Is there any cooler way to cut through the water than a jet ski? They're sleek, they're fast, and, most importantly, they're a lot of fun. But jet skis can also be incredibly dangerous if operated without experience.
If you've only recently learned how to ride a jet ski, here are six key jet ski safety tips you need to follow.
1. Always Ride With the Proper Safety Equipment
Before stepping foot on that jet ski, make sure you have all the safety equipment you need.
A good, US Coast Guard-approved life jacket is an absolute necessity. You must wear your life jacket at all times when riding a jet ski.
The odds of falling off a jet ski are higher than with a boat, and the high speed equals a harder collision with the water. A life jacket will keep you from drowning, and soften the blow a little.
The other essential piece of equipment is a kill cord.
A kill cord comes attached to your jet ski's key. The idea is you slip the kill cord loop around your wrist. Then, if you fall off your jet ski, it'll kill the engine, stopping your jet ski from flying off through the water.
Other safety equipment you might consider is a safety whistle and a jet ski fire extinguisher. Yes, even on the water you could be at risk of a fire. Jet ski fire extinguishers are made compact, perfect for use on a jet ski.
2. Be Alert, Don't Push It
Just like driving a car or a boat, it's important to stay alert at all times.
Pay attention not only to your own speed and safety but to your surroundings. Keep your eyes and ears open for other boats. You never know when another boater might come ripping toward you, requiring you to make a sudden move.
Don't go faster than you're comfortable with. If you're losing control, don't push it. Slow down and regain yourself, and stick to a speed you can maintain.
Going fast is tempting, but it's not worth risking your life over.
If you have a guest on the back of your jet ski, respect their wishes. Don't go faster than they want, and don't make them do anything they don't want to. Overall, respect other drivers on the water at all times.
3. Don't Drink & Jet Ski
This should go without saying, but you absolutely should not drink and operate a jet ski.
Drinking warps your vision, reaction time, coordination, and judgment. It can cause you to make a dumb move, or simply not notice something immediately dangerous in your vicinity. Plus, it's illegal, and getting caught drinking and jet skiing might get you a serious fine or jail time.
Just because you're on the water doesn't mean you're free from the law. Never drink and operate a jet ski.
4. Maintain Your Jet Ski
Many jet ski accidents happen because of improperly maintained equipment.
You should always give your jet ski a maintenance check before riding it for the first time. This is especially true if you bought your jet ski used, or if it's been sitting in storage for a few months.
You'll want to check the engine fluids like oil and fuel, and have a general search for any damaged or loose parts. If you have old fuel in the tank, consider changing it. Read through the owner's manual and make sure everything is working as it should be.
You should also give your jet ski a general cleaning to ensure it's running at full force.
If anything is off, get it fixed or replaced before taking your jet ski out on the water. You can often do this yourself, but if not, call a professional. Hitting the water in a damaged jet ski can result in further damage and personal injury.
5. Dry Dock Your Jet Ski
One of the worst things you can do for your jet ski is to leave it in the water when not in use.
Leaving your jet ski bobbing in the water causes more wear and tear than is necessary. The water can build up inside the jet ski, which can damage the internals. This may lead to sudden failure while operating the jet ski, leaving you stranded in the water.
The best practice is to dry dock your jet ski. You can purchase a jet ski lift, which keeps the jet ski suspended off the ground when not in use. You can also get a floating lift, which lets you drive the jet ski right onto it from the water.
6. Wear a Helmet
While there's no law that says you have to wear a helmet on a jet ski, you absolutely should.
The impact of falling off a jet ski is much harder than you probably realize. It can cause serious injuries and even death in the worst cases. Even worse might be running full-speed into a boat!
A watercraft helmet keeps your head safe when riding a jet ski. This can save you from head injuries, including brain damage if you fall off your jet ski. It's unlikely that this will happen, but it's always better to be safe than sorry in this respect.
Hey, if Jay-Z rides his jet ski with a helmet, so should you.
Jet Ski Safety: A Must-Know
Before you step foot on your jet ski, familiarize yourself with the jet ski safety tips above. Following these tips could mean the difference between life and death in the most serious cases. Knowing how to ride a jet ski safely means a fun, stress-free time for everyone involved.
If you're looking to buy a boat or jet ski at an affordable price, contact us and see what we can do for you.