Tubbing Wisdom
I've made this page to help me remember why I do things the way I do. Essentially a Tubbing Book of Remembrance, if you will (even if you won't, I will). So...
A new order to the wisdom page: we'll be listing entries by systems (such as tub, binding, clothing, towing, and so on) instead of by date. More better that way. So...


10 February 1999

We rivet two tubs together using 1/2" rivits (you can sometimes get by with 3/8" rivits, but sometimes if the tubs aren't a good match, you have some space that only the 1/2" rivits can take up).

03 January 2000

If anyone knows the address of Torpedo sleds, I've got a letter for them I'd like to send, telling them the front of their tubs could be much improved if they'd make it less blunt.

We've noticed that generally, the thicker Torpedo sleds are more stout than the thinner Torpedo and Paris models. The thin models suffer from plastic blowouts in the rear of the tub, causing severe drag. This is unfortunate because the thinner tubs have a more streamlined front and better grooves yielding better speeds and turns generally.

The thinner tubs also crack more quickly under extreme conditions than the thicker tubs.


10 February 1999

We use bungee cords because they give you security (keeping you in the tub) while at the same time allowing you and your tub to become a "muscle"--that is, the bungee cords allow you to use your thigh muscles to push against the tub during turns and other maneuvers. Flexible binding of any kind is preferable to non-flexible binding. Too loose, however, in either case will yield a tub who will not cooperate with you under any circumstances.

We don't use a non-flexible strap (such as nylon webbing). While a non-flexible strap offers security, it does not allow you to work with the tub--you essentially become part of the tub, which makes many moves difficult on the tub. Imagine a skier who is not able to bend his or her knees--that is the essence of a tubber who is strapped tightly to the tub with some non-flexible binding.

It should be noted that several scientific tubbers still use the nylon strap, hoping a good use may be found for the cash poured into research and development. One use is an experimental "calf" binding, which forces an upper limit on flexible bindings (nice), while not restricting flexible motion. One apparent though possibly temporary compromise is safety, since the calf binding is yet somewhat awkward for quick release. We're still working on it.

10 March 1999

Bungees should be adjustable according to snow conditions. For dense, fast snow, the bungees should be tight. Too much slack in the bungees just means latency when you're turning. Your body will make the turning motion and if there's slack in the bungee, the tub won't follow until you've exhausted the slack. Too tight, however, means you'll be lacking in social graces down the slope and will be exhausted at the end when you should be rejuvinated for another run.

03 January 1999

Mark Dallon came up with a great idea for the most recent trip. He bent the hooks of both ends of a bungee around his old strap binding anchors and then looped his seatbelt-type binding through each bungee loop. This offers him the flexibility of the bungees while giving him the convenience and safety of quick release and comfort, style and performance of an adjustable system. This looks promising.

Hand Covering

10 February 1999

We use two pair of gloves: an "up" pair and a "down" pair. The up pair should be a pair that doesn't get too hot, but can withstand a lot of "grabbing" of shrubs and snow (you tend to grab these kinds of things often during the ascent). Summary: rugged, waterproof and "cool" gloves.

The down pair should be rugged, waterproof, and "hot" gloves.

03 January 2000

To make the point further...Scott noticed that as he was climbing a steep hill this last weekend that due to the shallow snow, the footing was poor and he often found himself sticking his gloves in the snow for further grip. As these gloves are rather old, they did not hold the heat of his hands in very well and melted the snow on the outside of the glove, which quickly turned into ice. Later on, this made his hands cold and he had nothing suitable to put his wet gloves in on the way down.

The point is rugged, waterproof, cool up gloves are good.


10 February 1999

We use a backpack to hold lunch, your outer layer of clothes on most days, extra gloves, camera, etc. A fanny pack is too small.

10 March 1999

Backpack should have some kind of waist or chest strap to keep the pack from flying off at high speeds or getting caught when you take that slalom-tight turn around a tree.

03 January 2000

Ryan Wiersdorf has recently invented a Cordura 'trunk' that snaps into the front of his tub (The Dean of Students) and has a pocket that protects goods from snow and frees his back for lighter things such as sweat.


10 February 1999

We use a snap connector (someone remind me what the technical name for that piece is...) to attach the tow rope to the tub. This allows for easy on and easy off. Knots can sometimes get coated in ice and if your hands are cold, you don't want to touch it.

03 January 2000

Scott Wiersdorf uses a 3" carabeener (sp?) attached to his fanny pack and then simply slips his tow rope loop (or small snap connector) into the carabeener for hands-free towing.

Cutting Edge

10 March 1999

Some suggestions for innovation: if anyone wants to get praise and glory from the Tubbing Foundation, consider the following: we need a mechanism on a tub to improve the bungee hook and ladder system. Ideally we'd have a way to mount the bungee in, say, 3 locations along the side rails, each location farther away from the tubber (so one at knee distance, another 3 inches past that, and another 3 inches past that). The bungees would then be forced into some binding system, perhaps like current ratchet-type systems where you simple insert the bungee and force a lever downward. This would allow us quick exit in dire situations, as well as offer adjustable (and still easily replacable) bungees.

If anyone has things to add to this document, let me know.

Last updated 3 January 2000