Off-Road Adventures Articles & Reviews
Throw Me A Line
Not all ropes are created equal. Neither are chains and straps, for that matter. What’s important for off-roaders is the technical aspect of “tensile cohesion.” Basically, that means a recovery line needs to have some give, so it stretches and contracts to help your vehicle get smoothly unstuck from the goo (or snow, or rocks or whatever). If it doesn’t have that bungee-like quality, the pulling action is too abrupt, and you’ll end up spinning your wheels, literally.
Hey, Bubba, Got Any of that Bubba Rope?
The advantages of an expanding and contracting Bubba Rope certainly aren’t limited to off-road excursions, though. It’s also mandatory for safely carrying things by crane or airlift. In fact, Bubba Rope’s parent company, Certified Slings, specializes in this sort of construction-quality product. Owned by the Worswick family for more than three decades, Certified Slings supplies essential “below the hook” items for a wide range of operations, everything from hauling highway overpasses to pulling cables for Disney rides to picking up pallets by military copters.
The latter application is how the company’s Bubba Rope division actually got its start. After the Iraq war, Doug Warswick had several thousand feet of military-spec nylon rope sitting in a warehouse, and asked his marketing guy Jim Flowers to help figure out a new application.
After seeing how well this material worked pulling equipment out of a muddy construction site in Florida, and doing a bit of research in vehicle-recovery market, they realized this government-surplus rope could fill a new type of need.
How did the funny name come about? Given the importance of safety and quality in hauling and construction, Certified Slings takes its products and customers very seriously, but Flowers admits that, “We don’t take ourselves seriously.” Hence the informal Bubba Rope name, since it has a friendly, down-home image.
This good ol’ boy attitude also comes through in the company’s instruction manual and website, so much so that it won SEMA’s 2011 award for “Best Packaging.”