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Old     (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       09-05-2017, 1:04 PM Reply   
Well, after wakeboarding for 23+ years I had a first for me yesterday that was very, very scary. I've got a couple of kids, that like most, enjoy a nice tube ride behind the boat. As you guys know, these big 3-4 person tubes are massive and tough to haul around in or behind the boat if you're spending the whole day at the lake wakeboarding and surfing. That's why I normally do all of our boarding activities first and then save the tube ride for the end of the day.

But yesterday it was just me, my wife and 2 kids on the boat. They really wanted to tube first so we did. The kids had a great time. Not wanting to deflate the tube only to re-inflate it for them to ride it later, I told them they could ride it in front of me while I wakeboarded (5 feet in front of my handle). I had done this years ago, and obviously pros do this all the time on photo or video shoots. So I thought it was no big deal. I would just make it a point not to ride behind them so I would keep my rope away from them and the tube.

So we did and all was fine until the prop wash pushed them out of the wake and into the trough. I was already riding in the same trough as well so I was directly behind them. Somehow I thought I would help push them back in the wake or somehow fix the situation by pulling hard on my handle advancing myself close enough to grab the tube. I even had a brief thought to just hold onto the back of the tube to wakeboard for a second as I've seen in videos multiple times...and give them some entertainment. Bad idea.

I yanked on the handle hard once and didn't quite make it close enough to grab the tube. So I did it again, and in doing so, the slack in the rope coiled just perfectly in a loop and landed around my son's neck. Thankfully I saw it and immediately dropped the handle (so I didn't just snap his neck), but then I watched helplessly while he tried to get it off while tension was being put on the rope as the handle was dragging in the water. In Texas, we are not required to have a spotter so my wife didn't immediately see it and stop the boat. She never saw what was happening. So there my son was being chocked to death and I can't help him at all. It was the most sickening feeling of my life.

Thankfully, my son (6 years old) had enough awareness to untangle the rope from his neck and only ended up with some rope burn on the side of his neck. He was lucky that I think his head was turned sideways when it cinched around his neck so never squeezed his windpipe from the front.

Needless to say, I was shaken by it and couldn't sleep last night wondering how different the day could of gone. Thank the good Lord he was with us and my son yesterday. Not sure how I would have lived with myself if things worked out differently. So perhaps lots of people do this (tube and wakeboard at the same time), but I hope this serves as a warning that it's a bad idea and could easily get somebody killed. I've always been very cautious at the lake, but never though something like this could happen.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       09-05-2017, 1:28 PM Reply   
wow. Glad everyone is OK. Now I have one more scenario to add to my boating nightmares list.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       09-05-2017, 1:52 PM Reply   
damn. at least you had the awareness to keep things from turning much worse. good job keep them safe.
Old     (lffish133)      Join Date: Oct 2007       09-05-2017, 2:00 PM Reply   
So glad your son is OK! I have two small kids so your story hit very close to home. I can't imagine what I would have done. Boating is fun but not without a very diverse set of risks. I'll add this to my relatively long paranoia list. Thank God you were aware of what was happening and everyone is OK!!!
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       09-05-2017, 5:31 PM Reply   
Damn bro. That story stood up the hair on my arms. I'm happy this had a happy ended, but I'm sure you'll never get that image out of your head.

Having two lines in the water has always scared me. Anything can happen.
Old     (razorjaw)      Join Date: Jan 2003       09-05-2017, 5:39 PM Reply   
Oh mate, that is the stuff of nightmares. I'm glad things turned out well, but it's a classic example of how even the most experienced riders can't predict everything, especially when doing something different. Thanks for sharing.
Old     (VinnyA)      Join Date: Aug 2011       09-05-2017, 7:24 PM Reply   
Heavy, heavy stuff. Thankful everyone is okay. **** can get so real so fast on the water.
Old     (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       09-05-2017, 8:46 PM Reply   
Thanks Bros. Scary for sure and couldn't sleep last night thinking about it. Be safe out there and take care of your little ones. Thanks for the encouragement...I need it for sure.
Old     (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       09-05-2017, 11:02 PM Reply   
Wow! Freak accident, but good to be aware. Must've been the hug of the century between he both of you afterwards!
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       09-06-2017, 6:15 AM Reply   
Thanks for sharing that, lets me and others know what can happen.
Old     (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       09-06-2017, 9:48 AM Reply   
Yikes that's scary. Glad everyone's ok. I get really twitchy about rope coils while a boat is moving. The one that freaks me out is watching someone surfing with a kid between their legs coil up the rope in their hand with that loop of death right in front of the kids head. A few years back during one of our ski shows one of the girls standing on me for a prebuilt pyramid start accidentally dropped her coils of rope as the boat was idling out for the dock start, and they landed perfectly around my neck - most terrifying 10-seconds of my life throwing rope off my neck while the boat is speeding up to haul 15 people off the dock....
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-06-2017, 10:19 AM Reply   
Glad nothing bad happened. I wouldn't be able to get that out of my head for a long time.

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