Testing The Latest Water Toys

July 2019 Feature Emily FitzPatrick

What’s the best way to have fun while out on the water? Adults have a variety of opinions. Some will say cruising at high speeds while others might say anchoring at a cool location to enjoy the view and soak in some vitamin D. However, there is less variety when the question is asked of a child.

Water toys are generally the resounding chant. And how could you not trust a child to know what’s “funnest” since their central goal in life is to turn even the most boring of situations into something entertaining?

We’ve gathered our top ten water toys to bring with you on your boat this summer. Having tested them with a bright, rambunctious group of 11-year-olds, we’re sure we nailed the pros of each tube right on the head. Jump right into a crazy boat day with these ten picks:

Airhead Griffin 3

Are you looking for a smooth ride? One that won’t upset your kid who doesn’t enjoy being splashed in the face or being rocked by the wake of your boat? Then this is the ride for you. Of all of the water tubes that PDB tested, this was the tube that was the gentlest and easiest to use. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still fun.

“It doesn’t splash in the face,” Jagger Williams shared with the PDB staff after a ride. “That and it’s easy to move around on because of the wake. If you hold on tight enough it’s not hard to stay on because the top has a lid.”

Find the Airhead Griffin 3 for $319.99. (303-733-3722 // www.airhead.com)

UTO Apollo From WOW

Do you have an adventurous kid? The UTO Apollo is for any kid who enjoys the possibility of flying through the air like an alien perched on top of his or her spacecraft. The toy really does look like a flying saucer as it soars just above the water, giving the impression that you might be witnessing something extraterrestrial.

“It’s a thriller which makes it a bit scary when two people are in it, but it’s a really good one-person ride,” Daniel Norton stated after being whipped around in the tube a few times. “It’s fun because it feels like you really are floating above the water.”

Though this water toy is a lot of fun, don’t forget to plan some extra time to air it up. The UTO Apollo has three separate places for inflation, which means it takes you a bit longer to set up than some of your other towables.

Purchase the UTO Apollo for $359.99.

(844-969-9063 // www.wowwatersports.com)

Go Bot 2P From WOW

If you’re a parent who tends to gravitate toward rides that look the safest, then this is the water toy for you and your child. The Go Bot 2P looks like the kind of ride you could easily find at Disneyland – the happiest place on earth. The deep cockpit allows for riders to feel more secure, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the extreme tricks you or your child like to perform. The designers of the Go Bot 2P included a slotted EZ entry system that makes it easier for you to hop back on the toy if you get tossed off.

“It was safe, but not too safe,” remarked Grayson Koster. “It was really fun, because it goes fast. If you lean back it will really give you a wild ride.”

The Go Bot 2P is available for $299.99.

(844-969-9063 // www.wowwatersports.com)

Big Ducky From WOW

Everyone loves ducks. Okay, some people don’t, but we think it’s pretty safe to assume that most people do, especially the inanimate variety. The Big Ducky from WOW is not only easily identifiable on the water, but it also seats up to three people, allowing you to complete your overall objective as a captain and parent – to get more people out on the water for a good time.

“The duck provides a lot of mobility for the person in the middle,” Cooper Moss explained, bubbling with excitement after enjoying the three-person ride with his friends.

Purchase the Big Ducky for $329.99.

(844-969-9063 // www.wowwatersports.com)

Connelly C-Force 2

The Connelly C-Force 2 is just the right combination of relaxation and adventure. To have a good time, passengers only need to sit back on the tube and enjoy the view as it flashes past. The sloping side wall provides extra stability and increases your level of comfort. Of course, you’ll have to watch out for the occasional splash of water, but that small thrill is well worth the excitement of effortlessly flying across the water, clutching to nylon wrapped handles.

“It was awesome,” exclaimed Grayson Koster. “You get water in your face. And every time you feel like you are about to fall off, you just get splashed instead.”

Find the Connelly C-Force 2 for $279.99.

(425-775-5416 // www.connellyskis.com)

Overton’s Sportsstuff Rock N’ Tow

We all love a water toy that is comfortable while also providing a thrill ride and the Rock N’ Tow achieves just that and its three tiny valves keep air locked in tight. The inflatable tube allows for children or adults to sit back on the couch-like structure and take a bouncy ride behind the boat. Our testers recommend going at top speeds for maximum enjoyment and especially loved launching over tall wakes.

“It was a blast,” stated Daniel Norton. “We went like ten feet in the air. It bounces really well. You rock and roll back and forth just like the name says.”

Buy a Rock N’ Tow for $419.99.

(800-334-6541 // www.overtons.com)

Rave Sports Getaway

Working with the wake of your pontoon is one of the most important aspects of masterfully tubing with your friends. The Rave Sports Getaway was built with the wider wake of your pontoon in mind, so that you can get the most out of the tube and your time on the water. The Skim Fast Bottom is comfortable for all who rest on it and the neoprene knuckle guards will keep your hands from getting sore as you grip the tube.

“It’s perfectly sized for us,” said Cooper Moss. “It’s comfortable and dips down, but not so much that the water bugs you though.”

The Rave Sports Getaway is available for $99.99.

(800-659-0790 // www.ravesports.com)

Overton’s Gladiator Legend 3

“It was my favorite,” Daniel Norton exclaimed when asked about his ride on the Gladiator Legend 3. “There’s a ton of bumps, but it’s a super smooth ride.”

Perhaps the reason why this tube is a favorite is because it was designed specifically with family fun in mind. The Gladiator Legend 3 is equally suited for both younger and older riders, meaning everyone gets a piece of the fun. Riders can tuck their feet into the tube because of the wide cockpit, giving you the chance to ride chariot-style if you so please.

Pick up your own Gladiator Legend 3 for $223.99.

(800-334-6541 // www.overtons.com)

Rave Sports Escape!

Do you want to take a ride on a tube without having to worry about sliding off? Rave Sports Escape! provides a comfortable ride for tubers who would rather sit back than get soaked falling into the water. The tube is designed for one to two riders with sling-style seats that you can slide securely into for a relaxing time. 

“You go and slide and you’re holding on with you hands,” Cooper Moss grinned with the joy of the experience still reflecting in his eyes. “It was fantastic.”

Get your hands on the Rave Sports Escape for $149.99.

(800-659-0790 // www.ravesports.com)

Connelly Impala

A flat board allows for a number of endless possibilities, allowing you to get creative with how you want to spend your time out on the water on this inflatable. The foam deck pad provides just enough grip for riders to perform any of the tricks they could possibly crave to try. Sit, stand, kneel, or lie flat on your stomach and give this board a whirl.

“The flat surface allows for the opportunity of many tricks such as spreading your arms and pretending to be superman. It was fun. Stand back when you’re starting off and bend your legs if you stand,” Jagger Williams suggested. “If I fell I would still land on the tube. There’s enough traction on the board to keep your feet planted. Not scary at all. It was fun. I fell off like five times trying to do tricks and it was still fun.”

Purchase the Connelly Impala for $449.99.

(425-775-5416 // www.connellyskis.com)


WOW Sound Speaker

An essential companion to your new water toys is a WOW Speaker. Everyone wants to listen to their favorite artists while out on the water without worrying about their speaker getting damaged. The WOW Sounds Bluetooth Speaker is not only waterproof, but it also includes a 360-degree LED light and most importantly, has a high sound volume so all of your guests can hear your favorite playlist.

Want To See More?

Airhead Griffin 3



UTO Apollo From WOW



Go Bot 2P From WOW



Big Ducky From WOW



Overton’s Sportsstuff Rock N Tow



Rave Sports Escape!



WOW Speaker


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