Yes, you can wakeboard or wake skate or even tube behind a watercraft.
Things like rider weight and what jet ski you use do affect it, but most jet skis will allow you to pull something.
Most states and countries require you to follow certain rules for pulling anything behind your watercraft. Since there are so many states and so many rules, I recommend you google your state’s laws on PWC’s.
Many states require you to have mirrors and/or a spotter. Some states require you to have both.
Most, if not all, require you to have a life jacket on. You would be crazy to not have one on. When it comes to wakeboarding, I like to have a neoprene life jacket like this one*. The neoprene feels the best when you’re out on the water moving around.
If you intend to do any pull sports, then only use a 3-person watercraft. Never use a 2-person as they never have enough weight, and it’s illegal in most places.
Minimum HP For Wakeboarding
When it comes to wakeboarding behind a jet ski, you want a minimum of 90HP, with 130HP and 170HP being the perfect horsepower for most wakeboarders.
Below is a video of a 90HP Sea-Doo Spark pulling a wakeboarder just fine.
I would stay away from jet skis with too much horsepower, anything over 260 HP is overkill and can get someone hurt.
The Best Jet Ski For Wakeboarding
The best jet ski for wakeboarding is the Sea-Doo WAKE Series of watercraft.
The Sea-Doo WAKE 170 and 230 offer a lot of value that you can’t find anywhere else, and is ideal for wakeboarding.
The features of the Sea-Doo WAKE models include:
- SKI-Mode – It allows you to control take-off power and top speed to give you the perfect pull every time.
- Ski Pylon – The pylon gets the tow-rope up higher and at a better towing position for the wakeboarder. It also doubles as handles for the spotter to hold on to when riding backwards.
- Wakeboard Rack – Sea-Doo gives you a wakeboard rack to get it out of the way when riding.
The Sea-Doo WAKE models come in two sizes and two engine sizes. The smaller WAKE is based off the Sea-Doo GTI hull and is 170HP, and the bigger WAKE PRO is based on the GTX hull and has a 230HP engine. The 170HP is more than enough power for most pull sports, but the 230HP has just a little bit more force that many pros like to feel.
Yamaha VX Limited For Tubing
Yamaha does have something interesting if you only care about tubing.
The Yamaha’s VX Limited comes with a single-person tube. It is a nice touch and at a great price too.
How To Wakeboard Behind A Jet Ski
Wakeboarding behind a jet ski is very different than behind a boat.
A jet ski won’t give as much of a wake and will give off a different feeling when being pulled, but overall, it’s fun and easy to do once you know how.
Below is a video showing you how to wakeboard.
How Many People Can You Pull?
When it comes to pulling tubes, don’t buy a tube that is rated for 3 or more people. You should only buy a single person or two-person tubes. This is a law in most places.
The reason is that if you have a 3-person watercraft, then you only have room for 3 people TOTAL. It’s against the law to pull a 3 or more on a tube, as you can’t fit over 3 people on a watercraft.
This is because if someone gets hurt, you need enough room for them to get on and get back to safety. So with a 3-person jet ski, you have one person driving, and you have a max of two people on the tube. If someone got hurt, all 3 have enough room to ride back to safety.
Always have the engine off when people are boarding and leaving the jet ski. When the engine is on, the impeller is spinning!
How Much Weight Can A Jet Ski Tow?
While jet skis have a lot of power, the max weight they can tow can’t exceed their weight capacity.
Most jet skis have a weight capacity of 600 pounds, that’s rider weight and gear, so towing capacity of a jet ski will be gear minus rider weight. If a rider and all gear on board is 250 pounds together, that leaves you 350 pounds the jet ski can tow.
A jet ski can tow more weight if it’s not related to tow sports, for example towing another jet ski, but for safety when doing tow sports you should stick to the weight capacity of the jet ski.
I would avoid towing other boats that are much larger as your jet ski doesn’t have enough weight and if it’s windy enough you’ll get thrown around and may get hurt.
Boat Vs. Jet Ski – Learning To Wakeboard
A jet ski is easier to learn wakeboarding on compared to a boat.
A jet ski is smaller and easier to reset compared to a boat. A boat will need to make wider turns and work in a larger area compared to a jet ski. A jet ski is also easier to get on and go compared to a boat.
Don’t Forget This
It’s not a matter of if you’re going to suck up a rope, it’s a matter of when you will suck it up. Trust me, it happens to everyone. If you do suck up rope, then this is what you do here.
To keep from sucking up the tow-rope, you need a shock tube*. This little thing can save you money and time. It’s the best defense you have from sucking up tow-rope.
1 thought on “Can You Wakeboard Behind A Jet Ski?”
I have a ski boat with a tower and have years of experience wakeboarding. I recently bought a SeaDoo Wake 155 and tried wakeboarding behind it for the first time yesterday. In principle it seems ideal for getting a wakeboarder up. In addition to cruise control it has five different ski-mode ramp profiles to increase the speed at increasing rates. I tried ramps 1 to 4 and got up on each of them on the first try, but it took a long time to get me up and I was dragged through the water for a long time. in fact all ramps seemed pretty similar and the driver said that too, as if the ski could not really pull hard enough to stay on the ramp profile. I weigh 210 lb and there were two people on the ski. When we tested the ramps without a wakeboarder they worked fine and each ramp had faster acceleration than the previous one. Once I was up and riding, the ski towed me with no problem and there was even a surprisingly nice wake and I could get a little air. By comparison, my boat is a 1985 Dixie skier with 260 HP with wake tower and Hydrophase Ridesteady GPS cruise control and it gets me up right away.