When you’re first starting out, learning how to ride a jet ski can be a bit intimidating. Many modern jet ski’s top 70mph so it can be very easy for an inexperienced person to get injured.
Learning how to ride a jet ski is fairly easy, but to make it even easier, I compiled this list of tips that might help you out.
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#1 Be prepared
Make sure you have a life jacket, proper documentation, and enough fuel for the day. Many states require a life jacket by law and sometimes a license is required as well. It’s good know what is needed beforehand just in case.
Related: Best Jet Ski Life Jackets
#2 Understand the watercraft
Different jet ski’s have different controls. Know where the throttle is and where the emergency shut off is. Make sure you attach the emergency shutoff laniard to yourself in case you fall off at any point. If the jet ski you’re riding has a braking system, locate that as well. Before you learn how to ride a jet ski you should familiarize yourself with the specific watercraft you’ll be riding.
#3 Getting started
Get seated comfortably and place both hands on the handlebars. After starting the jet ski slowly begin to push the throttle. Cruise around at about 5-10mph until you get away from the shoreline.
Some people find it helpful to stay close to the shore for a while until they get comfortable with the sensitivity of the throttle.
After you’re a safe distance from the shore, it’s okay to increase your speed a little bit.
Stay within your comfort zone and practice turning at a slow speed. Lean in the direction you want to turn, and have any passengers do the same.
Keep in mind most jet ski’s require you to accelerate in order to turn since there is no rudder. Some advanced jet ski can turn without accelerating, but the majority can’t.
#5 Riding Wakes
Once you become comfortable riding, you’ll be able to start jumping wakes. Learning to jump wakes is arguably one of the best parts about riding a jet ski. The main thing to remember is to take things slow. Going too fast to jump a wake will result in the jet ski pushing through the wave rather than jumping it. Jumping wakes properly takes practice.
Related: How To Jump a Jet Ski
After you learn how to ride a jet ski, take these extra tips into consideration.
– Check to see if it’s legal for you to ride a jet ski.
To be honest, just about anyone can learn how to ride a jet ski, but in some states a license is required. Many states have age requirements, but those can vary. Check your local laws to be sure you’re allowed to ride without a license.
– Be aware of your surroundings
This is a tip I can’t stress enough. Riding a jet ski is almost like riding a motorcycle. Most people aren’t looking out for you so you have to look out for yourself. The majority of waterways are open and uncrowded but that doesn’t stop accidents from happening.
Related: Jet Ski Helmet Alternatives
– Know your limits
After a while you will become comfortable riding a jet ski, and you may start to try pushing the boundaries. While there’s nothing wrong with having some fun, a line needs to be drawn somewhere. Be safe, and be smart.
– Never operate a jet ski while drinking
Just about everyone knows not to operate a motorized vehicle while drinking, but its worth bringing up. A good time can turn into a bad time very quickly when alcohol is involved.
– Have good etiquette on the water
There are a few rules to follow on the water that beginners may not know. Jumping the wakes of a boat may be fun, but not everyone wants a jet ski following them up and down the lake. Make sure the boat is a safe distance away before jumping their wake, and be sure they aren’t towing anyone or fishing off of the back.