Jet skiing is that one water sport that everyone dreams about. There is nothing like skiing through the water and feeling the same rush of adrenaline that you get on a roller coaster. While this exhilarating sport occupies the fantasies of many people, what most of them fail to understand is the fact that jet skiing has its fair share of danger. These water mobiles are more than just fun toys and can be quite hazardous if operated in the wrong way.
So for all those that are planning on riding a jet ski for the first time, here are the top nine safety tips that you must follow:
Ensure the Jet Ski’s Reliability and Safety
Before you even think about riding a jet ski, you need to make sure it is well-maintained and fit for riding. Make sure that the engine is in perfect running condition and there is enough fuel in the tank to support your trip. Check all cables, oil levels and start the engine on land before taking your ride out on the water.
If it’s your own ride, make sure you properly maintain it and get it checked up frequently. If you’re just renting one, don’t settle for the low quality rides just to save some bucks.
Always Wear a Life Jacket
Once you have seen or obtained the necessary certification, its time for you to prepare yourself for the ride. Be you a beginner or a pro, anyone riding the Jet ski must strap on a life jacket. Jet skis are notorious for their high speeds and can go extremely fast in just a few seconds, hence losing control is always possible. Because of their high speed, if you fall you will be momentarily disoriented and this is exactly where your life jacket will ensure you stay afloat instead of sinking.
In order to ensure equal safety and entertainment, the Jet Ski Tips website recommends using the U.S coast guard approved life jacket.
Take a Jet Ski course
This course is important- especially for those that plan on owning a jet ski personally. The whole course is designed to give you more grip on the jet ski itself. These jet ski courses come under boating safety courses and give first time riders practical experience of riding which is necessary as most jet ski accidents take place due to collisions with other crafts. Therefore, be sure to give these courses a go before you invest your money in a jet ski and put yourself in danger.
Understand the Kill Switch
When riding a jet ski, you should attach the engine stop lanyard to your wrist or waist. So if the ski goes out of control and throws you off, the lanyard will help stop the jet ski from speeding and crashing into others. The engine will automatically stop as soon as the lanyard is pulled from the kill switch, bringing the ski to a halted state.
Being in the Right Space
Every water mobile, including boats and fishing vessels, has a right of the way. Similarly, jet skis follow the same rule. Therefore, if you see a craft or water mobile heading towards you, stay to the right. In case you are not experienced enough, then be cautious and keep your jet ski within designated areas. Most places that offer different water activities have divided areas in order to avoid any mishaps, so understand the limits and have fun within those limits.
Don’t Ride After Sunset
The most suitable time for riding a jet ski is from sunrise to sunset i.e. whenever the sun is shining bright. All other times are unsafe. This is because jet skis don’t come with their own navigation lights, or even if they do, it’s not enough to navigate at night in the sea. So when the sun goes down, don’t bother taking your jet ski out- unless you want to get lost in the middle of ocean.
Abide by Speed Limits and Avoid Stunts
It is natural to crave some more thrill and excitement as you ski along, but if safety is your priority (which it should always be) then you should focus on keeping it simple. There are no strict set speed limits- every locality has their own limits. But this doesn’t mean you are off the hook. You should ask around and follow the local speed limits. Over-speeding might seem thrilling, but 95% of accidents take place due to sharp turns and collisions, and these all trace back to one thing- breaking the speed limits. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
DO NOT Drink and Ski
The law of the land applies to the sea as well! Just like drinking and driving is banned on the roads, similarly don’t expect the law to change on the water. In fact, all serious operators won’t even let you get near a jet ski if they suspect you are drunk. But if you are in vacation mode, own a personal jet ski, and are tempted, remember the risk of riding or driving a fast-running water vehicle while your senses are compromised is not worth it.
Last but not least…
Learn to Swim
Even if you are fully equipped, following all the rules and do’s and yes’s, a jet ski will throw you off! Even the worst case scenarios will boil down to one solution and that is swimming. Therefore, be sure to get some swimming lessons before hitting the water.
Jet skiing is a one of a kind experience but in order to enjoy it fully, be sure to give it a proper run-down instead of just blindly diving in. Being a little prepared won’t take out the thrill, but it will give you more grip on these high-powered rides, enhancing the overall experience.