Best Jet Ski Winter Jackets: The Top 5 for 2019

Jet Ski Winter Jackets for Personal Watercraft

It’s getting cold but you’re still motivated to ride and while that chill factor has stopped you PWC riding before, a jet ski winter jacket can ease the pain.

We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years. Manufacturers are really trying to help riders enjoy the sport year-round with their clothing line-up.

I’ve compiled a list featuring the best jet ski winter jackets available for both men and women. I’ll even feature some for the junior riders too!

5 of the best winter jackets for jet skiing

So let’s jump straight in with the list.

Currently the best on the market are:

  1. Jetpilot X1 Men’s Tour Coat (2019)
  2. Jetpilot Allure Women’s Tour Coat (2018)
  3. Ronix Wet/Dry Unisex Neoprene Jacket (2018)
  4. Follow Men’s Zip Through Neoprene Jacket (2020)
  5. Jetpilot Venture Unisex Outerwear Jacket (2019)

As you can see, Jetpilot is dominating this list. This company is the pinnacle of jet ski and watersports clothing so it’s not surprising that they are listed here. I really like their range as they’re always doing constant testing, evaluations and updates to their riding apparel.

But as you’ll see from this list, it’s not just Jetpilot offering winter jackets for personal watercraft. Let’s expand further why I like these 5.

1. Jetpilot X1 Men’s Tour Coat (2019)

I really love this jacket because it looks badass. You could get away wearing this at your local gas station and on the way to the boat ramp.

It has multiple pockets and excellent ventilation around the neck. If you wear a helmet when riding your jet ski, then you’re 99% covered in the upper body from the elements.

2. Jetpilot Allure Women’s Tour Coat (2018)

At JetSkiAdvice.com we’re all about the women-riders. You’ll never miss out! Seriously – how cool is this jetski jacket?

Women's Jet Ski Jackets

Jetpilot makes the leggings as well which are quite thick. You can often buy the two pieces together for a discount.

3. Ronix Wet/Dry Unisex Neoprene Jet Ski Jacket (2018)

Another badass jacket! It’s great to see that Jetpilot isn’t the only company offering a really great looking jacket. Some people also use this model for surfing too.

Men's Personal Watercraft Winter Jacket

I really love the hoodie on this. It saves having to buy a helmet. The only drawback is that the hoodie tends to slip backwards above 40MPH.

4. Follow Men’s Zip Through Neoprene Jacket (2020)

If you’re looking for higher visibility, then this is the one I’d choose. It’s a basic winter jetskiing jacket but without any pockets. After all, we only store things in the jetski storage compartment anyway, right?

Men's Jacket for Jetskiing

Featuring an adjustable drawstring, the hoodie tends not to slip back as much as the Ronix model above. It’s also a bit more affordable as well.

5. Jetpilot Venture Unisex Outerwear Jet Ski Winter Jacket (2019 model)

You wouldn’t think this is a jacket that you can use on your jet ski, would you? Jetpilot have delivered the answer to those who want complete protection.

Jet Ski Winter Jackets - Jetpilot Winter Jacket For Men

I love the big pockets on the front though I wonder how effective they are. The good news is that you can use this jacket for hiking as well as riding your PWC in the colder months.

Choosing the best jet ski jacket for winter

Before we click ‘Order’ through our online cart, we want to make sure we’ve picked the right jacket. This is because not all are created equal.

So I decided to create a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right one.

Let’s look at some key factors here:

Riding conditions

Putting aside the clothing for a moment, here is a myraid of water conditions that we can ride in. Of course, it can be cool, cold and then the ice-breaking type of cold.

Then we have the swell. Riding in the open ocean swell in winter is vastly different to riding in the same temperature on a windless river system.

You really need to factor in your riding conditions. If you’re expecting to get wet every few seconds in the ocean then you’ll want to go for something thicker than someone who’s hardly getting a splash on them.

Also consider your likelihood of falling off. When you fall into the water and get wet, that’s going to be the end of the day for some people in winter. Being wet and riding in super cold conditions just isn’t fun.

Just like your riding conditions, if you’re the type that falls off your jet ski often, then go for a winter jacket that has greater insulation.

Thickness

I’ve touched on this point earlier. We want to be considering the thickness of the product we buy.

For some people, their winter is very mild. I live in a climate that is very similar to San Diego in the winter months. It’s not really cold apart from the early mornings, so a light jacket is all that I need.

Thickness can range from 1mm to 6mm. The thinner the materials, the more movement you can have, but also, the less likely you are to stay warm.

The thick jackets will restrict your movement on a jet ski. This isn’t so bad as you’re generally in stationary position riding anyways. On the downside, they can get really hot when the sun comes out.

