How To Jump Waves With A Jet Ski (12 Tips)

Jet Ski Wave Jumping

Jumping waves with a personal watercraft is fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous! Today I’ll show you how to safely jump waves with a jet ski.

Jet ski waves – Jumping guide

You really need to be prepared properly. This is because it isn’t like jumping on a bicycle, motorbike or skateboard. The feeling is a lot different.

Guide for jet ski wave jumping

I’ll show you in this list some of the best tips I’ve come across when you’re jumping on a PWC and learning the skill of jumping waves in the open ocean or river mouth.

Start slowly

There is no rush to become a pro wave-jumping expert in 5 minutes. Let’s put the ego aside and go gently. Start with the smaller waves first.

Anything 2 to 3 feet is good. You don’t want to go too fast at all. Start at just above idle speed before progressing further.

I often advise people to use the learner key when starting out. This way the power response is a lot less, so you don’t go crazy right away.

Look at the weather forecast

The worst place to learn jet ski jumping is when the waves are beyond 4 feet. That’s just too much for a novice.

Jet Ski Wave Jumps
A cloudy day like this is ideal

I like to avoid windy days when riding generally, and when it comes to wave jumping, the wind knocks down the waves. This can be good for beginners, but terrible to find a good wave to plow over.

Also, avoid the early morning and early evening. The shadows make you perceive waves to be bigger or smaller than what they actually are. Lunchtime is ideal.

Scout for a wave-jumping location

A good place to find an ideal place to start wave jumping is your local Facebook group. Fellow jet ski riders often post photos showing off their stunts on the weekend. You can ask them where they are riding.

Jet Ski Jumps Waves

I also like to scout around my local area. If I see a big congregation of fellow jet skis in the open ocean, it’s almost guaranteed that they are there to do jet ski wave jumping.

Another tip is to ask at the local boat ramp. You’ll generally find other riders launching their personal watercraft at the same time, so you can ask them where the best locations are.

How to jump waves

Right – so you’re ready. You’ve found the best day, the weather is good and you’ve found a spot.

Now, how do you jump that wave on a jet ski? Here is what I would do:

  1. Go with idle power on the approach to the oncoming wave
  2. As you’re nearing the front of the wave, immediately add more throttle
  3. Lean back on your jet ski but with bent elbows and knees
  4. Hold that power through the jumping action (while you’re airborne)
  5. Brace yourself as you’re about to drop back into the water, tail first

When it comes to bracing your body when landing a jet ski jump, there are a few things to be mindful of. These include having your knees and elbows bent, looking up and forward, and keeping your head far back from the steering bar so you don’t knock it upon landing.

Tips for safety

While you are learning, remember that it’s a bit more dangerous to go jumping on a jet ski. The weight of the machine and the volality of surf waves makes for an interesting combination.

To stay safe on the waves, I would advise everyone to:

  1. Always wear a quality personal flotation device (PFD)
  2. Avoid jumping alone in case you have an accident
  3. Use great form, including bent elbows and knees
  4. Wear a jet ski helmet (There are several mentioned here)
  5. Choose a location that isn’t frequented by swimmers or surfers
  6. Practice on the smaller (baby) waves before going for monsters
  7. Wear fluorescent clothing so that others can see you jumping
  8. Use the learner key so you don’t give too much throttle
  9. Always brace yourself for the landing, as that’s where injuries happen
  10. Wear MX knee and elbow pads if you have a fear of injury
  11. Remember the water depth – don’t go jumping too close to shore!
  12. Make sure your jet ski lanyard is reliable and working at all times

The reason I mention these is that you’re taking a 1,000-pound machine on to unpredictable waves. It’s much different than a stationary dirt jump and 20 pound BMX bike on a calm day.

I often hear of jet ski accidents in my local area, most of which are due to people who go wave jumping beyond their limits. Some people have even died as a result. It’s a dangerous sport so you need all the protective gear you can get.

It goes without saying that you should start slow and build your confidence going forward. Never go beyond your known capabilities. Showing off is just not worth it!

Getting started with waves

I find that YouTube is a great place to learn jet ski jumping. It’s where I’ve learned a lot of the skills from people who have done it before me.

