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How to Ride a Jet Ski Like a Pro: A Beginner’s Guide

by Fabian Ortiz
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Jet skiing is a fun and thrilling water sport, but it can also be intimidating for beginners. Learn how to ride a jet ski like a pro with this guide.

Riding a jet ski is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have on the water. Whether you want to cruise along the shore, jump over the waves, or race with your friends, jet skiing is a fun and easy way to enjoy the outdoors. 

However, if you are new to jet skiing, you might feel intimidated or nervous about how to ride a jet ski like a pro. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

In this blog post, we will teach you the basics of jet skiing, from how to start and stop, to how to turn and balance, to how to avoid common mistakes and stay safe. 

We will also show you where to find the best jet ski rentals near me that offer affordable and reliable jet skis for beginners. 

What is a Jet Ski?

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by jet ski. Jet Ski is a brand name for a type of personal watercraft (PWC) manufactured by Kawasaki. 

However, it has become a generic term for any PWC that has a seat and a handlebar. Other popular brands of PWCs include Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Honda.

A jet ski works by sucking in water through an intake at the bottom of the hull and shooting it out through a nozzle at the back. This creates a jet of water that propels the jet ski forward. 

The rider can steer the jet ski by turning the handlebar, which changes the direction of the nozzle.

A jet ski can reach speeds of up to 70 mph (113 km/h), depending on the model and the conditions. 

However, most beginners start with slower speeds of around 30 mph (48 km/h) until they get comfortable with the controls and the balance.

How to Use a Jet Ski: The Basics

Before you hop on a jet ski, you need to make sure you have the right equipment and preparation. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Wear a life jacket

This is mandatory for any water sport, especially jet skiing. A life jacket will keep you afloat if you fall off or get into trouble. Make sure your life jacket fits snugly and securely.

Wear protective gear

Besides a life jacket, you should also wear goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and the water. You might also want to wear gloves, shoes, and a wetsuit or rash guard depending on the weather and the water temperature.

Check the weather and the water conditions

You don’t want to ride a jet ski in bad weather or rough water. Check the forecast and the tide before you go out and avoid riding in fog, rain, wind, or waves. Look for calm and clear water with good visibility.

Get familiar with the jet ski 

Before you start the engine, take some time to inspect the jet ski and learn how it works. Check for any damage or leaks and make sure everything is in good working order. 

Locate the throttle, the brake, the reverse lever, the ignition switch, and the emergency stop lanyard. The lanyard is a cord that attaches to your wrist or your life jacket and shuts off the engine if you fall off.

Follow the rules and regulations

Jet skiing is regulated by different laws depending on where you are. You might need a license, registration, or insurance to ride a jet ski legally. 

You also need to follow the speed limits, no-wake zones, and other signs and signals on the water. Respect other boaters and swimmers and keep a safe distance from them.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to start your jet ski adventure.

jet ski rentals near me

How to Ride a Jet Ski: The Skills

Riding a jet ski is not as hard as it looks, but it does require some practice and patience. Here are some skills you need to master:

Starting and stopping

To start your jet ski, insert the key into the ignition switch and press the start button. To stop your jet ski, release the throttle and press the brake lever. You can also use reverse to slow down or back up.

Accelerating and decelerating

To accelerate your jet ski, squeeze the throttle lever on the right side of the handlebar. To decelerate your jet ski, release the throttle lever gradually. Avoid sudden changes in speed or direction as they can cause you to lose control or fall off.

Steering and turning

To steer your jet ski, turn the handlebar left or right. To turn your jet ski, you need to apply some throttle as well. 

This is because the jet ski relies on the water jet to change direction. If you try to turn without throttle, you will lose momentum and steering. The sharper you want to turn, the more throttle you need to apply.

Balancing and leaning

To balance your jet ski, you need to keep your center of gravity low and stable. Sit upright and hold the handlebar firmly with both hands. Keep your feet flat on the footrests and your knees slightly bent. 

To lean your jet ski, you need to shift your body weight to the side you want to lean. This will help you make tighter turns and avoid tipping over.

How to Have Fun on a Jet Ski: The Tips

Now that you know how to ride a jet ski, you can have some fun on the water. Here are some tips to make your jet skiing experience more enjoyable:

  • Start slow and easy. Don’t rush into high speeds or sharp turns until you feel confident and comfortable on your jet ski. Start with slow and gentle movements and gradually increase your speed and agility as you gain more experience.
  • Practice in a safe and open area. Choose a location that has plenty of space and few obstacles for your jet skiing practice. Avoid crowded or narrow areas where you might collide with other boaters or swimmers. Look for a spot that has a launch ramp, a dock, or a beach where you can easily access and exit the water.
  • Ride with a buddy. Jet skiing is more fun and safer when you have someone to share it with. Ride with a friend or a family member who can help you in case of an emergency or a breakdown. You can also communicate with each other using hand signals or radios.
  • Try some tricks. Once you master the basics of jet skiing, you can spice up your ride with some tricks and stunts. You can try jumping over waves, doing donuts, spinning, or splashing. However, be careful not to endanger yourself or others with your tricks. Always wear a helmet and follow the rules and regulations.


Jet skiing is a fun and thrilling water sport that anyone can learn and enjoy. All you need is a jet ski, a life jacket, and some basic skills and safety tips. With this guide, you can learn how to ride a jet ski like a pro in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Find the jet ski rentals near me and start your jet skiing adventure today!

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