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How To Make Snow Tubes Go Faster – Top Tips And Tricks

How To Make Snow Tubes Go Faster

The whole point of snow tubing is to go fast! Buying a new tube is not always the answer, as there are some tried and true methods for how to make snow tubes go faster. Growing up in a cold-weather climate certainly helped and I can personally attest to these tips.

You found the best resource if you and your family need a way to make your snow tube go faster on a steep slope. Many of these suggestions involve regular household items you already own, so there’s no extra cost to speed up your sled.

Let’s get right to it so you can hit the slopes with everything you need to make your snow tube go faster.

Items, Gear And Equipment You Will Need

Unlike skating, one of the advantages of snow tubing is that you only need a few things to make for a whole afternoon of fun, the most important being snow. Once you find the proper slope, bring these items with you, and you’ll be skating down the hill in no time:

  • Snow tube, sled or toboggan
  • Towel, rag or cloth
  • Lubricant
  • Warm clothes, including hat and mitts

Tips To Make Your Snow Tube Go Faster

Tips To Make Your Snow Tube Go Faster

Spray Water On Your Track To Make A Layer Of Ice

Depending where your hill is, hopefully you can add water to your track. Using a garden hose is the most efficient way to do this. Spray a light mist over the middle of where you’ll be sliding the most. A slick middle with packed snow and ice will give you a fast sled and help keep you centered.

Polish The Surface Using A Soft Cloth

Keep your snow tube clean on the bottom. This is easier to do with certain types of toboggans that have only two rails in the snow. The less friction, the better.

If your sled is more traditional and sits entirely in the snow, then be sure that it’s spotless. Any dirt or rough edges will slow your sled and can possibly get lodged on your track meaning others may pick it up behind you.

A clean sled is a fast sled. The same goes for snow tubes.

Apply Grease On The Bottom Surface Of The Tube

Snowboard Or Ski Wax

Professional grade snowboard or ski wax will add speed and adhere to your inner tube for a long time. This will feel like you’re skating on ice. The money you spend up front will pay off because you’ll only have to apply the wax every so often on rough edges. 

To see the best hockey skates, click here.

Candle Wax

If you’re not near a ski shop or only go sledding once in a blue moon, then candle wax will be a great substitute. It acts the same as snowboard wax, but it’s much thinner. You may need to apply it at the beginning of each run, depending on how sloped your hill is.

Want to learn how to ice skate? Click here to read more.

Cooking Oil

This is an excellent substitution because it’s much easier to travel with and easier to apply. Cooking oil is best used as a spray for even coating your tube or sled’s entire bottom. Pam cooking spray is the most popular, but any cooking spray will do.

Car Wax

Car wax is also a bit expensive since it’s meant for cars, but it works excellent on inner tubes. It will adhere well since it’s high quality, so you won’t have to keep reapplying. You may have this lying around your garage right now, so if you don’t use it for your car, you might as well use it to reduce friction and reach high speeds on your snow tube.

Add Weight

Snow Tubes Adding Weight

Adding weight will help you gain momentum so you can extend the ride well past the bottom of the hill. You can use bricks or rocks, but they might be dangerous should you wipe out. The best way to add weight is to add more people. Squeeze another rider on your snow tube or sled and get ready for high speed.

Ask Someone To Push The Snow Tube

Getting a push is the best way to gain speed when you don’t have a steep slope to work with. It’s easier for the pusher to run behind you for a bit and allow you to hit the steepest part of the hill at high speed.

You can also create this yourself by laying your sled at the top of the hill, and get a running start as you dive on your toboggan or snow tube.

See the best snow tubes here.

Balance Weight

If you paid attention in skating class, you would know that having the weight spread out evenly will be the best way to increase your speed and reduce friction. You don’t want any pressure points that will drag underneath. Laying down is the best way to do this.

If you are interested in finding the best hockey skates for beginners, read more here.

Choose The Most Appropriate Slope

If you want to go fast, you need the steepest slopes. Steeper at the beginning is best as it will help you gain momentum quickly. You can recreate this on any slope if you’re willing to build a ramp at the top of the hill. Gather a pile of snow and smooth it out so it feeds into the steepest part of the hill. This will get you going fast right from the beginning.

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Snow Tubes Warnings

Snow tubing and sledding are meant to be fun, like so many other winter sports, but it’s no fun if someone gets hurt. Watch out for these obstacles to keep you and your family safe.

  • Clear the end of your path, so there is nothing to run into
  • Ensure there are no roads or trees or hard surfaces to damage your tube or sled
  • Stay away from any yellow snow

Pro Tip: We don’t recommend using WD-40 as a lubricant since it deteriorates the rubber on even the best snow tubes. If you’re using cheaper plastic sleds, then go for it.  

Check out the best ice skates for beginners here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, tubes are faster than sleds because there is less contact with the snow. Less contact means less friction, so your tube can reach higher speeds than a regular hard plastic sled. Although faster, tubes are harder to store and are susceptible to puncture. Take care of your tube and enjoy one of the fastest sleds.

What to wear when snow tubing is warm clothes. Snow has a way of infiltrating any opening it can to make you cold and wet. Once you’re cold on the slopes, it’s hard to regain warmth. Wear a thick hat or helmet, gloves, boots with good traction, snow pants and a water-resistant warm coat.

You steer a snow tube by utilizing your hands, feet and careful weight shifting. There is no easy way to do it but if you must, use your hands and feet to drag in the snow alongside your snow tube and lean back. Yes, this will slow you down, but if it’s to prevent a collision, it’s well worth it.


Kids have been working for centuries on how to make snow tubes go faster. With a little adult ingenuity, you can help them make a breakthrough and impress all their friends with these techniques that will make any snow tube go faster. Get out there now to apply these tips because the warmer weather always comes around sooner than you think.

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