Snow tubing is a fun activity that many people would like to experience. When riding on such tubes, you might worry about its speed when it slides down a slope. Just to be safe, you should be aware of it while sliding down a slope!
How fast is snow tubing?
Snow tubes can be driven at up to 80km/h. On average, its speed ranges from 22.5km/h-40.2km/h. It can be made faster if high-quality greasing is used on the bottom surface of the tubes before sliding down an icy slope. However, it may slow down if it faces any obstacle on the surface of the slope.
There are many types of snow tubes and their materials differ from each other. Most snow tubes are made of strong vinyl material and Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which makes them lightweight. They travel faster than the snow tubes made of hard plastic or rubber.
Their round tire-like shape also contributes to the high-speeds. As the bottom surface is circular, it touches the ground a little. Smaller bottom surfaces mean less friction and it makes snow tubing fast.
However, it is important to steer clear of any obstacle such as trees or rocks if you want to ensure high speeds.
Are snow tubes fast?
Snow tubes are very fast because of their lightweight materials. They are made with strong vinyl materials which can minimize friction to the lowest, making them faster than any sleds.
However, the snow tubes on their own cannot be the sole reason for being the fastest. They will be faster on steeper slopes. The steeper the slopes, the faster the snow tubes will slide.
How fast do snow tubes go?
Snow tubes can travel 22.5km to 40km per hour. In comparison with plastic sleds, they can go approximately 3.2km/h faster than any sleds. On the other hand, its average kinetic energy, which is the energy the tubes have because of its motion, ranges from 329J to 6441J.
Snow tubes are aerodynamic, its round tire-like shape reduces the drag from air moving past. Hence it can easily move through the air that it experiences while gliding, and this makes it fast.
Since it does not have any brakes and only stops at obstacles, it will be hard to control its speed and make it slower while gliding down a steep slope. However, it is possible to increase its speed.
How to make a snow tube go faster?
To make a snow tube go faster than usual, the friction when riding needs to be minimized. It can be done in different ways. Here are some ways you can make a snow tube go faster:
Apply grease on the bottom surface of the tube:
Before applying anything on the tube, experiment with the oil on the snow tube material as lubricants react differently with each material.
Apply a light coat of candle wax, cooking oil, or car wax directly on the bottom surface of the tube. After that, wait for the lubricant to dry a little before it starts to look opaque. Then slowly polish the surface using a soft cloth, preferably made of cotton.
However, it is not recommended to use WD-40 on the snow tube as a lubricant as it deteriorates rubber if left on for a long time.
Ask someone to push the snow tube:
It is always a safe method of making a snow tube go faster. Having someone push the snow tube with some force accelerates the speed. This cannot be done by the person resting on the tube.
Clean the snow tube:
Use a piece of clothing to clean the tube before each ride to get rid of any chunks of ice stuck with the tube. Any snow stuck with the tubes will only cause it to run slowly.
Weight on one side of the snow tube will not allow the tube to go smoothly, it will only drag you down at low speeds.
To fix the posture, it will be better to stay low and closer to the ground. Lean backward with the legs on the front top to balance the weight on the opposite sides of the circular snow tube.
Choose the most appropriate slope:
The slope alone is a significant part that will determine how fast the snow tubes will go.
Choosing a slope that is comparatively steeper than other slopes would make the tubes run smooth and fast.
Additionally, make sure the slope does not have any obstacles such as rocks, trees, chunks of ice, etc. The track should be surfaced, or the snow tube might slow down colluding those obstacles.
What is the best snow tube?
For choosing the best snow tube, the tube must be suitable for the user and the area you’re about to ride in.
The right tube size is important for having the best experience. If the users of the tube are mainly adults, it is suggested to purchase a snow tube with 45-50 inches wide diameter. In contrast, if large tubes are bought for kids, it will be hard to fit them or sit comfortably.
The material of the snow tube is also an important factor. Usually, the tubes are made of PVC, vinyl, and rubber. Snow tubes made of rubber are known to be more durable than the others. Vinyl and PVC snow tubes cannot withstand very low temperatures, they start deteriorating fast.
Other than just the material and the tube size, the best snow tube will be able to hold 90kg or more.
While purchasing the tube, make sure it has more weight capacity if the riders are mainly adults or more than two people. The snow tube may be punctured if it is assigned to carry weight more than it is supposed to.
How long do you go snow tubing for?
The average duration people go for snow tubing is 2 hours. If snow tubing is done commercially, each session is 45mins or longer. However, it also depends on the distance of the slope, the number of rides taken, and the speed of the tube.
What size snow tube should I get?
The size of the snow tube a person requires depends on the size of the person. It is also the one that gives the highest level of comfort and more stability and with side handles for a good grip.
If the person riding on it is an adult, a tube with a diameter of 45-50 inches should be purchased. A snow tube with a smaller diameter will cause the adult rider to fall off the tube during the ride. It will also prove to be quite uncomfortable.
For traveling long distances, larger snow tubes are preferable as it settles with more stability than smaller snow tubes. However, it should also match the rider’s body size, and must not be too large for the person.
A family-size snow tube will be suitable for carrying 4-10 riders. These are mostly purchased for commercial use to earn more with just one ride.
However, when purchasing the perfect snow tube size, always match the size of the rider to the tube size and make sure it has fat tires as it contributes to the security of the rider.
Is snow tubing dangerous?
Snow tubing is not a dangerous activity when driven with precautions and safety measures. Using a low-quality snow tube will cause the sharp objects in the snow, such as twigs, to puncture the tube easily.
Once punctured, the rider may fall off the tube and get severely hurt. Hence a snow tube made from rubber is considered to be safer.
However, it is difficult to control a snow tube while riding as it does not have any brakes. It may collide with a tree or a huge rock in the track, and nothing can be done to avoid it after the tube has been pushed down.
It will not be dangerous if the obstacles are removed in the first place, or an appropriate slope is chosen. Severe injuries can be avoided if the rider is wearing a helmet.
Is there a weight requirement for snow tubing?
There is a weight requirement for snow tubing as it directly affects the friction caused by the process.
There are mainly three types of tubes- single tubes, tandem tubes, and family-style tubes. Each type has a different weight capacity that needs to be strictly followed.
The single tubes can carry up to 300 pounds at once. The tandem tubes can carry two people, and the weight of the two people must not exceed 400 pounds in total. The family-style tubes can carry 4-10 riders and each rider may weigh up to 300 pounds.
Nevertheless, snow tubing is a great winter sport that is fast and it can be made faster with proper instructions. However, be careful about the weight requirement and the manufacturer’s instructions as high-speeds can be dangerous in many cases.