7 Best Jet Ski Life Jackets [2020 Guide]

Jet Ski Life Jackets vary in the market, with some being very comfortable and represent good value. I’ll show you the best PFD options in this buying guide.

I personally love riding out there in the ocean at any chance I can! But….I put safety on my PWC first and foremost. It’s so easy for something to go wrong and you’ll be in trouble very quickly if you’re not wearing the most important piece of protection when out there riding.

Best Jet Ski Life Jackets

In writing this guide, I look at what’s best on the market and what current jet ski riders are using right now while riding. Whether that’s ocean swell, river canals or calm lakes, there’s certainly a life jacket for you.

Here we go:

1. O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest

I really do believe the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Jacket offers excellent value for money. It’s designed exclusively for high speed water sports such as jet skis and tubes.

O'Neill Men's Reactor USCG Life Vest

It’s approved by use through the United States Coast Guard as a personal flotation device while also not being restrictive for the wearer. Essentially, this gives you freedom on the handlebars to move around.

There are two buckles plus a strong zipper which lasts for a long time. You can also buy this in a range of colors so it appears to both Yamaha and Sea-Doo owners.

2. Airhead Adult SWOOSH Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Vest

The close runner-up on this list is the Airhead jet ski life jacket Swoosh model. It’s a Type III jet ski life jacket that is closed sided. This is really great for children and adults alike.

Kids jet ski life jacket.

As it’s made with neolite quick-drying materials, you’ll know that it isn’t going to take hours to dry off before throwing into the back of the car once you’re done riding. That’s something I really like about this one.

Also, it’s available in a few different colors and is ideal for adults, but they also make a kids version.

3. Body Glove Men’s Phantom PFD Life Vest

This is definitely more of a racer-style life jacket. If you’re looking for something ergonomic but also looks great when you’re riding, then I’d take the Body Glove Phantom.

Jet ski PFD

This life jacket is idea for jet ski riding as well as other watersports. Let’s say you’re into water sking, wake boarding or simply tubing, then you’ll love this one.

The foam is super soft on this model which means it’s quite flexible for the rider who doesn’t want to feel like they’re being hugged too much. It’s also less likely to ride up and touch your neck the moment you fall into the water.

4. Stearns Men’s V1 Series Hydroprene Life Jacket

This one is quite unique and something I’m so excited to add to my roundup of the best jet ski life jackets of this year. As USCG approved, the Stearns Men’s V1 Series Hydroprene Life Jacket is seriously a great choice for new riders with strong reviews based on rider feedback.

Guide on buying a personal watercraft life vest

I personally have seen a few riders wearing these life vests out there. It seems the V-Flex sculpted back design and ride up tabs really does help to make this a life jacket that you can feel comfortable wearing.

My recommendation is to pick the green color as it’s less likely to get hot in summer. The other option is the black color which really heats up after 30 minutes of riding around.

5. O’Brien Men’s Flex V-Back Neoprene

While popular with surfers, you can still use the O’Brien line of life jackets for jet skiing and other high-octane water sports. This isn’t a flexible life jacket but if you want wind protection and something that really hugs you tight, then you’ve found the right option.

This is a Type III Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and comes with a PWC lanyard attachment ring. Essentially – they have really thought of the riders in mind when they created this.

The reviews of O’Brien life jackets for jet ski riding are very strong. Just remember that they are designed for a snug fit, not a loose fit so avoid going up in size where possible.

6. BRP Sea-Doo Men’s Neoprene Freedom PFD Life Jacket Vest

Did you know that Sea-Doo makes their own life jackets for their jet ski riders? Neither did I because I was too blind-sided by all the mainstream brands on the market.

Sea-Doo life jackets

I’ll admit – I don’t like their designs here. They could be so much better which I guess why these models aren’t so popular. BRP should just stick to what they’re good at – making fast machines!

I like this one as the zipper is off to the side. It just feels more secure though the straps could be stronger.

7. JetPilot Sullen Hybrid Jet Ski Life Jacket

Maybe you’re looking for something aggressive? That’s where the JetPilot Sullen is the ultimate life jacket for you. It’s got the signature looks and affordable pricing to match!

The best jet ski life jacket on the market.

It’s very lightweight and low bulk. The only thing we wonder is why didn’t JetPilot make this as a summer life vest with lighter colors, but it seems they are clearly going after the total speeding rider.

It’s made from a neoprene and nylon combination with good comfort and great styling.

Buying Guide: What To Look For

Now not every life jacket you come across for any watersports activity is made the same. This is why you need a specific one when riding your personal watercraft.

