Yes, jet skis (or personal watercrafts) are a whole lot of fun, and about every kids dream to have one, but they might not be as great as you think. Believe me, I was one of those kids, and now that I have grown up, I’ve finally been able to get my hands on one myself.
Although I love it, there are plenty of things that you may not know about jet skis that might change your mind on your feelings for them. Here is a quick list of reasons you shouldn’t get a jet ski:
- Jet skis are dangerous, especially for teenagers. According to the US Coast Guard statistics for 2019, 46 people died on personal watercraft (PWC) and 614 were injured. Also, about 26 percent of total reported accidents involved a PWC, but they only take up around 9 percent of registered vessels.
- Jet skis eventually get boring. Yes, of course doing doughnuts is fun at first, but for most people it only lasts so long until it starts to get boring. Personally, about 15-30 minutes of doughnuts and jumping wakes is about how long it takes until I get bored and head back in for a break.
- Jet skis have loads of maintenance problems. If you plan on buying used, make sure to budget an extra 1 or 2 grand in maintenance costs, because I’m sure there will be some.
- Gas runs out quick. If you plan on going very far, you will need to be cautious about how much gas you use. Almost every time I go out on my jet ski, I have to refill (although usually, it’s not empty).
- Jet skis cost more than you think. According to groovewatersports.com, you will be paying around $500 to $1,000 every year on gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.
Is it safe to let your teen drive a jet ski?
Obviously, if you are going to let your teen drive any watercraft, they need to do their boaters safety as it is required by law in most places. Teenagers are at a higher risk of doing something stupid on a jet ski, so making sure your kid really knows what he’s doing is important.
For the first couple of times, just let him drive either with you or on a day with very few boats. It’s all a comfort thing, if you feel they won’t do anything dumb, let them have their independence. But make sure you tell them it can be taken away in an instant if they do decide to do something dumb.
Are jet skis worth the price?
The answer to this question obviously depends on the person. I would say that you should be getting at least 30 hours of jet skiing each season for it to be worth it. If your not sure how much you would use them, see if you can get a test drive.
How can you make jet skiing more fun?
Although jet skis aren’t as good at boats when it comes to watersports, they are more than capable of towing. I’ve even seen some people make a big enough wake do wake surf behind a jet ski.
Another new thing that has been gaining a lot of popularity is hydrofoil boards. Although I suck at it, it’s something that you could learn how to do with the help of a jet ski.