How to Safely Operate a Jet Ski

The exhilarating feeling of racing over the water is the perfect way to spend a hot summer day. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to get on the water with a jet ski. Before you go, here are some jet ski safety tips to keep in mind.

Life Jackets Make Jet Skiing Safer

Every rider and driver needs a life jacket. Every life jacket needs to be properly fitting and worn while riding.

Bring the Proper Jet Ski Safety Equipment

Did you know that the US Coast Guard considers jet skis as Class A vessels? That means that rules for boats shorter than 16 ft. applies to jet skis. To be compliant, jet skis must carry certain items with them. These emergency items include a Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher, flame arrestor, ventilation system, a signaling device like a horn or whistle, registration on display, and a life preserver.

Keep the Key on a Lanyard or Cord

Imagine the terror of falling off your jet ski and your jet ski uncontrollably racing off and crashing. To avoid this tragic event, the key should be attached to a lanyard or cord when in the ignition. The lanyard or cord will be attached to the rider’s life jacket or around their wrist. If the rider falls off, the key gets pulled from the ignition.

Keep Your Jet Ski Properly Maintained

Like a car, equipment failures can happen while driving and cause accidents. A properly maintained jet ski is less prone to equipment failures than one that isn’t. Routine maintenance like changing engine fluids and checking for loose or damaged parts will help extend the life of your jet ski.

When in doubt, consult the owner’s manual about proper maintenance procedures.

Take A Jet Ski Safety Course

Some states and provinces do not require boaters to take a boating safety course. However, it’s still a good idea to learn safety procedures from the experts. Accidents are more common among jet ski drivers who don’t know proper safety procedures.

Some places that offer boating safety courses will also offer jet ski safety training that will teach you how to operate your jet ski under a variety of conditions and situations. Safety courses will also allow you to practice under the watchful eye of experts.

In some cases, you may qualify for an insurance discount on your personal jet ski if you can prove you’ve passed a safety course.

Drinking and Driving Isn’t Safe. Even on a Jet Ski

Some things mix well with alcohol. Jet skiing is not one of them. Alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions and messes with their response time. Even a buzzed driver may think they have enough time to cross in front of that runabout. They may not notice they’re heading into rocky waters, which is incredibly risky. It’s better to save the alcohol for after the jet skis are put away.

Don’t Go Into Shallow Water

While jet skis can go into shallower water than a boat might, a jet ski should never go into water that’s less than 3 feet deep. Operating a jet ski in shallow water at low speeds can damage the bottom, the impeller and the pump. At high speeds, the jet ski can catch on something and crash.

Don’t Ride With Too Many People

Sometimes three people want to ride the jet ski at one time. This is not safe, advised, or permitted. In an accident, this can cause an even more horrific tragedy. Similarly, some parents will place a little one in front while they race around. This is a dangerous practice. All passengers should sit behind the driver.

Maintain Safe Jet Ski Speeds

300 feet. That’s the distance it takes some jet skis to come to a complete stop when racing around at full speed.

The rush of adrenaline riders feel when accelerating across open water is invigorating. On a crowded lake, speeding could cause a disaster.

Don’t Cross Wakes Behind Boats

It’s so tempting to try and cross a wake behind a boat and catch some air. Wakes can be unpredictable, especially for jet ski riders. A boat’s wake could jerk the jet ski in the wrong direction or flip it over.

Are you interested in jet ski rental on Lake Coeur d’Alene? If so, contact us at Boardwalk Marina. We offer rentals of all kinds, including pontoon and speed boat rentals, paddleboards, jet skis, and more. We have everything your family needs for a fun day on the water, right here in downtown Coeur d’Alene.