Jet Ski Helmet – Do You Need One?
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 helmets to wear too.
Why Helmets Never Took Off For Watercraft
The biggest reason why 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 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 type 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 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 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 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 for 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 anyways because boats don’t have roads and everyone can come at you at any directions.
The last downside only happens if you buy the wrong helmet. Many people will often recommend using a motorcycle helmet, but the problem with that is those often have foam padding that loves to absorb water. You don’t want your helmet to get waterlogged if you fall off especially if you get knocked out.
Let’s talk about what helmets to buy.
What 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 most motorcycle helmets especially the ones that offer no full face protection. You’re only kidding yourself with a skull-cap helmet when riding a jet ski. And most motorcycle helmets have too much water absorbing foam that could water log your helmet which is super dangerous.
The best helmets are going to be the ones made for Downhill Mountain Bikes.
I personally like the ProFrame from Fox Racing because they offer the best airflow and overall protection. Not only that they’re super light and looks so freakin cool!
I do want to add that I usually take the visors off the helmet just in case I fall off I don’t want the visor to catch the water. Try to stick to bright color helmets too so that you stick out in the water.
The Best Jet Ski Helmets
Hands down the best jet ski helmet around. Not only does it look cool but it doesn’t get waterlogged and is super breathable.
The viewing angles are the best around, and you can hear just fine out of it.
Then let’s not forget the integrated chin bar is a must have if you plan on doing any wave jumpings or just plain riding. The chin protection is a must-have for any helmet when riding your jet ski!
Many riders keep coming back to this helmet because of how light it is compared to other helmets. Combine that with great vision and the padding it uses its honestly the best you can get.
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.
The inner padding helps to wick away sweat and meets DOT, ECE 22–05 and AS/NZS standards.
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.