Guadalupe Tubing Checklist & FAQ
Things you need to know
- What type of shoes should I wear?
TENNIS SHOES, AQUA-SHOES, RIVER SANDALS with Straps or other “secure footwear” are needed to protect your feet against sharp objects, cuts, scrapes, bruises and the rocky and often slippery river bottom while walking to and from the entry/exit points for tubing on the Guadalupe River. If you forget your river shoes, WhiteWater Sports sells them, so no worries! NOTE: Flip Flops are not recommended for river tubing as they slip and slide easily when wet or muddy and offer very little protection for your feet… they also slip off your feet easily and float away before you can retrieve them… leaving you with bare and unprotected feet!
- Sun Protection
SUN BLOCK or SUN SCREEN should be applied both BEFORE and DURING each float trip or any time you are in the sun for extended periods. It’s a good idea to bring a white short sleeve T-shirt and put it on if you begin to sunburn (see 3a below). We also sell sun block if you forget yours.
A CAP, HAT or VISOR and SUNGLASSES will help shield your face, eyes and head from the rays of the hot Texas sun.
- What type of clothing / swimsuit should I wear?
Wear Appropriate Clothing – IMPORTANT: DO NOT wear clothing that will tangle and/or restrict your ability to swim, which could cause you to drown. DO NOT wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, scarves, coats, jackets, long dresses, Burkhas, Sari Dress Salwar Kameez, large, baggy, loose or heavy clothing of any type. Make sure your arms and legs have free movement at all times while you are tubing or when you are in the water.
- What about small children?
CHILDREN SHOULD be at least five (5) years old or older and MUST be accompanied by an adult for tubing on the river (age limits may change with water conditions). Life jackets / vests are recommended for all children and all non swimmers and are provided “on request” at no charge with your tube rental. There are NO LIFE GUARDS ON DUTY, you will be on your own, use caution, think safety first! Parents & Guardians – you are responsible for your children… please watch your children at ALL times… please read this story – “Infant drowns in Wisconsin” – river tubing accident.
Whitewater Sports reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. When River Levels are above “Recreational Flows”, the River becomes more challenging and dangerous for children, seniors and non-swimmers, in which case we may not rent tubes to anyone who is at a higher risk by our estimations.
IMPORTANT… Guadalupe river tubing, swimming and river activities have both inherent and unknown risks and dangers. These include but are not limited to injury or loss of life.
The Guadalupe river has no life guards and you will be on your own, use caution, think safety first! You will be asked to sign a waiver and release of liability for yourself and anyone else in your group before tubing on the Guadalupe river with Whitewater Sports. Life jackets / vests are available for customers who request one (at no charge), please ask for a life jacket when you get your tube(s). It is highly recommended that you always go tubing with 2 or more people to keep an eye on each other and act as a “buddy system” in case help is needed.
- Check to make sure the river is OPEN for business!
CHECK OUR WEBSITE right before you get in the car to head our way to make sure the River is Open. Sometimes a significant amount of rainfall up river (in the Upper Guadalupe River Valley) will cause the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase River Levels at Canyon Lake Dam which are no longer safe for Tubing… generally they give the Public at least a 12 hour advance notice before increasing river levels in large increments. Any changes in river conditions that would affect the safety of Guadalupe River Tubing will be posted immediately on our Website. This is very rare when it happens, but it does happen and thus the reason why we suggest checking our Website right before you head our way. Also while you’re on our Website, it would be a good idea to quickly check our Local Forecast for any drastic changes in weather conditions.
- Tell Someone Where You Are Going!
Tell your friends and family where you are going and your intentions. Make a “Float Plan” and let someone know your plans! Tell them the name of the place you are going and how long you will be gone.
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER while tubing on the Guadalupe River to help prevent dehydration. Whitewater Sports has bottled water for sale if you forget yours!
- Alcoholic Beverages
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE OK and legal on the Guadalupe River. Anyone of “legal drinking age” can drink while they are River Tubing, however we ask that you PLAY IT SAFE and use your good judgment. Keep it SAFE and FUN for everyone! Drink Responsibly! If you get too drunk and out of control, you stand a good chance of getting arrested… again, use your good judgment, have a good time and keep it safe for everyone! Play it safe by having a designated sober driver. NOTE: NO Public consumption of ALCOHOL before 12 noon on Sundays, it’s Illegal… wait till 12:01 to start drinking in public on Sundays!
- Containers and Coolers
GLASS CONTAINERS or STYROFOAM COOLERS are NOT ALLOWED on the Guadalupe River BY LAW and will be confiscated, with possible arrest(s) and fines up to $500. Coolers & Ice chests may be checked for Glass and or Styrofoam at any random time or point on the river by Law Enforcement Officials.
PARK ONLY in designated areas, cars in undesignated areas may be towed at the owner’s expense. Parking at Whitewater Sports is FREE all day with your tube rental.