Top tips:

  • Look for US-Coast Guard approved as boat life jackets aren’t suitable.
  • Ensure there is a spot to connect your safety languard to the life jacket
  • If you ride in cooler areas, look for black to keep you warm out there.
  • If you ride in warmer areas, look for other colors that help deflect the heat
  • Be mindful of the use-by date and you risk a big fine if you ride past this date.

What are jet ski life jackets made from?

Jet ski life jackets are essentially made from two materials: Neoprene and Nylon. Neoprene is much more popular as they are incredibly comfortable to wear and keep warm with, though they do get heavy once wet. Unfortunately, they do cost more. Nylon is a great choice if you value simplicity and value.

Is there a difference between mens and womens life jackets?

Yes, manufacturers do make different jet ski life jackets for men and women. Men’s life jackets can be worn by women, but women’s life jackets can really be worn by women (the colors give you a hint). The main difference with female life jackets is the armholes and chest area is built differently as you would imagine.

What size should I get?

It’s often easier to go to a jet ski dealership to try on some life jackets but this isn’t always possible. Instead, I can recommend you measure yourself properly. The vest should always feel snug but not restrictive since you’ll be wearing this for hours on each ride. All of the life jackets I featured on this buying guide here actually have reasonably accurate sizing guides for the smallest of riders (including children) right up to large adult riders.

Is there anything else I need?

Yes! I can recommend a safety whistle, a neoprene vest underneath to prevent chaffing and a nightlight if you’re riding after dark. Also consider buying a few different life jackets so if you have friends and family come riding, then you’ve got some great options to keep everyone entertained!

In summary

Clearly there are some great options for personal watercraft enthusiasts that I’ve listed here. This isn’t all that’s on the market but if you ride a Yamaha, Sea-Doo or Kawasaki, you’ll be more than happy with these whether you’re just towing tubes or riding big waves.

Most people do buy their life jackets online nowadays and I can feel safe with that recommendation. If there’s anything I can do to help, then let me know!

29 Best Jet Ski Accessories [#17 is Awesome]

Jet Ski Accessories are the type of products you’ll need to have more fun out there on the waterways, as well as being safe and legal.

In this guide, I’ll be showing you the best personal watercraft accessories that you should buy regardless of your make and model. From the popular Yamaha and Sea-Doo riders, across to Kawasaki and even Honda, you’ll find some great options here.

Jet Ski Safety Accessories Guide

Let’s jump straight into this incredible buying guide. Many of these products you’ll find at your local dealership as well as here.

1. Phone Dry Bag

Everyone brings their phone on to their jet ski but forgets to bring a dry bag. I recommend that you pack a dry back that lives on the jet ski at all times, even when it’s in storage.

Also – don’t get a cheap one. Look at the quality offerings. I really like the Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag which is very affordable at this time.

2. Jet Ski Anchor

Most often overlooked by beginners is the need to have a jet ski anchor. You don’t realize how important this is to have until you come up to a beach.

Jet ski anchors aren’t used for anchoring in 20 feet of water. Instead, you’ll use them for keeping your jet ski from drifting away from the beach when you go for a quick 15 minute break.

I have written a complete guide to jet ski anchors here for beginners.

3. Jet Ski Fenders

Very few people actually have jet ski fenders and they should! Sure – the rails on jet skis are pretty tough but those scratches look terrible.

Jet Ski Fenders, also called bumpers in some regions, are really built only for personal watercraft. They’re small, light and quite affordable so there isn’t any reason why people would avoid these.

I really like these jet ski fenders which are made for Sea-Doo and Yamaha.

4. Telescopic Jet Ski Paddle

Rarely will you see someone with a jet ski paddle and that’s a good thing! This is more of an emergency device than it is for any other reason.

Essentially, this comes in hand if you’ve run out of gas, get a flat battery, need to draw attention to yourself or even as a rescue aid. My favourite at this time is the Seachoice series which are the smallest in the market once collapsed, meaning they can fit within the front storage locker of your jet ski.

Some people have also used it in place of a jet ski anchor. You bury it in the sand on the land with some rope tied to it which is connected to your jet ski. You’ll need to bury it fairly deep and at a particular angle to actually be effective, plus you’ll be covered with lots of sand afterwards. For under $50, it’s just easier to buy an anchor.

5. Weather-Proof Cover

Jet Ski Covers are just about mandatory if you want to preserve the value of your jet ski. It not only stops the harsh sun from damaging the paintwork and electronics, but also the rain and bird droppings.

It’s generally best to get a genuine jet ski cover, not a fake imitation. The real covers use superior materials and generally will last as long as the jet ski does.

Can you use your jet ski cover on the highway? There are mixed reports. Some jet ski riders transport their jet skis on the highway with the cover on and have no problems, while others claim their covers suffered cuts and holes after the first 2 to 3 trips at highway speeds.

