You’ve come to the correct place if you want to ride a jet ski for the first time and are seeking beginner advice. I’ve accumulated a lot of riding-related tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years through instructing others.
I’ve assisted a lot of beginner Jet Ski riders, observed the challenges they face, and responded to all of their concerns here. When you first start riding Jet Skis, it can be frightening, but this tutorial will help you get over your worries so you can start riding!
Let’s begin by going through some of the major bullet points.
1. Jet ski equipment requirements
- Each individual on the boat should wear a life jacket.
- Extinguisher approved by the Coast Guard.
- Air Horn or a whistle. It’s best if each life jacket has a whistle on it.
- Safety Registration Numbers for Lanyards
- Keep identification with you in a dry bag similar to this one here. Mirrors if you pull someone (many craft already have them) (Amazon Link Ad).
2. Suggestions For Jet Ski Gear
- Post a picture of your GPS-capable smartphone in this section.
- medical kit
- Baylor anchor or sunscreen bilge pump?
- To avoid sucking up your tow rope when pulling someone, skier down the flag and shock tube.
- Solar charger for a distress flag; explain it here.
Here is the full list of must-have jet ski accessories here.
3. Things to Avoid Doing on a Jet Ski
- Avoid drinking and driving.
- Drive only before sunset.
- Avoid being a fool.
- Start your boat only in water that is at least waist deep.
- Never carry more people than the limit on the watercraft.
4. Take a course on boater safety.
Any new riders should undergo a boating safety course, in my opinion. While some states do not need it, others do for everyone who is younger than a specific age. For more information.
Since we take a test to operate a car, why not a boat? everyone should be compelled to take the tests. The test may frequently be taken for little cost online, and you learn a great deal more than you would from this manual. Visit this page to learn more about these examinations.
5. Constantly don a life jacket
Even if you are able to swim, you should still wear a life jacket because it is designed to save your life. A life jacket will keep your head above water if you fall off the boat and for some strange reason are unable to swim due to a cramp, injury, or passing out. If given the choice, I advise wearing a life jacket in a bright color so you stand out in the water.
I prefer to attach a whistle to each of my life jackets, so make sure you have one. The whistle must be accessible to the driver in many states, so don’t conceal it and keep it fastened to your life jacket at all times.
6. Put On the Right Equipment
It’s crucial to dress properly for riding. I have a list of appropriate clothing for your jet ski. I even have a list of things not to wear on your jet ski.
Reading the back caution sticker on your Jet Ski will convince you that wearing the proper bottoms is crucial, even if you don’t believe it to be so.
7. Dry Bag
Make sure you have the necessary papers, including your driver’s license, boater identification, insurance, and some extra cash in case you need to buy gas. Put these things in a dry bag.
Take your phone with you and store it in the dry box as well. Once you’re out there, the ocean appears completely differently, and the GPS on your phone can help you figure out where to go.
8. A safety cord
The cord connects you to the watercraft and the safety lanyard. This kill switch disables the engine if no one is aboard the craft.
Make sure you are wearing the safety lanyard while the Jet Ski is in motion. If you can’t attach the safety lanyard to your life jacket firmly, you can do so by wrapping it around your wrist (Your instruction manual will tell you the best place to attach your lanyard).
Don’t be a fool and have this attached at all times. If you do fall off and you don’t fasten the safety lanyard, the boat may drift away from you and may collide with another object or it may circle back and strike you.
9. Controls for jet skis
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the boat’s controls before setting off. You can see how a Sea-Doo operates in the video I’ve included below, but many other manufacturers use similar controls as well.
- the locations of the on and off buttons.
- Before leaving, check the gauges. Verify that you have petrol and that your check engine light is not on.
- Learn the boat’s controls, including forward, neutral, and reverse. If the boat has brakes, learn how to use them.
- Learn the triggers if you have brakes. Flipping the triggers gently back and forth will help you learn how they work and get a sense of how they feel. It’s ideal to carry out this activity in a remote area or in the middle of a lake.
- Avoid using the performance keys or entering sport mode if you’re just starting out.
- Only give a Jet Ski a little gas because the throttle is delicate.
- Learn the device well. Before you turn on the maximum power, read the owner’s manual and become familiar with all the features.
10. Piloting a Jet Ski and Steering
There are a few things to bear in mind, but they’re a lot simpler to drive than most people would have you believe.
Many boats start out forward when you turn them on, so be ready to move if you do. If your boat has iBR, you will begin in neutral, but you should still be alert and ready.
Many watercraft require a small amount of throttle in order to steer. Older boats need this more because modern ones, like Sea-Doo, have off-throttle assisted steering.
Always ride at a safe distance from other people. Keep a safe distance and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep in mind that other boats can’t move as swiftly as you can on a Jet Ski.
On occasion, it’s wise to think that everyone else around you on the water is an idiot, and you should steer clear of them because they might not be paying attention and do stupid things. Always presume someone doesn’t know what they’re doing, says the person who was struck by a boat.
11. Neutral and braking
When it comes to watersports, brakes and neutral are not what you might expect them to be. There are still some Jet Skis without neutral or brakes, however, they are becoming more and more prevalent.