If you do fall into the water at some stage, then a thicker wetsuit is a better option. This is because it has a greater thermal mass than the lightweight options.

Materials

Neoprene is the main material found in jet ski winter jackets and of course wetsuits too. It’s affordable as a material, can maintain good heat and certainly does a good job of cutting out the wind.

We’re starting to see some new materials come on the market. Jetpilot is starting to use waterproof materials on the front paired with some poly poplin on the inside. This is a plain weave polyester fabric which is quick to dry.

Another material to look out for is Nylon Taslon. It’s certainly the most expensive but is similar to what you’ll find with motorcycle adventure jackets.

One overlooked thing is the zippers. If the winter jet ski jacket you’re researching has a front zipper, make sure it’s waterproof! You can tell by looking at zipper which should resemble and plastic line.

Pricing

I’ve seen so many times that jet ski riders have spent a fortune on their new machines, only to invest into cheap trailers, wetsuits and safety equipment. It’s really frustrating because you can get so much for if you spend up a little more.

A good jet ski winter jacket will cost from $100 to $200 USD. You can even pay more but often you don’t need to. You’ll get some good brands in this budget such as Jetpilot.

Instead of buying a cheap jacket off eBay, you could also look on Craigslist. Often people will sell their jackets that they have only used a couple of times for much less than the cost of a new (cheap) jacket off eBay. At least you’ll know that you’re buying a quality brand.

In summary

If you’re riding in freezing conditions, then don’t let the winter months stop you from the thrill of riding. You’ll find the waterways to be much quieter, especially as many boat users stay indoors too. That’s the best part – minimal marine traffic!

Get yourself a winter jacket for your jet ski so you can keep riding when others can’t. On the other hand, if you only have mild winters, then a long-sleeve wetsuit is all that you really need.

If you choose to go jet ski camping, then taking a jacket will be a wise idea for the cold early mornings. This is especially helpful when it’s windy too.

Either way, invest in good quality PWC clothing so you can enjoy year-round riding in your favorite spots.

12 Best Jet Ski GPS Devices (Full Buying Guide)

One of the most overlooked things is navigation with jet ski GPS, either mounted or handheld. Having some technology can be really helpful.

Some people get lost out there on the waterways. Things start to look the same and it’s easy to miss landmarks and waypoints. What you might have seen and studied on Google Maps from the comfort of home can be very different on your waterways.

Buying a GPS for your jet ski

Getting a GPS is one very essential piece of equipment. You’ll find it useful not just for navigation, but also for camping and fishing.

I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide showcasing the 12 best jet ski GPS devices available. This comparison list is specific to PWC owners.

I’ll showcase the key features and why these are important.

How to best choose the right model

Before we get into the list, let’s look at what makes up the best models on the market. This is especially important because unlike a car GPS or a hiking GPS, the type for the marine world need to withstand a lot more pressure and demands.

With jet skis now reaching speeds well in excess of 70MPH, that bouncing and saltwater can quickly destroy a normal household GPS.

What I look at is:

Pricing

You’ve already spent a lot of money on your machine and gear. It seems attractive to buy a cheap jet ski GPS but I would recommend spending up a little more.

Sure, you don’t need to spend thousands, but don’t go into the cheap end of town either. A few hundred dollars is all you need.

Ruggedness

As I just previously mentioned, you’re putting your GPS in some very less than ideal conditions. The conditions on a yacht doing 7MPH is different than a jet ski skidding across the water.

Obviously you’ll want waterproof-ness, but also it needs to be rugged. You should be able to drop it from 1 metre and it should survive. Most of the best options on the market have been certified for their drop-test ratings and waterproof capacity.

Ease of Use

You don’t want to spend months trying to learn all the functions and buttons. Something that’s easy to use and shows the main navigational functions is all you need.

I like the GPS models that have big buttons. When you’re wearing gloves it makes it so much easier to move between functions. Big screens that can still be seen in direct sunlight are also very helpful too.

GPS features

Of course, the features available differ between models. For the basics, you’ll want to be able to set waypoints and locations. Zoomable maps are also helpful too.

Some manufacturers charge extra for their most recent maps, whilst others will give you free lifetime upgrades. This is good as there are still places in the world being plotted.

Buying a GPS for your jet ski infographic

List of devices

Right, so what is the best GPS for a jet ski? Let’s have a look:

  1. Garmin eTrex 10 (now discounted here)
  2. Magellan eXplorist 510 Marine
  3. Garmin GPSMAP 78sc GPS with Chartplotter
  4. Lowrance Hook 5 GPS Fish Finder
  5. Garmin eTrex 22x Handheld GPS
  6. GPSMAP 64sx Handheld by Garmin
  7. Garmin Striker 7SV Fishfinder
  8. Standard Horizon HX870E VHF + GPS
  9. Lowrance Endura Safari
  10. Delorme PN-60 military
  11. Memory Map Defender 2
  12. Garmin Striver Plus 4 (inc Fish Finder)

Quite clearly Garmin dominates this list and they have done so for many years. They build devices based on reliability and accuracy, whilst also being affordable.