I often find my body is very sore on the day after a good jumping session. Getting a massage is a great idea, and so is consuming some form of healthy fats such as fish oil. Most importantly – drink lots of water when you’re jumping.

Stay safe but also have fun! This is one of the best ways to enjoy the sport of jet ski riding.

Riding a Jet Ski in Dirty Rivers and Lakes: Worth the risk?

So you want to take a jet ski in dirty rivers, but you’re not so sure if it’s justifiable. After all, you’ve heard of the horror stories out there.

Today I want to expand further with my helpful guides with a discussion on riding a jet ski in less than ideal conditions and areas, so everyone can stay safe.

Is it worth the risk? I’ll tell you about the dangers of riding a jet ski in dirty rivers or lakes, but how you can still ride safely too!

Let’s jump into it.

Dirty rivers and lakes explained

Jet ski riders and PWC enthusiasts love to go riding away from the saltwater oceans and canals. There are immense benefits including the reduced risk of corrosion and the obvious lack of sharks and stingers.

Now, let’s not get confused here. You can find plenty of good and clean lakes and river systems around the world. The photo above is one great example.

What I’m referring to is obviously dirty rivers and lakes where other marine traffic is less likely to visit, given the bad conditions. If where you’re looking to ride your jet ski is very brown, then it’s certainly something that most others would avoid due to being too dirty.

Risks of jet ski riding in dirty lakes/rivers

There are some inherent risks that experience riders talk about, that might not be so apparent for you. For this reason, let me explain some of the riding hazards you might experience.

These include:

  1. Sunken logs which are just under the surface of the water.
  2. Debris such as leaves that get caught in your engine intake.
  3. Staining and discoloration to the paintwork of your jet ski.
  4. Lack of maintenance at river/lake boat ramps (less marine traffic)
  5. Fewer people to help you if an emergency situation happens.

One huge hazard often not talked about is the risk of animal attacks. Yes, this certainly can happen as animals can hide very easily in dirty waterways.

The Brisbane River is one of many Dirty Rivers that jet ski rivers avoid
While the Brisbane city looks great, riding in this dirty river gives riders some uncertainty.

Here in Australia crocodiles can attack jet ski riders if they get too close, so you need to be careful. You’ll find crocodiles in Australia north of the Mary River, all the way to Darwin and Broome.

Alligators in the United States have known to chase after jet ski riders who aren’t paying attention. Let’s not forget the bull sharks either!

Benefits on the flip side

Now with fewer crowds leads to more open riding areas without the hazards of collisions with other riders. So I certainly understand the allure.

One good thing that you can do in dirty lakes and rivers is jet ski fishing. Instead of buying an additional boat, simply ride slowly through the waterways to find a good spot to go fishing.

You also get to visit other places that very few people will. You could even just forgo the speed and adrenaline of jet ski riding and just go camping.

Often you can also launch your jet ski in the waterways but cruise out to the open oceans. This gives you the best of both worlds.

Summary

So is it worth it? In some cases – YES. It can be worth it to take your jet ski to a dirty lake or river.

But in most cases – NO. You should strive to look further afield towards a lake, river system or open ocean where you can ride safely and securely.

It’s often so much better to stay in clean water areas with your jet ski

Jet ski riding is a lot of fun. Having an engine die on you when riding isn’t much fun, and in a dirty waterway system, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get towed back to the boat ramp.

I would personally choose the open ocean or clean lakes/rivers any day of the week.

10 Hazards of Buying a Used Sea-Doo PWC Trailer

You’re ready to buy a used Sea-Doo trailer to haul your jet ski around from boat ramp to boat ramp, but is it really worth it? Let’s find out.

Used PWC trailer dangers

I think it can be dangerous to buy a used jet ski trailer, whether that’s Sea-Doo or Yamaha. Today I’ll expand on why that is.

Now don’t get me wrong, there can be times when you’ll have no problems at all. In fact, many people have zero issues, but there is an elephant in the room and I need to talk about it.

1. The trailer could be stolen

Even if you’ve run a state check, then the trailer could show up as not being stolen. This is because thieves are about to easily change VIN numbers and licence plates.

Used Sea-Doo Trailer

It’s quite common for a jet ski to get stolen, though I’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to stop that from happening. What thieves like to do is separate the trailer from the jet ski, then add decals to the jet ski to make it unique.

