Most states require you to wear a Helmet for your Motorcycle. If a jet ski is the motorcycle of the water wouldn’t wearing a helmet make sense?
Yes, wearing a helmet would make sense on a jet ski but there is more to it. The amazing part is that most states don’t require helmets at all on watercraft.
I want to go over all of this and show you the pros and cons of wearing a helmet on a jet ski and show you what I consider the best jet ski helmets to wear too.
Why Jet Ski Helmets Never Took Off For Watercraft
The biggest reason why jet ski helmets never took off for jet skis was that you didn’t have things like trees and sidewalks to hit like you would on a motorcycle.
Another reason was that for decades jet skis were never that fast and it’s only been in the last decade that we’re getting watercraft with more HP than most people’s cars. So the idea of safety is just now getting more and more prominent.
Who Should Consider Wearing a Helmet?
Besides people who race jet skis for a living, I feel that anyone under 18 should wear a jet ski helmet.
This is not a “think of the children” rant but let’s be honest, kids don’t always make smart decisions because they haven’t been alive long enough to see these types of problems arise.
I’ll be truthful and admit I was the kid doing the doughnuts on the watercraft and playing chicken with friends. You know, the normal stupid stuff. And thinking back on those times it would have been smart to have a helmet on.
For adults, you should strongly consider getting a jet ski helmet. Consider your riding style and how congested the water is where you live.
Perks of Helmets
Besides protecting your head, there are a few more perks to jet ski helmets that I want to go over.
- The first one is being able to strap a Go-Pro to it. This way you get the first person view of riding your jet ski.
- Not only that but you get full coverage which sounds obvious, but what is not so obvious is it protecting you from the sun and from hurting your jaw. Yes, your jaw. If you jump a big wave and then come down wrong you could end up smacking your jaw or face on the handlebars, that is why they have foam padding on the handlebars. Doesn’t matter how soft the padding is, a full face helmet protection would be better. Just something to consider if you love jumping the waves in the ocean.
- Then you also have the ability to strap goggles on to keep water (and bugs) out of your eyes when riding. Sure sunglasses can do the same, but goggles offer a better seal.
- For the few that love to ride in the winter, the helmet can work to keep your head and ears warm. As for the summer, the helmets have vents to keep you cool.
Downsides of Helmets
Before I talk about the downsides, I want to say that the positives far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to wearing a helmet on a jet ski.
The two biggest downsides are that a helmet can block your side vision more than not having one and also the slight blocking of sound. The sound thing is not as big of an issue as you might expect but the vision can be. But if you’re riding a jet ski, you need to be more aware of your surroundings anyway because boats don’t have roads and everyone can come at you in any direction.
The last downside only happens if you buy the wrong helmet. Many people will often recommend using a motorcycle helmet, but they don’t specify what kind of motorcycle helmet. You want full-face helmets and not the helmets that only protect the top of your head.
Let’s talk about what helmets to buy.
What Jet Ski Helmets To Buy
The problem with jet ski helmets is that there is not “A Jet Ski Helmet” you can buy. You must use helmets from other sports and buying the wrong one could be trouble.
The big no-no is generally going to be open-face motorcycle helmets. You’re only kidding yourself with a skull-cap helmet when riding a jet ski.
The best jet ski helmets are going to be the ones that are made for motocross and DOT approved.
I personally like Fly Racing helmets, but any lightweight full-face motocross DOT-approved helmet will work. This is what racers use as there is not a real “jet ski helmet” on the market.
The Best Jet Ski Helmets
Fly Racing Kinetic Straight Edge Helmet (Amazon Link Ad)
For the price, features, and it being DOT approved you’re not going to find anything better.
The view angles are quite good but it will take some time to get used to the helmet on your head when riding a jet ski.
You want a full-face helmet when riding your jet ski, if you hit a wave hard enough can hit your chin so you need the protection.
O’Neal 2Series Adult Helmet (Amazon Link Ad)
O’Neal makes what I call the second-best option if money is tight.
I do like how O’Neal makes it easy to take off the visor which I often try to do on the helmets I use for a jet ski. Going over 50mph the visor catches too much wind and can be annoying.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Do you ride with a helmet?
Or do you think they’re stupid?
Let me know below.