Creating this list wasn’t easy. Let’s go deeper into each model and what’s exactly offered here.

Garmin eTrex 10

This is #1 for several reasons. It’s affordable, rugged and has basic functionality. You can buy a special mount for your handlebars too.

Best GPS for jet skiThe eTrex is definitely the best value for money if all you want is your location and a map

Does it have advanced features? No. But you can use this for most jet ski trips without a problem. You can view your location and track your route, and for many riders, that’s all they want.

Magellan eXplorist 510 Marine

Some people say this one is the best. Yes – it has a color screen, but it’s also more expensive too. For many jet ski riders, the Garmin above is enough.

eXplorist marine 510 for personal watercraftNeed something a little more? Go for the eXplorist 510 Marine. It has so many more features.

I really do like what Magellan has offered here. If you’re prepared to pay up a lot more, you won’t be disappointed at all with the eXplorist 510 Marine.

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc

If you want a chartplotter, then this is your device. I love using these personally but for many riders, this isn’t a feature you’ll really need.

best value jet ski gpsEveryone loves this device in the marine world! This is one great piece of kit.

It’s a great device that gives you even more than what the two models above offer. If you want a GPS for your jet ski as well as your boat, then this is my #1 pick.

Lowrance Hook2 GPS Fish Finder

For those who love jet ski fishing, you’re going to love this piece of equipment! Lowrance has a great jet ski GPS that also doubles as a fish finder.

Lowrance fish finder jet ski electronicsGoing jet ski fishing? Take the Lowrance Hook2 and you won’t be disappointed.

It’s bigger than just about any other model featured here, but it makes up for the size in the functions. You get a color screen that’s easily viewable, though mounting on the handlebars could be tricky.

Garmin eTrex 22x Handheld GPS

Looking at the eTrex 10 but want some color and more features? The 22x is my pick. Spending up a little bit more gives you a whole lot more.

Jet ski gps Garmin eTrex 22xThis is definitely much better than the eTrex 10, but you’ll be paying a higher price for it too.

If you read the online reviews, just about everyone loves the Garmin eTrex 22x. It’s often mentioned in jet ski forums and Facebook groups as the best option.

GPSMAP 64sx Handheld by Garmin

Talk about offering the bells and whistles! The Garmin GPSMAP 64sx is the way to go if you’ve got some deep pockets.

I call this the ‘Rolls Royce’ of the Garmin sx range. My buddy has one and I seriously am jealous!

I’ve used this model a few times and love it. The larger screen and big buttons will be helpful for those who can’t deal with small devices.

Garmin Striker 7SV Fishfinder

Here’s another great fishfinder for those who love jet ski fishing. The Striker 7SV is one model that is heavily praised around marine communities.

Garmin striver fish finder for jetskiBetter suited for those who go boating, but this bit of gear is still found on some PWCs

Is it cheap? Not really. But it’s certainly great value for money as both a fish finder and a way to get yourself safely back to the boat ramp.

Standard Horizon HX870E VHF + GPS

Most people won’t need a VHF when out on their jet ski. In my experience, a VHF can certainly be very helpful to have in the event of an emergency. Now, imagine a VHF paired with a GPS!

Introducing the Horizon HX870E. This is one seriously awesome piece of equipment. If you already have a boat, then this which has 2 devices in 1 is a wise choice.

Lowrance Endura Safari

This is more of a pocket model for hiking and backpacking. If you’re looking for cheap, then you’ll find it here. This model doesn’t have good waterproof ability but is still a good choice to throw in the storage compartment.

The Endura is an older model but sometimes you’ll find these cheaply on eBay as pictured.

This is going to give you the basics: Location and waypoints. Don’t expect much else, but for the price you pay, it represents an affordable option.

Delorme PN-60 military

Chances are that if you’re into jetskiing, then you’re also into adventures and roughness. The PN-60 military from Delorme is one fine unit.

The PN-60 is popular with adventure motorcyslists. The orange color means you can find it easily in the storage compartment.

It has been tested to some very high military standards and is very rugged. Throw this around in the glove box, in your backpack or in the 4×4 and expect it to last a few years.

Memory Map Defender 2

This is a smartphone with some GPS functionalities. It’s both expensive and not really that well known, but if you’re into adventuring, then this is a good alternative to the model by Delorme.

Need a big screen? The Memory Map Defender has you covered. Feels like an iPhone.

You’ll only find a very small handful of jet ski riders using this device for marine navigation. It’s more of a 4×4 and military model but can serve its purpose on the waterways too.

