How to Ride a Jet Ski for Beginners

Driving a jet ski offers you all the excitement and adventure of operating your own personal watercraft out on the waves. Taking a guided jet ski tour also allows you to see more of an area instead of being restricted to one roped-off section of a boat tour.

While jet skiing is always fun, driving a jet ski in a beautiful location takes it to a whole new level. Exploring the Indian River Lagoon on a jet ski gives you the chance to stop and see wildlife like dolphins, manatees and exotic fish. A jet ski tour with Vero Tackle & Watersports will guide you through some of the area’s most gorgeous sights and scenes.

If you’re new to jet skiing, Vero Tackle & Watersports provides a safety briefing before each tour to ensure everyone feels comfortable and confident while operating the jet skis. To feel extra prepared for your first jet ski ride, keep reading this guide to driving a jet ski, riding a jet ski with passengers and choosing a jet ski tour.

What to Bring for Your First Jet Ski Ride

In all the excitement of going for your first jet ski ride, don’t forget to bring the essentials. We recommend that you wear a wetsuit bottom or clothing that provides equivalent protection. We offer wetsuit shorts for rent in our shop and we’ll provide you with a United States Coast Guard-approved life vest for your jet ski tour.

Along with wearing the right gear, make sure you bring these items:

  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Full water bottle
  • Sunglasses retainer
  • Waterproof bag
  • A valid ID
  • Certification from a boating safety course or a temporary boater safety card if born after Jan. 1, 1988

While you’ll need to have the items listed above on hand, there are other items you’ll want to leave at home. It’s easy to lose things during a jet ski ride, so make sure you don’t have anything valuable on you. If you do bring valuable items with you, either secure them in a waterproof bag or leave them in the car.

In particular, try not to take any of these items with you out on the waves:

  • Cellphone
  • Wallet
  • Money
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Any other articles of clothing you don’t want to lose, such as hats and shoes

How to Drive a Jet Ski for Beginners

How to Drive a Jet Ski for Beginners

Now that you’ve got everything you need — and nothing you don’t — to drive a jet ski, it’s time to hit the water!

Here are the basic instructions for how to ride a jet ski:

  1. Board the jet ski: Board from the side of the jet ski and find a comfortable sitting position.
  2. Start the jet ski: Turn the ignition to start the jet ski’s engine.
  3. Secure the key and safety lanyard: Before you get going, make sure the key for the jet ski is secure on the lanyard around your wrist. The key activates the kill switch, which will automatically shut the jet ski off if you fall off so you stay safe and don’t lose track of your jet ski.
  4. Get moving: Once the key and lanyard are connected, start to push the throttle slowly. The throttle is what allows you to control your jet ski’s speed. Pushing the throttle more will increase your speed and eases up on the throttle to bring your jet ski to a standstill. Begin cruising at a slow speed — no more than 10 miles per hour — until you’re far enough away from the shoreline. Follow your guide’s instructions on the specific Indian River Lagoon jet ski navigation procedures.
  5. Speed up: Increase your speed gradually while staying in control of the jet ski and staying within your comfort zone. Make sure you and others around you stay safe by driving defensively. Stay in control of the jet ski and follow safety procedures.
  6. Master turning: To turn, decrease your speed slightly and turn the handlebars while leaning in the direction you want to turn. Keep in mind your jet ski still needs some acceleration to turn. Keep your weight balanced to avoid capsizing.
  7. Have fun: Enjoy cruising around the beautiful Indian River Lagoon and watching the wildlife!

How to Ride a Jet Ski With Passengers

Most jet skis are able to handle two passengers, which means you have the opportunity to ride with a buddy. If you have a family member or friend who wants to join you on your jet ski ride, you need to know how to operate a jet ski with an extra passenger.

Check out the following tips for taking passengers for a spin on your jet ski:

  • Don’t carry any more passengers than the jet ski permits. In addition, make sure you follow the weight limit guidelines for your jet ski.
  • Seat any passengers behind the jet ski driver.
  • Make sure all of the passengers secure themselves onto the seat straps whenever the jet ski is in motion.
  • Never allow a passenger to place their feet in the water while the jet ski is moving.
  • Before taking a passenger, demonstrate to them the basics of driving a jet ski. Having a working knowledge of how to operate a jet ski could come in handy if the driver becomes injured or the passenger simply wants to take a turn in the driver’s seat.
  • Keep a proper lookout whenever you turn the jet ski and beware of any blind spots.

What to Do If You Fall Off the Jet Ski

Falling off a jet ski isn’t a big deal — it happens to all of us from time to time. In fact, falling off is precisely why jet ski passengers wear flotation devices while operating their personal watercraft. Luckily, reboarding your jet ski is easy.

When you inevitably fall off, follow these simple steps:

  1. If the jet ski is capsized, turn it upwards in one direction.
  2. Swim to the back of the jet ski to reboard. Don’t try to reboard from the side of the jet ski because it could flip over onto you.
  3. Grab the hand on the back of your jet ski’s seat, lift yourself up onto the boarding platform and sit down.
  4. Get re-situated in your seat and reattach the safety lanyard.

Once you’ve successfully reboarded your jet ski and secured the safety lanyard, you’ll be ready to zoom off across the waves again.

Take an Adventure on a Guided Jet Ski Tour of Vero Beach and the Indian River Lagoon

Take an Adventure on a Guided Jet Ski Tour of Vero Beach and the Indian River Lagoon

If you’re ready for an epic jet ski adventure, sign up for a guided jet ski tour of Vero Beach and the Indian River Lagoon with Vero Tackle & Watersports. When you take an Indian River Lagoon jet ski tour with us, you can expect to see exciting wildlife like dolphins and manatees, learn local history and check out the Lagoon’s different fish species.

Our jet ski tour is the perfect opportunity for beginners and veteran jet skiers alike. For an hour and a half, you’ll get to ride a top-of-the-line 2021 Yamaha Waverunner VX Cruiser as a professional guide shows you around the gorgeous Lagoon. You also have the option to do a sunset jet ski tour for some extra beautiful views around Vero Beach.

Book your guided jet ski tour with Vero Tackle & Watersports today, and get ready to have the time of your life!