The most essential, yet often overlooked, piece of equipment in towed water sports may be tow ropes themselves. They all have the same basic function. Their job is to pull the water skier, tuber, wakeboarder, etc. in a safe and controlled manner. O'Brien offers several general-purpose ropes and handles for use across various sports. These options are great for families getting into recreational water sports. Some of them also have unique handles that make it easier for beginners to get up for the first time. However, riders and skiers looking to expand their skills will benefit from dedicated tow ropes for their sport of choice.
The first attribute that distinguishes a specialized tow rope from a general-purpose has to do with rope length. While the total length may be the same, specialized ropes have multiple sections to customize the rider's distance from the boat. This is important because the size and shape of the wake vary at different distances and boat speeds. Having the ability to control your riding distance from the boat creates a significant benefit to the rider.
Beyond length, each towed water sport has unique needs from the tow rope. For example, once you get to the level of jumping in wakeboarding and kneeboarding, it is important to have a non-stretch line. These lines help the rider build tension for a better pop off the wake. Since these ropes don't recoil, they also provide consistent control in the air. Slalom ropes, on the other hand, are designed to stretch. This recoil effect allows the skier to maintain tension in the line for greater control in turns. Additionally, O'Brien builds wakesurf and tube ropes that enhance the rider's experience and safety on the water.
Take all of these factors into consideration when looking for a tow rope. If you need some help, feel free to reach out to us or use the filters on this page to help narrow down your options. With our wide selection, we know that we have a tow rope to meet your needs.