The problematic aspect is that boat and car neutrals are not the same. Because a Jet Ski has a direct drive, when the engine is running, the impeller that propels you forward also moves. Browse around this site.
On a Jet Ski, the neutral position, which is halfway between forward and reverse, is controlled by a bucket. If the watercraft moves slightly even in neutral, don’t be alarmed.
The brakes are the same bucket, but they don’t operate the same way as the ones in your car. When you apply the brakes on a Jet Ski, the machine actually goes into reverse to slow you down. Because of this, the brake and reverse levers are the same, and applying the brakes will cause the vehicle to slow down and finally move into reverse.
12. Docking and trailer loading
For rookie riders, docking might be challenging, but the key is to move slowly. If your vehicle has reverse or brakes, hit reverse after lightly tapping forward to slow down, then pull the trigger in to accelerate.
You want to slowly approach and then slow down; you don’t want to be moving at all. You are prevented from striking the dock too hard by this slow movement. More practice will enable you to dock successfully.
If you don’t have reverse or brakes, spin in a small circle without using the throttle before arriving at the dock. When the watercraft stops spinning and begins to move again, you point in the direction you want to travel and shut off the motor to coast into the dock. This spinning eliminates your momentum.
The last thing you want to do is get to the dock and inquire about what to do because by that time it will be too late and you will crash. Simply move slowly and line everything up when loading a trailer, exactly like docking. Here is a manual for loading and unloading.
13. No-Wake Zones
During no-wake zones, only idle. The white floating cones at a cove’s entrance or close to shore and boats are no-wake zones. This is done out of consideration for other people, to prevent waves from wrecking boats, and to keep waves at the ramps for loading and unloading modestly. It’s important to abide by the laws because the water police frequently issue the most severe fines in no-wake zones.
If you jump waves, your Jet Ski can lift out of the water, and you should prepare for impact. To aid with the hit, raise yourself a little bit.
When you first go out, stay away from large boats and busy locations. Even a 24-foot wake boat has the potential to create a significant wave. These large waves appear little from a distance, but when your boat approaches them, they enlarge.
If you’re not prepared, these surges can be frightening. Attack the wave head-on and cautiously; don’t let it come at you from the side since you run the risk of toppling over.
With the sizes of modern boats, barring the Rec-Lite models, it’s nearly necessary to intentionally try to fall off. In addition to choosing a tiny watercraft, overloading the watercraft is another surefire way to go off. To make getting back on the watercraft easier, it is advisable to choose one with a reboarding step.
The best way to roll the watercraft back over if you fall off for whatever reason is to follow the rollover instructions at the back. A 4-stroke watercraft shouldn’t be left upside down, and the rotation’s orientation is crucial.
In order to reboard the vessel, you will need to have some upper body strength. The difficulty of getting back aboard the craft increases with its size. When attempting to remount the rear, the watercraft’s nose will lift up; this is typical.
When reboarding, place one knee on the back of the craft with your other knee on the step for your feet and knees. Depending on how huge the ship is, it might seem a little unsteady, but it’s not too severe; some balancing might be required. Straddle the seat back to where you may once more drive after placing the other knee on the vehicle.
Remember that getting back onto a boat is more difficult than it first appears. You are drenched in water and must pick up both yourself and the water you are carrying. Getting back on a Jet Ski can be compared to climbing out of a pool using only the top 2 steps of a ladder, which slides somewhat.
If this is your first time riding, look for a free area where you may practice using the controls before taking off.
Ride with friends who already own Jet Skis and learn from them. Local riding organizations are frequently found, and you can learn advice from them as well. To find local Jet Ski riding groups, just check Facebook.
17. Giving Stuff Away
If you participate in any pull sports, a shock tube (Amazon Link Ad) is an excellent accessory to have. The tow ropes will be kept away from the watercraft’s impeller with the use of a shock tube. If you suck up the rope, it will almost always need to be brought in and put on a trailer to be removed. If you’re not careful, sucking up a rope may destroy your weekend, which makes investing in a shock tube even more worthwhile.
Avoid shallow locations since the vacuum you’re riding will pick up sand and rocks if you approach the shore too closely. You must stop the engine and coast into any water that is more than waist deep.
Sometimes you’ll swallow something floating in the water without realizing it, or your kids might swallow something without telling you. Training and increasing your awareness of your surroundings will assist to reduce the likelihood of these things happening. Only launch the boat in water no deeper than your waist.
18. Invest In The Right Jet Ski For You
New riders will see even the slowest Jet Skis as being swift. See the guide for information on why Jet Ski is excellent for beginners.
For adults of average size, a 3 seater may occasionally only fit 2 people. This mostly applies to the Rec-Lite categories, though it also touches on the recreation category.
I weigh 240 pounds, so I’m not small, yet I drive a compact Sea-Doo Spark. Although it is perfectly possible to ride a watercraft if you are larger, I do advise against doing so if you are overweight unless you enjoy being wet. The hardest aspect of jet skiing if you are overweight is getting back on the craft if you fall off.