Garmin Striker Plus 4 (includes Fish Finder)

A great alternative if you don’t want the Lowrance above is the Garmin Strive Plus 4. It comes with a Fish Finder!

Garmin has yet another fishfinder/GPS combination on this list. One good bit of equipment!

I had heard great things about this model and had a chance to try it out last week at a group ride. It was awesome but also a bit pricey too.

The best jet ski GPS model

There is no ‘best for everyone’ model. The best jet ski GPS is one that is right for you. Does it fit in your hand properly and can you read the screen? Are the features exactly what you need for your adventures?

Here’s what I also recommend for you:

  1. Check that it floats when it falls off your handlebar mount
  2. Make sure the battery life is enough for an entire day’s riding
  3. Ask the manufacturer if you can buy an additional mount for it
  4. Watch some online reviews on YouTube to gauge user experiences
  5. Avoid anything too cheap. The < $70 versions are generally rubbish

I like the bright models – yellow and orange in particular. When these fall into the water, then they are easier to spot. The hiking models generally are much easier to spot in murky river water or even out on the open ocean.

My recommendation is that you protect your GPS just as you would your jet ski. Don’t just let it sit there unsecured on the handlebars when you’re away. I’ve written an extensive article already on jet ski theft. You can buy a small security cable on Amazon or eBay to stop your GPS getting stolen.

One model I haven’t mentioned is the SPOT device. You might have seen these previously in magazines or on YouTube videos.

Spot Tracker (Not ocean for open oceans)

This isn’t a GPS for you, but one that can help your family members track YOU in the event of an emergency. Just press one button and they will be notified that you’re in trouble and need assistance.

In summary

Garmin is leading the way with many of the best boating and marine GPS devices. Their GPS offerings for the jet ski market are equally as impressive.

If all you need is basic maps and a location, then you can’t go wrong with the eTrex10. On the other hand, the eTrex 22 offers much more including a color screen, but it does cost much more too. Is it worth it? Depends on your budget.

Many riders prefer to leave the GPS stored away in the front compartment so they can simply enjoy a day of riding. They’ll look at it occasionally, but most riders are well aware of their general location and surroundings.

It’s good to not rely on technology entirely but also have a good sense of where you are and where you’re going. In other words, don’t get lost in the world of electronics, because most people are smart enough to figure out if they’re going upstream, downstream, east or west.

But a GPS can certainly be helpful, especially in emergency situations and tricky navigations. Would I still recommend one? Absolutely.

How To Go Jet Ski Camping (Step by Step Guide)

One thing that many jet ski enthusiasts overlook is camping with their PWC.

In my experience, it’s a really fun alternative to a typical day out on the waterways. Children absolutely love it!

You can find a private site along a river, lagoon or canal. Take your friends and family to have an even greater time! Depending on where you are, you could take your dogs too.

Starting with jet ski camping

It’s quite often that people don’t think of the possibilities of jet ski camping when buying their new watercraft. See – it isn’t just about going fast, because it’s more-so about having fun.

I’ve written the best Step by Step guide on how to go jet ski camping today. You’ll find plenty of tips and ideas to have an awesome adventure.

With my guide, I’ll be showing you exactly how exactly to get started with this activity.

Choosing your camping gear

There is a range of supplies that you should take. It depends on your storage capacity as well as the location and its conditions. Going for an adventure in summer will be very different to winter.

One challenge is that most machines in the PWC marketplace have limited storage options. This is a good thing, since you (or more-so, your partner….) will need to go light weight. I recommend taking less than 100lbs.

Choose camping gear which is light to carry, small to stow and is reasonably easy to setup once at camp. Sometimes people will go away together as a group so you can share resources such as cooking equipment and beer. 😉

Let’s have a look at what we can get:

1. The Right Tent

Because you’re going camping, you’ll obviously need a tent. While some people can sleep fine in a sleeping bag, you just don’t get protection from the wild elements such as sand flies and mosquitos.

If you sleeping by yourself, then a 1-person tent will do just fine. Choose something under 3 pounds so it packs super light.

My favorite pick is the River Country trekking tents. These are built to be very light weight.

Some people like to bring their family. Tent manufacturers are notorious for under-rating tents. A 3-person tent is really just a 2-person tent, so I would recommend a 3-person tent at a bare minimum.

Jet Ski Camping large tent
Next up is the smaller family polyester tents. These are bulkier but are great for group travel.

You really can’t go wrong with polyester. Most tents are made from this material and these still handle saltwater environments reasonably well.

Avoid canvas tents like the one below. Whilst these are great because they breathe better, dry quicker, look better and often last for longer, they are also heavy and take up a lot of space. Canvas tents just aren’t ideal for camping with a jet ski, unless of course you’re bringing a support boat as well.

