Tubing in New Braunfels Without the Cans

TUBING IN NEW BRAUNFELS WITHOUT THE CANS The New Braunfels city council is scheduled to vote this evening on an ordinance that would change the face of Guadalupe and Comal River tubing as we know it, by banning all disposable containers on those popular waterways within city limits. The same body already voted 5-2 in favor of the beer-can ban earlier this month. The vote has been moved from city hall to the city convention center to accommodate expected crowds. “[Don’s & Ben’s liquor store assistant manager Brendon] Keith and other retailers are scratching their heads over what devices tubers might employ — the proposed ordinance doesn’t specify. A Thermos or canteen wouldn’t keep carbonated beverages fresh on an hours-long float, and you’d have to have a nondisposable cup . . . Another potential problem is that any beverage delivery device that’s not sealed would be, strictly speaking, a violation of the state open container law.” [Statesman] Photo: Lelombrik

29 Comment

  • The keg in the photo would seem to be the ideal solution. It is non-disposable, could be left untapped until you arrive on site thereby not flouting the open container law, and would maintain carbonation. You would presumably need to weight it a little as it empties in order to keep the keg submerged for optimum beverage coolness. I see an emerging market for river optimized kegerators.

  • I think the article picture just about sums up the solution.

  • How would you keep the beer cold in the keg? Plus this seems more dangerous floating down the rapids than cans. Just my thoughts. This is crazy!

  • The people of New Braunfels have been bitching and moaning about tourists for so long now. Do they not realize the tourists bring money to their city? The Gristmill, Gruene Hall, all the B&Bs, etc would not be as successful as they are today without the patronage of tourists. Be warned, citizens of New Braunfels, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  • Darren has obviously never been floating down the river… Baked on top, frozen on the bottom…

  • Keeping the keg cool would not be a problem – that water is always icy cold. The problem (in normal years when there is actually water in the river) would be holding on to that keg when going over falls, rapids, etc.

    As the above commenter correctly stated, New Braunfels residents should be careful what they wish for. They are doing their best to ensure that they have the quietest, soberest ghost town in Texas.

  • Is this state so full of brew swilling lushes that, unless you can chug yer lone star cans and just sink ’em and forget ’em, you’d completely blow off the entirety of New Braunfels? Do a search for pics of the bottom of those rivers and see what these bubba’s and bubbettes have been doing to them. Personally, I’d rather have people visiting New Braunfels who were respectful of the area then a bunch of bored, rude drunks.

  • Darren, you can insulate a keg or pack it in an icy tube just as you would beer.

  • I don’t think this will fix a thing. WHat defines a disposible cup? A solo cup. There’s a lot of people who chunk reuable plastic cups because they don’t want to lug it around. Let’s just hope nobody want’s to use styrofoam to keep their drinks chilled. That stuff is the devil.

  • I understand the ability to ice it down and maybe a pony keg would be better, but holding on to it is what I would consider dangerous as the earlier comment said “The problem (in normal years when there is actually water in the river) would be holding on to that keg when going over falls, rapids, etc.”

    I also agree with those that need to consider the money that these visitors bring to that areas economy. It will be a sober ghost town for sure.

  • back in my younger years, when 6 to 12 cold natty lite didn’t get the job done on the river, we would all purchase a gallon sized insulated water jug (like you would take to the tennis court on a hot day) and proceed to fill it with the beverage of our choice. Mine was an extreme frozen screwdriver. Just like you can get at the Volcano. I don’t have a clue what transpired on our second float down the river that day, but my friends said I had a good time. Never underestimate the creativity of someone who wants too cool off and get blasted.

  • They should call this bill the “Our city has too much money, so we want to get rid of the 1000’s of people that flock to the river with their tourist dollars” ordinance.
    Seriously. What are these people thinking? Might as well outlaw drinking and gambling in Vegas.
    Dumb dumb dumb…

  • Solution = Don’s Fish Camp.

  • Here’s a Chron blog with some pictures http://blog.chron.com/shannontompkins/2011/08/trashing-texas-is-any-place-worse-than-the-comal-river-lets-have-a-contest-to-see/. There’s no way I would take my family to a river that looks like that. My relatives in NB would be happy to reduce the number of tourists there – they make the place unlivable for most of the Summer, and the crime and litter is unreal.

  • Solution…an insulated thermos and a series of float up to bars spaced about a mile apart for refills. Instant employment opportunities!! Also an instant event activity. Call it the Pub Float.

  • So, how much did they cash in all that pictured aluminum for? That sounds like a good business model, harvesting aluminum from Texas rivers.

    Last time we tubed, a few years back, there were some hillbilly cops that had staked out a rope swing, and it was the perfect rope swing too(and it wasn’t on anyone’s backyard)… as soon as someone got out of the river and climbed over to it the hillbilly laws came swooping in and executed their rope swing sting.

    Would like to know how much they extorted from the busted tubers, all summer long. Revenue generatin!

