Frequently Asked Questions – Ski Tubes
The tube material is the same high-grade material used in many ocean-going inflatables and inflatable military boats. It’s a 600-1000 Denier Polyester with 26-28 oz. UV treated PVC. All seams are heat-welded for maximum strength and doubled at key stress points.
What’s the difference between a commercial towable and a consumer towable?
Commercial towables are generally used for commercial applications such as at a camp, resort, or beachfront concession business and must endure heavy use. These towables are built using professionally reinforced PVC material and are consequently much more expensive than consumer towables. Consumers can certainly purchase the commercial grade towables if they are looking for the ultimate in durability and want to pull 3-6 riders at one time. Consumer grade towables are constructed of 30 gauge non-reinforced vinyl and generally have a nylon covering over the inflatable bladder. They are intended for more recreational use and generally accommodate a smaller number of riders simultaneously (i.e. 1-3 riders).
How often will I need to add air to my product?
Due to the expansion and contraction of air with varying temperatures, you may find it necessary to add some air or let some air out to maintain proper firmness of the tube. Also, products that have extended use may need to have air applied more often than products that are used less frequently.
Why is it important that I maintain proper air volume within the tube?
Both over-inflated tubes and under-inflated tubes can cause premature stress on the seams. Therefore, you can extend the life of your product by ensuring that the proper volume of air is inside the tube. You can tell if your tube is properly inflated when the cover is stretched taught and the bladder is firm to the touch. It should be difficult to insert your hand between the cover and the tube when the bladder is properly inflated. If your tube is bulging significantly in areas not encased by the nylon cover, then you have too much air in the tube and some air should be released. Monitor this air pressure throughout the day as the heat of the sun will change the air volume within the tube.
How can I troubleshoot a tube that is not holding air?
In most cases, either a change in air temperature or a valve that is not seated or closed properly causes air loss within a tube. Always check the valves first. If you know they are seated and closed properly, then try adding more air. If the tube is still not holding air, then remove the bladder from the cover and rub down the entire tube with a sponge using dish soap and water. With this method, you will hear a hissing sound or see soap bubbles forming in the area of the leakage. Repair any small holes using the repair kit. supplied with your product.
How can I ensure that the Boston Valve is seated and closed properly?
Check to make sure the o-ring is in place in the valve body. Also look closely to make sure the valve doesn’t have any nicks or sand in the threads that would prevent the body from being screwed down tightly. Check to make sure the valve body is threaded straight into the base. There is a plastic retainer ring that keeps the valve body from falling apart from the base. If this ring gets pulled out of its groove in the base, it can easily be trapped between the o-ring and base when the valve body is screwed into the base. This is by far the most typical reason that people find their valve to be leaking. To correct, reinsert the ring into the groove in the base or you can clip off the ring to ensure it can’t interfere with the o-ring seating properly on the base.
How can I ensure that the clear plug valves are seated properly?
Prior to inserting the plug into the valve base, moisten the surface of the plug then quickly insert it into the base. Doing so will allow the plug to slide more freely into the base until it bottoms out. The moisture around the plug also helps seal it (kind of like getting a suction cup wet before you stick it to glass). These valves not being seated fully down into their base is a common reason for air leakage in smaller air chambers of your tube.
Is salt water OK for my product?
These products are designed for use in both fresh and salt water. However, extended use in salt water can reduce the life of your product. Whenever possible, rinse your Aquaglide product with fresh water and dry thoroughly before storing in a cool, dry location.
How do I maintain and store my product?
When the product is not being used, we recommend storing it in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Although the vinyl bladders and nylon covers are made with UV inhibitors, prolonged exposure to the sun may degrade the look of the product. Remove all sand and other debris from the tube, clean with mild soap and water and let dry completely before storing. Roll the product loosely and store in a dry container that will not allow it to be damaged by rodents or other animals. If you store a product when it is wet, it may foster the growth of mold and mildew. Do not store in an area where the tube will be subject to extreme variations of hot and cold temperatures. Exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures over a prolonged period of time can damage the product.
Why does the product dive under water when towing?
Use a proper towing bar or attachment that is higher above the water. Be sure to inflate the product properly. Do not tow at high speeds – over 18 mph. Do not tow with more than the recommended number of passengers for the product in question. Keep riders towards the back of the hull when riding. Never tow without the cover.
Why is the cover poorly aligned over valve / cup holders?
Occasionally the inner bladder can shift inside the cover while deflated, causing poor alignment of bladder/ cover. Partially deflate the bladder and reposition before re-inflating.
How can I patch a cut?
The towable products found on our site are made of a heavy-duty 26-28 gauge PVC bladder, surrounded by high quality 600-1000 denier polyester cover. Each inflatable item comes with a small patch kit for both the cover and the bladder. Use the zipper access in the cover to remove the inner bladder from the cover. Clean & dry the area in question and use the PVC patch kit to repair the bladder. Use the polyester patch to repair the cover. If the size of the cut makes it impossible to use the provided kit for repairs, you may need to purchase a replacement bladder/ cover, or may need to take the cover to an authorized sail loft for repairs. Once bladder and cover are patched, return the inner bladder to the protection of the cover, and inflate.