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Tubing With a Jet Ski (How Big a Jet Ski is Needed)

One of the most exciting water activities has got to be tubing with a jet ski. The blue ocean along with the speed and splashing creates a unique experience. However, you need to be careful of a few things when you engage in this sport. That includes specific requirements like what size jet ski to pull a tube and your state law. 

The average three-seater jet ski with a 1000 to 1600 cc engine is big enough to pull a tube. This tube can be the normal tube specifically designed for this very purpose. Also, the tube will be able to carry one normal-sized adult person on it. Suffice to say, the capacity varies according to the model of the watercraft. 

If you are planning to go tubing with your jet ski for the first time, the following discussion can be really helpful for you. Learn as much as you can before going into the water to decrease the chances of dangers. 

How Big A Jet Ski Do You Need For Tubing?

Your Jetski should have a horsepower of at least 110 if you want to pull some significant weight with it. That roughly translates to a 1000-1600 cc engine size. 

Of course, this size varies according to different manufacturers. But pulling a normal tube and passenger requires a minimum production of 110 horsepower

The tube can carry a full-grown adult who is eighty to eighty-five kgs in weight. For the minimum powered engines, the limit is up to 200 pounds. And yes, here too, things will vary according to your jet ski’s model. If you have a bigger watercraft, you might pull multiple tubes and passengers.  

An average three-seater jet ski is sufficiently big to pull a basic tube with a healthy adult person on it. Usually, machines with low to medium horsepower can’t do more than this. And you should respect that. Never push your PWC beyond its peak. Because, that can do damage to your machine or even worse, lead to accidents.   

Laws Regarding Tubing with A Jet Ski

Before you go tubing with a jet ski, ask what your government thinks about it. Because failure to comply with the law might result in losing your privilege to drive a watercraft altogether. Therefore, take time to know the rules in your area. You can look it up on the United States Coast Guards’ official website

The laws regarding personal watercraft and the activities you can do have variations across different states. Plus, the nature of the water you are skiing plays an important role here too. Despite the difference in rules across the states, some things are common everywhere. Let’s have a look at them.

Three-seater: The law requires you to have a three-seater jet ski if you want to go tubing. In this case, one seat is reserved for the driver, one for his assistant, and the third one for the passenger on the tube. So, if the passenger is unable to continue tubing in the middle of the sea, he will have a seat on the jet ski to carry him safely. 

Mirrors: In some states, it is mandatory to have back-view mirrors on your jet ski. So that, the driver never let the tube and the passenger out of his sight. Other than that, there’s another advantage of having mirrors. That is, you might be excused for not having an assistant. Well, this will be different according to state laws. 

Life Jacket: This is just normal common sense. And it is pretty much mandatory everywhere in the world. When you go on a sea adventure on a speeding vehicle, everyone should have a life jacket on. Not only the passenger of the tube but also the driver and the assistant should have to wear a vest. 

Watercraft: All states think it is important that your jet ski has the bare minimum required to pull a tube and a passenger. So, your watercraft should have adequate engine power (110 hp for one tube and passenger). Plus, the jet ski should have a U-bolt or ski eye for attachment of the towing rope. 

Boating license and Age: Lastly, most states nowadays require a Boating License for you to drive a jet ski. You can get this license by completing a course and taking an exam in any state-approved boating license. Age is a factor here too. You need to be at least sixteen in most states to own and drive a jet ski. 

How To Pull A Tube With A Jet Ski?

You need to master two basic things if you want to safely pull a tube with your jet ski. First, you need to learn how to manage the rope between your tube and jet ski. And second, learn to drive your watercraft with proper technique. Because pulling something along is tougher than driving freely. 

Manage the tow-rope correctly

You can attach the rope to the ski pylon if your Jet Ski has one. This is essentially a pole to attach and hold the rope at a good height above the water surface. Or, you can use the tow hook. Almost all jet skis have this one. Usually, you can find it in the back under the seat. This is a quicker and easier way to install the rope. 

Always use the correct length of rope to prevent it from getting into the engine. However, if you frequently engage in tubing, you will most likely experience rope getting into your jet ski’s pump at least a couple of times. 

When the rope gets into the pump, turn off the engine immediately. Do not start until you get the rope out. Turning it on with the rope inside can seriously damage your driveshaft. So, it is best to pull out the key to prevent any accidental starting. Get another vehicle to tow your craft to the shore and only then remove the rope. 

To get the best experience, always use the type of rope which is suitable for tubing. Also, don’t just use any tube you find. You need specific tubes that are designed for jet ski and tubing activities. 

Driving a Jet Ski with a Tube Behind

Your speed needs to be steady when you are pulling something behind your jet ski. Otherwise, you will have a rough ride. Moreover, the passenger in the tube will have a bad time too. Try to maintain a speed under 20 mph. This will give the ride perfect consistency.

When driving with a tube attached, don’t turn any sudden corner with your jet ski. Also, keep in mind that when you turn 180 degrees it increases the speed of the tube you are pulling. 

You might want to use a booster ball if you go tubing with a jet ski regularly. The ball helps to keep the tow-rope more above the water. As a result, it lowers the drag, sprays less water on the tube passengers, and gives your ride an overall smoothness. A booster ball also helps to keep the rope out of the pump. 

The Advantages Of Tubing With A Jet Ski

Tubing behind a jet ski has many advantages. Among them, the main benefit is the overall easiness of the whole thing. Jet skis are much easier to manage than other average water vehicles. Tubing with a jet ski can do just as well when you can’t or don’t want to buy a boat. 

The compact size of a jet ski makes it easy to get in and off the water. Plus, you don’t need much space to store it. This is very different from traditional bigger boats.  Those watercraft require elaborate arrangements for launching and storage. 

As jet skis are such manageable and comparatively more affordable machines, you can easily get one for your family. The kids can have a very wonderful time taking a few rides on a tube. 

Another advantage of jet skis is, you can drive in narrow canals where boats couldn’t get in. Moreover, you can operate in much shallower waters. So, if you are venturing into that kind of scenario, a Jetski, and a tube can be of much more service than a boat. 


Tubing with a jet ski is a fun and thrilling activity. All you need do is pay attention to the law and be clear about what size jet ski to pull a tube. Life is precious. So, take proper training and ensure everything is working properly before you hit the water. 

Thanks for stopping by.