  • The real issue isn’t the trash but rather the trashy people who think nothing of throwing their trash into OUR rivers, lakes, beaches, etc… People simply do not respect public places and an entire generation has been raised with the notion that someone else will always be there to clean their crap up.

  • @markd, that looks like no more than a few hundred, maybe a thousand dollars. That’s more than the cost of the the cleanup, even with volunteer labor.

    One solution would be cops watching the river with video, and ticketing people who litter, with a few days of community service as the penalty.

  • I have to agree with the locals there. We have friends who have a river house there and when we go visit with them, it is tragic how disgusting a lot of the people are and how they litter the river. It has gotten out of hand and in this case, many many people have ruined it for the few that live there. Kinda like lights in the heights.

  • The libertarian in me has no problem with this ban.

    A beautiful river that looks like shit now. More power to the ban.

  • I feel as though this law is dangerous. Disposable containers would include water and sportsdrinks. It isn’t a good idea to float the river without any water to drink…
    I’m guessing We will just see the scene shift over to sections of river outside of NB city limits.

    This is going to really hurt the economy of NB.

  • you put the keg in a tube with a bottom. then slide 2 deflated tubes over the top of the keg, and inflate. this forms a keg koozie, and protects the keg as it bounces over waterfalls.

  • Lazy people just “expect” somebody else will clean up their trash. Most people wouldn’t put up with it in the middle of their street, why should the residents put up with it in the river? Just because you can’t see it??

    What about paying a deposit to take an insulated cooler? If you finish at the end of the river with the same amount of trash you started with you get the deposit back.

  • After thinking about t, I am actually in understanding of the new ban. My wife and I are 40 y.o. and made a trip down the Comal a few years ago for the first time in about 10 yrs and i was shocked and apalled at the behavior of 75% of the people, male and female. General rowdy behavor is to be expected, but my wife was subjected to indecent exposure by MALES several times. She is OK with mooning, girls flashing boobs, etc, but I think we can all agree that shaking your genatalia in sexually suggestive manner does not belong on the river. There were children and older folks present who were EXTREMELY offended. When I was in my “party phase” years ago, my friends and I never got so drunk that someone had to carry us out of the river. The shuttle we were on to get back to camp was held up for almost an hour because one of the people with the others on the bus was getting a ticket for urinating in public…on the Schlitterbahn fence! He was SOOOO proud f himself when he got to the shuttle. I was about to blow a gasket and proceeded to tell him how uch of an idiot he was, since he had been in the river for 4hrs… and waited til he GOT OUT ot pee?!?!?

  • From kheatherg:
    The people of New Braunfels have been bitching and moaning about tourists for so long now. Do they not realize the tourists bring money to their city? The Gristmill, Gruene Hall, all the B&Bs, etc would not be as successful as they are today without the patronage of tourists. Be warned, citizens of New Braunfels, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    What you fail to realize is… The land owners who have to deal with the drunks peeing in their back yards and leaving trash ARE NOT the people than run Gruene Hall, Gristmill, etc. They have to deal with al that BS and get no benefit from it AT ALL!!! I woul suppose that 90% of the peoplewho own land along the river wuld be glad that 50% or more of the tubers leave. Eventually their property taxes will go down, or at least stay the same for a while1

  • I was planning my first tubing trip in 16 years with my new girlfriend and ready to go to the Comal river in a couple of weeks.

    I guess San Marcos will get my business instead.

    I have to say the whole “disposable container” this is quite stupid because I can’t take bottled water with me down the river. Empties go back in the ice chest till I reach dry land and a trash can. But that’s just me because I’m an adult and not some stupid college kid. I cuoldn’t imagine being outdoors in the heat for 2 hours without being able to have some sort of non-alcoholic drink! That’s just dangerous.

  • Ban doesn’t go into effect until next year.
    MOST tourists could give a rats a$$ about throwing their trash in our river.
    If you are coming tubing- try using a nalgene or some other kind of reusable sports cup. It really doesn’t take much to fill one of those up instead of grabbing a plastic water or sports drink bottle…..
    If you lived here, you might have a say, if you don’t, and find this too extreme~ how can I put this…. oh yeah, Don’t come!

  • “Don’t come!”
    It’ll be interesting to see how well that new tourism slogan does with the local economy.
    Good luck.

  • Thanks to the losers who polluted this water and ruined good times for law-abiding citizens. Go join up with the group one rung above you, the Occupiers, get some fresh tats, and fight for your rights to abuse another treasure.

  • Some of us tourists, enjoy the lovely scenery and cool water and just want to float the river.

    We might even enjoy a beer or two, or maybe not, but either way, we work hard to clear away our trash and leave no trace.

    It’s annoying that we have to devise a work around to just stay hydrated this year.

    However, laws like this wouldn’t be passed if people weren’t pigs. It’s a damn dirty shame that they are making hard for the rest of us.

    But we are going anyway ;)