Top Ten Things Not to Do While Tubing

Top Ten Things Not to Do


The inspiration for this post is the Texas sport of tubing. To be a tuber, all you need is a truck inner tube, cooler of beer, snacks, and a lovely full river like the Guadalupe. Since I have not been tubing myself, this list is a matter of observation.

10 If you are tubing, do not wear regular shoes. If you do, at best they will be water-logged. At worst, you will lose just one and will have a distinct limp at the end of the day from walking with one. (Something about water and loafers that just don’t mix huh, Bosco?)

9 If you are tubing, do not leave your cooler tube untethered. If you do, at best your floating neighbors will catch it before going downstream. At worst, your cooler will wander off and bump into Tiny the WWF champ who just finished his twelve step plan to quit drinking.(Funny how he ripped the top off the cooler almost like he knew there was a twelve pack inside. He is looking at you, and I would paddle on if I were you, Buster.)

8 If you are tubing, do not assume you won’t drag bottom. If you do, at best you will get a suit full of mud. At worst, you might lose your suit to the weight of the clay and will have to work out a creative way to exit the river. (Looks like Channel six news is doing a special on tubing. You should be a big hit with that officer waiting for you, Ferd.)

7 If you are tubing, do not ignore the current. If you do, at best you’ll struggle to get out at the end of your float trip. At worst, you will keep going until you empty into the Gulf of Mexico. (The Coast Guard wants to talk to you, Buford. Something about smuggling by inner tube. Good luck with that.)

6 If you are tubing, do not forget to park your car at the end of the trip. If you do, at best you might catch a ride with your friends. At worst, you will still be hitchhiking after the sun goes down. (Who is going to pick up someone with a tube and cooler who looks deranged, Tex?)

5 If you are tubing, do not overserve yourself. If you do at best, you’ll fall asleep. At worst, you’ll decide to imitate Jack Sparrow and board your neighbor’s tubes demanding pieces of eight. (Funny how that one guy gave you a knuckle sandwich calling it a piece of five huh, Putz?)

4 If you are tubing, do not forget your manners. If you do, at best most will ignore you. At worst, a committee of fellow tubers will intercede and make sure you get drydocked. (Shouting obscenities at homeowners along the bank is something your crowd doesn’t do, Bunky.)

3 If you are tubing, do not decide to pull out and eat your lunch on private land. If you do, at best the owner will nicely ask you to move on. At worst, the owner threatened to shoot the next trespasser, and it looks like it is you.(Nothing like a shotgun to inspire movement right, Leroy?)

2 If you are tubing, do not tie up with your friends and make an island such that no one can pass. If you do, at best expect a lot of yelling. At worst, you might experience a few blowouts as others pass you. (You did not expect that sharp object did you, Ralph?)

1 If you are tubing, do not think the banks of the river are all public rest stops. If you do, at best you might embarrass yourself. At worst you may violate local obscenity laws and find yourself in big trouble. (Never thought you were demonstrating lewd behavior huh, Pal?)


  1. Great tips here, John. I could add a few myself. Avoid rivers with shallow, rocky areas. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. Happy Monday!
    Your post didn’t show up in my reader this morning…strange.

    1. Sometimes you have to empty the cache. Have a great day.

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    Seems like a great list…thanks for the Monday Morning splash of hilarity. 🙂

    1. Thanks for floating along, Gwen. 😀

  3. Ha-ha-ha! Dear John, we’re looking for the whole volume named ‘Top Ten Things Not to Do’! Wonderful post 🙂

    1. Thank you, Marie. You are the best. 😀

      1. Not at all, dear John! Thanks for the compliment!

  4. But hey, John. If I drink that keg of beer, maybe I won’t mind the walk back to my car or the lecture from the Coast Guard as they pull me out of the Gulf – ya think? 🙂

    1. Probably not, GP. You might mind what the judge says though. Thanks. 😀

      1. No sense of humor, eh?

      2. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a judge laugh.

      3. Actually, now that we bring it up – We had a Judge named Clark here years ago that reminded me of Judge Wapner, the original one of People’s Court on TV.

      4. I remember Judge Wapner. Man, we are getting older. 😀

      5. Now, WATCH IT, John!!

      6. Speaking for myself only. 😀 (Although I did use “we.”)

  5. A curious sport. Always thought it was just a way to relax and offer your rump to hungry alligators. That might just be Florida though.

    1. Ha ha ha. I think a teflon chainmail suit would be in order

      1. I can’t stop thinking about how badly that would pinch.

      2. Saves the rump from a tasting though.

  6. John, you are into the summer fun since you got back. I went tubing quite a few times (way back in the day). Your list looks spot-on, though you say you never went. However, I never saw anyone use “the banks of the river are all public rest stops”… Of course you couldn’t see what they were really doing when they got out into the river to “cool off.” 😀
    Thanks for brightening morbid Monday. Mega hugs.

    1. Or what went on under the tube in the water. Yeeek. Thanks, Teagan. Hugs

  7. Great list. Floating the Boise River is pretty popular and your list seems pretty accurate.

    1. Thanks, Craig. Maybe some day I’ll do it.

  8. I have never tried tubing either, John, but this list is hilarious.

    1. We need to do it someday. Thanks, Robbie.

  9. I have been tubing, when I was much younger, and this is a good list. I won’t say which ones I have personal experience with, but it might be more than one.

    1. If I read the police reports correctly most have violated at least one. Thanks, Dan

  10. Ha, ha. What kind of look is Tiny giving the guy after drinking all the beer? I remember you saying he was gay. The guy will wish he had a motor on that tube. Good luck to him if his shorts are full of mud and he falls out of the tube in his haste to escape. How deep is the water there? Good post, John. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. The water is only seven inches right there. The look Tiny gave was, “I’m trying to get clean and you shove this twelve pack under my nose.” Thanks, Suzanne. 😀

  11. I went tubing years ago – would love to try it again.

    1. It looks like fun.

  12. That meme itself is hilarious, John! I’ve never been tubing. No desire to. And reading over your excellent list, I see I haven’t missed much, ha!

    1. There you go. Thanks, Debbie.

  13. Great list again today, John. I’ve never gone tubing either – might be interesting with a keg of Molson to keep you company!

    1. Down a snow covered hill

      1. Umm… we have summer in Canada – even if it is short and sweet!

  14. In my experience, most people do #1 (did you intentionally choose that #? 🙂 ) in the water, for better or for worse…

  15. I’ve never been tubing but have always wanted to give it a try. This was definitely one of your very best lists. Found myself laughing from start to finish!

    1. Excellent. Glad you liked it. You must try it.

  16. These should be posted at the start for tubing! I have not been tubing since I was teenager and there was no beer. Today I stay clear of a any river with tubers. These made me smile!

    1. I stay clear as well.

  17. I suddenly want to go tubing! Always a treat, John! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Natalie. 😀

  18. Something I’ve always wanted to do, John. I need to look for a suitable river here in NC!

    1. There has to be a river near you. French Broad? Pee Dee?

  19. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Another great Top Ten list from John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog

      1. You’re welcome

  20. So true, and I’m going to add one: When tubing the Frio River and you fall off your tube going over a small rapid which carries you to shallow water, don’t worry. The star shape you make with your body when figuring you’re dead will make the church youth group tubing over the top of you laugh a little. Especially when you tell them to just tube over you….

    1. Hmm. Sounds like a personal reflection. Ha ha ha. 😀

  21. Well, this is a whole new ball game to me as well, John. I thought tubing was something to do with watching videos on YouTube. I can imagine Tiny ripping that tube apart with his bare hands. Better make a dash for it.

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