Knowing your towing capacity limits and utilizing the proper rope size for your particular towing needs can provide a safer, more enjoyable ride.
Yep, I said rope size, which is also important when towing. Did you know that using a tow rope rated for two people when you are towing four can cause your rope to break; and that a rope shorter than 50 feet can lay your tube on the crest of the wake and spray your riders. Assuming you don’t want that (and in all seriousness, no one wants a rope to break), the Water Sports Industry Association recommends 1,500 lbs. of rope strength for one rider with a maximum weight of 170 lbs.; 2,375 lbs. of rope strength will suffice if you double that; three people not over 510 lbs. should have 3,350 lbs. of rope tensile strength. Also never use a rope that is frayed or sun damaged.
The best rule of thumb for tube towing is to check the manufacturer specifications for weight capacity and rider limit on your tube. While falling off can be part of the fun, more riders than allowed can be dangerous because there are just enough handles for the maximum riders specified. Single person tubes are light and affordable, but if you have a couple of kids, you are better suited for a multi-person tube offering side-by-side riding
Regardless of boat type or size, at least 35-40 HP should tow a single person; boat ratings of 70 HP or higher provide adequate tow capacity for two people and 90 HP should tow three riders at a time. For a safety sake, keep your distance from other boaters with ropes not over 65 feet in length; watch your speed with 20-25 mph and smooth acceleration optimal; and always have a spotter on board to keep an eye on your riders so you can focus on driving.