What To Wear On A Jet Ski ?

If you’ve been on a jet ski before, you know how fast these baddies can get. If not, and you’re probably looking for ideas and hints on what to wear. You’re in the right place! We mention that jet skis are fast because it is not that day to wear your baggy jeans or that skimpy bikini you hoarded or the summer.

So what should you wear on a jet ski ?


It Is mandatory requirement to wear a life jacket on a jet ski and it is generally accepted that a wet suit, water shoes, sunglasses and gloves should be worn for your comfort when jet skiing.  

Jet ski clothing is essential because of the exposure at high speeds. While you may have been at 65mph in a motor vehicle, the case is different when on a jet ski. You need to cover your body in protective clothing and keep warm.

Factors like the weather play a crucial role in determining what to wear. You don’t want to rip off your excursion short because of a pesky sunburn, would you? Remember, you’ll be miles away from the shore, and it might take you a while to ride back.

So, what do you exactly wear considering all these things?

Invest In A Life Jacket

It is a no-brainer that you need a vest when taking on a jet ski. It doesn’t matter how shallow or deep the water is; a life jacket is a must. Plus, it is required by the state that all passengers in a personal watercraft have life jackets on at all times.

A life jacket acts as a floatation device, particularly for non-swimmers or anyone new to riding a jet ski. Rented skis come with life jackets, and the operator should provide you with one. Also, a vest can save you from injuries or drowning due to panic attacks if you get involved in an accident or fall off a watercraft.

Which Size Is Best ?

Purchasing a life jacket does not use the same approach as buying a pair of jeans or a t-shirt. You’ll want to get something that’s at least one size bigger. If you wear large, then you’ll get an X-Large life jacket.

No need to be embarrassed here; you’ll notice people with oversized vests once you get in the waters.

Once you find the right size, try it on first and ensure the belts fit and function correctly. If it holds your chest tightly when zipped, you probably need another size up. An excellent way to see if the jacket is ideal is to grab the bottom and try to lift it. If the jacket’s shoulders go above your head, it is probably an oversized vest.

Once you buy the jacket, take it home and test it in a shallow pool. Make sure you have someone to help you as it could save your life (in case the jacket is not working).

How Long Do Life Jackets Last ?

Just like regular clothes, life jackets have a shorter lifespan when subjected to constant wear and tear. The scorching sun can get to them and fade out the colors or weaken the fabric, generally, consider life jacket replacement every 3 to 5 years.

What’s The Ideal Life Jacket To Buy ?

For safety, you should always buy Coast Guard Approved life jackets designed explicitly for jet skiing. There are plenty of brands with such life jackets, and you’d have to play around with your preferences to find the best value.

Stay In Gloves

Most folks leave out gloves on their jet ski rides- an often overlooked attire. A set of gloves helps prevent blisters, irritation, burns, and soreness in your hands. Newbies tend to have a ‘death grip,’ and the best solution is to wear thin gloves.

If you don’t own a jet ski and want to rent it out privately, likely, they won’t give you gloves (hygiene, of course), and you have to buy one from the nearest store. You can get a decent set for less than $20, which should save you from chaffing.

Different gloves in the marine industry would be best for jet skiing. Ideally, road bicycling gloves have a perfect fit of functionality and comfort as they are thin but with extra padding on the right spots.

During summer, you can change to fingerless water gloves as they provide a better grip. Winter can get cold, so it is a no-brainer to keep your hands warm with a chunkier glove.

Wetsuit Shorts

You’ll get wet on any jet ski ride; any swimwear is a standard requirement. Wetsuit shorts are mainly designed not to absorb a lot of water that can weigh you down or take ages to dry. Your wetsuit shorts should be comfortable, tight-fitting, and easy to move around.

The wetsuit should not restrict body movement so you can control the jet effortlessly. Wetsuit shorts are also a must if you do any kind of water sports like skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing.

For women, We’d prefer to buy a one-piece suit. If you weren’t riding the jet ski, a wetsuit bottom would be fine, but once you hop on it, you need something that won’t fall off easily. Neoprene wetsuits keep you warm as they trap body heat from within. The only caveat is the price tag. Even a standard pair would cost you a few hundred dollars at least.

Have you ever heard of a rash guard ?

You’ll need to wear these before fitting your wetsuit bottoms or tops. A rash guard prevents you from getting sun burns or rashes and is worn to protect sensitive skin parts that are more prone to burning.

A rash guard also prevents you from being hurt whenever you fall off the jet ski. Any extra layer of protection comes in handy during an impact in the water. Honestly, a rash guard is unnecessary, but if you’re looking for extra protection, this is your choice.


