Florida visitors enjoy the weather, sights, food, entertainment, and activities the state has to offer. Water activities provide a great way to get relief from the heat and do something fun. For beginners, jet skis provide an opportunity to be on the water without driving a boat. Still, beginner riders should know the ins and outs before attempting to ride. To that end, American Watersports offers Jet Skiing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Jet Skiing.
Jet Skiing 101
So you want to rent a jet ski. First, you should know that a boating/personal watercraft (PWC) certificate is required in Florida. That being said, you can take the test online and get that completed at your leisure. Now that we’ve covered that, let’s move on to safety.
First, riders must always wear life vests. Boats must have life vests equaling the number of people on the boat, but only minors must be vested. However, adult jet ski riders must wear a life vest at all times.
Next, the jet ski key will be attached to either a lanyard or a wristband. When you insert the key into the ignition, you must keep it connected to the wristband on your wrist. This is imperative because the jet ski needs to stop running should you fall off. Otherwise, the jet ski would continue to run, which could be dangerous for other people on the water.
Finally, should you fall off the jet ski, remount it from the back. Attempting to board a jet ski from the side can cause the jet ski to roll. If there are two riders, only one person should mount at a time. Preferably, the driver should mount first.
Navigating the Water
Once you’re comfortable with onboarding and exiting the jet ski, as well as turning it on and off, you’ll focus on riding it. As you approach your water adventure, keep these tips in mind:
- The area around the marina or dock is always a no wake zone. A no wake zone is an area where the water should remain calm. Why? Watercraft causes wakes, which are waves emitting from the object moving through the water. The faster the object propels, the bigger the wake. All watercraft (boats, jet skis, etc.) must stay below 5mph in these zones so as not to cause issues with docked boats hitting one another or the dock.
- If you see an orange tow buoy, it means that boats pulling passengers have the right of way. Whether you’re in an orange zone or not, please be mindful of boats on the water, especially those pulling people on tubes and skis.
- If you approach waves or another boat’s wake, pass the wake at a 90-degree angle. This will keep your jet ski from tipping. Also, make sure you throttle through turns. Because jet skis don’t have rudders, they use propulsion. Laying off the gas going into a turn can launch you off the jet ski.
Planning a Trip to Fort Lauderdale?
American Water Sports provides jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals to Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors. Check out our current specials and give us a call at (954) 946-1811 with any questions.