Unlike boats, jet skis sit very low to the water. Most of the time, it is pretty easy to hop on a jet ski while you are in the water. Whether its a little kid that doesn’t have the strength, or the water is really choppy, it might be hard to simply climb on to the jet ski. Therefore, most jet skis have room for a jet ski boarding step.
If you are ordering a new jet ski, I always recommend that you pay upfront to have the jet ski boarding step attached when you buy it. They make it way easier to board the jet ski, and it will be more expensive to have a jet ski boarding step attached after you purchase a jet ski.
That being said, if you have a jet ski without one, there are a couple options of where to buy a boarding step. This article will cover my list of the best jet ski boarding steps and ladders.
Best Jet Ski Boarding Steps
The three best jet ski boarding steps are the Hardline Boarding Ladder, the Young Marine Rope Ladder, and the Swing-Up Ladder.
Hardline Boarding Ladder – Best Overall
The Hardline Boarding Ladder is my absolute favorite boarding step. You can purchase it on amazon for around $20. I really like this ladder because it has 2 nylon steps that provide great grip and stability. It can carry a weight of up to 300 pounds, which should be able to accommodate just about anyone.
This ladder easily attaches to any type of jet ski. All you need to do is tie it around the harness in the back of the jet ski that you use for towing. You can easily store this ladder inside the storage hull, or you can tie it up and keep it attached to the back of the jet ski. The ladder is also fuel resistant so you don’t have to worry about the fuel from your jet ski deteriorating the ladder.
Young Marine Rope Ladder – Cheapest
The Young Marine Rope Ladder is also another good option. It is the cheapest ladder on the market (under $20), and similar to the Hardline ladder, it is easily attached to the back of any jet ski. While the rungs of this ladder are rope and don’t have as much grip, they do feature a reflective yellow color which is easy to spot in the water.
It also features 3 steps which make it easier for people with less upper body strength. Now, I personally prefer rope ladders because they have more steps and in my opinion they provide more help when getting on a jet ski. However, attachable step ladders are undeniably more stable. They are also easier from a storage standpoint since the retract up on the jet ski. If you are interested in attachable step ladders, continue reading below.
Swing-Up Ladder – Best for Sea-Doos
If you have a Sea-Doo, I suggest that you check out the Sea-Doo Swing-Up Ladder. While it is more expensive (~$200), it provides the most support and can easily be attached to any Sea-Doo model.
Best of all, this swing up ladder folds back up against the jet ski, so you don’t have to worry about storing it anywhere. It provides a lot of padding so you don’t have to worry about hitting your leg or knee against it.
Watercraft Step Ladder
If you are set on getting an attachable step ladder and don’t have a sea-doo, you should check out these step ladders. They are very similar to the Sea-Doo Swing-Up ladder, but they are compatible for all jet ski models (Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, and Polaris). They also cost around $200.
They are self-retracting, which means you don’t have to worry about storing it when you are not using it.
Jet ski step ladder safety tips
No matter what type of step up ladder you choose, there are a couple safety precautions you should always follow.
- Whenever someone is boarding a jet ski from the back, make sure the jet ski is completely turned off. If the engine is still running, the motor can cause serious injury to someone boarding. They might slip off, or their bathing suit might get caught on the jet ski.
- If you buy a rope ladder, never let the ladder hang while you are riding the jet ski. The rope might get stuck inside the impellor which can cause damage to the ladder and your jet ski’s engine.
- Never tow anyone while they are holding onto the jet ski step up ladder.
- Always wear a jet ski life jacket when you are riding a jet ski.
As I stated in the beginning, I suggest that you have a boarding step attached to your jet ski if you are buying a new jet ski. However, there are many cheap alternatives that you can use in case your jet ski doesn’t already have a ladder attached. If you are looking for more accessories, you should check out my list of other must-have jet ski accessories.