Admittedly, we’re waaay behind on this review, as we’ve had this in our possession for over a year. While the Jobe Scout 2P Towable Tube hasn’t changed in that time, thus making our review still relevant, it is a bit of a relief to finally check this off of our “to do” list. In doing so though, we found a very fast way to also through in a new category of evaluation for full sized personal watercraft runabouts as we pulled this raft behind three different skis this year. (Albeit, how well a machine is at towing a $160 two-person raft is likely not going to be the deciding factor in purchasing a $13,000 PWC.)
Austrian watersports apparel and accessory manufacturer Jobe is one of the industry’s largest, expanding its reach across the Atlantic and beyond. Its products are well regarded in hundreds of markets and rightfully so, there’s a lot to be found just in a towable. The raft itself is made from 24G PVC, pretty sturdy stuff and is molded in a tapered, wing-like design to keep from nosing over much more than flat tubes. A large Boston Valve screws into the tube itself allowing for quick air release, and easy filling if you’ve got an inner tube stem on an air nozzle attached to a compressor, that is. (It takes a while to fill this bad boy up.)
The tube is wrapped in a 420D nylon cover that features quite a few smart designs: a large, quick-connect front buckle, reboarding handles at the rear, 6 handles up front for multiple hand placement, a quick-dry drain, side bumpers, and two soft-to-the-touch “Neo pads” that also allow for comfortable multiple riding positions. When inflated, it fits snugly in the bed of a standard-sized pickup truck bed, or can be easily strapped to the back of a runabout as you travel to your “secret spot” before setting up camp. On the other hand, when deflated, it will take up every inch of room in the front storage bin of the largest PWC, so that’s really not a good idea.
The Scout’s flat bottom is great for kids liking to power slide in a corner, but the complete lack of a V-shape will having them feel every bump, ripple and wake on the lake (which can be the point if that’s what you’re looking for). At low speeds or when pushed hard enough, the Scout has a tendency to nose-over, swamping the raft and ejecting its riders. In fact, we repeatedly reminded our test subjects not to do so as the swamping raft can actually destabilize the PWC (with an inattentive pilot). When picking up speed with older riders, the Scout is squirrelly to say the least, but again, we believe that might be by intent.
Younger or weaker riders might struggle to hang on (even at slow speeds), and reboarding can be challenging for the same, so be prepared to jump in and help them back up if necessary. Jobe recommends that riders be above 6-years-old and proficient swimmers in addition to always wearing a lifevest. And remember to always ride with a spotter. In all, the Jobe Scout 2P Towable is well-built and a lot of fun; comparable tubes come in considerably less ($20-$60 less) so be a conscientious shopper and do your homework.