Generally it’s unnecessary to use your jet ski cover when traveling on the highway unless it’s very hot and sunny. You’ll also need to be mindful that you have properly clipped everything together.

6. First Aid Kit

Every powered marine user needs to have a first aid kit on hand. Yes, even a small one for your jet ski is enough to get by with the total basics.

You may suffer injuries when riding such as a cut toe or a pinch when pulling up your jet ski anchor. Knowing that you have something to mend the wound and can continue riding within a few minutes is certainly great peace of mind.

In addition, consider the other marine traffic. Kayakers, surfers and SUP riders might need your assistance out there on the waterways.

7. Jet Ski Safety Flares

Just like having a solid first aid kit, you also need to have safety flares in most areas. These can be very small and it’s unlikely you’ll ever use one.

Be mindful that these safety flares don’t like heat so it’s best to store them at the very bottom of your storage locker. At the same time, make sure they’re easy to reach as you don’t want to be digging through everything when your jet ski is sinking.

Many jet ski riders fail to check their safety flare expiry dates and only realize their error when it’s time to sell. Keep an eye on those dates and discard your flare safely once it’s past this date. Never use a safety flare just for fun with a few buddies one Sunday afternoon as there are serious fines involved if you are caught.

8. Safety Whistle

On your life jacket you really need to have a safety whistle and in most areas it’s also compulsory. Make sure the cord that’s attaching it is also in good shape.

The whistle otherwise hardly gets used so just be mindful to check this on occasions for any stuck debris or damage.

9. Swimming Pool Noodle

A swimming pool noodle (aka shock tube) is a brilliant idea to prevent sucking up debris into the rear of your jet ski. That includes seaweed, rocks and tow ropes.

Yes, these don’t look all that attractive. But what’s also not attractive? Having to spend 2 hours in the water paddling back to shore in order to fix a clogged impeller.

You’ll need to buy these and cut them down to length. They are also excellent for inside your front locker to stop items from being thrown around at high speeds such as your anchor and water bottle.

10. Rubbish Bags

This is so often forgotten about. Generally you’ll take some snacks out there with you for a day jet skiing around, but where do you put your rubbish? It looks terrible inside the front locker.

Sure, you can dispose of certain foods into the ocean but the plastics must be disposed properly. Get yourself some small rubbish bags that live in the front of the jet ski. They also come in handy as vomit bags if your passenger gets sick.

11. Dock Lines and Rope

Having some rope with your jet ski is very important, both for docking safely but also for towing tubes and other another ski. Consider actually having 2 ropes. One attaches to the dock and the other prevents your jet ski from ‘wandering’ out at the rear.

By having 2 dock lines, you can also better get on and off the jet ski without tumbling over as it will be locked in the same position. When people go from a stationary dock to a buoyant jet ski, that’s generally when accidents happen.

12. Tracking Device

There are two trains of thought here. You get a Spot Tracker to let your friends and family know where you’re going for the day, while having a safety feature working similar to an EPIRB. The other train of thought is a tracking device to stop theft.

My recommendation? Just get both. The costs for these have dropped significantly in recent years so you can protect both yourself and your jet ski from potential harm.

13. Spare Life Jacket

You’ve always got that friend who wants to come and ride on your jet ski. You’re reluctant but you eventually give in, but what about a life jacket?

My recommendation is to always have a 2nd lifejacket on standby. There isn’t any need to buy a brand new one. You can find cheap ones in good quality right off Craigslist, Gumtree or Ebay.

14. Security Lock

Securing your jet ski with a lock to either your trailer or the dock will go a long way to prevent jet ski theft. The thieves are out there and they’re looking for opportunities to take your pride and joy away from you.

It’s really inexpensive to get yourself a great quality jet ski lock nowadays. Just keep in mind that you can’t leave it locked for months and months in the rain as they typically corrode and rust out.

15. Jet Ski GPS

We’ve written an extensive guide for jet ski gps devices to help you find the right model for you. Essentially, we would certainly recommend getting one.

Some people claim that you can now do just fine with a mobile phone. The trouble is signal blackspots as well as accidently dropping your phone into the ocean. Even if it’s in a waterproof case that floats, you still run the risk of it overheating in direct sun which won’t happen with a formal jet ski GPS.

16. Duct Tape and Zip Ties

You just never know when you’re going to need duct tape and zip ties. Got a whole in your jet ski wetsuit? Use the duck tape. Broken strap on your life jacket? Reach for the zip ties.

These are also handy for making quick and temporary repairs to your jet ski and tow tubes. Essentially, enough for you to get back to shore and make formal repairs.

17. Salt-Away Jet Ski Wash

A popular Australian chemical is Salt-Away which is designed for your engine bay. Essentially it stops the salt from corroding the engine meaning you’ll get many more hours before it finally needs to be retired.

