BlogAugust 2021

4 Important Tips for Safe Banana Boating

4 Important Tips for Safe Banana Boating

By Debbie Hanson

Aug 04, 2021

Tips on how to stay safe when banana boating with your family this summer, what to know about safety before riding on a banana boat or inflatable water sled.

Banana boating is a fun beach vacation activity that you can try with your family this summer. If you’re not familiar with banana boating, it involves being towed behind a motorized boat on a banana-shaped, yellow-colored inflatable water sled that usually seats about six to ten people.

Although, you might be wondering, is banana boating safe? Yes, banana boating is normally safe if the proper safety precautions are taken. Learn about a few things you can do to ensure a safe banana boat experience.

Find a Professional Captain

You can find banana boating places at beach vacation destinations such as Fort Myers Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Panama City Beach. It’s always a good idea to be sure that the banana boat or water sled is pulled behind a boat driven by a professional USCG captain who has a captain’s license issued from the US Coast Guard. The captain of the motorized vessel should also take care to ensure that the inflatable banana boat is properly secured to their vessel.

Wear a Life Jacket

When on a banana boat, always wear a Type III life jacket or PFD for safety. Banana boating involves riding on bumpy waves and being bounced around a bit on the inflatable banana or water sled, so wearing a life jacket is an absolute must.

Safe Speed

Banana boat manufacturers recommend a safe maximum towing speed of 15 miles per hour which should be printed on the side of the inflatable boat. Before going on any banana boat rides, it’s a good idea to ask the operator about maximum speed and safety guidelines. In other words, safe water sledding means that the captain will go no faster than 15 miles per hour.

Avoid Choppy Conditions

Don’t ride on a banana boat in choppy conditions or during periods of inclement weather. Anytime you ride on a banana boat, make sure you can reach the handles and always hold on tight.

Now that you know how to have a safer banana boating experience, learn more about boating safety on other types of boats.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.