Riding a jet ski can be an exhilarating experience, especially when you hit the first wave. If you are new to this activity, here are some basic instructions:
When sitting on the jet ski, your feet should rest comfortably on the footrests and you should be able to easily reach the handlebars. Place the safety lanyard around your wrist. Using the key attached to the lanyard, start your personal jet ski. Accelerate slowly and maintain a slow speed until you are a safe distance from the shore or pier. Once you're in open water, gradually increase your speed. As you navigate through the water, be aware of your surroundings in front of, behind, and to each side of your PWC.
When driving in a straight line, ease up on the accelerator so you can take turns easily. Keep all accelerations and movements fluid. When turning, you and your passengers should lean in the direction you want to go. In tight turns, remember to maintain constant acceleration. As you do this, be sure to center and balance the weight of the load on your PWC to avoid tipping over. Be aware of marked no-navigation zones. In these areas, do not accelerate the watercraft. Instead, idle until you are out of no-navigation parameters. When you hit waves, keep a firm grip on the bars and raise your body slightly to hold on. You may need to modify your speed or navigation in certain circumstances, such as inclement weather or low light.
One of the most important tips for beginners when it comes to riding a personal watercraft, Sea-Doo, or other PWC is knowing what to do if you fall out of the boat. Although modern personal watercraft have built-in safety features that make it easy to stay on board, it's best to be prepared for any possible scenario.
If you fall, follow these steps:
If, at any point in this process, you feel unsafe or unable to get back on your personal watercraft, blow your emergency whistle..
If traveling with a passenger, the person most experienced in operating a personal watercraft should drive until the other is more familiar with safe water navigation.
Before the passenger gets on the jet ski, the rider must get into a comfortable position. Once the driver is ready, the passenger should carefully straddle the back seat and wrap their arms around the driver's waist.
The passenger must maintain a secure grip, but avoid over tightening the driver. It is vital that the driver and passenger are able to communicate while in the water, so that they can inform each other of any emergencies or give warning before turning the boat.
To ensure the safety of all involved, the passenger must always face forward, and both driver and passenger must wear a life jacket.
While many of the items listed above will enhance your trip and help keep you comfortable, some may be required by law, depending on where you live. Always consult local rangers or Coast Guard personnel for guidance.