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You don’t need lessons, there’s no pricey equipment to buy, and it’s loads of fun. Snow tubing is a favorite pastime that is a guarantee to put a smile on your face. It’s a great winter activity that is ideal for people of all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 years old or 105—if you’re capable of hopping on an innertube and letting gravity do its thing by whirling you downhill for a jolly ride, you can snow tube.
There is no real skill required to be able to go snow tubing. There's no training required, no practice needed, and you don’t need to be super strong. As long as you can sit and hold on,you are good to go.
Interested in snow tubing near you? Keep reading for our winter tubing guide!
If you've ever gone down a water slide on a tube, then you can relate the same exhilarating concept to snow tubing. To keep the snow tube sliding in one direction, snow is often built up along each side of a predetermined lane. This thrilling activity is pretty similar to sledding, but don’t get confused, there is a difference. We’ll explain:
Sledding vs. Snow Tubing
Sledding and snow tubing are both a blast, but what’s the difference?
Throughout history,sledding has evolved quite a bit from being strictly a form of transportation to what is now a fun favorite winter tradition. Flopping on a sled to add momentum to the ride is a long-standing practice. From the classic toboggan to the flying saucer, snow sleds come in a wide variety of fun styles. When buying a sled, look for safety features such as well-made handles and hard bottoms. Or, even better, consider buying an awesome inflatable sled likeFUNBOY’S Snowmobile Sled. Why? Because it’s made of lightweight vinyl, making it easier than every to trudge back up the hill for another ride. Trust us—you’ll thank us later!
Snow tubes, on the other hand, are basically oversized inner tubes with a round cut-out section in the center. Think ‘donut’ shaped. Rather than lying down on your back or flat on your belly, you sit across the top of the tube, hold onto the handle with all your might, and whirl down an icy slope for hours of fun.
Okay, so which one’s better?
They are both great! Sledding and snow tubing are similar and will both leave you and your besties giggling for hours on end. When deciding one vs. the other, it’s a good idea to take into account the terrain and any obstacles that could affect your ride down the hill. For example, if you want to speed down an icy slope that requires you to have incredible control for weaving in and out of trees, grab your trusty toboggan sled, which usually comes with steering capabilities. Prefer to whirl down a steep snowy hill clear of obstacles at thrilling speeds? Snow tubing is for you.
Snow tubing is extremely fun. If you haven’t tried it, you really should! It’s an excellent way to get outdoors, take in some fresh air, and feel refreshed. Slide down an icy slope on a snow tube and allow the adrenaline, excitement, and the rush of the sweet, chilly winter air to reinvigorate your spirit. Here are some snow tubing tips to take into consideration:
Dress for Success.
Just like any other winter activity, it’s important to dress in warm layers to avoid catching a cold—or even worse,hypothermia. This serious medical condition happens when your body loses more heat than it can produce. Lock in heat when you go snow tubing by wearing plenty of layers to help keep your body warm and dry. And whatever you do, no matter how hot and sweaty you get from trudging your inner tube back up the hill after each and every ride, donot remove your layers. Why? Because believe it or not, sweating when it’s a bit nippy out canincrease your chances for hypothermia. When you sweat and come in contact with ambient air, you’ll instantly feel an immediate chill, which can drop your core body temperature by a lot, and if it drops too much, hypothermia will set in.Pro-tip: Avoid wearing cotton, which soaks up sweat and will stay wet next to your skin. Dress in warm layers of clothing made of synthetic material, such as polypropylene.
Pick the Right Hill.
Want to maximize your day of fun snow tubing near you? Be sure to pick the right hill! The perfect tubing hill will have a long, wide-open run that fans out at the bottom. Snow tubes are not exactly well known for their maneuverability and control capabilities. You can expect to bounce and spin with every bump on the slope. If the snow is not very deep, try to pick a hill without obstacles such as rocks, which can put a hole in your tube. Your slope should be steep enough for the snow tube to gather momentum for the ride, but not too steep it sends you careening into danger after a few runs. Keep in mind that the more packed the snow, the faster you'll go. The faster you go, the more stopping space you'll need. And avoid scaring your mom and pick a hill that is far away from moving cars.
Pick the Right Tube Park.
If you’d prefer to go to an awesome tube park to whirling down the local hill, there are a couple of things to know. First of all, if you plan on snow tubing with the kiddos, be sure to check the height and age requirement prior to booking your trip. Many tubing parks require kids to be at least 42 inches tall and five years of age to ride down the slopes. These conditions, however, aren’t set in stone and vary depending on location. But it definitely pays to check them before making any reservations.
Secondly, it’s a really good idea to book your day of snow tubing activities in advance. At the first sign of snowfall, everyone will have the same idea you do: snow tubing. And most parks have a maximum capacity as to how many people they will allow in the park at one time to reduce long lines. Avoid piling the family into the minivan just to arrive at the tube park that’s already reached maximum capacity and book in advance.
Lastly, if your kiddos are too little to carry their own tubes back up the hill over and over again or if you happen to have bad knees, be sure to pick a tube park with a “magic carpet” to shuttle you back to the top of the hill for your next ride. Not all tube parks have this, so it is important to do a little bit of investigating before booking your reservation.
Watch Those Turns.
Riding up onto the wall of a snowy banked turn is the best thing ever about groomed tubing parks - but it’s easier than you might think to get flung all the way up that wall and over it! Smart and safe tubing parks will either build the “wall” of the turn extra high or put safety netting on top of it (or both), but it never hurts to be observant and watch other tubers of about the same weight take their runs and see how far up the wall they go when making a turn. If in doubt, keep it slow and steady on the first run and work your way up to higher speeds later on.
Keep in Mind You Don’t Have Brakes.
We already know that snow tubes have no brakes, and they’re inherently hard to control—but that’s what makes them so fun! However, it also means that once you get up to crazy fast speeds, any attempts to steer by dragging your feet and hands can send you into a white spinning vortex. To avoid getting dizzy from spinning so fast, start braking right from the start so you can keep yourself slow to a certain degree; but if you happen to miss that slim window of opportunity and try breaking when you’ve already reached an incredible speed, you’ll risk spinning out of control, which can be dangerous.
Use Your Pool Tubes.
No snow tube? No problem! Get your summerpool tube out from hibernation and bring it to the local hilltop for some serious fun. Most snow tubes are made of vinyl, which happens to be the same material used for most pool floats. So, why not use them for sledding? Besides, zipping down the slopes on your favoritePink Glitter Unicorn Innertube is sure to get a lot of laughs and make for some great pictures for your Instagram!
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: a winter tubing guide to help you have the best winter season yet. From finding the right hill to dressing properly, follow our awesome snow tubing tips for an amazing winter adventure. Trust us—you’ll be glad you did!