Visibility… It’s Why Jet Skis Shoot Water In The Air! It’s Also A Gimmick

Have you ever marveled at a jet ski zipping across the water, its rear shooting water into the air? It’s a common sight, but did you know not all jet skis have this feature? In fact, it’s unique to Yamaha Waverunners. If you’re curious why only Waverunners have this feature and whether it’s something you can control, you’re not alone.

With years of being in the world of jet skis, I’ve encountered this question more times than I can count. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the thrill of jet skiing, understanding these nuances can enhance your experience on the water.

In this article, I’ll dive into the reasons behind the water spray, debunk common myths, and offer insights into its functionalities. Plus, I’ll share whether you can turn this feature off, ensuring your next ride is exactly as you want it.

Ready to unravel the mysteries of your jet ski’s rooster tail spray? Let’s get started with a closer look!

It’s Waverunners, Not Jet Skis That Do It!

I honestly don’t care if you call a Yamaha Waverunner or a Sea-Doo a jet ski, but I do need to make the distinction for this post.

The only jet skis on the market that have this function are all made by Yamaha, it’s their “thing”.

Hopefully, I drove that point home because it matters if you want to remove it and knowing the right words will get you the parts you need.

Why do Waverunners Shoot Water In The Air?

It’s only Yamaha waverunners that shoot water in the air.

The 3 reasons why they do it:

1. Visibility

Waverunners are tiny and nimble; It’s easy to lose sight of one, especially when the water is busy.

One solution Yamaha came up with is to use the jet pump to shoot a stream of water in the air to better see them during the day. Since there is a lot of power coming out of a jet pump, this water spout can go very high, above waves, thus making you more visible.

This water spout is how it gets its rooster tail look and since people can see them further away, it’s why people relate the tails to waverunners.

2. Trademark

It’s like how Harley-Davidson Motorcycles have their unique engine sound.

Or how a Mercedes-Benz makes that unique sound when you close the door.

Yamaha’s thing is shooting water in the air to give it a rooster tail.

3. To Annoy Or Cool

One downside of a Yamaha shooting water up in the air is that if you pull a tube or skier, they get constantly hit with water.

Not only is it annoying for tow sports, but in group rides it annoys anyone near your waverunner. They don’t even need to be directly behind you, the wind can carry the water droplets all over the place and really make other riders annoyed.

The water can block their view and just be constantly annoying, so many Yamaha owners remove the rooster tail feature.

Why You Don’t Need It

While shooting water in the air behind your waverunner does make it more visible, it’s only slightly.

After a while, the slight visibility it gives you is not worth the annoyance.

1. Pull tubes

If you’re pulling someone on a tube or wakeboarding, the water spout will often hit them in the face, making it harder to see.

This could be a good thing if you want to cool off, but it does get annoying quick.

2. Hits You

It’s not only the people you pull but if the wind gets you just right, or you hit a bump just right, you get wet from the spout.

It may seem funny to worry about getting wet on a waverunner, but not every moment you want to be wet or get water in your face.

3. Limits Accessories

The water spout also limits what you can carry in the rear, like a cooler or gas cans.

4. Riding Groups

That rooster tail of water can also anger others in your riding group for getting them wet or blocking their visibility.

5. Racers Remove It

Most of the people who race them will remove this water spout. It’s the thrust of the craft that pushes that water in the air, and as a racer, you want full thrust for moving you forward.

How The Rooster Tail Works

The rooster tail is driven by the output of the jet pump.

A small tube takes water from the jet pump’s output and shoots it into the air.

This process doesn’t involve any special pumps or connections to the cooling system. This means it’s easy to turn off.

How To Turn Off The Rooster Tail

To remove the rooster tail from your Waverunner is as simple as removing a hose at the jet pump, as covered in the video below. The hose has no other purpose, so it’s fine to remove it.



I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

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