It’s not often you get the chance to just let go and enjoy something that is pure, unadulterated fun. Those memories that have the power to bring a smile to your face even years later are the absolute best, but, when you’re no longer a kid, it gets a lot harder to make them.
Thankfully, you can turn to tubing - possibly the most fun you can have on the water, and the perfect combination of fun and thrills. And the best part? There are hardly any rules to learn, and, unlike other watersports, there are really no ‘wrong ways’ to do it.
Feeling tempted? Here’s a little more to know before you rock up for your first tubing session with us, against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Arenal, Costa Rica.
WHAT IS TUBING?
It’s simple: you and one or two friends get into the tube together, hold on tight, and try not to get thrown off into the lake. It’s a low-stakes, easy-to-pick-up activity, but it’s the kind of thing you could happily spend an entire afternoon doing.
When you’re watching from the boat, the whole thing looks simple enough. But, if you’ve ever gamely climbed onto a Bucking Bronco only to realise, ‘Yep – this is pretty hard after all’, then you’ll know the feeling of getting onto the tube for the first time.
Water tubing can be done without a boat pulling the tubers along, but it’s a lot more fun with, since you can reach some high speeds. This kind of tubing is also known as ‘towed’ tubing, since the boat is your tow.
The tubes are sometimes referred to as ‘donuts’ or ‘biscuits’, which is why some people use the term ‘biscuiting’. You can use whichever term you like the best.
IS A TUBING HARD TO LEARN?
Tubing is super easy to learn. Get on the tube, find something to hold onto, and enjoy the ride.
There, you just had your first tubing lesson.
Obviously, as with any watersport, there are some health and safety precautions that we will guide you through when you meet us at the lake – but, in terms of learning techniques or skills, tubing keeps the preamble (and the learning curve) to a minimum. It’s definitely easier to get the hang of than some of our other watersports, like wakeboarding.
That’s not to say that you won’t find it challenging, but that the challenge is just part of being on the tube. Holding on when you’re laughing, screaming, and taking in the beautiful sights as they fly right past your eyes – it’s a lot, and that’s all part of the fun.
FOR FIRST-TIME TUBERS
Bring yourselves, and the guts to get out there for the first time. Oh, and don’t forget to say, “Cheese!”
1.Don’t forget a waterproof camera…
If you’re coming to us in a group, then you’ll all want to take turns and go out there in different groups of two and three to enjoy the experience together. When you’re back on the boat then, along with watching, you’ll also want to be taking those once-in-a-lifetime pictures of your family and friends having the time of their lives.
From looks of fear to pure joy, a photo session out on the tube tends to wind up going through the full spectrum of human emotion. We guarantee at least a few shots worthy of going up on the refrigerator.
2.…Or your GoPro setup
If you really want to be able to relive the up, down, side-to-side excitement of your tubing experience, then strapping yourself into a GoPro is a great idea. You’re not going to get world-class, Oscar-winning footage, but you are going to be able to capture the chaos of being on the tube, and flying along at 25mph past the many, many sights Lake Arenal has to offer.
3.Even non-participants can have fun
Some things in life just aren’t spectator sports. Filing your taxes, for one – along with playing back-to-back rounds of Solitaire, washing the dishes, and mowing the lawn.
Tubing, on the other hand, is one of the best spectator sports out there. All watersports are great for audiences, even when you’re still a beginner, but there is something about tubing that makes it ideal for a group – even if one or two of your party members isn’t up to getting into the water themselves.
When you book with us, you’ve got the boat for however long your booking specifies. You’re welcome to bring on board people who are happy not to participate, and who would rather enjoy watching your reactions to the speeds from something a little more comfortable, and a little drier.
4.Don’t be surprised if you go a little airborne
At high speeds, those waves created by our boat can make for a very bumpy ride. Remember what we said about the Bucking Bronco? Well, that’s exactly how tubing can feel, with a couple moments when you’re pretty much flying through the air.
The tube will always stay tied to the boat, so you don’t need to worry if it hits a wave at just the right angle to jump up out of the water.
Don’t worry – you’ll always come back down again!
5.Hold on tight
Tubing may not require you to learn any complex techniques or train your muscles into a new posture – but, what it lacks in nuance, it more than makes up for in raw power.
25mph may not seem all that fast when you’re riding in a car, but that all changes when you’re holding on with all your strength and trying not to fall off – or bump your friends off.
Just, whatever you do, don’t let go. If you do, you’ll be getting much better acquainted with Lake Arenal in about two seconds flat.
BENEFITS OF TUBING
Towed tubing may not look (or feel) like your typical workout when you’re out there doing it but, we promise, you’ll feel it tomorrow…
Laughing is a great workout…
Don’t let anyone tell you that laughter isn’t the best medicine – whether you’re looking to give your body or your soul (or both) a boost.
Laughing is a great cardio workout, and we’d choose it over burpees any day of the week. It’s also the perfect way to give your brain a boost of those feel-good hormones, and replace all the usual thoughts about work, errands, and whose turn it is to let the dog out at 3 a.m. with something really special.
…and the best thing for bonding
It’s really easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day, week-to-week routine, and not find the time for the best bonding exercise of all: laughing.
Whether you come to us with your closest friends, family you don’t get to spend quality time with as often as you’d like, or a first date you really want to impress, tubing is a one-way ticket to stronger relationships, and unforgettable memories that will be brought up and relived over and over again.
It’s great for your confidence
Plenty of people can get all the way to the moment they slip on their lifejacket before the first-time (or tenth time) nerves hit. It’s natural and expected that you feel a little apprehensive before you get into the water, even when it’s totally safe. It’s a new experience, and quite a crazy one at that.
The great news is that tackling new experiences is one of the best ways to give your confidence a boost. If you can push through those nerves, then you’ll get back to dry land feeling better about yourself, and braver too.
Below, we run through all the common questions people have before they come to us. You can alwaysemail or WhatsApp if you can’t find your answers here.
Is tubing dangerous?
It does have risks, but there are ways of minimising them – and, at Volcano Watersports, we take every precaution necessary to ensure you and your posse can enjoy a fun, safe time out on the water.
Hitting the water at high speeds can be a little uncomfortable but, provided you’re wearing the right gear (which we will provide on the day), it won’t be too painful.
One of the biggest risks for tubers is an inexperienced driver, or a lack of supervision from the boat. All our instructors are well-trained, and know how to work things so that you get maximum fun, with minimal risk.
What do you wear for tubing?
A bathing suit is ideal – or anything that won’t get in the way and, obviously, that you don’t mind getting wet. We provide the rest of the gear, and all the equipment on our boat meets a high standard, so bring yourself, some sunblock, and something dry to change into, and don’t worry about the rest.
Do you get wet while tubing?
Yes, definitely. Between the spray of the water and those times when you just can’t hold on tight enough, you’re sure to get wet.
Why is Lake Arenal so good for tubing?
Lake Arenal is the biggest lake in Costa Rica, and it’s blessed with all the perfect conditions for those looking for a fun, laid-back day out on the water. On its smooth waters, our boat can create some fantastic waves, and you get to enjoy it all in the company of your friends, family, and the stunning Arenal volcano overhead. Plus, it’s within easy reach of La Fortuna – ideal for a watersport vacation.
If you ask us, it’s one of the best tubing lakes you could add to your bucket list.