optimal balance, the fact there were four of them meant even the most extreme crash landings could be survived.

The thrill-o-meter may have ranked highly but the comfort and versatility scores were relatively low; the flat surface meant that the landings tended to be abrupt with the neoprene pads doing little to reduce the impact.

We certainly wouldn’t recommend this one for kids, partly because of its skittish behaviour and partly because it’s surprisingly hard to get on due to its height above the water and the location of the handles.

We reckon only serious thrill-seekers will enjoy this hectic ride. Luckily our test dummies fell into this category and relished the challenge of seeing who could hang on the longest.

It also looks decent value for money, providing a cheaper option for thrill-seekers to get their adrenaline hit. Although we tested the 1-person version, it’s also available in two and three person sizes (called the O’Brien Super Screamer and the O’Brien Ultra Screamer respectively) which could well be more comfortable due to the extra legroom.

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  • Best airtime on test
  • Great value for money
  • Easy to store


  • Uncomfortable
  • Hard to get on
  • Not for beginners


The only proviso is that while the Screamer has four handles for the solitary rider to choose from, the larger versions only have six handles each, meaning a lower rider to handle ratio and even more carnage as the extra bodies fight to maintain a grip on this waterborne bucking bronco!


Capacity: 1 person
Handles: 4
Diameter: 40"
Thrill rating: 5/5
Comfort rating: 2/5
Overall rating: 3/5

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