Why is it so awesome? Because it’s very affordable and the solution lasts a long time with lots of positive reviews and ratings. Another great alternative is Salt Off by Star Brite as well as the CRC Salt Terminator flush inhibitor.

18. Jet Ski Esky with Fishing Rod Holders

These days you often see people going jet ski fishing with rocket launchers at the rear of their jet ski which is mounted with a cooler or esky. Neat idea!

The cost on these vary and you can expect to pay between $100 and $250 just for fishing rod holders and anywhere from $200 to $700 for a properly mounted jet ski cooler at the rear. Not cheap, but certainly beats buying a boat!

19. Spare Knife

Getting something clogged in your impellar is the worst feeling in the world. By having a spare knife on hand will really help you get back to riding at full throttle pretty quickly.

In addition, they can be used if you go jet ski fishing too or to untangle fishing nets. You’ll need to replace these every few months as they will rust out but they are so affordable these days to buy online.

20. Jet Ski Ladder

Most jet skis don’t come with ladders and for the unfit people among us, they certainly can help. It’s really hard when you take a passenger for a ride, go for a swim and then they can’t get back on the jet ski properly without a helping hand from you. A jet ski ladder fixes all of that.

The aftermarket ladders are made from nylon. Essentially they are lightweight ropes that simply hook on to the rear and won’t get caught up in the propeller. Price? Super affordable. 😀

21. Towable Jet Ski Tubes

Ah yes, there are certainly lots of jet ski tubes that you can tow behind. Keep in mind that the lower horse power jet skis will struggle to tow much weight and so you may be restricted to just one to two small children.

These tubes can really help you have more fun out there on the waterways as it isn’t just about high speeds and doing jet ski jumps. In addition to the tubes, you’ll need a rope, 12v air pump and repair kit, as well as lifejackets for each rider.

22. Waterproof Flashlight

Sure, you might never ride your jet ski at night time but you have to plan for the worst. Imagine the engine ceasing 1 mile from the boat ramp and you’re stuck out there. You make a call to the Coast Guard for assistance but as the sun is falling, you’re really worried because how will they find you?

By having a waterproof flashlight in the front locker at all times, you’ll feel much more safer and in control. You can also use this torch when you’re unloading your jet ski at the boat ramp in the very early morning before anyone else gets there, apart from the avid early-morning fishing crew.

23. Spare Water Bottle

When you’re out riding, you typically will drink more water than you anticipated. Worst still – you’ll rock up to the boat ramp without any water with you at all.

I recommend that you pack a very large water bottle in the front locker before leaving home. Call it the ‘jet ski bottle’ exclusively for the jet ski.

24. Additional Fuel Mount

Yes, you can certainly get additional fuel gas cans as I’ve detailed further up in this guide. The challenge is that proper mounts are hard to come by. Sea-Doo and Yamaha make their own but these are expensive to install and it’s generally an option you’ll add when buying your jet ski brand new from the dealership.

25. Handlebar Phone Dock

A slight disclaimer here that I don’t recommend using your phone as a GPS device in warmer conditions, and that’s most riders in the PWC market. If you’re riding in the cooler months, then you can certainly mount your phone on a handlebar dock. I also recommend a waterproof case.

Yes – it’s quite likely that you will need to drill into your handlebar zone. Jet skis are different clearly than motorcycles and bicycles. If you’re looking to sell your jet ski anytime soon, I probably wouldn’t do this.

26. Marine Wax

To keep your jet ski looking new, it’s best to use some marine wax after each ride. First, you’ll want to wash your jet ski with fresh water, then you’ll want to dry it off before applying wax. I personally like the Meguiars range as they simply are #1 in the marine world.

27. Multi-tool Pliers

I don’t leave home without my multi-tool by my side when I go adventuring, whether that’s camping, 4x4ing or jet skiing. You just never know when you might need to unscrew something or do a quick fix with some pliers.

28. Safety Flag

In some stages you’ll be required to have a safety flag. Check your local regulations especially if you’re traveling interstate on a holiday and doing some jet ski camping along the way.

If you’re also travelling via PWC from Florida to the Bahamas then you may require having a marine country of origin flag on your vessel. I’ve written this Florida-Bahamas riding guide to help you accomplish this safely.

29. Marine Radio

Again – safety is essential out there on the water. Having a marine radio is 200% better than relying on phone signal and there are some VHF radios that also have a GPS built into them with panic buttons too.

I’ve also written this guide on finding the best and reliable jet ski marine radio so you can contact other marine users while having a unit that lasts for years and years.

Some Extras

What about some extras we haven’t mentioned? Most of these below you won’t need but worth creating a discussion about.