2. You might not see the rust

When a trailer has been used around water, it’s going to start rusting after a while. Aluminium trailers defintely are very slow to start rusting but it does happen after some time, especially when more exposed to saltwater.

While you can easily inspect the outside, it’s hard to know what’s happening on the inside. Many people miss inspecting the undercarriage too, where the real damage happens.

3. Rollers could be seized.

While you’re inspecting a trailer, it might be carrying a jet ski already. This way the owner has made it almost impossible for you to check the free-wheeling capacity of the rollers.

It’s important to check these because any seized rollers will greatly impact the ease in which you can launch and retrieve your jet ski. Also, those same rollers could cause scratches/stains on the hull if they aren’t turning.

4. Wear and tear on the winch

You really need to pay attention to the winch. It’s going to make the difference between an easy launch or retrieval process or a hard one.

Pretty much any used jet ski trailer is going to have wear and tear on the winch. Often you can’t see it, as there is rust happening on the inside.

5. Tyres are often bald

The obvious thing that people check is the tyres when inspecting a used Sea-Doo trailer. Guess what? They’re often bald and the owner isn’t too excited to replace them.

So while you’ve saved a few pennies instead of buying a new trailer, now you have to open your wallet so you can buy 2 new tyres. Also, check the spare tyre as often these aren’t found on used trailers.

6. It has already been exposed to the elements

A used trailer is exactly that – used. It has already been used at the boat ramp numerous times and the owner wants to move it on, likely because they are getting a new one.

Old jet ski trailer used

With so much use you’ve got exposure to the elements to take into account. It’s that obvious wear and tear that makes people question if it’s worth it.

7. You’ll probably have to buy a new Sea-Doo trailer in 6 months

While it’s great that you’re saving money today, you’re probably going to need to find more money in 6 months to get rid of this trailer that is causing you so many problems.

Instead, you could have bought a new trailer from Day 1 that will survive several years of use. Plus, you’ll have the pride of knowing you have a new trailer.

8. Harder to make custom modifications

Adding cool accessories on your jet ski trailer such as extra gas cans is a great way to create more fun. With a used trailer, you’ll be anxious about adding further modifications, since you know the life-cycle of the trailer is short.

Jet Ski Trailer Modifications
This is one cool modification that’s difficult with used Sea-Doo trailers

Now you’ll have a trailer that really limits what you can do. Want to go jet ski camping? It’s going to be a bit harder with a used trailer to haul around all that stuff.

9. The embarrassment of a squeaking trailer

Imagine you rock up at the boat ramp with your brand new Sea-Doo trailer and jet ski. Perhaps it just has a few hours on it. Regardless, you’re excited and proud! Oh, except for the trailer…

It’s squeaking and rusty. It’s old and everyone knows it. You went the cheap option and everyone is scratching their heads. It’s quite embarrassing and something you don’t need to put up with.

10. You’ll have to wear gloves

With a new jet ski trailer you can get away without wearing any gloves, because there is no rusty spots to be mindful of. Compare that to a used trailer that looks very average, and you’ll be wanting all the protection you can get.

This isn’t really a big hazard since you can just wear your existing jet ski riding gloves to get the job done. It will just look a bit odd at the boat ramp to be doing this.

Summary

There are times that a used jet ski trailer will be a wise decision to make. This includes:

  1. The trailer quite clearly has had very little use
  2. Its condition is almost identical to a new trailer
  3. It is listed at half the price of a new jet ski trailer

If what you’re looking at doesn’t subscribe to these 3 rules, then pass on that rusty bit of metal and spend the little extra for a new trailer.

After all, you’ve already spent a huge amount on your personal watercraft. An extra $1,000 for a trailer that will haul your toy safely to your favorite riding spots is a worthwhile investment.

Often dealerships do have great Sea-Doo trailer + jet ski deals as a package. Even if they don’t, they can certainly point you in the right direction.

Jet Ski Oils: The 5 Best Oil Brands to guard your PWC

Looking after your personal watercraft is a fine idea with the right jet ski oil. It’s going to lead to greater reliability, longevity and better resale value.

I’ll show you the 5 best jet ski oil brands that can help to look after the engine in your personal watercraft. Month after month, year after year.

