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Choosing a jet ski

Jet skis are a fun way to enjoy the water. Whether they're launched off a larger vessel, or you take them out for a fun weekend at the beach or river, there's a great deal of fun to be had for all.

Size and purpose

Jet ski designs range from single person vessels to ones capable of carrying multiple people. Their purpose also dictates their construction. Those designed for sports and racing are often stand-up models, while others have seating.


Jet skis might look like light-weight vessels, but it's not uncommon from them to weigh upwards of half a ton. Safety is paramount when using a jet ski, which is why most jurisdictions require dedicated operator to hold dedicated qualifications and licences for their use. Always wear appropriate Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), noting that legal requirements for PFDs often differ for jet skis than for other vessels.

Most jet skis contain a lanyard that must be attached to the operator during use. In the event of the operator falling from the vessel, these either cut the engine or cause the vessel to automatically enter a slow circling mode to help re-boarding. Depending on the model and environmental conditions, these safety circling modes are often designed to ensure the vessel's path intercepts close to the location where the operator fell.


While the engines of jet skis do not themselves operate in reverse thrust, many newer models allow for reversing and limited braking by lowering a metal container that forces the water from the engine down and in a forwards direction.


Be aware that some designated areas may be off-limits to jet skis, including certain marine parks and in the vicinity of swimmers, beachgoers and residential areas. Check with your local authorities as well as consult relevant charts for details.


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