New Braunfels River Tubing Rules and Regulations

Comal river

When it comes to rules and regulations for river tubing in Texas, each region has different rules.

However, there are several general rules and regulations everyone must follow. We’ll cover those first and then we’ll dive into what makes river tubing in New Braunfels different.

But make sure you read on because floating in New Braunfels has stricter regulations than most other places you can river tube near Austin.

General Rules and Regulations for River Tubing in Texas

No matter where you’re floating in Texas, there’s a standard set of rules and regulations for river tubing.

Although we cover the specifics in the article linked above, we’ll quickly list them here to make it easy on you.

But if you want to dive in deeper, you can read about the specific rules and regulations of each river by looking into the city ordinances.

All of these must be followed regardless of which river you tube in Texas. For a more detailed description, check out our extensive guide to the general rules and regulations.

If you river tube New Braunfels, you’re going to have a few more rules to follow.

Rules and Regulations for Floating New Braunfels

In addition to all of the rules and regulations above, here are the New Braunfels River Rules.

Rule #1: Tubing is not allowed when the river flow is above 1,000cfs

This rule essentially means you’re not allowed to float when the river is moving at a certain speed and volume.

River flow above 1,000cfs means that there are more than 1,000 cubic feet of water moving through any given point in the river every second. In other words, it’s too fast and too furious to float.

Rule #2: No containers under 5 fluid ounces are permitted

After too many drunk college kids polluted the rivers with their jello shot containers, they had to crack down.

But all you sophomores and rest assured you can still bring jello shots river tubing, they just can’t be in your wasteful little plastic containers.

Or how about you skip all the hassle and opt for one of these 6 beer alternatives from Austin that are perfect for floating the river.

Rule #3: Maximum permitted cooler size is 32 quarts

You can’t just take any cooler down the New Braunfels River, it has to be limited to 32 quarts.

But fortunately for you, that’s better than it used to be. Recently as 2018, you could only use a 16-quart cooler.

Curious as to how large a 32-quart cooler is? Here’s a standard one:

So it’s plenty big. And the rule states you can have one of these coolers per person, not per party. There’s plenty of room for your favorite Texas beers for floating the river.

Rule #4: Coolers must have a locking mechanism on the lid

Whether it’s a latch, velcro, zipper – or even a cord – your cooler must have a locking mechanism.

This rule has been implemented to ensure people don’t bring open coolers into the river increasing the likelihood of pollution.

There are already problems of pollution in the area because of people floating the river. Therefore, it’s important to follow rules like these to help protect special places like the San Marcos River.

Rule #5: No volume drinking devices

If you decide to float New Braunfels, you have to leave your beer bong, funnels, tubes, hoses, and whatever other devices you may have in your dorm that helps you drink alcohol faster than you should.

Look, drinking alcohol in the Texas sun is sketchy enough. You don’t need beer bongs to dehydrate you faster.

In fact, you should consider replacing beer bongs with camel packs full of water. Either way, leave your lava lamps and beer bongs behind.

Rule #6: Noise devices may not be audible beyond 50 feet

Don’t worry, you can still get your groove on.

Noise beyond 50 feet is LOUD if you’re floating next to a speaker. Besides, you still want to be able to have some conversation with your fellow float mates.

Don’t worry about this too much. As long as you’re not blasting your jams, you’ll be able to cruise along just fine listening to music while floating the river.

Rule #7: Rafts or vessels may not be larger than 18 feet in length

Unless you plan on tubing in a 20-foot tube, you have nothing to worry about here.

This rule is more for kayakers but there are some people who try to take the strangest rafts to float the river.

Little do they know, those rafts were built to float in a pool, not float the San Marcos River. It’s no surprise then when they breakdown halfway through.

That’s why we recommend floating with a standard inner-tube. And when you float with us, you’ll get inner-tubes with cup holders built right in.

And did you know coolers, ice, transportation, and the tube are all included?

Rule #8: When the river flow is above 500cfs, all children under 8 must wear a life jacket

The general rule for children river tubing in Central Texas is that it’s recommended under 8 years of age they should wear a life jacket.

However, if the river flow is above 500cfs, it’s mandatory. At this water flow rate, the river can get dangerous so it’s important to take safety precautions.

It’s good that New Braunfels enforces this. After all, at 1,000cfs, you’re not even allowed to float.

That gives you an idea why it’s important children under 8 are protected with the flow is above 500cfs.

Making sense of it all

To summarize, there are general rules and regulations that need to be followed and then more specific ones for river tubing New Braunfels.

Although most of these are basic and common sense, there are a few that are important to remember. The last thing you need is a ticket or fine to spoil your lazy river tubing adventure on the San Marcos River.

Remember, your best bet is to float the river with us so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Not only do we have expert local knowledge, but we take care of everything for you. Your transportation, tube rental – even the coolers and ice are all included.