If you love the outdoors, vigorous activity combined with skill and an element of thrill then jet skiing’s for you! The speed that expert jet skiers can reach and the freedom you have on board what’s known in the industry as a ‘personal watercraft’ make this a very special sport. However, owning a jet ski comes with certain risks which you need to be aware of to stay safe.
If you’re a novice to water sports and jet skiing, it’s important to familiarise yourself with all the safety features before you start. Jet skis are fast moving and potentially hazardous and, if you fall or hit something, you need to have precautions in place to prevent damage and/or serious injury.
All jet skis have a shut-off clip, which is designed to turn off the engine if you fall off. This, along with your life jacket, is your best friend when out on your jet ski but, as a beginner, it’s critical to start slowly in waters familiar to you. Be aware of other vessels in the water and keep your speed very low to start with, 10mph is recommended. Practise turning in the water and managing different water and weather conditions, such as turbulent waters and strong winds, although it may be advisable to avoid these conditions when you’re learning. One of the thrilling features of a jet ski is lifting off above the water, tricky for a beginner so make sure you have a strong grip with both hands and, ideally, some professional training
You may be surprised to know that there’s currently no law requiring jet ski insurance, but local by-laws and most launch sites require that you have a minimum of third party liability insurance to cover you against accident and damage/injury to a third party. £2-£3 million liability cover can be arranged for you, or any person navigating your vessel with your knowledge and permission, and you can also cover accidental damage to your jet ski. Add-ons such as salvage and removal of wreckage can also be covered, together with fire and theft when stored and when in transit. Home contents insurance can be used if storage is at home and car insurance can cover when in transit so check your policies.
Most importantly of all, enjoy your jet ski hobby and the great outdoors, safe in the knowledge you’ve done everything in your power to protect yourself and your craft through a steady learning process and the right level of insurance with a reputable and reliable insurer.