What is tubing? A fun activity to try absolutely!
Corn 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. Tubing, we know, we love and we explain everything to you:
What is Tubing? Definition of a sliding hobby
Tubing is an outdoor activity that consists of riding a tire or a large buoy equipped with handles, to evolve on water, snow or artificial ground. It is an individual boat that has the particularity of floating and sliding. You'll see, it's very fun!
Tubing on the water
Water tubing is practiced in two ways:
- Le river tubing : you sit on a big buoy and go freely down a river or stream, steering yourself with a double paddle. It's a very fun activity that can be practiced in water ride mode " idleness »: you float and let yourself be carried by the current and enjoy the surrounding landscape. But river tubing can also be sporty: you jump into 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!
- 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
Here, the tire acts as a sled. And we can tell you that it glides very, very well!
In winter, of course, it's on the snow. You can go tobogganing on buoys in ski resorts, on specially prepared tracks. In recent years, tracks designed with a very slippery plastic material have also been developed, which makes it possible to toboggan 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 Exterior Nature, we are fans of river tubing... and all white water sports for that matter 😉. So in this article, we are mainly going to tell you about what we know best: river descent on a 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 mainly in the 1990s and 2000s, with the rise of whitewater sports and leisure.
What are the dangers of river tubing?
If the river and the equipment are not suitable and secure, the risk of accidents is high. And to avoid bruises, fractures, trauma and even drowning, be smart and vigilant! Tubing can be practiced safely when supervised by professionals.
Even if it is not obligatory, favor 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 tubing area 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”.
In addition, 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 river descents on a buoy?
We told you that tubing is a safe activity that can be practiced without danger. Of course, provided you know how to swim and are able to immerse your head without fear! But it seems obvious, doesn't it?
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 for children from 12 years old and/or 1 m tall.
Apart from these prerequisites, no particular physical condition is necessary. The descent of river on buoy is accessible to all!
Where to go tubing on the river?
As you can imagine, to go down the river on a buoy, you need 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 Pyrénées-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!
Enjoy a day outdoors, in contact with nature and in the fresh air, thanks to all our activities and infrastructures:
- tree climbing park 2,5 hectares;
- Escape Game outdoors ;
- free picnic areas;
- restaurant decorated with a large shaded terrace.
We also organize tailor-made activities for groups: seminars, team-building, EVG and EVJF, etc.