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  1. #1

    Is it legal to do a "wheelie" with a jet ski in PA?

    I was out on the lake yesterday and my 2 friends came out with me. I saw on YouTube people doing wheelies with their jet ski so I decided to try it. I had them both stand on the back platform and hold onto the grab bar behind the seat. I then stood further back and gave it throttle (worked perfectly). Anyways, I got a $119 ticket because he said it was illegal to drag people behind a jet ski. Technically this isn't dragging anyone because they aren't in the water. Does anyone know the rules for this? I searched and can't find anything on it. Nobody was in the water, just standing on the rear platform. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


  2. #2
    83Gator's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar w/the term "wheelie" in regards to a ski; but I get the pic. as you described it, along w/the effect you were prob. looking for. IMHO, prob. not a safe maneuver. Jet wash at just the right angle and distance can do anything from peel the skin off to internal injuries. All it would take is for your buddy on the back to go over and... well you know the rest. So much for the lecture... sorry.

    Now, technically speaking: Did you break a law? Hard to say - does your citation cite a code? If so, look it up, and go from there. If the citation was written up for something like "improper/unsafe operation", then you're likely guilty as charged. If it specifically says you "were dragging a fellow rider behind the ski", then you've prob. got a case. A person can be on a ski or behind a ski, but I don't thinks it's possible to do both at the same time. But, in the end, is it worth the difference in taking your case to court (transportation costs, missed work) vs. paying $119.

    One more word: If you did that stunt and your passenger fell off and got hurt, you would likely be bashed to no end on this forum...

    Be safe and have a great summer.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. I know that the jet is extremely powerful coming out of the ski. I was careful when attempting to do the maneuver. I was just wondering if there was any laws against it. Ill have to look at the ticket again and find out what it says exactly. I think there is a code on it.

  4. #4
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Didn't mean to come across as a lecture or rant. And best of luck w/your ticket.

  5. #5
    I didn't take it that way at all. It was helpful information. Here is what I found for the code under the ticket I received: http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/05...hap105toc.html

    It is section 105.3, number 10

    Any help to determine this would be great. Also, here is a link to a youtube video to explain what I was doing:

  6. #6
    r33pwrd's Avatar
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    I think the cop was probably just being an ass. I would fight that ticket myself.

  7. #7
    Yeah I think he was as well. I most likely will fight it just to prove a point. I'm not concerned with paying the ticket, just the fact that I don't believe I was doing anything illegal.

  8. #8

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    Wow, the code is pretty specific, and describes EXACTLY what you were doing. Not sure you have a case. If its not too much inconvenience, it still might be worth taking to court. Plead ignorance and maybe the judge will lower the fine.


    (10) Operate a motorboat at any speed with a person or persons sitting, riding or hanging on a swim platform or swim ladder attached to the motorboat, except when launching, retrieving, docking or anchoring the motorboat.

  9. #9
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    I hope you carry some heavy liability insurance. Jetpump/jetwash injuries can run over 100k

    Think about if for a second..you're at full throttle, your pals are hanging on by a plastic rail on a slick surface.

    IF one of them fell..losing an eye to jetpump wash or a water injection injury is a real possibility

    IMHO the cop did you a real favor.

    Consider the ticket a 3 credit course fee is safe jetski operation.

    If you can beat it on a technicality, go for it..but you'll have a picture of your ski and the hull number taped to the dash of ever enforcement boat it the area

    do you play double dog dare with a woodchipper?

    yes..it's a lecture...you need one.

    stay safe

    oh yeah..have a read on this:

    http://www.robertlparks.com/press/ro...ki-verdict.pdf

    the passenger fell off when the operator accidentally "wheelied"

    I carry a half million dollar policy on my jetskis and boats. Wouldn't have helped me avoiding bankruptcy on this accident.

    The lawyer went after Kawasaki..and won.

    Doesn't mean much to the young gal who was seriously injured.

    What we don't need in this industry are more high profile accidents..which lead to bans and big restrictions on operation.

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  11. #10
    83Gator's Avatar
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    I'll finish up on this thread w/the following; keep in mind, I'm no atty or citizen of PA, but I've been around the legal realm for over 30 years... here goes:

    Keep in mind, it's not always you broke the law, as cited in Reg. "X". The situation as viewed by a judge will sometimes be that you broke the law "intended", as cited in Reg. "X". Now, when I view your actions that warranted the citation and apply it to 105.3, the only thing I can remotely find you getting off due a technicality is the word "motorboat" instead of "personal watercraft". I can promise you, if your only defense is "but the law specifically states a motorboat, not a pwc...", then your guilty. I have no doubt that the intent of 105.3 was to insure safe operation of any vessel on or in the water.

    105.3 (10) Operate a motorboat at any speed with a person or persons sitting, riding or hanging on a swim platform or swim ladder attached to the motorboat, except when launching, retrieving, docking or anchoring the motorboat.

    Furthermore, if the ticket said something like "105, et al" (and others), then you could certainly be busted for 105.4(b). Again, it's highly likely that, based on intent, any judge will replace the word "motorboat" or "boat" with "vessel".

    105.4(b) A person may not operate a boat loaded in a manner that adversely affects its trim or stability.

    I would pay the fine and take it as stated above and consider the fine as a safety course fee...

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