12 Jet Ski Safety Tips: Enjoy the Ride Responsibly
Jet skiing is an exhilarating experience that brings joy to many people of all ages. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, it's essential to prioritize safety while on the water. Safety when using any watercraft is paramount, but the media coverage surrounding Jet ski accidents, and the optics surrounding jet ski users can be off putting for potential users. As with most sporting or physical recreation activities there are some risks so here we run through 12 dangers to be aware of when jet skiing and how to prevent them:
Effects of bad jet ski safety:
Flipping The Jet Ski:
Flipping a jet ski can happen, especially if you're an inexperienced skier or not familiar with handling that particular model. To avoid this, make gradual turns, know your skill limits, and be cautious of waves regardless of whether you are moving or stationary. Remember, waves can come from any direction when there are other vessels on the water around you, and even a small ski can cause substantial waves if passing you at speed. It is also worth remembering that carrying a passenger, especially an inexperienced one, causes additional weight and can change the balance and handling of your ski.
What To Do If You Capsize:
If you flip, let go and turn off the engine immediately (your kill cord should have done this for you). Swim to the back, flip the jet ski over following the sticker's instructions, and get back on carefully. Always prepare in advance by reading the instructions for your specific jet ski to ensure you know how to flip it back over prior to getting out on the water.
Falling Off The Ski:
Falling off the jet ski can lead to injuries, so always drive at a comfortable speed. Stay away from rocky terrain, shallow or grassy water and wear protective gear like a lifejacket, jet ski shoes, wet/dry suit, and goggles. If you do fall, try to land on your back if possible as this is the most likely position to prevent injury. Remember, when travelling at high speeds, the surface of the water can feel very much like a firm surface and will hurt. British water is often very cold, and can be quite shocking when you unexpectedly submerge, so try to stay calm and safe.
Irresponsible Jet skiing can lead to injury of yourself or others around you, so remember to stay alert, and be mindful of what is happening around you. There are multiple ways a jet ski can cause injury, from life changing and serious trauma cause by high speed collisions, to general bumps and bruises from falling off. So be area, and stay in control of your ski to avoid this.
Breaking A Law And Getting Ticketed:
Yes, there are still laws on waterways, and people can and will be held responsible for any accidents resulting in irresponsible skiing. Observe all boating laws, including speed limits, no-wake zones, and required safety gear. Don't drink and drive and have the necessary licenses and registrations. Many marinas have a speed limit of 5 mph to ensure the safety of all vessels, and modern Jet Skis such as the Yamaha Waverunners have a low speed cruise control for convenience and safety under these circumstances.
Damaging The Jet Ski:
Inexperience and recklessness can damage your jet ski. Avoid shallow waters, watch for submerged objects, and be familiar with the controls to prevent accidents.
Causes of bad jet ski safety:
Loading On Trailer Or Floating Dock Too Fast:
When loading your jet ski, take it slow to prevent damage to the ski and dock. Start slowly, and give a little gas when aligning with the trailer or dock.
Underestimating How Long It Takes To Stop:
Remember that jet skis require more distance to stop compared to cars. Practice stopping in an open area to get a feel for your ski's braking capabilities. The braking capabilities of jet skis vary from brand and model throughout the years, with new safety technology being implemented all the time, including Yamaha Waverunners fabulous new RiDE technology for emergency braking. The new Yamaha Waverunners have RiDE technology, which works essentially like a reverse gear, which can be used for slow manoevers, and also hard braking.
Riding Or Cutting Too Close To Other Crafts:
Stay away from other vessels, give way to vessels without motors, and be aware of right-of-way rules to avoid collisions. PWC training contains some theory around the rules of the waterways for Jet Skis, and other vessels to help ensure that you maintain a safe positioning in relation to others on waterways. But in short:
- If it’s bigger than you (which everything is), give it right of way.
- Its called RIGHT of way, so pass on the right (starboard).
- Make your movements clear and in advance
Passage Planning & Getting Lost:
Always be aware of your surroundings, use navigation apps or paper maps, and always have a plan. If you get caught out in the sea, get lost and have to be rescued, the coast guard WILL want to see your passage plan, and will be most unhappy with you to discover you were winging it.
Running Out Of Gas:
Be mindful of your gas usage, carry extra fuel if necessary, and be aware of your ski's gas gauge limitations.
Getting Caught In A Storm:
Check weather forecasts before riding, and if a storm approaches, head to shore immediately. Remember waves are potentially much more dangerous to a jet skier than a boat, and as an inexperienced jet skier you should not be heading out in anything over a 2 on the Beaufort scale.
Letting Inexperienced Riders Use Your Ski:
Be cautious about letting inexperienced riders use your jet ski. If you do, use the custom speed feature to limit performance and gauge their handling abilities. Remember, letting an inexperienced skier use your Jet Ski may not only be potential cause for accidents, but if an accident does occur then you may find that your insurance does not cover you. Be mindful that many lakes and slip ways will require you to show proof of competence (in the form of a RYA backed PWC certificate) in order to allow you to use their locations.
By following these safety tips, you can maximize your enjoyment on a jet ski while minimizing potential risks. Always prioritize safety to have a thrilling and safe experience on the water.
Burton Waters Yamaha Waverunner Jet Ski Dealer in Lincoln and UK
At Burton Waters we believe in a safety first approach to Jet Skiing, which is why we have partnered with Yamaha as an authorised Yamaha Dealer for the UK. Yamaha waverunners are the perfect balance of speed and adrenaline, tempered with excellent safety features for the whole family. Check out our variety of Yamaha Waverunners for sale here!We have partnered with our local Jet Ski Training centre, so speak to the team today to enquire about how we can help you stay safe on your brand new jet ski!