Blue skies, clear waters, and the thrill of cruising as you enjoy the weather—all these make the perfect recipe for a perfect summer at the beach. However, not many people know how to lean on a jet ski correctly when turning corners. So how do you lean correctly on a jet ski?
To lean on a jet ski correctly, do the following:
- Stand up with your feet slightly away from the handle.
- Check both sides before negotiating a turn.
- Lean in the same direction with the passenger.
- Accelerate when turning corners.
- Hold on to the throttle.
This article will discuss how to lean on a jet ski correctly and share essential tips for riding a jet ski. Keep reading.
1. Stand Up With Your Feet Slightly Away From the Handle
Before negotiating a turn, you should always check your feet’ position. Ideally, to lean successfully on a jet ski, you stand up with your feet slightly backed from the handle while slightly bending your shoulders.
Doing this will give you more control over the craft as your legs will be well-placed to absorb shock from waves.
2. Check Both Sides Before Negotiating a Turn
Always check both sides (left and right) before negotiating a turn to ensure you aren’t overtaken by nearby boats or another jet ski. You should also check behind (quickly enough) before negotiating a turn to avoid getting in the way of other water bodies.
Then, slightly bend your knees and lean your body towards the side you’re turning to as you rotate the steering wheel toward the same direction.
3. Lean in the Same Direction with the Passenger
If you have a passenger, also have them lean the same way to improve the turn. The passenger should also bend their knees in the same direction to better help the jet ski navigate past giant waves and rough water.
If you have a first-timer onboard your jet ski, be sure to advise them on the best practices such as same-direction leaning and balancing to minimize the chances of capsizing or injuries.
4. Accelerate When Turning Corners
Jet ski experts will always advise riders to accelerate and lean when turning, as failure to do so may lead to capsizing.
Keeping your load centered and balanced also helps maintain balance when leaning on jet skis.
Sometimes as a beginner, you may thrust too hard from a complete stop and find yourself surging with your jet ski’s bow up. Doing this can make you fall off and possibly injure yourself.
You can avoid injuring yourself by placing your feet toward the back of your craft while leaning forward as you accelerate. Doing this will have your jet ski planted and keep you from dolphining away, ensuring you don’t find yourself in the water.
5. Hold On to The Throttle
It’s crucial to understand that directed thrust from the jet ski steers your watercraft instead of rudders, which larger watercraft and boats use.
Therefore, to make a turn, you need to hold on to the throttle as slowing down or switching off the engine will lead to a loss of control, and you don’t want that!
Although newer personal watercraft (PWCs) slightly thrust if you happen to slow down when making a turn, manual throttling is still vital in directional control.
Before You Ride
So you’ve just gotten your first jet ski, and you’re eager to start riding. Not so fast, though. Before you get started, here are some things you need to do before hitting the waters.
Like driving a car or bike, you need to prepare before riding your jet ski. Put on your life jacket, just in case you’re thrown out of your craft. A life jacket is also required by law in many states, so not having one could land you in some legal trouble.
Understand How Your Watercraft Works
There are different brands of jet skis, each coming with its unique controls. Get to familiarize yourself with your watercraft by knowing where the controls are, like the throttle or the emergency shut off.
Going through the user manual will help you know more about your jet ski’s controls and what to do in case of emergencies.
As a rule, you should familiarize yourself with your jet ski to ride comfortably and respond accordingly to emergencies.
Before boarding your jet ski:
- Ensure your engine is switched off.
- Switch your engine on only after you have boarded.
- Ensure your kill switch cord is appropriately around your waist, then place the key in the ignition and turn the machine on.
Wear the Right Outfit and Avoid Jewelry
Neoprene wetsuits are recommended for jet skiing. Neoprene wetsuits will protect your lower body from the impact of the water during a fall.
You should also avoid wearing accessories like hats and expensive items such as jewelry and watches when hitting the waters.
Alternatively, you can keep wallets and handbags in a dry bag if it’s essential to carry them.
Useful Tips To Keep in Mind
Put Safety First
Before switching on your bike, set up a kill switch cord, a lanyard connected to the key to your ignition.
If you happen to fall off your craft, the kill switch cord will turn off your engine, giving you a chance to hop back in. Having your life jacket on will allow you to float in case of an accident, so don’t switch on your jet ski if you don’t have it on.
Watch the Throttle
Do not accelerate quickly from a complete stop. Instead, slowly throttle till you’re around 5 to 10 mph (8 to 16 km/h). Once you feel comfortable with the throttle and are a safe distance from the shore, you can increase your speed, making sure you maintain a pace that is okay with you. Remember to lean toward the direction in which you’re turning.
Avoid Standing Up While on the Jet Ski if You’re a Beginner
If you’re a beginner, it would be best not to stand up on the jet ski to avoid losing control. Standing shouldn’t be a problem once you become a master rider and are comfortable enough with your craft.
However, standing up is recommended if you’re riding on choppy waters, as sitting down in this situation might tire you out fast or injure your lower back and spine.
Keep Your Distance
When riding, you must be mindful of your safety and the safety of other riders. Be conscious of nearby watercraft as other riders may not know you’re turning. As a result, you should keep enough space between you and other crafts to avoid collisions. Avoid getting too close to riders with risky behaviors.
As you try to monitor the waters around you, you might forget to look straight ahead. Keeping an eye on forwarding waters will give you a wider field of view, making you more aware of your surroundings.
As you look forward, remember to keep an eye on your sides when turning. A quick look behind will also help you avoid injury-causing accidents with other watercraft.
Get Ready Important Safety Equipment
Apart from your life jacket, you also need one for your passenger and an extra one for any person you might need to tow. Having an approved fire extinguisher will also be helpful in the event of a fire.
You should also have a whistle, horn, or other sound signaling device to raise the alarm in case of an emergency. Lastly, don’t forget your sunscreen, a first aid kit, and a handheld VHF radio for emergencies.
It’s normal for beginners to be eager to hop on a jet ski; however, all riders must take precautions to avoid injury.
It would be best if you made the necessary preparations, such as familiarizing yourself with your craft and wearing the appropriate clothing before boarding and switching it on.
When turning, bend your knees and lean your body to the side you’re turning to while turning the steering wheel toward the same direction. It’s also advisable to accelerate to reduce the chances of your watercraft capsizing.