Jet Ski Camera

If you hang within Facebook groups or YouTube channels you often find people with jet ski videos created with GoPro and other cameras. Do you need one? Not really. Should you get one anyway? Well, once you have some experience.

Not only can this be very valuable, but it works like a jet ski dash cam to capture footage in the event you’re in an accident on the waterways. In fact, there have been numerous incredible jet ski crashes caught on film recently.

Cup Holders

Nope. I don’t recommend having cup holders at all. Once you hit a big enough wave, your water bottle will likely launch out and could hit you in the forehead, sending you unconscious. Bad idea! These are only good for storing small towels.

Cooler Bags

It’s a challenge to find a cooler bag small enough to fit within the front locker. If you really need to keep things frozen, then I recommend a cooler box on a rear mount.

Snorkeling Gear

Great idea! Not only can you go snorkeling, but having a mask handy will help you if you need to quickly look under your jet ski or at the propeller if something gets stuck.

In summary

I hope I’ve covered everything here! Let me know if I haven’t and I can add to this list. 🙂

Dealers will recommend you buy just about everything here but honestly, just buy what you need for now especially the safety gear that I mentioned. As your skills grow, you can buy tubes and the fishing gear for the rear.

Jet Ski VHF Marine Radios – Top 5 Models for 2020

Jet Ski Marine Radio

Today I’ll be showcasing the best 5 jet ski radios for safety on the waterways in 2020. The best part – all of these cost less than $200!

I’m a big proponent for safety when riding. When you’re buying a jet ski, you often forget about the additional outlay that you’ll need to factor in.

Things like life jackets, a wetsuit, insurance, registration, the actual trailer (if you need one) and even a marine GPS soon will add up several thousand dollars to your already large investment. Then we have the VHF radio which is a real after-thought.

In my opinion, it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever buy. Sure, you won’t need to use it much at all, but knowing it’s there will help you enjoy a great day out there on the water.

Jet ski radios guide

Many people in the boating market already know just how important having access to a VHF radio is. It gives the user the ability to send and receive verbal or even text-based messages across the waterways from many miles away.

Let’s look at some more of those advantages:

  1. Allows you to quickly contact 911 and rescue teams
  2. Easy contact with lock/weir operators and harbormasters
  3. Users can listen in on emergency situations and respond
  4. You can easily receive weather forecasts in real-time
  5. When without a cell signal, you can call your friends at the boat ramp
  6. Most importantly, you can get a great jet ski VHF radio for under $100!

But it’s not so easy to simply pick up a radio at the store and run with it. There are numerous models on the market, but not all are created equal.

Some are best suited towards hikers and 4×4 enthusiasts, instead of jet ski owners. Others are just too big and bulky so commonly they are just left at home or in the tow vehicle.

Routinely I see these challenges:

  • Some radios that cost well over $1,000 but provide little added advantages
  • Others aren’t so waterproof as they claim during beta-testing stages
  • The battery life of the cheaper models is insufficient for an entire day
  • Easier to damage VHF radios on a jet ski due to harsh riding conditions
  • Warranty information is often quite vague with some hoops to jump through

So it’s quite clear that jet ski enthusiasts do need to shop around for a reliable marine radio. One that is backed by a strong warranty and reputable brand which has consistently delivered for years.

Best Jet Ski VHF radios

I’m going to detail exactly the radios that I have come across in my searches. Two of these models I have owned and the other three I have used after borrowing to create this list. All are listed in merely my own opinion.

ModelPrice
1Retevis RT55 Marine RadioUnder $150
2Standard Horizon HX210Under $100
3Uniden Atlantis 155 HandheldUnder $70
4Standard Horizon GX1600BUnder $160
5Uniden UM385 Fixed Mount Marine VHFUnder $100

That’s just 5 of the 30 or so great models available for jet skis. One thing that I would recommend is a protective and cushioned sleeve. You are bouncing around at 70 miles per hour and these radios are more-so designed to be stored in bags.

Now let’s have a look at these models in greater detail:

Retevis RT55 Marine Radio

This is an excellent VHF radio that represents great value for money. I would recommend keeping the Retevis in a waterproof pouch and avoid using it with wet hands.

Jet Ski VHF Marine Radio

That said, it is waterproof and it’s floating too. You can even get weather alerts and this comes with a cool vibration water draining function. The online reviews show great feedback from users.

Pros: All the functions you would expect, really good visual design, has a locking button so it won’t switch channels.

Cons: Isn’t the cheap model out there.

Standard Horizon HX210

For the price you pay, you get a fantastic compact jet ski VHF radio known as the Standard Horizon HX210. This 6 watt radio is very easy to operate.

Standard Horizon Jet Ski VHF

It comes with a 3-year warranty with IPX7 waterproof rating which essentially means you can submerge it for 30 minutes in 1 metre of water. You can even broadcast FM frequencies so you can listen to your favorite radio station too.