Looks romantic but NO WAY can you take this when jet ski camping. Leave this at home!

A hammock is a great alternative but does rely on having trees present at your camp site. It’s also a bit hazardous in bear-country.

2. Buying the right sleeping bag

Now let me paraphrase this by saying that a sleeping bag isn’t that needed for jet ski camping. You can do without one especially if camping on the sand.

Some people use their life jackets as a mini sleeping bag. This works great though you’ll be smelling like salt all night long if you’re by the ocean. If you’re inland with freshwater, then a wet life jacket from the day’s riding isn’t going to be fun.

Other people also try to use their wetsuit. Great idea again, but won’t work so well if it’s too wet. These just take too long to dry, especially in winter.

Best sleeping bag for jet ski camping
I really like the Coleman sleeping bag range pictured above. They pack really small and light.

Buying a sleeping bag for jet ski camping is certainly a wise idea. They don’t cost much (often less than $100) and can take up very little room. It’s simply going to make your adventure much more fun!

I like to make use of my compression bags as a pillow. That said, travel pillows really pack small nowadays so you can just bring one too.

3. Cooking

One of the biggest challenges is cooking. The equipment on the market is generally big and bulky. Those that go backpacking often complain about this challenge.

If you are permitted to in your area, I would recommend a campfire so you can do away with liquid fuel stoves. Having liquid fuel on a fast-moving jet ski can be very hazardous and cause a fire if not stored correctly.

Cooking when going jet ski camping

I would choose a basic but sturdy heavy-duty fire camp grill. This way you only then need to bring a small cooking set like what I’ve featured above. Choose a small grill, but still big enough to fit a camping cooking pan or pot.

But you could actually pre-pack all your food at home prior to the adventure. This will save a lot of the utensils that you’ll otherwise need to bring.

4. Food storage

A cooler or esky is a great idea to keep your food fresh for several days. The challenge is that these will take up a significant amount of room. But on the positive side, you can use this as a stool or chair at your camp site.

I would choose one with soft sides. Why? Because the hard-sided coolers could place ugly marks on your jet ski when you’re loading/unloading it.

Also, if you have a crash, the cooler becomes a projectile. It’s better to withstand a blow from a soft-sided cooler than a hard-sided one.

Personal Watercraft Camping Beach Cooler
These might look dorky but the soft sides are ideal for securing to a jet ski without scratches.

Choose a cooler that is the smallest size that you’ll need. Look at the food that you have and consider what can actually stay outside for a while.

5. Coffee press

Just because you have limited storage space doesn’t mean that you can’t also have a little bit of luxury. Many people don’t sleep properly when going camping, so waking up and having a coffee can be a great option.

There are numerous camping coffee presses on the market today. These are small, light weight and still make a great tasting cup of coffee.

PWC Camping Coffee Press

I’d choose the models where the cups fit inside the pot. These are built exactly for camping where space is at a premium.

You’ll want to be alert and awake during the day’s riding. You can’t exactly find a coffee shop around the next river bend (unless you’re lucky) so bring that coffee press along.

6. Additional gas

The problem with jet ski camping and why it’s not as popular is the fuel issue. You’re only going to get a few hours riding before you’ll need to top up again. Finding a marina or dock with fuel availability can be tricky.

For this reason, I would recommend an additional jet ski fuel can. SeaDoo has one that is super reliable which attaches to the back of most of their models. On the other hand, there are some great OEM and 3rd party variations.

Jet Ski Extra Gas for Camping

Some people like to take support boats which can take a significantly greater volume of fuel. Even better – they can carry all the camping equipment too, plus provide a rider with a day off their jet ski, and instead recline at a much slower pace with a chair and shade, right in the comforts of a boat.

I’ve written an entire article actually on jet ski fuel cans.

7. Hauling firewood

Some people assume that they will just find wood or kindling for their camp fire anywhere. In some places it can be very challenging actually.

Sure – you can save precious storage space on your PWC by sourcing your own firewood, but you can’t really go cutting down trees. In some places, it’s illegal to go hunting for your own firewood.

Plus, even if you wanted to source your own firewood, you’d need to take an axe. This is additional weight.

Take your own firewood, even if it’s just a few pieces. My #1 recommendation is a swedish fire torch as recommended below. They burn for hours and emit very little smoke.

Just remember that you’re out to have fun, not cut down a forest. After a day of hard riding, the last thing you’ll want to do is go looking around for wood.

8. Bring your GPS and EPIRB

Often forgotten by jet ski enthusiasts is their safety electronics. A handheld GPS is going to save you from getting lost in the wilderness. It also better helps you plan fuel stops.

