So you’ve already found the perfect waterside destination for your next vacation, and one of the listed amenities on location is jet ski rentals.
Does the thought of riding a jet ski on your upcoming summer beach or lakeside getaway excite you? It should—because it’s a truly fun activity that boosts your adrenaline and leaves you feeling blissfully happy, but only if you know how to do it the right way.
Your safety is always priority number one when trying out recreational activities like hopping on a jet ski, especially if it’s going to be your first time. Getting on a jet ski could be one of the most exhilarating and freeing outdoor water activities you could ever do. But you should also inform yourself about safety precautions and prepare accordingly before taking the plunge.
Taking a jet ski safety course or researching how to ride a jet ski will help you get the confidence needed to have a go at it, especially if you are a first-timer.
The two main types of jet skis
You may come across two kinds of jet skis: the stand-up and sit-down jet skis. Both provide unique, fun experiences that will have you hooked.
Stand-up jet ski
Being on a stand-up jet ski would probably have to be the equivalent of riding a scooter, except that it’s on water, of course. This would probably be best reserved for those with a bit more experience or people with a higher physical fitness level than the average person. This is because operating a stand-up jet ski requires a good amount of balance.
Sit down jet ski
Sit down jet skis are the ideal option for beginners or those who want to have a more relaxed water activity experience that still brings a great deal of excitement. Besides having a more comfortable experience, since you will sit down while on this jet ski, you will have more control over the powerful machine.
5 things to remember for first-time jet ski riders
Like any sport or physical activity, jet ski riding involves some amount of risk. Those who have no prior experience riding a jet ski may likely be more prone to injuries, which is why it is vital to educate yourself and follow some critical protocols before heading out to the water.
1. Wear the appropriate swimwear
Wearing a bathing suit or wetsuit during colder seasons is best for jet ski riding. This allows for maximum range of motion, which means you will enjoy your jet ski time in the best way possible.
What’s more, getting wet with water will not bother you since you’re wearing the appropriate outfit for this fun watersport. Feet protection and some eye protection will also come in handy when riding a jet ski for the first time. Most importantly, always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Even experienced jet ski riders wear life jackets while having fun in the water.
2. Secure licenses and documentation if it applies
Vessel registration displayed on the decals, as well as licenses, may be required before operating a watercraft in some states or areas. Check with local authorities to ensure you have a hassle-free ride.
3. Ride straight
A jet ski is a powerful watercraft and is hard to control for inexperienced riders. Those trying it out for the first time might make the mistake of staring at the handlebars or the water right ahead of them. Lifting your head up and then looking off into the distance is best so that you can drive straight.
4. Carry safety gadgets and signaling devices
Having easy access to signaling devices like a whistle or a GPS is always a great idea, especially if you have no prior experience with jet ski riding. Having a functioning backfire flame arrestor, as well as a ventilation system, on hand is also useful for emergencies.
5. Always check your fuel levels
The fuel gauge will require your attention every so often. Remember to glance at it occasionally, especially if you have been riding for quite some time, or you might run out of fuel and get stranded in the middle of nowhere, far from the shoreline.
Relax and enjoy the ride
If you happen to fall off the jet ski, you may reboard from the back by reaching up to the handle just behind the seat and pull yourself up. If you have another rider and you both fall off, board the watercraft one person at a time so the jet ski won’t flip over.
To avoid fatigue, do not hold on too tightly to your jet ski riding partner if you are the passenger. If you are the one controlling, loosen up and remove any unnecessary tension so that you do not exhaust yourself prematurely. Remember to take it easy and enjoy the ride.