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How to Ride a Jet Ski

Updated February 21, 2017

Jet Skis are small motor vehicles that you can use on the water. Jet Ski is actually a brand name for a specific maker of personal watercraft vehicle, but it has become a term often used to describe all such vehicles. Usually, each Jet Ski fits two riders and takes regular gasoline. If you have never ridden a Jet Ski, it is quick and easy to learn how to use one properly and become an the expert on the water.

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  1. Examine the Jet Ski and its controls before you get into the water. The operations manual will help you to identify all of the features of the Jet Ski and what to use while you are riding. If an operations manual is unavailable, find an expert on Jet Skis at the local rental or store to help you to understand the full functionality of the Jet Ski you intend to ride, as each personal watercraft vehicle is different.

  2. Move the Jet Ski out into the water and away from the dock before starting the engine. The watercraft can be lifted into the water and pushed away from the dock manually. Then put the key in the ignition and start the engine. Once you are idling, begin to experiment with speed. Behind the handle bars are levers that control speed. Squeezing the levers will increase or decrease the speed of your Jet Ski. As a new rider, a low speed will help you to become more comfortable with your personal watercraft.

  3. Avoid tight turns, as a new rider, because these can be more difficult and increase your chances of tipping the Jet Ski. Instead, make wide turns. Gently turn the handles, as you would bike handles, in the direction you would like to turn. Slowness is key to ensure your turn is not tight and you do not fall off the Jet Ski.

  4. Tip

    Some advanced riders of Jet Skis prefer to ride standing up. To do this, you must rent or buy a specific Jet Ski intended for this purpose as it is built differently. To ride standing up requires your feet to be on a platform and for you to maintain superior balance. Only those who are excellent at swimming and prepared for an exciting ride should attempt to ride while standing. Check to see if the Jet Ski you are riding offers the function of attaching your life vest to the key so the engine will cease to run if you fall off of the personal watercraft. Always wear a life vest or jacket. As a beginner, choose bodies of water with few other people and where the waters are not overly choppy. You may want to partner with a fellow Jet Skier who may be able to help you learn and who can build your confidence in your knowledge of the Jet Ski and your abilities.

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About the Author

Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.

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