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What to Know Before You Take Your Jet Ski into the Ocean

a group of people on a boat in the water

A jet ski is an exciting and exhilarating riding experience that millions of people enjoy all year in different places all over the world. Riding a jet ski in the ocean is a whole different game from a river or lake setting, this can make or break your experience so it is important you are aware of what to expect so that you’re not going in blind. It may sound overwhelming but with careful preparation, you are sure to have a great experience. We will go over what to expect and know before riding your jet ski into the sunset in the ocean.

State Laws:

Every state has different laws so be sure to check the particular state you are in. We will go over some laws in California that may also be in place for other states. You must wear a personal floatation device AKA life vest or life jacket at all times, all boaters between 12 and 15 years of age require adult supervision (18 years of age or older) to operate any motor-powered vessel greater than 15 horsepower (including Personal Watercraft).

Don’t worry, we will make sure you are covered.

Recommended Experience Level:

In any sport there is a recommended level of experience one should have. Ocean jet skiing is not typically recommended for beginner riders. This does not mean a beginner rider should not try but this does mean they should definitely ride with someone is more experienced. We also strongly recommend riders or passengers know how to swim if the rider/passenger does not know how to swim we don’t suggest they go for a ride. The ocean can be a little more unforgiving than a river or lake because of how powerful the water is, be prepared for these waves and don’t panic if you fall off your ski. Panicking only makes matters worse!

Close to Shore/Calm Waves:
Recommended Experience: Beginner-Intermediate

Deep-Sea/ Aggressive Waves:
Recommended Experience: Advanced

Proper Jet Ski Riding Etiquette:

When riding or driving anything, know that your action also affects others around you. Being mindful of your own safety and others is essential, to ensure everyone with a fun riding experience. Don’t drink or intoxicate yourself before riding your ski (or anything for that matter). Keep in mind that skis can take up to 300 ft to come to a complete stop depending on how fast you are going, leave distance between you and other riders. And lastly, keep an eye out for other boater’s water-skiers, and other jet skiers who may be driving recklessly around you. Slow down or steer clear of these types of riders.

Safety Equipment:

Before you even unload your skis you should have all of the safety equipment you will be using out and ready to go. Three pieces of safety equipment you should have is your life vest (you are required to have this anyway. A helmet for those riders who want to have extra precautions (which doesn’t hurt), helmets can protect you from incoming flying objects or debris in the water. It could even potentially minimize the impact to your head should you fall off your ski and hit the ocean bottom (depending how far off the ground you are). And a reboarding ladder would be great to invest in if you don’t already have it on your ski.

Group Jet Ski Riding:

If possible it is ideal to ride in a group over, riding alone or with one other person. As we’ve mentioned before the ocean is very different from any other water setting, riding with a group of 3 or more skis can help just in case an unwanted accident or situation occurs like, running out of gas, or maybe just staying near to help other boaters see you in the case of you or someone else falling off of the ski. Besides, riding with a group for safety purposes, riding with a group is just more fun!

Reading Water & Wind:

The way you position your ski when coming into a wave is important. The wind plays a factor in which way the waves hit first. Start cautiously and don’t go full throttle if you are unfamiliar with the waters. Keep the nose up, shift your weight to the back to avoid you and your ski going underwater. We don’t recommend you try hitting waves during severe weather, for instance in a state that experience hurricanes. Pre-hurricane weather brings in nice waves, but in the event that your ski breaks down, you don’t want to be stranded when huge waves are coming at you.

Know Where You Are Going:

Do NOT start riding too far out into an unknown area, it is dangerous and can result in being in a dangerous situation. Of course exploring may be more fun and enjoyable than staying around an area you have ridden many times, but have a good idea of where and how far you have ridden. The last thing you want to do in run out of gas and then look up only to realize you don’t see any land and don’t know what direction you came from!
Here again, we got you covered. Are you looking for a tour? We can do that to!

What You Should Bring on Your Jet Ski Rental Trip:

There is limited storage in a jet ski that also varies from each ski. We recommend carrying a few items (aside from ones you are required to carry)
Waterproof Phone Case:
To store your phone in, phones may not have received if you are very far from land, but if you’re not that far they can sure get you out of an unwanted situation.

Multi-purpose Knife:
A knife can help you get out of something you may have been caught in like a net, seaweed or even unwanted debris.


You May Encounter Marine Life:

You are in the ocean after all, and in the ocean, there is marine life. Fish, whales, dolphins, sharks, etc maybe even the mighty Megalodon. It is not uncommon for dolphins to ride the wake your ski is creating! The point is, don’t expect to be alone and keep your eyes peeled for any of these creatures. If you do encounter an ocean animal keep calm and try to get away from it. Do not do anything to provoke an unwanted interaction, or even worse an attack. Don’t get off your ski to try and touch them. Remember these are WILD animals, in some cases, there is no telling what they could do or how’d they react.