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Tubing 101

I have a bum knee and haven’t gone skiing in years, so my Canadian friends offered a solution that’s equally as exhilarating: tubing. The best part is that it requires very little physical exertion. Now, that’s my kind of sport! Tubing is the next big thing, and it only requires snow and gravity. If you’re a beginner like me, you should just keep a few things in mind:

Tip #1: Keep your bum up!
The snow may be soft when you touch it, but not when you’re going fast. To avoid a sore bum, rest your legs over the front of the tube, hold onto the loops and keep your bum up.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member AussieBrad.

Tip #2: Wear appropriate clothing
You may not be skiing, but you’ll still be out in the snow so wear appropriate clothing. Winter boots, snow pants, a snow jacket, gloves and a snug-fitting hat that won’t blow off will make your tubing experience a comfortable and fun one. For an even better experience, bring sunglasses with you to keep the wind off your eyes.

Tip #3: Stay in the chute
If your tube starts to veer out of the chute as you go down, lean back into the chute and you’ll slide back into the middle.

Tip #4: Avoid the crowds
If you want to avoid the lines, plan your session for early in the morning or in the evening if the lanes are open late. If the venue accepts reservations then make one as the lanes can get busy.

Tip #5: Check the weather
Like skiing, tubing relies on the weather. Make sure you check with the park to make sure it is open before you head out.


My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.

(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)

Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!

My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!

Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.

View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!



What?!?! This has to be the best news this non-skier has ever come across! I adore the concept of winter sports, but as a girl who has done about 5 face-plants down the bunny slope, I think tubing is more my style. Is this available at most ski resorts?

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