There's a whole lot of joy in riding a personal watercraft at the lake! No matter if you've been riding on a PWC your whole life or if you're a beginner - it's important to be knowledgeable and all about the PWC you are riding and of course it's even more important to know all the safety tips.
Safety on the water is so important! Anyone driving a personal watercraft should know of all the safety measures they should take before going out for a spin. Safety is always the top priority.
What to wear
Before going out on the water, there are a few things you need to be wearing at all times. The most important thing you should be wearing is a lifejacket. It is recommended that your lifejacket is a bright color so other boaters can see you.
Another thing you should consider wearing is a whistle. If your jet ski were to ever break down or something were to happen, a whistle is loud and can travel aways so others can hear you.
You should also keep the safety lanyard attached to you when you are on your personal watercraft. This is in case you were to fall off your jet ski - it will turn off as the key will go with you in the water.
Be aware of your surroundings
It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Never take your eyes off of the water in front of you. You never know when there may be debris, another boater, a skier down, etc.
Be aware of other boaters or other people on jet skis. It is always best to assume that unfortunately not everyone knows how to properly drive a watercraft.
follow the rules
Many lakes have rules you should abide by. Whether it'd be driving clockwise around the lake, not going over a certain speed limit, going in at dusk, etc. You never want to bend the rules so you always stay safe on the water.
Driving your personal watercraft
Before you actually go out on the lake, it's important you know all the in's and out's of driving your PWC. Here are all the things you should know before taking your PWC for a spin.
Don't start your PWC unless you are in above-waist water. PWC's are like vacuums, and if they are too close to the bottom of the lake they can suck up the things on the bottom.
Hold onto the handles of your PWC at all times.
Practice driving close to shore before you go out (especially turns).
Accelerate slowly, PWC's have a lot of power so you want to make sure you don't fly backwards.
Always keep in mind that your PWC does not have brakes. Yes, it has reverse, but you should never rely on the reverse to stop you.
What to do if you fall off
When you are riding a PWC, there is always a chance you could fall off. Be sure you know what to do if this were to happen to you.
if it lands right-side up
If you fall off and your PWC lands right-side up, it isn't hard to get back on. All PWC's have safety lanyards for in case you fall off and it is attached to you it will kill the engine. Once you fall off - swim back to the PWC and pull yourself back on.
if it lands upside down
It is a little more complicated if you fall off your PWC and it lands upside down. It is important you know exactly what to do in case this ever happens.
You will want to flip it over as soon as possible and not let it sit so no damage happens to the inside of the PWC. Most PWC brands will have a recommended way they want you to flip it back over, so be sure you do it the recommended way.
How to Flip it Upright
Step onto the side of the PWC.
Lay overtop of it and reach onto the opposite side.
While holding onto the opposite side of the deck, simultaneously push down with your legs and pull towards you with your upper body.
Here is a great visualization on how to flip it back over - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIZGMrpduyQ
Now that you know all the tips and tricks to your PWC, it's time to study them, practice them, then once you feel comfortable - take your PWC for a joy ride!