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  • Stay Alive - Wear a Life Vest - National Safe Boating Week

    national-safe-boating-week-lifejackets

    We are on a mission to make water fun, but the sad fact is that every summer hundreds of lives are lost to drowning because people were not wearing a life vest. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, drowning was the cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2014, and 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a personal flotation device. This is particularly unfortunate because these deaths could have been easily prevented.

    That’s why we are helping to promote National Safe Boating Week from May 21-27, 2016 sponsored by the North American Safe Boating Campaign and supported by a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard. This yearlong campaign is promoting safe and responsible boating and raising awareness of voluntary and consistent life vest wear by recreational boaters in the U.S. and Canada.

    Boating in a safe and responsible way keeps the fun in water sports. Wearing life vests consistently will help mishaps from happening when an unexpected boating accident occurs. Boaters should always drive sober, know the navigational rules of the waters they are traveling, watch out for other boaters and their towable passengers, and have a lookout aboard to keep an eye on those skiing, tubing, and knee boarding behind the boat.

    Some boaters object to wearing life vests because the old image of bulky, uncomfortable vests come to mind. Fortunately, today’s boaters have many innovative life vest options including sporty neoprene vests, comfortable lightweight universal vests, and inflatable vests. Many families enjoy taking the family dog on the boat too, so don’t forget to put a pet vest on “Spot” too!

    RAVE Sports® has also worked with the Water Sports Industry Association to produce this inflatable safety video to educate boaters on responsible tubing. In addition, the 2016 WSIA Towed Water Sports Handbook is available here for a nominal fee. We recommend reviewing these best practices and tips to make your water recreation safe and more pleasurable. Click here to read Ten Tips to Know Before You Tow.

    Being visible to other boaters is an important factor in boating safety when pulling people on towables. The exclusive RAVE Tail ™ high-volume rooster tail device that sprays water high into the air creating the coolest ride on the water while making it highly visible to other water craft. Designed and engineered in the USA, the patented RAVE Tail™ hydro propulsion technology can be found on RAVE Tail™ tubes. Additional water recreation products can be found at www.ravesports.com

  • Five Reasons Why We LOVE Tubing

    Pulling a towable behind a speed boat means big splashes, big screams, and big-time fun. Here are our top five reasons why we love tubing:

    1) It’s a no-brainer. Tubing doesn’t require any special skills or athletic abilities. Compared to other water sports that require balance, agility and strength, with tubing all you need to do is sit or lay down and hang on.

    2) Everyone can do it. No matter if you’re young or old --- or somewhere in between --- you can enjoy water tubing. Young beginners can be pulled at a slow speed that’s right for them, while more adventurous teens and adults will enjoy faster speeds that challenge their ability to stay on the tube. With many tube styles available, there’s something for every speed and ability.

    3) It’s a fun way to get some exercise. Tubing gets you outdoors, moving around on a boat, and usually requires some amount of swimming, in addition to the muscle strength used to hang on to the tube. Beats time at an indoor gym any day, in our opinion.

    4) It introduces newbies to water sports. Tubing is an excellent way to get introduced to water sports and the experience of being towed behind a boat. Moving up to water skiing, knee boarding, or wakeboarding will be less intimidating if your family members have first experienced tubing.

    5) It doesn’t require an electronic screen. Family time nowadays is interrupted too often by phones and devices with electronic screens. If you want to spend some quality family time together without those distractions, take your family tubing!

  • Looking for things to do on the 4th of July? You'll love this ...

    It’s hard to beat the 4th of July for sheer fun --- no other holiday packs fireworks, ice cream, warm weather, and family time all into one day! But sometimes it’s difficult to keep all family members entertained for a whole day together, so we thought we’d share our best ideas of things to do on the 4th of July (on the water, of course):

    Enjoy the sunrise from a new point of view: Summer sunrises are usually spectacular from any viewpoint, but we especially enjoy them from the top of the water on a stand up paddle board. It’s your chance to catch some peace and quiet before the mayhem of the day begins (and to burn some calories to justify ice cream later in the day).

    Use water sports to build bonds and memories:  Few activities bridge the generation gap better than jumping on a water trampoline together,  seeing who can last the longest in the boat tube, or just hangin’ out playing games on the shore --- water volleyball, anyone?

    Explore new water: Be explorers for an afternoon on a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board and check out a new river, lake, or ocean bay. To really get into the spirit of the day, wear something red, white, and blue while you’re exploring.

    Lounge around in a float: It’s your day off from work, so relax! Grab a few pool / lake floats, find a calm spot in the sun, and chill out.

    Create a water gun competition: Be sure to bring along a bunch of water guns or water blasters / soakers, depending upon the ages of your family members and their risk-taking appetite, and spend the afternoon in a “friendly” competition --- on shore, on a water trampoline or bouncer, or on a boat.

