How to Jet Ski

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Cruising through the water on a jet ski is great fun for both teenagers and adults. The sport is easy to learn, although some safety precautions must be followed to protect yourself and those around you. This is how you enjoy yourself safely on a jet ski.

  • Attach the engine shut-off clip to your wrist before you start your jet ski. This clip is a precaution to ensure that the engine is killed automatically should you be thrown from the jet ski. Check to be sure that your life jacket is secure and then start the motor.

  • Place both your hands on the handlebars and slowly engage the throttle. While you are in close proximity to the shore or dock, keep your speed at trolling, the lowest level. These speeds are generally 10 mph or less and do not create any wake.

  • Practice making turns at trolling speed until you are comfortable with the sensation of your weight shifting with the jet ski. Stay close to the shore while you are learning and avoid other jet skiers and boats.

  • Take the jet ski up to a higher speed so that the nose is slightly raised out of the water. This velocity is known as sub-planing and will create a small wake. Be aware that some water will be sprayed up into your face as you ride over choppier conditions.

  • Approach waves and the wake of other watercraft from the front. Depending on the size of the wave and your speed, the jet ski may be thrown into the air. Use your knees to raise yourself off the seat several inches while airborne to help lessen the impact when you hit the water again.

  • Stay aware of your surroundings at all times when you are learning to jet ski. If possible, go out on the water with a friend so that you will have help in case of an emergency. Refrain from trying tricks and traveling at high speeds when there are larger watercraft nearby.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you take a passenger with you, the extra weight may cause the jet ski to handle differently. If you are inexperienced, be sure you practice basic turns again before going beyond trolling speeds with a passenger.
  • If the jet ski runs poorly after capsizing, then ride it at a high speed for one to two minutes to help clear water out of the engine.
  • Most states don't require any training or license to pilot a jet ski, but the areas where the vehicles are allowed are often restricted by local laws.

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