Pros: Well reputed as one of the best overall marine radios you could buy. Has several advanced features. Excellent waterproof capabilities.

Cons: Small screen and buttons.

Uniden Atlantis 155 Handheld

If you’re looking for the cheapest jet ski VHF radio on the market, then the Uniden Atlantis 155 is exactly what you want. Often it’s found for around the $65 mark and has the basics you would expect.

Handheld Marine VHF Radios

The cool thing I like about this radio apart from the price is the antenna. It’s strong enough to store in the front storage compartment of your jet ski, plus it’s much smaller than just about any other handheld model.

Pros: Basic design but does the job. Currently the cheapest VHF marine radio available in the market with a 1-year warranty.

Cons: Looks like it has been delivered from 1993.

Standard Horizon GX1600B

Now if you’re looking for something built into your jet ski so it doesn’t get lost, the GX1600B is a great model. The issue of course is where to mount the microphone.

Jet ski mounted radio storage locker

Generally not as popular on jet skis, this VHF radio has a bigger range than most other handheld devices. Given that jet skis generally don’t go offshore, this isn’t as important, but at least it’s harder for it to get stolen unlike jet skis.

Pros: You’ll find this model inside thousands of boats worldwide. Big screen and easy to use buttons.

Cons: Requires a large mounting spot.

Uniden UM385 Fixed Mount Marine VHF

This is one of the most well known marine radios around. If you’re looking for immense value and reliability, then Uniden has it made.

Uniden mounted personal watercraft VHF radio

Just like the Standard Horizon mentioned above, it’s going to be harder to mount this on a jet ski. I’ve seen a few jet ski enthusiasts mount one of these in their tow vehicles. This way they can call their pals who might already be out adventuring so you know their location.

Pros: Very straight forward design. Clear to see all menus.

Cons: The white design could get dirty.

Other marine radios worth mentioning

As I mentioned at the beginning, this is just 5 of the dozens of VHF radios that are suitable for jet ski use. You might not like the look or pricing of these, so I’ve highlighted some more.

As a quick summary, you might also wish to consider the:

  • Cobra Floating VHF long-range radio
  • Uniden MHX75 Waterproof Handheld 2-Way
  • Standard Horizon Handheld with GPS (expensive)
  • Cobra MRHH125 Handheld (Really cheap but OK)

Cobra is really coming out of the far left field with these two radios heavily promoted on Amazon.

If you wanted an alternative to any of the 5 I’ve mentioned, then the Cobras would be an ideal pick. Among Facebook groups it seems to be a great choice.

Tips for success with VHF radios

Now once you’ve bought your new marine radio, you’ll want to consider some things. After all, many people simply don’t read the user manuals anymore.

I didn’t want to just create this list of the best jet ski radios without sharing some tips and advice for you. When I was starting out I wish there was someone to show me how to navigate the world of marine communication.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years:

  1. Buy yourself a spare battery when you order your radio initially, which is especially helpful if you go jet ski camping. You can charge this spare battery with the same charging dock.
  2. Don’t worry about a clip on the back of the radio, since it will live in your storage locker anyway.
  3. Wrap it up with a towel to protect it against knocks when riding but don’t forget that it’s there. Nothing is worse than getting out your towel on the beach and dropping your radio on the sand or rocks.
  4. Don’t leave your VHF radio in a hot car, as the batteries will corrode or could explode. Even the front storage locker on your jet ski can get too hot for some models on the marketplace.
  5. Learn the rules and regulations of VHF radio use. Depending on your county, state or country, you might actually require a licence to either own or use a marine radio.
  6. Don’t leave the radio with little children as they often love to play games with it. This is a serious adults communication device that isn’t designed for horse-play.
  7. Always remember that your VHF radio should have a spot in your jet ski, so you know where it is at all times. Also remember to pack it before leaving home.

And despite all of that, you won’t use the radio all that much. It’s just a great device for peace of mind, so you can reach areas without the fear of getting stuck and without assistance.

Remember that many areas that you’ll ride have patchy cell phone coverage, hence the market for marine radios is very big even today. You can expect an audible range of 10 nautical miles generally at the minimum with most marine radios available today. They sure have improved over their performance over the last 2 decades.

Summary

I would for sure recommend my fellow riders to purchase a VHF radio for their jet ski or personal watercraft. This is especially important if you’re riding solo because help and assistance might be miles or hours away.

Choose a radio that is waterproof of course, but protect it with a soft bag or even your towel. Keep it charged and don’t forget to pack it in the longer before you hook up the trailer.

See you out there on the water!

Best Jet Ski Riding Gloves (Top 5 for 2020)

If you’re a passionate jet ski rider, then you’ll want to invest into some decent jet ski riding gloves. Here are the best 5 for 2020.