    Watch fireworks from a boat or the end of a dock / pier: End the day back on the water to watch surrounding fireworks from the vantage point of a boat or from the end of a dock or pier. This gives you twice the fun, as this way you can enjoy the reflections of the fireworks on the water too.

    No matter what your family’s activities are this 4th of July, we hope our RAVE friends have a fun (and safe) holiday!

  • Five Things NOT to Say to Dad on Father's Day

    Since water sports are our thing, we believe the perfect Father’s Day is spent with family at the lake going boating, tubing, fishing, paddle boarding, or hanging out on a water trampoline. But we know you are sick and tired of the list of the perfect gifts or the best things to do with your dad on Father’s Day, so we’ve got some useful information for you instead --- five things NOT to say to your dad or husband on Father’s Day while he’s enjoying the water. (Or if you are a dad or husband reading this, forward it on!)

    Do you have to scream like a little girl when you are tubing?” Dads like to have fun and act like a kid when they are being pulled behind a boat, skimming above the water with the lake water splashing in their face. Just have fun with him and ignore how silly he sounds, then blame it on your little sister if anyone asks about it later.

    I didn’t know old men could water ski.” Don’t ever call your Dad an old man. Period.

    Can you keep up with me on the paddle board?” Dads can be competitive, even with their own family members, so if you ask a question like this you are asking for trouble.

    Please can we play Crack the Egg again? Pleeeeeeese?” Playing Crack the Egg on the water trampoline is fun for a few times, but after the fifth or sixth go ‘round, give him a break. Or maybe a cookie or a cheeseburger.

    It’s time for a new swimsuit.” If your dad insists on wearing his favorite swimsuit from 1995, just be glad it still fits him, and compliment him on how he looks. Maybe then he’ll forgive you for the ugly tie you gave him.

  • Ten Things to Know Before You Tow

    Top Ten Safety Tips for Drivers and Riders

    According to accident reports from the U.S. Coast Guard, tubing is the towed water sports activity with the most injuries in recent years. It is important for both boat drivers and inflatable riders to understand that the sport can cause serious injury or death and to use common sense and good judgment at all times. However, tubing can provide a lot of fun and entertainment when practiced with these safety tips in mind:

    1) Be aware that inflatables are not steerable by passengers and that the driver is responsible for the safety of the rider(s). Inflatables travel at a wider arch and at greater speeds during turns than the boat travels, so the driver and spotter should be mindful of the towable’s trajectory at all times. For example, if the boat speed is 20 mph, an inflatable can reach speeds up to 55 mph during a sharp turn (commonly called a “whip”). Contact during a whip with other boats, shoreline, shallow water, or other fixed objects such as docks can cause serious injury or death.

    2) Do not mix driving a boat or participating in water sports with alcohol, drugs or any substance that can impair your judgment and always follow warning labels on inflatables and guidelines in your boat owner’s manual. Also, become knowledgeable about the area you will be towing and be aware of any obstacles, shallow water, and wake and / or speed restrictions before you start out.

    3) Riders should always wear a life jacket and make sure it is in good condition, fits properly, and is not worn out.

    4) Inspect the inflation level of your towable and be aware that temperature fluctuations can cause changes in the firmness of inflatable towables.

    5) Check your tow rope’s strength to be sure it is appropriate for the number of riders in your inflatable and that the rope does not have knots, frayed edges, or sun damage; affix tow rope only  to the boat manufacturer’s recommended attachment point on your boat.

    6) The driver should use a rear view mirror and always have a spotter in the boat so the driver can focus on looking in front of the boat, not behind; both must always be aware of other boaters and fixed objects such as docks, swim platforms, and buoys.

    7) Discuss hand signals with the rider before the ride and have the spotter communicate the rider’s signals to the driver during the ride:

    --- OK (tip of index finger and thumb together)
    --- Faster (thumb up)
    --- Slower (thumb down)
    --- Stop (hand slashing neck)
    --- Turn around (index finger pointed up and going around in a circle)
    --- Back to shore or dock (pat top of head)

    8) Check for rope entanglements and gently pull slack out of the rope before increasing throttle speed; wait until rider(s) indicate readiness and is / are free from rope entanglements (it is common to instruct riders to yell “hit it!” when they are ready).

    9) Boat speeds should not exceed 20 mph and should be appropriate for the experience of the rider(s). Riders should also know their limits and communicate them with the driver before and during the ride. In addition, large waves and wakes should be avoided to keep the inflatable on the water, not in the air. When tubes become airborne the safety of the rider(s) becomes jeopardized and can result in severe injury to the muscles, spine, internal organs due to collisions with other riders or falling off the tube.

    10) Injuries also occur when elbows, knees, and heads of riders collide with other riders, so passengers should always stay put and avoid horseplay or moving around. It is also dangerous to pull more than one inflatable at a time or with other towables such as water skiers or wakeboarders.

    Above all, safety should always be the first priority with all water sports, but especially when water tubing. Review these safety tips before you head out on the water, as everyone will have more fun when they are tubing safely.

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