An EPIRB is an excellent investment too. It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever need to use one, but just having one nearby will help you sleep at night. My favorite is the SPOT tracker.

None of these takes up much room and the batteries last for a long time. Almost all of them in the marketplace are waterproof as well.

Planning your jet ski adventure

Whilst choosing the right equipment is important, so is the location. You’ll want to research this so you ensure you’re going to actually have a good time.

I like to open Google Maps and look up some good spots. Hanging out on Facebook groups in your local area is a great idea as most members will provide good recommendations.

My #1 recommendation is that you actually ensure you can stay at your chosen spot before setting up camp. This is best done at home by researching online. The National Park’s bureau in your state can certainly advise with plenty of information available online.

Try your best to venture a little bit further out. You want to avoid the crazy ones near the city. Even some spots hours away from the closest city might have small towns with docks where you can get fuel.

Some recommendations:

1. Bring a jet ski anchor

You can’t always guarantee that you’ll find a nice sandy beach. Rivers generally have trees where your jet ski hull can be pierced by a branch or root that you can’t see. All locations are different.

PWC Anchor

I’ve written an entire guide on jet ski anchors: https://www.jetskiadvice.com/best-jet-ski-anchors

Your location can really change when doing these long trips. In one mile you can be on great sandy rivers to heavy rocks and then muddy banks. The anchor can even save you embarrassment at the boat ramp too.

2. Check the weather forecast

Nothing is worse than having 3 days of solid rain on a camping trip. It’s even worse on a jet ski. You’ll be cold, frustrated and never want to go again!

Check the weather at every spot. You might be travelling for hundreds of miles and the weather can certainly change from place to place.

3. Choose shaded spots

Camping on a sand bar is awesome, but after an hour or two, you will want some shade. You’re already spending the day riding in the sun, so the shade will be welcoming. If you’re in a group, then there is always that one person who wants lots of shade.

Pitching your tent under a tree is great, but look for fallen branches nearby. If there are branches that have fallen in the past then it’s guaranteed that more will fall! You don’t want you, your jet ski, your tent or travelling companions to be injured.

4. Avoid back-tracking

No one likes to go up a river then having to go down again the same path. See if you can find a river system that’s interconnected, so you can explore more areas.

Some people like to have their jet skis dropped at one location, then picked up in another location in a few days. Brothers or partners are sometimes happy to do this for you.

5. Minimise wash and noise

Local area enforcement is always looking to shutdown awesome areas for jet ski riders. Why? Their disrespect for others on the waterways.

When going past other recreational users, go as slow as possible. Maybe there aren’t any speed limits, but you shouldn’t be flying by that houseboat or peaceful river shack at 50MPH.

6. Be security-minded

It’s been known that even in the most secluded locations, that people’s jet skis are being stolen when they’re sleeping. Ever feel like you’re being watched?

It doesn’t take much for someone to sneak through the bushes in the early hours of the morning, jump on your ski and ride away. Meanwhile, you’re still in your sleeping bag.

Just take your key and leave it in your tent. Better still – lock it up. You’ll want a good night’s sleep for another great day of riding, so don’t let your guard down.

7. Remember to have fun

There are many upsides towards going jet ski camping after all. Take some toys with you such as a volleyball or frisbee. You might also want to take some light fishing equipment too so you can have fresh dinner on the camping stove.

Bring some walking shoes so you can take a break from the water and trek a little in-land. You might even come across some animals worth of photos, so don’t forget to bring your smartphone.

In summary

Trip planning and taking the right equipment is the formula for the best jet ski camping trip. One that you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

It isn’t hard:

  1. Take only what you need
  2. Plan and pick the right routes

Most importantly, have fun! You’ll be experiencing something that very few people in the world will ever do.

Jet Ski Security Locks: 9 Ways to Stop Those Thieves!

You need to take preventative measures to stop thieves who will stop at nothing to steal your pride and joy, so get yourself a jet ski lock for security.

Whilst the personal watercraft we have available today have protection features included, you shouldn’t rely purely on it. This is because a jet ski on a trailer is still within easy reach, whilst those storing on docks are even more at-risk.

Today I want to show you 9 ways that we can stop theft of jet skis through using security locks and other preventative measures.

Best Jet Ski Locks

Let’s start with the locks, as that is typically both affordable and an easy solution. Through using a lock, it’s predominantly going to slow down the thief or simply make it harder for them. Rarely does it make it impossible!

Best Jet Ski Padlocks
The moment you call 911 because your jet ski has been stolen. It’s a bad feeling!