It’s really vital for the entire lifespan of your machine that you maintain it. While servicing is important, so is the fluids that you use to keep it in pristine condition.

Jet ski oils

Unlike a car, jet skis really just need engine oil to perform well. You won’t really need to worry about transmission oil or power steering fluid, as it’s pretty easy to turn a jet ski.

There are still a few 2-stroke jet skis on the market that will need a mixing ratio. Apart from that, the 4-stroke offerings today just require regular checking and top ups.

Now, your PWC does go through some pretty harsh environments. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure whichever oil you choose is up to the job.

1. Yamaha Jet Ski Oil

As a clear winner, Yamaha does have their own branded oil for their loyal customers who buy their watercraft. I really do like what is offered here.

Jet Ski Oil

You can buy Yamaha Jet Ski Oil in various sizes. If you use your machine often or you have two models in the garage, then I recommend the higher volumes.

2. Sea-Doo Jet Ski Oil

Likewise, SeaDoo also offers branded oil for their machines. Its composition is very similar to what Yamaha make and there are reports of riders using each interchangeably (though I don’t recommend it).

Sea Doo Jet Ski Oil

This stuff is a bit more expensive but when you consider the cost of an engine rebuild (several thousand dollars) it’s worth it to sleep better at nighttime.

3. Kawasaki 2-Stroke Oil

Did you know that Kawasaki still runs 2-stroke engines? Obviously they need a different type of oil which most people aren’t aware of.

Jet Ski Oil for Kawasaki

It’s significantly safer to just run with Kawasaki’s own oil if you own one of their beautiful PWCs. While it’s also a bit pricey, I believe it’s a warranty issue that you need to be mindful of.

4. Motul Power Jet Ski Oil

Some people want to shy away from leading jet ski manufacturers such as Yamaha and Sea-Doo. My #1 recommendation is Motul who has served the marine and motorcycle world for years.

Motul Jet Ski Oil

They have a brand called ‘Power Jet’ exclusively for jet skis available in a range of formulations. It’s generally a bit cheaper.

5. Maxima Marine Oil

Maxima is another brand that I’m happy to recommend. The bottles are easier to knock over which is a bit frustrating if you leave the cap off.

Maxima Marine Oil

Often cheaper than the offerings from Motul, Maxima is a no-fuss oil that other jet ski enthusiasts rave about. Personally I do like them, but Motul is better.

Using an oil change kit

If you decide to do your own jet ski oil changes, then you should invest in a kit. These come with an oil extraction pump to make it significantly easier for you.

Some additional things you’ll need to do:

  • Check online to see what your oil tank capacity is
  • Get some rags as this is often a very messy process
  • Consult YouTube as there are several great tutorials

I also like to see what the condition of my old oil is like. Observe the smell, density and general appearance and compare it to your new oil. Also, I recommend that you look closely for any small particles as this could be a sign of a potentially large problem happening in your engine block.

Frequently asked questions

I get a lot of questions here on JetSkiAdvice. After all, it’s an encyclopedia for people to help them with their decision-making.

Which type of jet ski oil is best?

The best type is always the one manufactured by the same company who made your jet ski. If you have a Sea-Doo, then get SeaDoo-made oil. It’s always a safe bet.

How much do I fill?

Just like a car, you should only fill your jet ski oil reservoir to the maximum dipstick level. Also, don’t ever let it get down to the minimum. I like to check my levels before and after each ride, especially as the level can drop while I’m storing my PWC over winter.

What is the best place to buy jet ski oil?

Your local dealership is always the best place to start. You can buy the oil today without waiting for a courier, plus you’ll be able to trust their advice. They also might recommend some additional accessories for your jet ski that you might not have thought of previously.

Can I store jet ski oil in the front compartment?

Sure, you can! But you won’t want to. That is a premium storage space that is best for a water bottle and towel. It’s unlikely that you’ll lose much if any oil when riding.

If you’re concerned, then you should get your jet ski engine inspected by a mechanic instead of riding with oil in the front storage compartment, as this could lead to a fire.

Summary

There are some great offerings for premium jet ski oil from leading manufacturers. Most people only use a bottle or two of oil per 100 hours, so it’s not necessarily going to cost you much.

For this reason, I would always recommend using the branded oil created by the manufacturer of your jet ski. When you’re outlaying thousands for your personal watercraft, you won’t want your engine to foul when you’re 5 miles offshore.

