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Evaluating the Kwik Tek Airhead Big Slice Towable: Boat Towing Tube Fun!

The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are almost here! For many who thrive on the active side, summer is synonymous with water sports whether it be swimming, boating, personal watercraft, water skiing or tubing. Picture yourself skimming along at 20 miles per hour on a towable with your face a few inches above the water, swinging out and going airborne after jumping the boat’s wake. Sound like fun? Towables are great fun and it’s a sport that is suited for a wide age group and can be shared with friends and family during those hot summer days. So grab your towable and let’s go tubing!

For those not familiar with the sport of tubing one of the first questions one might ask is what equipment do I need and how much will it cost. In it’s simplest form you’ll need a power boat, a sturdy tow rope 50′ or longer and the tube. The tubes we’re talking about are designed specifically for towing thus are called towables. More specifically this review will focus on deck tubes as being an all around economical, flexible fun craft for the whole family.

Deck tubes are basically round or similar shaped towables of various sizes configured with tow line attachments, handles, and a deck covering the ‘donut’ hole that you lay or kneel on while being towed. The fabric ‘deck’ provides a way of laying on the tube comfortably with your face near the water thus giving an enhanced feeling of speed. In addition the deck can act as a sail when it catches the air such as when you cross the wake at high speed. This makes it harder to keep stable and it’s this challenge of staying upright that increases the fun for teenagers and young adults. At the same time a deck tube provides a safe low speed experience for younger children and adults who want a fun but slower spin around the lake.

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There are a myriad of shapes and sizes and styles of deck tubes not to mention other types of towables. The Kwik Tek 60″ Airhead Big Slice is the tube we selected for having the most flexibility and ease of handling. Kwik Tek (and other manufacturers) make a wide range of towables that can accommodate up to 4 people however we feel the larger ones present and greater challenge in handling on dry land such as pulling in and out of the water. In addition their size makes it less satisfactory when you only want to take one or two people out thus the day-to-day utility is limited. The Airhead Big Slice has a 60″ diameter and is sized for up to two people making it convenient to handle both in and out of the water. The Big Slice is tapered down to a 6 inch height in the back making it easier for a person to get on while in the water.

The basic construction of the Airhead Slice is a 30-gauge PVC inner air bladder encased in an 840-denier nylon cover. If you research towables you’ll find these materials and gauges are recommended for the best resistance to wear and handling. There is an internal tow harness and a quick connect feature for the towrope. The deck part of the tube is made of soft neoprene, which is comfortable to lay or kneel on. There are 4 nylon-wrapped handles and molded EVA knuckle guards to use while climbing on the tube and while underway. Standard on many towables is a multi-part Boston valve, which accommodates a number of inflation/sealing options.

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The Airhead Big Slice, manufactured by Kwik Tek, is available for under $100 from a variety of online and retail establishments. It is a quality product that provides a flexible approach to enhancing your summertime boating enjoyment.