Dangers of Tubing Behind a Boat: Our Guide
The dangers of tubing behind a boat can add up quickly. While it may be fun in the moment to be towed behind a speedboat, bouncing along the crest of the wake, it can ultimately be a high-risk activity. In this post we’ll discuss various aspects of what can go wrong when tubing behind a boat.
Summer Fun, or Maybe Not So Fun?
This question is most likely asked every summer before a group of people set foot on a tubing apparatus behind a boat. While you’re most likely going to enjoy the tubing activity relatively unscathed, you may run into some mild to moderate injuries which you may not even realize until the following day after your body has had time to process what’s happened.
How Often are Individuals Injured While Tubing Behind a Boat?
According to statistics, quite often. Tubing accidents are up 250% year-over-year, according to The Center for Injury Research & Policy. This statistic is quite worrying, and should be accounted for when weighing the decision on to tube or not to tube.
Potential Tubing Injuries
Below is a list of potential tubing injuries which may occur if your driver of the boat you’re being towed behind is not careful.
Colliding with a fellow tuber on the tube itself or with an object while traveling at high speeds could certainly lead to a concussion. Even if you’re wearing a helmet while tubing, you may still run the risk of colliding at high speeds with an object or another person and experiencing a concussion. This may result in serious issues which may require hospitalization.
The act of tubing has a “ripcord” effect which can cause you to be slung around through tight corners and waves. This style of abrupt motion may cause strains of the neck, back, wrist, leg, etc… Always communicate with the driver of the boat if you feel as though the speeds and movements are too rough. You may end up thanking yourself later on.
Sprains may occur when you’re being towed with another person who happens to collide with you and causes your limbs to bend in an unnatural fashion, thus resulting in a potential sprain. This is not ideal and typically occurs in the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists.
If you happen to be launched off of a rather large wave and you’re not prepared for the sheer height of said wave, you may come down from a freefall at a high velocity. This could result in a quite severe case of whiplash if you’re not prepared for the rise and fall of the tube itself over the crest of the wave.
Herniated discs could occur through a number of injury styles. Collision, whiplash, strong jerking movements, etc… If you’re already vulnerable from past injuries, it would not be a good idea to go tubing, as it may reopen or exacerbate a past injured or herniated disc.
A fractured neck can lead to paralysis or even death. This is a rare occurrence with tubing, yet it can happen if the operator of the boat is operating in a reckless fashion and causes you to collide with another vessel or even hit a random object, log, or barrier in the water causing you to be flung from the tube itself.
All of the above listed incidents may lead to being knocked unconscious and drowning. This is not an ideal situation and could be life-altering or life-ending. Always ensure someone on the boat is CPR-certified. Thai could make a great deal of difference in life or death outcomes.
Death is a rare, yet possible outcome from the act of tubing. Always be careful and cautious if you choose to partake in the act of tubing behind a boat. Whether it’s a lake or the ocean, the dangers of tubing exist everywhere. Always be sure to establish clear communication from the beginning and if in doubt, don’t go out.
Contact Us at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants
If you’ve experienced an injury from tubing and you’d like to have it evaluated by our expert team of neurosurgeons, physical therapists, pain management specialists, etc…; you’ll want to contact us using the form below. We’ll be sure to have you seen by one of our medical experts as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.