If you’re new to jet skis and have no clue where to start, then you came to the right place. I have gathered a list of the common mistakes that beginner jet ski owners make.
After you get done with this guide feel free to explore this site as I have a ton of information on jet skis.
Sucking Stuff Up
Sucking up rope, rocks, sticks, and even maps are very common for new jet ski riders. I’ve seen people who just picked up their jet ski and take it right to the water and start it upright on the shore and suck up so much sand and rocks that it shuts the engine off. That is a great way to ruin the weekend, and they had to bring the machines back to get them fixed.
This happens more than you think, and it’s not a matter of “if” you’ll suck something up, but “when.” It’s best to start the watercraft in at least waist-deep water. Use an impeller protector (Amazon Link Ad) to keep tow ropes away from the pump. And above all else be more aware of your surroundings and the depth of the water. Keep in mind you’re riding a giant vacuum that has more horsepower than most people’s cars.
“Don’t be that guy.” You know the guy, the one who goes full power through the no-wake zones and blast by people’s docks. When you launch your watercraft, leave a marina, or leave someone’s dock, there is usually a no-wake zone where you must idle out of it.
There are several reasons for a no-wake zone; the biggest one is for safety. You’re in close courters with other boats and docks and for your safety and everyone else’s you must go slow. Also, the no-wake zone is to stop wakes which make it hard to load or unload your boat.
Getting Something Too Powerful
Let me be the first one to tell you that if you never rode a watercraft before then any watercraft you get, even the base model ones, will feel fast. Even if you rode ATVs or motorcycles before, riding a watercraft is different.
If you’re new stick to non-supercharged models so you can get a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into. I’ve had people get a new watercraft, and they’re always blown away by how fast it is. Some people never go past 30mph which seems slow but that 30mph on a watercraft feels like 70mph in a car. That is because you don’t have a helmet or protective roll cage around you, so everything comes at you faster.
Not Learning Their Machines
Don’t buy a watercraft and not spend any time learning how to use it. It’s NOT like driving a car or ATV or Motorcycle. You should learn all the basics before you ever get on the watercraft like the brake and how to throttle at low speed.
If your jet ski has iBR or RIDE then it’s important you learn how those work. Those are your brakes and learning how they function is very important too.
You need to understand what each of your keys and modes of your watercraft do. All the information you’ll need to know about your watercraft will be in the owners manual. If you have a Sea-Doo, then I do have a video about how to drive a Sea-Doo here.
For the complete guide on how to drive a jet ski check out my post here.
Keep Your Distance
Not only should you keep your distance from docks and no-wake zones, but you should also keep a distance from others you ride with. If you’re riding too close to someone and they decide to change directions you both could crash into each other.
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance from each other. Water police will even pull you over if they see 2 jet ski riding way too close to each other.
Not Having The Correct Gear
I have a post here where I talk about all the must have jet ski accessories. Don’t forget to get things like sunscreen and wear protective gear like a Life Jacket.
I also have a post on what shoes to wear.
Not Securing Your Jet Ski
Thieves love jet skis, but only if they’re easy to get to. Some people never lock their jet skis down, and some are even crazy enough to leave the keys in the glove box.
I go into great details here about how to lock down your jet ski.
Not Having A Phone
I know this one can sound crazy, but if you get lost, hurt, or need to see where the other riders are a smartphone can help with that. Did you know your jet ski needs to have its own smartphone? Yeah, I know crazy right? But let me explain here.
Not Covering Your Jet Ski
So many people don’t cover their jet skis when they’re not using them. The Sun can fade that fiberglass quickly and dry out the seats so much so that they can tear. If you want your jet ski to look good for years, then you got to cover it.
If you have questions about jet ski covers then I have a guide here that may help.
Not Keeping Batteries Charged
If you don’t ride your jet ski or even your car for months then the battery will go flat. The best way to keep it from dying is to use a battery charger. I think the best charger is a solar battery charger like this one here (Amazon Link Ad) since it will hold up better and is easier to deal with compared to a wall charger. If all you got is a wall charger then use that.
I have many more ideas about keeping your jet ski battery charged here.
Not Servicing Your Jet Ski
Some people will never service their jet skis. Just crazy. Your jet ski should have a service done every year, and if you live where it gets cold, then you also should winterize it too.
Don’t wait till you get to some amount of hours especially for your first service. If it’s been one year then you need to get the oil changed and a complete service. Oil does expire and becomes less effective the older it gets.
Doing The Repairs Yourself
A jet ski is different from a car, but not too different. If you never worked on anything like a jet ski or a car then leave it to the professionals. I’ve had people try to get to their pump from the inside of the hull of the watercraft which you can’t do. They end up with so many parts taken out that should have never been touched.
If you do take it to the repair shop bring your key with you. There is no master key.
Forgetting Your Registration Numbers
Just like how cars have license plates jet skis have registration numbers. It’s up to you to put them on, and if you don’t, you’ll more than likely get pulled over. If you have just bought a new jet ski, you might not have those numbers just yet, and often you’ll need to carry a bill of sale or a proof of purchase.
Don’t get mailbox numbers, not only do they look bad but they don’t last as good as the numbers made to stick on jet skis. I have a post on what numbers to get here.
If you have a Sea-Doo Spark then check out this accessory guide here to see what numbers to get for the plastic body.
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3 thoughts on “Mistakes Beginner Jet Ski Owners Make”
Hello. Thanks for the website! I have ‘07 Yamaha fxho, Do you suggest using fuel stabilizer (Stabil) , if so, use if all the time or just in off season during storage? Also do you leave the gas tank full or empty in off season. I’ve read online where people do both, so not sure how to prepare for off season storage. Thanks in advance!!
I only add Stabil when I’m not going to be riding for more than 2 months. I like leaving the tank 1/4 full.
I keep a NOCO battery booster with me when I ride….actually in all my vehicles. Haven’t had to use it for myself, but I’ve boosted a handful of other stranded people.