Tow sports are an awesome way to level up the Sea-Doo life. Whether it’s waterskiing, tubing, wakeboarding, or wakeskating, it’s hard to beat the excitement and adrenaline of that perfect day with your Sea-Doo, towing friends in your wake. These tips will help you get the most out of those epic shred sessions.
It’s no surprise that safety should be the number one priority when using your Sea-Doo to tow people behind your watercraft. When done correctly, just about anyone can enjoy a fun trip around the water in the wake.
Your first step is to understand the rules and regulations of the body of water you’ll be on. Different areas have their own specific rules. For example, some areas require tow watercraft to be equipped with a mirror. Others require a spotter or observer on board. It’s always recommended to have a spotter facing the rear of the watercraft to ensure the safety of the person being towed. Just be sure to double check the rules before you launch your Sea-Doo.
PRO TIP: If you’ve never towed with a Sea-Doo before, try spending a few hours as a spotter first, so you get the feel of how the watercraft operates while towing a person.
A properly fitted PFD is paramount when it comes to towing safety requirements for all participants. A U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III is mandatory for the driver, spotter (or observer) and the person being towed.
Watercraft capacity is another important Sea-Doo towing factor. There must be enough seats on board the watercraft for three people - driver, spotter and the person being towed. That means only one person should be towed behind your Sea-Doo.
Most Sea-Doo models will come equipped with a tow eyelet at the back of the seat or a ski pylon attached to the rear deck. This is where you’ll attach the tow rope to your Sea-Doo. It’s important to note the tow eyelet should be used for tubing. The ski pylon is only meant for skiers and wakeboarders. Never use the ski pylon to tow a tube.
PRO TIP: Never carry cargo accessories on the rear deck when practicing tow sports as they can interfere with the tow rope.
Select Sea-Doo models are equipped with a Ski Mode to provide five pre-set acceleration profiles called, “Ramps,” that give you the perfect launch for your desired tow preferences. Ramp 1 is the slowest setting with gentle acceleration - great for beginners or young riders. Each ramp increases the acceleration and top speed, with Ramp 5 being the quickest and fastest tow setting for more experienced riders. This unique feature allows the driver to deliver the exact acceleration and speed for the given activity while maintaining their focus on steering rather than throttle lever modulation.
No matter what watersport you’re taking part in, you’ll want to make sure your equipment is in good condition. That includes skis, boards, tubes and ropes. Check the rope for any damage or fraying before you set out on the water.
Proper tow rope length is also important for your given activity and experience level. For tubing, the rope should be at least 50 feet long. Wakeboard ropes typically range from 45-70 feet, and waterski ropes generally range between 60-70 feet. In both cases, shorter rope lengths usually work best for less experienced skiers and boarders.
It’s the responsibility of both driver and spotter to be aware of the location of the rope. Always make sure the tow rope is clear of obstructions and not wrapped around anyone’s feet or hands. Keep the tow rope clear of the jet pump intake, as it can become tangled and cause damage to the watercraft.
Like the length of your tow rope, proper towing speed depends on the activity and the experience level of the person being towed. You should never tow at speeds that exceed the comfort level of the person in your wake. A good starting point for beginners is around 15-20 mph. As you gain experience, you can increase tow speed at the direction of the person you’re towing.
Communication is key when it comes to Sea-Doo towing as well. It’s difficult to hear over the noise of the waves and the engine, so understanding commonly used hand signals is the best way to communicate on the water. Practicing the signals in the chart below is a great way to start:
Now that you’ve got the knowledge needed to tow safely on the water, it’s time to get out there and enjoy the Sea-Doo life in the wake with your crew!