No matter how fly you want to look while riding on a jet ski, don’t wear your most expensive pieces. There are high chances of you getting back to the shore without them. You want to pick a cheaper pair of sunglasses, particularly with chains attached, to reduce the risk of you losing them.

Nevertheless, sunglasses are great for helping you see more clearly while riding. Consider polarized sunglasses as they are best for watersports or any marine activities. Please avoid the typical gas station sunglasses labeled as ‘polarized;’ as 9 times out of 10 they don’t give you the protection you need.

Riding on the water can get very bright as the sun’s rays are reflected. A pair of sunglasses save you from squinting or, worse, losing control and having an accident. So, it would be best if you had a pair of sunglasses at the top of your list.

Water Shoes

Proper shoes are often overlooked when riding jet skis, and you’ll see people riding barefoot, on flip flops, etc.; having the right water shoes for jet skiing protects your feet from sunburns, jammed toes, and cuts.

Luckily, there are plenty of water shoes in online stores and vendors. That’s not usually the case with most jet ski gear. You can choose the kind of shoe depending on which time of the month you will hit the waves.

During the warmer months, look for breathable shoes with plenty of grip and protection, and they’ll help stay solid on the jet ski and provide comfortable ergonomics. The Aleader water shoes would be perfect for summer jet skiing and are available for both men and women.

During winter, you need thick shoes with lots of warmth and a solid grip. Check out the SEAC dive boots; they’re a durable piece and will handle the wear and tear that comes with a jet ski. However, these boots are a bit heavy, and you may have to adjust your movements to get comfortable.

Bonus Items

Dry Bag

Although wearing a dry bag is not a must, we recommend having it on your jet ski rides. Have one that is bright colored and big enough to hold phones, wallet/money, or a little towel to keep you dry.

If you’ll carry along your phones, then a dry bag is a must. Dry bags are made with floatation materials, so you’ll still find your belongings intact and dry even if they fall. A small towel is handy, especially if your face gets all salty and you need to wipe it off.


Sunscreen will provide ultimate protection against sunburn, which can sometimes be painful. Grab a sunscreen with high SPF and specific for water activities (they tend to last longer). SPF 30+ sunscreens are good; you can apply them after 2 hours for great results. Of course, you may have reservations on sunscreens, but they’ll save you a lot of trouble later on.


If you must bring a hat to cover your head, find one solely for that purpose. Look for a tight hat with a strap to secure it from flying off.

Look for hats made with light material and specific to water use. You should be able to find one for less than $30.

What Not To Wear

Open Toe Shoes

Flip-flops are the worst shoes to wear on a jet-skiing adventure, and they can easily fall off and do not protect you from the sun’s burning rays. They don’t have a grip, and you may fall off the jet ski.

Crocs are also not a good idea since they get wet quickly and have less traction. You can get poorly injured when these shoes fall off the jet ski.

Bikinis and Loose Swim Trunks

As mentioned earlier, bikinis are not the perfect wear on a jet ski, and they can barely handle the speeds at which jet skis travel and may fall off or cause burns. Loose swim trunks will hold a lot of water, and you’ll feel the weight as you move farther from the shore.

Expensive Stuff

Well, you may rock up in an expensive life jacket or swimsuit trunks, but what we mean is not to carry the expensive accessories to a jet ski ride. People lose watches, hats, and necklaces as often as they break the waves.

If you lose anything off the sea, you will definitely not find it! Please ensure you carry few expensive items as possible or replace them with cheaper items if necessary. Cheapies best replace things like hats, watches, shoes, and sunglasses to be on the safe side.

If you must bring a phone, keep it in the dry bag or have a protective case with a ring to hold on to the phone tightly. Jet skis are not stable, and you’ll be wobbly almost all the time; a selfie can quickly turn out to be awry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a helmet on a jet ski ?

No. You don’t need any protective helmet unless you’re planning to ride very fast- like 40 miles per hour. They may be mandatory in some sporting events, but it is not necessary for personal use.

What should I not wear on a jet ski ?

You should not wear several items on a jet ski, such as expensive jewelry, anything dangly, or loose clothes.

How fast can a jet ski go ?

A standard jet ski can hit the waters at about 65 miles per hour, and you need experience in the water to achieve such speeds. Otherwise, most intermediate jet ski riders reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. This makes it important to wear the correct clothing.

Can my jet ski life jacket be used in other recreational activities ?

Sure! Since a jet ski life jacket is a floatation device, you can use it in many water sports and activities like wakeboarding, skiing, kayaking, etc.; remember, this may cause the jacket to wear and tear quickly.

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