Concert Parking must be purchased upon checking in for tube rentals since car will be parked for the day, One shuttle is included in rental, additional fees apply for additional time.
- Do not take your car keys!
DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAR KEYS, house keys, or any other keys on the River… keys don’t float… Locksmiths are expensive! We have a safe keep area for your keys. Always leave your keys with a Whitewater Sports attendant.
- Do not take any valuables on the river!
DO NOT TAKE ANY VALUABLES ON THE RIVER as most items sink and are never found! Again, always leave your keys with a Whitewater Sports attendant and place your cell phones, jewelry and other valuables in a safe place! Phones don’t float and do not work very well, if at all, after they have been submerged under water. Many people have lost Wedding rings and other types of rings because fingers tend to shrink after being in the water for awhile, allowing ring(s) to slip off fingers into the river, never to be found again. We urge you to side with caution and do not wear any jewelry while tubing!
- Secure your eyewear to your head!
ATTACH & SECURE PRESCRIPTION EYE GLASSES, EYEWEAR and SUNGLASSES to your face, head or body while tubing. Anyone wearing glasses should have a headband, neckband or float bobber of some sort, preferably the floating type that attaches to each arm or stem of your glasses to prevent your eyeglasses from falling off your face and sinking into the river should you flip your tube over. Whitewater Sports sells the Float Bobbers that attach to eyeglasses or sunglasses just for this reason. We suggest you bring your own Float Bobber with you for your eyeglasses…however if you forget, we should have some in stock.
- Concerning Medical Conditions
People with Medical Conditions should consult their Doctor before going tubing and subjecting themselves to lengthy exposures in the hot Texas Sun. River Tubing is an Outdoor Activity that can be strenuous on certain individuals with Medical Conditions. Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water and follow your Doctor’s orders! If you need to take your medications with you, be sure and pack them in a water proof or water tight container or a zip lock bag and then secure them in a safe place so you can take them at the proper intervals as prescribed by your Doctor. Before getting on the River, please inform your family members and/or friends about your medical condition so if something should happen to you, they will be ready to take charge and act quickly in case of an emergency!
- Concerning Private Property on the River
Rope Swings, Bridges, Trees and Cliffs line the banks of the Guadalupe River on “PRIVATE PROPERTY” and cross the Guadalupe River at various points. Many people see these interesting points and immediately want to jump, dive or swing into the River… and in their excitement, they fail to check below for shallow water, large underlying rocks or other hazards. Serious injuries and death have occurred because these individuals failed to exercise caution and check things out first. Please check all areas BELOW before diving or jumping into unfamiliar waters. Even after checking below, it is very difficult for the average individual to determine “for certain”, that the water below is deep enough to safely dive or jump into, or that objects are far enough away from the point of impact to clear them safely…. and it is nearly impossible for anyone who has been drinking alcohol to judge things in this situation. We recommend to our customers to bypass or avoid any of these high risk ventures for their own safety. We urge everyone to use their common sense in this matter and again, please do not Trespass on Private Properties, violators can be fined up to $500.
- DO NOT LITTER!
Dispose of all trash in litter bags. Dump all trash in designated receptacles. Help keep our rivers, parks and the state of Texas beautiful. Whitewater Sports supplies a W.O.R.D. (Water Oriented Recreation District) mesh trash bag for your empty cans and trash with each “cooler tube” rental or upon request if you do not rent a cooler tube. Again, please DO NOT LITTER! Violators can be fined up to $500. “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!”
- Dogs on the River
Dogs are welcome to go tubing on the Guadalupe River and ride on our shuttles with you via Whitewater Sports, however, you are 100% completely responsible for the safety and well being of your dog at all times, including its behavior towards other people, other dogs and/or animals…Whitewater Sports is not responsible for your dog(s) in any regard or manner. Not all dogs are suited for river tubing (and for some humans as well, as mentioned above)… there are both inherent and unknown risks and dangers on the Guadalupe River…these include but are not limited to injury or loss of life to you or your dog. Know your dog’s abilities and make your decisions accordingly… PLEASE NOTE: Whitewater Sports has a “NO REFUND POLICY”, so if your dog does not like River Tubing, there are NO REFUNDS! Some people would like their dog(s) to wear a life jacket while tubing and/or swimming…We DO NOT have, nor do we offer life jackets for DOGS, please bring your own Doggy life jacket IF your dog needs or requires one. Dogs have sharp claws and occasionally puncture their tube, because of this, there will be a $25 cash charge for your dog’s tube should your dog puncture or lose its tube or if it gets stolen. Most Dogs don’t carry cash with them, so you “the owner” will have to cover the charges or expenses for your canine companion. Please note, there is a county ordinance for Comal County, that requires all dogs to be on a leash and a fine of up to $500 for dogs running loose.
To ensure a safe & fun visit to the river, please print this page and give a copy to everyone in your party to review BEFORE you head to the river!