While each country has its own laws when it comes to personal watercraft riding, there are surely some guidelines that all riders must try follow.
Here in Australia, you are required to hold a PWC licence (personal watercraft) to ride a jet ski. This applies to all states within the country. The only way you can drive a jet ski without a licence is if the passenger obtains a licence and has the kill cord attached to themselves. Jet skis in the USA are considered a class A vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard, so all rules and regulations for boats under 16 feet apply.
Before you take jet skis out for the first time, make sure your jet ski has all the required safety equipment. Not only for its Class A certification but for your own safety!
- Wear Coast Guard/maritime-approved life jackets. By law, you and passengers must wear them at all times.
- Dress appropriately with a wetsuit if it's cold, and wear skin, sun & eye protection while riding jet skis. Our strap-on hats are the perfect sun protection to wear while riding a jet ski or recreational boat. They have a removable chin strap so that you don't lose them while cruising.
- Check if your state requires a license while operating a PWC. If so, you might have to take a jet ski safety course to familiarise yourself with how a jet ski works and handles in a safe space. Plus, the course may help you qualify for a PWC insurance discount!
- Carry proper documentation such as vessel registration with properly displayed rego stickers.
- USA only: secure a Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher onboard.
- Carry a signalling device, such as a whistle or horn. In fact, it’s smart to also carry flares and a V sheet - these are both required when heading off-shore in Australia, and used in the event of breaking down to get someones attention.
- When going off-shore, it is strongly advised to carry an EPIRB to make a distress call if something un expected happens.
- Don’t forget to check your fuel gauge. Sounds basic, but something like running out of fuel could get you stranded!
- Whoever is operating the jet ski must wear a cord or lanyard around their wrist or even better, clipped onto the life vest, which is attached to the key in the ignition also known as a kill switch cord. This will turn off the engine in case the driver falls off the jet ski. *Don’t forget to remove the cord when you dock the jet ski! This stops any unauthorised use, whether preventing theft or safely securing the jet ski from daring young teenage riders.
Hope this brief article hopes with getting you started, any questions feel free to reach out to us.