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Information about Dunk Tanks
Fundraising with a Dunk Tank
Several groups use dunk tanks as fund raisers. For example, at a town or county fair a group may rent a dunk tank, and have volunteers willing to be dunked. The public could then pay a small fee for the chance to dunk them. Student groups, scouting programs, church youth groups, and other non-for-profit organizations frequently do this.
Parties, carnivals, and picnics
Dunk tanks are also frequently rented for events where people are not charged for the chance to dunk a volunteer. This is common at schools, for example, where teachers may volunteer to get dunked as a reward for students at the end of the school year. "Free" dunk tanks are also common at church picnics, block parties, birthday parties, etc. In Thailand, dunk tanks are a popular attraction at fairs for a game called sao noi tok nam, literally little lady falling into water). Sometimes, at college/adult parties, people, usually men, would pay the women to go into a dunk tank with a bikini
Dunk tanks are used as entertainment in pubs and clubs across the nation. Normally centered on-stage as the focal point of an evening's entertainment, patrons can volunteer themselves or their friends for a soaking in the dunk tank, either for a prize or just for the fun of it. Many places use this attraction on major holidays like Cino de Mayo and St. Patrick Day to entertain large crowds celebrating.
Types of Dunk Tanks
There are many types and brands of dunk tanks commercially available. When looking for a dunk tank things to consider is the group that will be participating, making sure the product displayed on a website is the same that will be received and insure quality from a reputable place.
Most consist of a plastic tank and seat, with a metal support frame. Others are made entirely of metal, and some are made of wood. Usually, there is fence-like protector around the seat, which is used to protect the person sitting on the seat from being injured by stray balls missing the target. The seat is latched in an upright position. When the target is struck, the seat becomes un-latched, thus dropping the victim into the tank.
The Best Types of Dunk Tanks
Arizona Bounce Around provides one of the best dunk tanks available to rent made by Hi Striker. It consists of a plastic tank, approximately four feet deep, and a metal seat, around which is a metal chassis which can be towed by a vehicle with a trailer hitch. There is a clear plastic window on the front of the tank so that the victim can be seen underwater. To the side of the tank is the target, a circle with your choice of three different size diameters. Behind the target is a vinyl tarp with a metal frame to stop balls which miss the target itself. The person to be dunked climbs onto the seat via a ladder on the side or rear of the dunk tank, and is protected by a metal fence enclosure while waiting to be dunked. When the target is hit, the seat becomes disengaged from the chassis, tipping the victim into the tank. The seat-target mechanism that holds the seat in place by latching down on a hardened bolt at the underside of the seat, and which is welded to the chassis so that the target shaft trips it when hit and must be reset afterwards by simply lifting up on the seat and it latches automatically, and the victim climbs back onto the seat using a molded step at the bottom rear of the tank and the metal bar enclosure and chassis for leverage.
Depending on the type of event the people getting dunked may opt for various different clothing options. People will often volunteer to get dunked fully clothed for a humorous effect. For example, school teachers, a boss at a company picnic or local "celebrities" may choose to wear street clothes in the dunking booth for the added humor. Some men even go as far to wear a suit and tie and women as far as a nice crisp open collared blouse and skirt, or funny costumes in a dunk tank. Also, a group may choose to wear a special uniform while on the dunk tank. For example, youth group may wear a group T-Shirt, or a Scouting group may choose to be dunked wearing their Scout uniforms.
If people know beforehand that they will be getting dunked, they often choose to wear a swimsuit or wetsuit while on the dunk tank. On the other hand, if a person volunteers to get dunked without having brought a swimsuit, he or she may simply wear his or her street clothes.
While some dunk tank rental agencies recommend that footwear is worn when being dunked, most choose to simply go barefoot.
Other than cost, safety is the primary reason that a dunk tank would not be allowed at a given event. If the operator(s) are not fully trained or not giving the correct instructions there is a slight chance of injury when getting dunked, and people have been injured on occasion. General safety guidelines include keeping your hands off any part of the tank assembly - some rental companies recommend keeping your hands on your lap while sitting on a dunk tank. Grasping the seat could result in pinched fingers when the seat falls, and holding on to the side of the tank or enclosure could cause arm and shoulder injuries when you fall in. There is also a slight risk of slipping on the bottom of the tank, so some rental companies recommend wearing shoes or sandals when getting dunked. However, most people choose not to wear footwear in a dunk tank, and instead remember to "fall forward", to avoid hitting a body part on part of the tank assembly. In fact, many times volunteers are asked specifically not to wear shoes, as they want to keep the water in the tank clean. Of course, following guidelines for the specific dunk tank you are using will further prevent injuries. Remember to read the rules provided by the rental company or posted on the dunk tank.
Quite often, young children wish to get dunked in a dunk tank. While many dunk tank manufacturers don't encourage younger children to sit in a dunk tank, children frequently do participate in getting dunked (provided that they can swim), either as part of a fund raiser for a youth group, or at other events. Generally, children should not have a problem getting dunked, provided that they are taller than the tank is deep. A responsible adult must be supervising to ensure that the tank is operated safely, and that there is no horseplay. Many groups require parent permission, either verbally or through a signed waiver or permission slip.
Dunk Tank Alternatives
Several Dunk Tank alternatives have been developed for a variety of reasons. Among them is a search for a safer product, which does not use a collapsing seat, thus being more comfortable for children to participate in. Also, most alternatives use less water than a dunk tank, and some may even be used indoors. Most alternatives drop water on the volunteer, rather than having him or her fall into a tank of water. This is accomplished, for example, renting a water pump battle device. It consists of two individuals that manually fill a bucket of water each, and one of the individuals wins by overturning a bucket of water onto their opponent. Some devices can even be used to drop substances other than water on the victim - for example, confetti, slime, pudding or even mud. Given the advantages of these alternatives, the classic dunk tank is often considered to be more fun, a better crowd-pleaser, with the potential to net more profit in a fundraiser.