Back in the summer of 2005, we acquired what is known as a “Sumo Tube.” Now, many people are familiar with the idea of going tubing behind a boat: sit on or lay across a tube while being pulled behind a boat at high speeds, by a driver who scores points by throwing the rider from said tube. Quite a novel concept, surely having accrued countless numbers of injuries to its name – as all of the most fun ways to go tubing tend to be listed under the giant WARNING label, displayed prominently on the bottom side of the tube in order to prevent what is commonly referred to as “buzzkill syndrome.”
Well as fun as normal tubing can be, isn’t it lacking in a certain something. I mean, sure, you can ride it left and right, jump the wake, launch the rider/riders, and create what is referred to as a 7-layer-death-ride experience: when the driver achieves the successive layering of water-air-tube-air-person-air-person off a good wake launch. But is that really all that extreme? What if instead of laying on a tube, which keeps your face a safe 12 inches away from the water, you could somehow position yourself right in the center of the tube? Imagine: water rushing past as hard as a board just inches or less from your face! One false move and bam: your sinuses cleared out by 5 gallons in under .03 seconds! If the tube decides to roll over, you roll over with it. Enter the Sumo Tube.
Rather than laying across the tube, Sumo Tube is a tube that you put on. It’s the Moo-Moo dress of water sports. Looking like an overblown wife-beater or A-frame shirt, you slip on the sump tube over your head, and then have your arms and head poke out through the top, your feet dangling out through the back. Rather than attaching the tube to the back of the boat, with sumo tubing the rider simply holds onto the tow-rope, as would any water-skier or wakeboarder. Let’s watch Sumo Tubing Part 1: An Introduction.
As you can see from the video, there’s not all that much that one can do with just a Sumo Tube: you can turn from side to side, cross each wake and come back into the center, and do a barrel roll. That covers the extent of the “tricks” available to Sumo Tubers. Well, unless you get creative…
The whole idea of using the tow-rope versus being attached to the back of the boat provides a wealth of potential expansions of the Sumo Tube’s meager array of tricks. Could you Sumo Tube and wakeboard at the same time? How about Sumo Tubing and water skiing?
And, while this might sound crazy … could one change their water sport mid run with the introduction of the Sumo Tube? Is the water-ski to Sumo Tube change possible???? There’s only one way to find out: check out Sumo Tubing Part 2 – The Ski to Sumo Tube Transition
There you have it, the world’s first documented case of a successful water skiing to Sumo Tubing transition. One for the record books!
Or story books: it looks like “Humpty Dumpty Goes Water Skiing”!