I’ve been down the Comal a dozen times with the youth ministry and our kids have gone before with the youth group, but this was the first time that we did it just as a family. The student leadership team at our church hasn’t put it on the summer calendar in several years so it was like a brand new experience for Emerson (our nine year old).
This was one of those Family Days where we let our kids each invite a friend, so the six of us loaded up and head to New Braunfels on a Monday in the summer. I would highly recommend that if at all possible. The river still had quite a few people on it, but it was not overly crowded like it can be on some summer weekends.
This time we purchased tubes from a Groupon that was connected to Comal Tubes. It was my first time with that company. The Groupon stated that you had to reserve 24 hours in advance. I didn’t realize that because I’ve never had a Groupon like that. I tried to reserve online and it didn’t work. I called and the lady who worked there tried to make me a reservation. It didn’t work either. She gave me the number to the office. I left two messages (and they still haven’t called me back a month later). I finally called the lady back and explained my predicament . . . we were already on the road headed that way. She called down to the river and they informed her that you didn’t need a reservation at all! That was good news after what was quickly becoming a debacle.
One other odd thing about Comal Tubes is that if you go to their website you can rent a tube for $20 or upgrade to a tube with a backrest for $25. When we were there, you could pick any tube you wanted and everyone took backrests. I would have hated to pay the extra $5 per person when you apparently don’t have to (at least not on a slow weekday).
Comal Tubes puts you in at the park which is a shorter float than we usually do. The river was running fast so that made it a very enjoyable for our kids. It was easily over an hour float (probably closer to two), but it didn’t feel like it at all. There was very little paddling.
The Groupon made it worth it, but if I was paying full price, I’d go back to Rockin’ R River Rides. It cost $3 more per tube, but it’s a longer ride down the river. When you put in at the park you go through the tube chute and have a couple of other rapids, but the further up river you put in, the more rapids you get.
Floating down the river with the kids was a great time to hang out, talk, and enjoy some pretty scenery. The water was really refreshing on a hot day and it was a great experience. I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing this one again. Raley’s friend, who had never been tubing, finished the day declaring “this is my favorite thing to do!”
We were able to use the Groupon for four tubes and paid regular price for the two friends.
Tubes: $100 (includes transportation to and from the river)
Waterproof pouch for phone : $10