We get asked all the time how to wakeboard behind a jet ski and if it is legal.
There are just a few requirements that you’ll need to make sure you meet, so just check with your local waterway authorities. In Australia, you are required to have one spotter on the back of the jet ski and everyone must be wearing life jackets, including the wakeboarder.
Not only is it usually legal, but yes, jet skis are designed for it. All modern personal watercrafts come with a tow hook behind the seat.
It has started to become a standard thing now that jet skis are used for tow sports. They are becoming increasingly powerful and more stable in the water. Think about it like this: there is 155hp in a seadoo (which is in their mid power range). The same size engine pushes your average 20ft boat, yet the jet ski is only 12 ft.
PWC watersports include wakeboarding, wakeskating, tow tubes, water skis, tow surfing and more.
- PFD: Typically, all riders are required to have a PFD (personal flotation device) of some sort. There are a lot of great life jackets out there, and they’ve become much more comfortable in recent years. Even though no one really wants to wear them, they are compulsory by law. At the end of the day, it’s better to have it on than not.
- Mirrors/Spotter: The regulations may vary on this one, but oftentimes the PWC doing the towing is required to have mirrors or a spotter. In some places, both of these may be required. The purpose of this is so the operator is always aware of what’s going on behind the jet ski. Mirrors are great to have, but a spotter is even better.
- Age: The age requirements for someone to operate or be pulled behind a jet ski is another factor that may vary. Jet skis have become increasingly easier to operate, but that doesn’t mean just anyone is allowed to drive them. Be sure to check local laws before going out on the water.
What is the best jet ski for towing?
The Sea Doo Wake Pro 230 is designed specifically with tow sports in mind. Everything about this watercraft was made to facilitate pulling someone on a jet ski. There are actually two versions of this model. They’re very similar in terms of features, but the larger model has a more powerful supercharged engine for the more dedicated enthusiasts.
It also comes with a couple of extra bells and whistles geared towards tow sports such a ski pole, wakeboard rack, boarding step and has a tow sport feature which assists in stable throttle control. However, it costs significantly more of significant cost. Deciding whether the pros outweigh the cons is up to the individual to decide.
BIG TIP: What ever you do, do not suck up the rope into the intake pump under the jet ski. This will jam your impeller and you won’t be able to move. It may cause a little bit of damage but most the time you will be alright. You will just get stuck and wont be able to move until it is cut free which usually means taking the ski out of the water. This is a very common thing I have seen in the work shop many times. So this means don’t drive over the rope and make sure you have your eyes on it at all times. Even when your ski is in neutral, the impeller is still spinning and will suck up the rope. The intake pump under your ski is pretty much a big massive powerful vacuum cleaner.
For wakeboarding behind a Jet Ski, you need a rope at a suitable length of approx 12 meters and designed for the purpose of a wakeboarding or designed for tow sports behind a jet ski. Here at Jet Tech with our years of experience in wake boarding and tow surfing behind jet ski’s we designed the most suitable and safest rope for the sport. Weaved to an appropriate length of 40ft for a jet ski rather than 70ft for behind the boat. This length will enable you to be placed at the perfect distance behind the jet ski where the wake is pitching nicely with a lip to assist you getting air to the other side. Too short and you will be wakeboarding in the rough white water caused from the jet pump Too long and you will be way back and the wake will be flat and too wide.
Another great feature of the Jet Tech tow rope is the fact that the first 10 ft of rope has been designed with an anti suction core. This part is thicker and more buoyant to make it harder to suck up the intake. While not completely suction proof, it will most likely save you on many occasions. This wakeboarding rope also has a quick release shackle in case the rider is caught in the rope and you need to dis engage the rope from the ski.