The current best jet ski locks available in the market are:

  1. Trimax VMAX6 Multi-Use Versa Cable Lock
  2. Shoreline Marine Trailer Coupler Lock
  3. Goplus Heavy Duty Jet Ski Trailer Lock
  4. Master Lock Cable Lock 6ft Adjustable
  5. Lightspeed locking tie-down strap with steel core
  6. Tumecos heavy duty long shackle marine padlock

These all vary in their effectiveness. Some you can lock your jet ski to your trailer using the hull ring. These are also ideal if you’re at the dock or on a sandy beach.

There are others which are steel straps where you can run a few over the seats of the machine. You can then tie down the jet ski to the trailer, otherwise, a group of thieves could lift your machine on to their waiting trailer and make a quick getaway.

Jet Ski Security Locks Infographic

Generally, the easiest way to stop the theft of a jet ski on a trailer is with a wheel clamp. Some people advocate the use of hitch locks but this does not prevent a roll down tow truck from taking your PWC away in 5 minutes.

Padlocks for trailers and docks

Let’s look at some of the top options here.

I would certainly advise starting with a long and adjustable security padlock. The cable can attach to your tow hook and the dock, trailer or even a tree at the boat ramp.

Jet Ski Padlock

We also have a lockable steel-core strap that won’t damage the body paint of your hull but does offer some good protection. It will stop both people taking off your cover to have a look at the make/model, but also stop them taking the entire ski off.

Jet Ski Security Strap

I and many other jet ski enthusiasts would advocate that you use a coupler lock on your trailer. This prevents unauthorized tampering with your trailer. Unfortunately, these are often not rust-proof.

Jet Ski Coupler Lock

Finally, we have the wheel lock. You should already have one of these at the boat ramp anyway. Just don’t forget that it’s there and attempt to drive off.

Jet Ski Trailer Lock

With those 4 accessories, you should significantly slow down any opportunity where someone might be tempted to steal your jet ski.

Additional security measures

It’s not just a great jet ski security lock that will help you prevent the theft of your personal watercraft. There literally is so much more you can do.

1. Always leave your jet ski in a safe location

It goes without saying really, that you need to make sure your jet ski isn’t in a dangerous spot. Whilst many remember to secure their trailer at home, they let their guard down once they head out.

You should strive to maintain strong security when you’re travelling. Staying at a hotel? Make sure the trailer is in a very well lit area and locked to your vehicle.

2. Remove your valuables

No matter where you are, ensure all your valuables are removed from both the ski when not riding and your vehicle. Those lockable storage compartments on many PWCs are easy to pry open.

I hear of some riders storing their keys with their jet ski. This is a terrible mistake! The hardest part for a thief is going to a dealership and asking for a new key.

3. Use a cover

One excellent tip is to use a jet ski cover. I prefer to use a basic universal cover because it makes it appear that you’re using a cheap ski that might not be worth much. Most thieves are in a hurry and generally won’t take off the cover to see what’s on the inside.

Compare this to using a brand name SeaDoo or Yamaha cover that you typically find in promotional photoshoots. These covers look great, but they literally scream “Steal me!” with their branding.

A word on PWC insurance

It’s very important to get insurance for your jet ski, but you must ensure that it covers theft and full vehicle replacement (including the trailer). Trust me – this will help you sleep better at night.

In fact, in some states and countries, having insurance on your PWC is mandatory. It’s a smart idea regardless, as you just never know what will happen.

I would recommend jet ski insurance in a heart-beat!

There are a few things I would advise here:

  1. Take photos of you using locks and security practices. This way it proves to your insurance company that you’re being proactive.
  2. When buying your jet ski, take photos of the bill of sale. Even if you’ve purchased from the dealership, we often lose crucial paperwork.
  3. Take additional photos of the VIN numbers for both the jet ski and trailer. The pencil rub method is highly recommended since all VIN numbers are engraved.

All of these I would store in a safe and secure place. I use an online app called Evernote to store my photos and files, but some people like to simply email files to themselves. Either way, don’t just leave that information on your mobile phone, as that can be stolen too!

Using a tracking device

Many fellow riders are choosing to get a tracker for their PWC and trailer. Heck, even their own cars and motorcycles! These devices are easy to use and very affordable.

There are some cool features to be found here:

  1. Connects to an iOS or Android app so you can see real-time locations
  2. You can set custom alerts i.e. when your jet ski moves at night time
  3. Often. you’ll get a proper 120db alarm system fitted in the same unit
  4. Most come with ‘This vehicle is tracked‘ stickers that scare off thieves

But of course, this is an expensive outlay but can be well worth it. Some thieves are learning how to find and disable these devices quite quickly, so you have to be very creative when fitting them. Look for a spot that they are likely not to find a security tracking device, such as the grips.

My favorite jet ski tracker is the SPOT Trace available here.

I would avoid the cheaper systems as these generally aren’t reliable.