Often people who ride for the first few times don’t think about gloves. It’s only after getting blisters, sunburn or even slip off their grips do they think about purchasing PWC gloves.

But at least they’re now away, so now it’s time to find a good pair.

Let’s have a look at what is available.

Jet Ski Gloves – Top 5 in 2020

Most types of riding gloves are suitable for the most part when riding jet skis. Luckily, unlike jet ski helmets which are well under-served, manufacturers have come out with some great jet ski gloves.

I mean…we’re really spoiled for choice here. So much so that you can leave ordinary cycling or gym gloves at home.

My personal choices are the following jet ski riding gloves:

  1. Jetpilot RX Superlite Jet ski gloves (2020)
  2. Jetpilot Matrix Heatseeker Gloves (Men’s)
  3. Neosport 3/4 finger Neoprene gloves
  4. Jetpilot race jet ski gloves
  5. Navis marine sailing gloves

It doesn’t surprise me that Jetpilot holds 3 out of the 5 titles on this leaderboard. They simply want to deliver the best for the personal watercraft community.

RX Superlite

I like these gloves. They’re thin and quite affordable too. Ideal for summer riding!

One thing you’ll find is that they don’t hold your fingers back. You can reach your IBR brakes without stretching too much. So if freedom of movement is your thing, but also protection of your hands from blisters, the RX Superlite’s from Jetpilot offer great value.

Jetpilot Matrix Heatseeker

If you’re riding in colder conditions, then jet ski gloves are almost mandatory. Otherwise, you just won’t have that much fun out there with frozen hands.

Jet Ski Gloves for Personal Watercraft (PWC)

These have a thick neoprene design that is popular with those who enter marine environments in the colder months. On the back of the hand is hard protection to also stop the wind chill.

Neosport 3/4 finger Neoprene gloves

For sheer affordability, you have to get a pair of the Neosport 3/4 finger gloves. These are quite basic but you get what you pay for.

One of the best things about these gloves is that you can comfortably use them for sailing and snorkelling. Since they are very affordable, get yourself a 2nd pair and you’ll still pay less than the Jetpilot offerings!

Jetpilot race jet ski gloves

Right, so you like to ride fast? You’re definitely going to need a pair of high quality jet ski gloves. No one can provide such quality as Jetpilot.

I love the designs on these. You can choose your color and these have all been updated for 2020.

Navis marine sailing gloves

I couldn’t let Jetpilot have another award on this list. Navis has a great sailing glove that doubles as a reasonably great personal watercraft glove.

If you’re into other water sports such as boating, then this pair is great as you only need to buy one pair. Certainly there is a reason why these are at the bottom of this list.

Why you should wear jet ski gloves

It’s very practical to just buy a good set of gloves, but we need to think a little deeper first. I want to share why I believe they are very useful.

  1. Allows you to get a grip. Slipping on the throttle especially when jumping waves becomes a thing of the past.
  2. Provides protection when anchoring. Both the chain and anchor can be rusty or simply abrasive, so wearing gloves can help reduce the risk of a cut.
  3. Provides a wind barrier. When you’re riding in cold conditions, nothing is worse than frozen hands. Even the thin Neosport version is great to at least stop a bit of the wind chill.
  4. Excellent barrier to sunburned skin. Wearing sunscreen on your hands is terrible because it leads to throttle slippage.
  5. Provides more confidence when riding, because you just feel more secure. With bare hands, you actually feel a sense of nakedness when riding.

As you can see, many upsides for such a minimal capital outlay. Buying a pair of jet ski gloves was the best decision I personally made!

Deciding to buy PWC gloves

Now that we have the reasons out of the way, let’s look at what you should look for when buying jet ski gloves:

  1. High quality. You really want to assess that the materials used are premium-spec.
  2. The right gloves for your riding conditions. There is little value in choosing winter gloves when you ride in Florida all year long. You’ll just end up with hot hands all day which lead to fatigue.
  3. Well known brand in the marine market with strong reviews. Check on Amazon to see the feedback from other riders.
  4. Is designed for wet environments. Some marine gloves are mostly for boating where you really won’t get that wet.
  5. Finger movements. You shouldn’t have much of a restriction in the movements of your fingers when reaching for the throttle, brakes and reverse functions.
  6. Pricing should be considered last. After all, even the most expensive gloves are less than $70 which is merely a tank of gas, but these gloves will last for several years.

Some people like to order online whilst others go into dealerships.

Knowing your hand size first before ordering online is a very good idea. You can ask other riders at the boat ramp if you can try their gloves on first before ordering, so you can assess sizing.

In summary

I would highly recommend gloves to stop blisters when riding a jet ski. Don’t let your fun day be spoiled by those nasty burns and blisters.

