What is tubing?
A fun activity to try absolutely!

More what is tubing, this outdoor activity trending in recent years? In English, " tube translates (among other things) to “ room à air ". And that's where the name " tubing ". It is large circular buoys, resembling inner tubes, on which the "tubers" settle to slip and / or float. Several variations are then possible: river tubing, towed tubing at sea or on lacs, tubing toboggan on SNOW or on artificial tracks, etc. When it comes to fun, imagination has no limits! And one thing for sure is that tubing is very playful ! You are tempted by this original activity and would like to know more? What is it about, What are the dangers, who can go tubing ? At Exterior Nature, we welcome lovers of river descents on buoys in our leisure park since 2007. We know tubing, we love it and we explain everything to you:

What is river tubing definition

What is Tubing? Definition of a sliding hobby

Le tubing is a outdoor activity which consists in straddle an inflatable or a large buoy equipped with handles, to move on the water, the snow or a artificial soil. It is an individual boat that has the particularity of floating and sliding. You'll see, it's very fun!

Tubing on the water

Le water tubing, is practiced in two ways:

  1. River tubing, a real alternative to canoeing : you settle on a big buoy and descend freely a river or stream, steering yourself with a double paddle. It's a very fun activity that can be done in water ride « idleness »: you float and let yourself be carried by the current and enjoy the surrounding landscape. But river tubing can also be sporty : you launch yourself into the rapids and slide at full speed with the currents. The objective is to avoid obstacles (rocks, branches, etc.) without overturning your boat! The more adventurous can try variations: forwards, backwards, spinning tops, hooked to each other in a caterpillar, relay races, etc. It's fun and it provides great sensations closer to nature!
  2. Towed tubing : the buoy is towed by a motor boat, on a lake or at sea for example. The boat sets off at full speed and draws more or less tight turns. Your mission is to hang on to your boat trying not to fall into the water. If you like speed and strong emotions, go for it!

tubing on land

Right here, the tire acts as a sled. And we can tell you that it glides very, very well!

In winter, of course, it is on snow. You can go tobogganing on buoys in ski resorts, on specially prepared tracks. In recent years, there have also been developments tracks designed with a very slippery plastic material, which allows you to go sledding even in summer!

The funny thing is that due to the circular shape of the buoys you can spin like a top! Sensitive souls refrain !

That was for your culture. At Extérieur Nature, we are fans of river tubing… and of all white water sports by the way 😉. So in this article, we are mainly going to tell you about what we know best: the river descent on buoy !

Who invented river tubing?

The first traces of the practice of tubing consist of large inflatable buoys used on lakes, at sea or on rivers.

LIFE magazine published a article and photos from 1941, which recount the original activity of certain Americans: “river tubing” and “floating parties”. It was above all a question of letting yourself float using large individual buoys. It was not yet a question of going down the rapids using paddles.

It would seem that sport tubing in the river has been invented by a Thai princess ! Princess Chumbhot of Nagar Svarga, who loved sport and original activities, is said to have introduced her friends, then the local population, to the practice of descending rapids on a buoy!

In France, river tubing developed especially in the 1990s and 2000s, with the rise of whitewater sports and leisure.

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What are the dangers of river tubing?

If the river and equipment are not suitable et Secure, the risk of an accident is high. And to avoid bruises, fractures, trauma and even drowning, be smart and vigilant! Tubing can be practiced perfectly safely when it is supervised by professionals.

Even if it is not obligatory, privilege portions of waterways developed and secured by experts. You can venture into the wilderness, without a structure and with your beach buoy... but it is at your own risk! Some rapids can be dangerous…

The advantage of using an accredited organization is that the zone of tubing is verified and secure. The water flow is controlled and if the outlet is dangerous, the activity is closed.

Before setting off on the river, you attend a mandatory safety briefing. Everything is explained to you: the dangers to avoid, the reflexes to have, risky behavior, etc. One of the first rules to respect is: “only one person per buoy”.

Otherwise, all the equipment is provided to you :

  • solid buoy, in good condition, correctly inflated and equipped with handles;
  • adapted paddle;
  • homologated helmet;
  • neoprene wetsuit;
  • approved life jacket;
  • suitable footwear.

It's about personal protective equipment (PPE) regulated by the state, which must comply with CE standards. They are checked and checked daily.

Finally, even if the activity is generally practiced independently, the tubing area is supervised by professional supervisors who can intervene at any time in the event of an emergency.

Who can do buoy river descents?

We told you that tubing is a safe activity that can be practiced without danger. Of course, provided know how to swim and to be able to immerse one's head without fear ! But it seems obvious, doesn't it?

The children can practice this activity provided they are really comfortable in the water. That's the 1er point. But they also need to be tall enough to be able to handle the buoy, which is quite big. We recommend tubing to children from 12 years old and/or 1 m tall.

Apart from these prerequisites, no particular physical condition is necessary. The river descent on a buoy is accessible to all !

Where to go river tubing?

As you can imagine, to go down the river on a buoy, you have to a river ! The ideal rivers are those with a medium flow and small rapids. There aren't any everywhere in France, but tubing spots tend to develop. If you type “river tubing around me” on Google, you will surely find what you are looking for.

Otherwise, we offer you the best option: organize a summer weekend or your next summer vacation in the Pyrenees-Orientales (66). We welcome you with pleasure on our recreation Park outdoors in Marquixanes, 25 minutes from Perpignan. Try tubing on the beautiful Têt river : we guarantee you beautiful moments of fun and freshness, in complete safety!

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