Sunday Special: Fun in the Sun with Inflatables!

Sorry for the absence … June was a very difficult month!

Fortunately, my brother is getting the care he needs and I was able to return home.


Our Local Weather 

Where I live (near Houston, TX), we’ve had more than 145 days without rain!  Everything is parched and dying.

Fortunately, we’ve gotten a bit of rain recently and expect more.  Hope your weather has been a little more balanced than ours!


Inflatables and Towables 

‘Tis the season for getting out and enjoying the sunshine and outdoors!  We offer some of the latest designs in towables and inflatables.  Here are a few ….

Talk about unique ... Sumo & Splash Guard by SportsStuff! This is worn like a shirt - for towable action or body surfing! Connect a tow rope to the Sumo Splash Guard and you can steer the Sumo Tube back and forth, jump the wake and roll 360's!


The Zip Ski offers action in the prone and sitting positions! Fun for 1 rider (up to 170 lbs)!


This amazing, new product is the 12' Funstation Inflatable Trampoline by SportsStuff! It is stable on the water via a special sea-anchor system. No matter how much tumbling, the Funstation remains upright & stable!


Not to be outdone, AirHead has (come out with) a "Water Weenie" for 1 to 3 riders, called the Hot Dog!


Remember:  We carry some of the most unique designs available … and they are all discounted!


Tuesday:  After the 4th of July, I will be back with new articles.  Join me after a great (and safe) holiday!


This blog is a companion to my website:


Published in: on July 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm  Comments Off on Sunday Special: Fun in the Sun with Inflatables!  
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River Tubing: Repairing a Recreational Inner Tube

A Short History of Recreational Inner Tubes

When I was a kid, back before dinosaurs strolled the earth, goin’ tubin’ meant finding an old, used inner tube.  Since cars, trucks and tractors still used inner tubes, finding one was easy!

Keeping an inner tube from summer-to-summer wasn’t so easy. I never seemed to remember that an inflated inner tube left in the hot sun deteriorated quickly.

I didn’t worry about cracks in my recreational tube, after all – inner tubes were cheap and they were everywhere!

Inner Tubes Today



1 Person Towable


Finding any large inner tube today for river tubing isn’t so easy.

Generally, most folks have started buying “towables” — clever float-ables that can move one or more people at the same time.

However, this post is about keeping and repairing a large inner tube.

Tips for ‘River Tubes’

  • Keep inner tubes covered and out of the sun,
  • Keep them away from moisture and deflated,
  • Keep a repair kit with you while tubing,
  • Keep a spare inner tube with you,
  • Learn how to repair your tube  “on-the-fly”
  • Carry a small roll of duct tape while river tubing

Duct Tape & Other Repairs

Yep, duct tape will make quick, temporary repairs. However, duct tape must be applied to a dry tube.

Learning to repair an inner tube was a ‘rite of passage’ when I was a kid.  Here’s the process of a “cold” patch repair:

  • Scuff up the area around the tear — with the lid of the repair kit.
  • Apply cement to the area to be patched (cement is included in kit).
  • Cut a piece of patching material and round the edges,
  • Peel off the backing of the patch piece,
  • Apply the patch piece with both hands,
  • Press into place,
  • Turn the repair can on its side and roll repeatedly over the patch.
  • Let things rest for a few minutes.

Other hints:

  • Roughing up the area around the tear is necessary for a firm seal.
  • Use the tip of the container to smooth the cement around the hole or tear.
  • For large tears, make sure you cut and round the edges of the patches.
  • If you don’t, the patch may peel off while brushing against rough stuff.
  • Instructions on the can will indicate how long the patch should “rest” before use.


I still remember how much a “cold patch kit” cost (when I was a kid) — 29 cents!


This blog is a companion to my website:

River Tubing Safety & Tips **

Can there be anything more fun than floating down a river in a tube? I don’t think so …..

This is part of a series on Tubing:

The danger of snakes
Things you need to take
Choosing the right water for tubing
Repairing a Tube — ‘on-the-fly’

Goin’ Tubin’

Tubing is a wonderful way to spend time; however, it requires some planning 

One of Summer's Great Joys: Riding Down a River on a Tube!


& preparation.   Here are a few safety tips to help get you on the water in record time!


An ideal tubing locale is a shallow, warm body of water with no obstructions.  The idea is for the water to be  moving quickly enough to offer a “moving experience,” but slow enough to keep the tuber safe.

That combination is a difficult one to achieve. First, a tuber has no control over the tube. Using a paddle usually only causes the tube to spin around.

Second, most rivers have parts that are not navigable.  It is important for tubers to know where those places are. Contact the state’s “fish & game” office for a map.

Must Haves

A pair of tennis shoes – to protect feet from sharp rocks, etc.

Sunburn protection – plan to reapply it often

Sunglasses and/or eyeglasses – to be strapped or tied on

Jeans – cut-offs to full length – for sun protection and to protect your backside  from obstructions poking up from the river bed

Rope – 5′ to 8′ long for emergencies, plus knowledge of some quick-release knots

A Hat – Some use a crash helmet (bike riders’ helmets, for example) or at least a baseball cap (for sunburn protection for the head)

Tubing items: a knife, duct tape (temporary tube repairs), patch kit, a small air pump, a valve core remover, extra valve cores and stem caps.

Personal items: set of dry clothes, waterproof matches, a first-aid/snake-bite kit, food and drinks, extra water (Don’t plan on drinking river water; most waterways have some pollution), personal flotation device (also known as a  “Mae West”) and insect repellent.

Possibles: If the water is below 60 degrees, you may want to have a diver’s wet suit ready to protect you from hypothermia (a potentially lethal condition, when the cold water chills the body below a tolerable temperature).

** Added ‘head gear’ info


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm  Comments (3)  
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