For less than $50 you can pick up the Jetpilot gloves which are well known as being very comfortable and long-lasting. This is a key reason why they feature as 3 out of these top 5.

It’s not just riding but also loading/unloading your jet ski at the boat ramp. Getting your fingers jammed in your trailer winch is a fear that we all have.

I look forward to seeing you out on the waterways!

3 of the Best Jet Ski Gas Cans of 2020

Best Jet Ski Gas Cans 2020

If you’re searching for a gas can for your jet ski, then I’ve got you covered! I’ve researched the best PWC fuel storage pods available for 2020.

Having an extra bit of fuel when riding for an entire day is a great idea. It really helps you reach those locations that would otherwise be out of range.

Many people don’t have the luxury of support boats or having marine fuel stations on the journey. This is why taking a jerry can or gas can is a great idea.

So let me showcase my 3 best recommendations.

Top Jet Ski Gas Cans

Fuel storage on a jet ski is already reasonably good, giving riders 2 to 3 hours of fun without stopping. But what if you could increase that range? With a fuel cell, you can!

Unlike motorcycles where you can swap the factory fuel tank out for a larger one, it’s near-on impossible to do this in the PWC market.

Jet Ski Gas Can
When you want to go for a decent ride. 😂

Luckily, bolt on PWC fuel cans have become a thing. They are a little dangerous in some ways. They could explode on hot days or simply fall off your water ski and not be seen again, creating an environmental issue.

But that aside, there are some great advantages to be found.

Here’s my top 3:

SureCan gas can

This is definitely my favorite on the market. It really has an intelligent design to avoid any spilling when refuelling. I like to think of this like simply refuelling at the gas station since you don’t really have to pour anything.

SureCan for Jet Ski

You can buy this in 2.4 gallon and 5-gallon styles. Certainly more expensive, costing up to $49.99 each, but can be worth the cost and frustration when compared to traditional gas cans. These might not be available in your state.

Pros: Total splash-free design. Very high quality. Customers leaving rave reviews.

Cons: Hard to take it with you when riding. A bit expensive.

SeaDoo clip-on gas can

This is the 2nd best option. This is a clip on gas can that I hope more manufactuers would adopt into the marketplace.

SeaDoo Clip-On Gas Can For Jet Ski

These aren’t cheap especially as they are $100+ but certainly they are reliable. Again, check your state laws to see if these are permitted.

Pros: Clips on securely. Very high quality as it’s made by the manufacturer.

Cons: Expensive. Doesn’t work for Yamahas and Kawasaki’s.

Briggs and Stratton 1 Gallon Jerry Can

This is a great little gas can that you can even store in your car for emergencies. It is EPA and CARB Complaint with the design available in all states.

Small jet ski gas can

Now, I don’t generally recommend these at all. Some other riders have used their PWC storage compartment to store little cans like these without troubles. It will be good to wrap an old towel around it, in case it leaks from the cap.

You can use a ratchet strap on the swimming platform though this isn’t that safe or secure either, especially in rough sea conditions.

Other alternatives

Now taking a gas can on your PWC is a great idea. But many riders don’t think of alternatives where they won’t need to carry additional fuel.

Because when you’re riding with extra fuel on board, you’re a little more apprehensive in your riding approach. I find this too when I ride with extra fuel. I’m more conservative, playing it safe whilst others are flying right past me.

So here’s what you could do instead:

  • Create a route that takes into account marinas where you can fuel up on the go. You might even get some food and drinks whilst you’re there!
  • Organize fuel drops in advance. If you know that you’re going into a remote area, you could drive in and secretly drop some fuel a few days in advance.
  • Use boat support. The big organized rides always have some support boats that have fuel onboard so jet ski riders don’t need to worry.
  • Consider if it’s even worth it. For most riding areas, you’ll still get a few hours of decent riding in before the empty warning light comes on.
  • Simply ride more conservatively. I know that no rider wants to be told this, but if you ride more ‘eco’ then you’ll simply get a bigger range. Plus, if you’re riding that far, you won’t want to be going 70 miles per hour all day long, otherwise your arms will tire quickly.

All of these will eliminate the need to take that extra jerry can. Remember that the extra fuel at the back is going to affect the performance and handling of your jet ski. Ask yourself: Is this worth it?

PWC Gas Cans: In summary

In some instances, taking the extra fuel will be worth it. In other times, you can find ways around it which is much safer, plus you’ll have a more enjoyable day out on the water.

My recommendation for SeaDoo owners is to use their own fuel cans, if you decide that you need that extra range. This is because these clip on pods are much more reliable than any other model out there, albeit at a higher cost.

Either way, additional fuel can really help to have more fun out there on the water!