Whether you call it a personal watercraft, a SeaDoo, a Jet Ski or a WaveRunner, there are few, if any, ways to have more fun on the water.
However, there are numerous things to think about before investing in a personal watercraft, according to Tim Kelly of Kirk Marine.
He says that the first thing you should do is think about which aspect is most important to you – be it speed, style, handling, safety or a particular combination.
With models ranging from race inspired designs focussed on handling and horsepower (and not so much on price) to more basic models focussed on fun and price you have a variety of options.
There are even models focussed on tow sports like wake boarding, making for an even more fun experience.
This makes it important to decide whether you want to start participating in races, or whether you are primarily interested in getting something for the family to have fun with over the weekend, where safety might be the most important consideration.
“Most of the SeaDoo line of personal water craft have Intelligent Brake and Reverse, which give a rider unparalleled control during docking manoeuvres and is the only watercraft on the market with a brake,” says Tim.
Being safe is about more than just the water craft itself, with a good life vest being vital to safe watersports. If you plan on getting a little bit more serious about the sport, riding gloves, riding suits and water shoes can help to make the whole experience even more fun.
Safety is also about behaviour on the water, not just the equipment itself.
“Keep your eyes open for other traffic on the water at all times, ride within the limits of your abilities and always connect the safety cut-off lanyard to your vest. It’s designed shut the craft down in the event that rider falls off so that the craft doesn’t run away from or run over the fallen rider,” says Tim.
When using a water craft it is also very important to observe any laws and regulations that apply, including being aware of swim zones, dive zones, mooring areas and no wake zones – all of which are typically identified by buoys. It is also important to be alert and on the lookout for other water craft of all descriptions, as well as swimmers and snorkelers.
“You never know when someone may be swimming or diving outside of a designated area so being alert is the best practice,” says Tim.
As personal water craft are substantial investments, taking proper care of it is vital.
“You should flush it with fresh water and keep the craft clean. Using a product like Salt Away will greatly reduce corrosion related issues that can occur in a hot, humid and salty environment like ours.”