Invest in some good jet ski engine oil and focus on just having some fun out there on the waterways!

How to Fully Clean a Jet Ski in Under 15 Minutes

jet ski cleaning

All jet ski owners need to learn how to clean their personal watercraft properly, but also quickly! I’ll show you how to do it in less than 15 minutes.

It’s really important that you take care of your jet ski. It really helps to improve the resale value so that you can get maximum dollars for it when it’s time to upgrade to the latest model.

More importantly, it’s not hard to do. You just have to know how to do it properly and WITHOUT spending hours doing it. After all…you’d prefer to be out riding or camping!

Cleaning a jet ski

This guide is more-so written for those who ride in saltwater conditions. For those who ride in freshwater, your cleaning regime can be done in less than 10 minutes.

One of my favorite videos. This guy goes into a lot of detail on how to clean a jet ski properly.

You see – saltwater is much more corrosive. Engines don’t like saltwater at all, but they can be take freshwater a lot more. That isn’t to say that you should neglect any cleaning of your jet ski if you only ride in dams, lakes, lagoons and fresh river systems.

I’m simply stating that you can be more care-free. You just won’t get to enjoy wave jumping. 🙂

Here are some of the tools you’ll need to clean your jet ski properly:

  1. A good marine sponge or two that doesn’t scratch paintwork
  2. Fresh running water hose (preferably treated) with nozzle
  3. The right soap. VERY IMPORTANT! Don’t use household soaps
  4. Chamois so you can avoid leaving streaks on your jet ski
  5. Marine wax so that you can make ongoing cleaning much easier

None of these will cost much. For less than $100 you can find all of these at your local marine shop. Even if they don’t sell jet skis, they do serve the marine enthusiasts who all need to look after their watercraft.

How to clean a jet ski: 4 steps

So let’s look at what to do so we can get out jet ski looking like new after every ride.

Firstly, hose down the exterior and engine bay. Some people use a pressure hose on the outside and switch to a non-pressure head for the engine bay.

Time allocation: 3 minutes

Next, use a sponge and soap. Use marine soap available at your local marine store to clean off the saltwater build-up and river dirt.

Time allocation: 4 minutes

From here, we’ll want to rinse this soap solution off too. The same garden hose is all you need. Just make sure everything is super clean and you can dry it with a chamois.

Time allocation: 4 minutes

Lastly, we’ll want to apply some protective wax. This stops your paint from fading prematurely. Meguiars sells a great one that is popular with fellow PWC riders.

Time allocation: 3 minutes

Total time it took: 14 minutes.

This, of course, assumes that you can move fast. After a hard day of riding, some people will be more lethargic and could take 20 to 30 minutes to do the same job. After all, who is rushing? No one! We just had a fun day out.

The best jet ski cleaning products

Now let’s look at some of the things I recommend in greater detail.

The first thing we’ll want is a bottle of good marine soap. Anything for the boating market works well for jet ski cleaning and maintenance.

Jet ski washing soap

Then it’s time to get some marine wax. This will keep your jet ski cleaner and you’ll reduce the amount of cleaning time required on the next ride.

Jet ski protective wax

Now, any type of marine sponge is good. One thing that some people like is the drill-bit attachments now available on Amazon.

Clean a jet ski with sponges

Another great product available is mark erasers. When you put marks on your jet ski, these sponges really can help remove them.

Jet ski cleaning stain remover

I’ve heard great things about that product within riding communities.

Salt away is a great product that we have available here in Australia. It really helps both those who use boats and jet skis to keep their marine toys in great condition!

In summary

It’s important that you seek to maintain your jet ski cleaning regime. If you simply factor in the time after each ride, you should just about always get it done in less than 15 minutes.

Sometimes I’ll invite friends along for a ride. The only catch is that they need to clean my ski for me. It’s a win-win for both of us.

It’s also great to get the washing of your jet ski done at your local self-serve car wash. Of course, do it yourself with a pressure washer turned down to the minimum output when flushing the engine bay. It just saves taking all that saltwater residue back home to your driveway.

Either way, look after your machine and it will serve you for years. When it’s ready to sell, the next buyer will be impressed by the way it has been looked after!