Jet Ski Locks: In summary

Let’s recap what we have covered here. The 9 ways are:

  1. Locking your trailer to your car with a hitch lock
  2. Locking your jet ski to your trailer with straps
  3. Using the tow hook to lock your jet ski to the trailer
  4. Making sure you always store in a well-lit area when travelling
  5. When at home, block in your jet ski by parking your car in front
  6. Never store valuables in the lockable storage compartments
  7. Get a jet ski lock that has an audible alarm built into it
  8. Use a tracking device that is mounted in a hidden location
  9. Ensuring your insurance policy is always up to date

Many people remain proactive when securing their jet ski, because they have heard of the horror stories. It’s mostly the beginners who are looking at how to stop burglars from taking away their pride and joy.

I would certainly recommend a jet ski lock as mentioned here. In addition, insurance and a tracking device can alleviate much of the pain you will experience if a theft does happen to you.

4 of The Best Jet Ski Shoes to Wear When Riding Your PWC

Jet Ski Shoes

Many beginners first-time jet ski owners eventually decide to buy a pair of water shoes or boots. This can make all the difference in your PWC enjoyment.

The problem is that there are many different types of aquatic shoes available on the market. It can simply be challenging to decide which one is best suited towards personal water craft usage.

Luckily, I’ve done the researching for you. This way you can discover the best jet ski shoes for all types of riders – those riding for fun, those riding for the thrill, and those racing!

Men, women and even children all need high-quality shoes for a day on the water. Jet skis bring a unique need – high grip, will last a long time, won’t fly off and most importantly – won’t mark your footwell or hull.

So let me share with you what I’ve learned.

Best jet ski footwear

You probably want to get some great jet ski shoes to avoid sunburnt feet. Others also get frustrated with walking on pebble-covered beaches, or even crunching their toes at high speed.

Jet Ski Shoes
Jet ski shoes that you can walk casually in the water with, and dry fast, are perfect

I’ve been in this industry for a while. From that I’ve learned that there are primarily 3 different types of shoes.

You’ll generally find:

  1. The barefoot PWC water shoes which feel like a wetsuit or wet sock, depending on the materials. These are really thin which is excellent for hot days but sometimes can develop holes quickly. A great option for beginners on a budget.
  2. Reef shoes which are designed for divers, with a rigid base to avoid shark rocks. These are the thickest available, will often last longer, ideal for winter jet ski riding but also more expensive too. I like that you can use these for more than just riding your jet ski.
  3. Quick drying water shoe, which in my opinion, is the best for jet ski users. They are made primarily of mesh and you won’t wear socks with these. Some people don’t like these because sand and rocks can enter when you’re getting on and off the sandy beaches. Your feet will also get cold in the winter months.
  4. Jet ski riding boots. These are new to the market but are getting quite an awesome amount of feedback from fellow riders! The most expensive option, but if you’re a professional enthusiast or racer, you’ll love these!
Jet Ski Riding Boots
Oh man! Love these boots. They are the Works H20 Designs Alpha 1 boots.

These really are the best options, for both beginners and professionals. Then there are footwear that you should avoid when riding your personal watercraft.

PWC shoes to avoid

These options don’t work that well. Often you’ll find complete newbies to this sport slipping these on at the boat ramp. It’s a quick way to spot the beginner!

  • Flip flips (USA) or thongs (Australia), depending on which country you’re from. I understand why people like these, but they make an awful choice for serious jet skiing, even on lakes. Their grip is terrible, your feet are fully exposed to sunlight and your toes are susceptible to crunching. Always have a set of these ready for when you want to explore an island, but otherwise, pack ’em away.
  • Normal sneakers with socks. Some beginners think they won’t get wet when riding on a lake, only for them to return to the boat ramp 2 hours later completely drenched! Once your sneakers are wet, they are waterlogged and won’t dry for hours or even days, since they’re made of materials designed to keep your feet warm. Use sneakers when unloading your jet ski at the boat ramp for safety (the grip really helps), but otherwise, skip these all together for true riding.
  • Going total barefoot. I admit it – I love riding barefoot. That feeling of having your feet in the water is appealing. Jamming your toes when boarding or merely riding at high speeds will make you question that choice right away. Trust me! Let’s not forget murky water where you can’t see the bottom.

Almost everyone quickly moves away from these 3 options when they realize what’s available on the market. Because in 2019, we have numerous options out there.

In a nutshell

You really should invest in a good quality pair of PWC shoes to make your days out riding your jet ski much more comfortable. Because getting cuts all over your feet, sunburnt feet that hurts for days or just jammed toes is a terrible feeling.

Avoid the cheap options or using an old pair of shoes. You still won’t enjoy this sport that much. Go and purchase a new pair of jet skiing shoes that are designed exactly for this usage. In most cases, these won’t cause damage to your hull, or your own feet for that matter!