Search results for: 'water sports'

  • The Wake Surfing Revolution

    With the right boat and a wake surfboard, the surf’s up whenever you want! No one knows for sure who was the first brave soul to try surfing a boat's wake, but the sport has come a long way since the 1960s, with specially-designed boats and boards. Continue reading

  • Tubing Without Tears

    Save 10% on all watersports equipment through July 8, 2018! 

    You haven't lived the lake life until you've been tubing. Getting wet, catching air, and wiping out - it's all part of the fun. Like any activity in and around water, safety must come first. Sadly, it's all too easy for carelessness to turn a day on the water into a tragedy.

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  • Bonding on the Boat

    Spring is just 48 days away! We can't wait until it's warm enough to get the boat back in the water, and we're already thinking of ways to spend our boating time with our families. From maintenance chores to the thrill of wakeboarding, boat ownership offers lots of opportunities for kids of all ages to participate in the boating life.

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  • Make a Splash with Water Trampolines

    Editor's Note: We wrote this article for the July issue of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, and the good people at that magazine have granted us permission to repost it. Many thanks!

    What’s more fun than a trampoline in the backyard? How about a trampoline in the water? If you’ve visited Destin, Florida, you’ve probably seen the Crab Island Water Park on Destin’s famous sand bar and party spot. Fun for kids of all ages, it’s made up of inflatable slides, balance beams, and trampolines.

    Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Photo: Destin Vacation Boat Rentals

    Like a swim raft, a water trampoline must be anchored in water of a safe depth. The manufacturer Rave Sports recommends smaller trampolines for shallow water. Larger trampolines provide a bigger bounce and, consequently, a deeper plunge into the water, so anchoring a big trampoline in deep water is important to keep jumpers safe. Unanchored, a water trampoline makes a free-floating raft with space for several friends to lounge.

    Water too cold? The more ruggedly built inflatable trampolines, like the Rave Sports Bongo line, can be set up on land, too. Check with the manufacturer to make sure your bouncer can be used this way without damage; one sharp stick or jagged shell is all it takes to pop an inflatable.

    As seen at Crab Island, slides and logs can be attached to trampolines to create a mini water park in your favorite swimming hole. Great Lakes Skipper carries complete packages from Rave Sports with trampoline, slide, and balance log, plus ladder and pump. Inflate, assemble, add your own anchor, and watch your beach become the most popular around. An exciting addition to any trampoline setup is the launch, a squishy inflated bag that swimmers can use to catapult each other into the water. Rave Sports includes a launch with its Aqua Jump 150 set, found on our website.

    pic1 Rave Sports Aqua Jump Eclipse 150 with log & launch

    The best fun is safe fun. Supervise the kids and make sure everyone playing on the trampoline is wearing a life vest. Don’t dive into shallow water, or water of unknown depth.

    Whether your swimming spot is a beach resort, a summer camp, or a single dock, a water trampoline can enhance the enjoyment of you and your guests. Here’s to buoyant, bouncy fun!

  • Hot Stuff! Boating During the Dog Days

    The ancients blamed the hot weather of July and August on Sirius, the intensely bright Dog Star. During these "dog days," an afternoon on the water can be especially refreshing, but hot weather can present boaters with challenges unique to the season.

    Watch the Weather. The number on the thermometer doesn't tell the whole story, so check the heat index before heading out. So-called popup thunderstorms are common on hot days, and while they don't usually last long, they can pack quite a punch. As always, if you see lightning, head for port.

    Performance.  Hot, humid summer weather reduces engine power and can knock your speed down by as much as 3 or 4 mph. It can't be helped, but it's nothing to worry about, either. If your boat is otherwise working properly, lower performance in hot weather is normal.

    Expansion. Heat causes vapor to expand, meaning that gas tanks that get hot can swell. Make sure your tank's vent, if present, is open and unobstructed, and be careful opening portable gas cans, as the pressure caused by expanding vapor can make gasoline splash out.

    Overheated? If your engine overheats, shut it down immediately. Letting an engine run while it's too hot can cause serious (and expensive) damage. Once the engine's off, you can start troubleshooting.

    Keep Your Cool, Too. The sun feels so good...until it doesn't. Protect yourself against sunburn with sunblock cream and relax under a shady bimini boat top. Just like you top up your engine's coolant before launch, keep yourself hydrated by drinking water, juice, or non-caffeinated soft drinks. Cold beer and cola are especially delicious on hot days, but alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, which can dry out your system. Switch up alcohol and caffeinated beverages with water to stave off dehydration. And please, boat sober: driving drunk is as dangerous and illegal on the water as it is on the highway.

    Know the Signs. Headaches and nausea are two signs of heat exhaustion. Muscle cramps, fatigue, confusion, and rapid heartbeat also signal that the body is overheating. Cool off in an air-conditioned cabin or other shady spot, and sip water or a sports drink. Lay some cool, wet cloths on your skin and rest. If you don't feel better after fifteen minutes, seek emergency medical attention; heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke, which can be deadly.

    Troubleshooting an Over-heating Engine
    Preventing Overheating in Boat Engines
    Heat Exhaustion