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  1. #1

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    How to ride better tips

    It doesnt matter how much i read on the screen nothing beats good old experience. However when it came time for me to get on a motorcycle i was able to pick it up very quickly. I spent a lot of time reading and fully understanding what to do, what not to do, good habbits, bad habits and just general tips. I would like to do the same for jet skis. Im about to buy a brand new ski and would like avoid grendaing it over some simple mistake.

    Any good places to start reading about good riding habits for jet skis?

    I have very little ride time as of now. The wife and i are almost ready to buy a brand new ski and i would like to develop correct riding habbits.
    Last edited by K447; 06-05-2014 at 08:08 AM.


  2. #2

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    I posted here because i am pretty sure i will buy a kawi. I didnt know if the different skis have different riding styles or not.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I don't recall which forums they were in but I have seen a few good threads discussing watercraft riding practices and methods.

    Are you familiar with boating and operating a boat? If you are also new to the marine environment then there is a lot to learn, in addition to the skills and best practices related to PWC riding.

    If you can find an experienced rider or a riding group in your area you may be able to use them as a mentor.

    The types of water and the type of watercraft are important factors. Riding alone is also different from riding with passenger.

    For example, we have two watercraft and one rider per machine, normally. Both are three person rated capacity. Riding single person allows each of us to stand up and ride with flexed legs, which is how we ride most of the time. The machine can bounce and dance across the waves while our legs flex, minimizing jolts to the spine, upper body and head. Makes it possible to ride quickly across water that if seated would be a punishing ride.

    With a passenger on board both must be experienced or it is almost impossible to have both stand and ride properly. So you both end up having to sit down, even on rough water.

    When first learning how the machine actually behaves on the water it is preferable (my opinion) to ride by yourself, but have another watercraft with experienced rider nearby. There is value in knowing how hard you can push the machine and yourself. Not just top speed and bouncy water but also hard turns, sudden emergency stop turns, docking, etc.

    Except for some SeaDoo models with braking, typically the fastest way to stop a personal watercraft from speed is a sudden hard turn with plenty of power applied. These machines can turn on a dime when you get the hang of it and sometimes the best way to avoid a rock or sudden obstacle at speed is to turn hard and go the other way. This technique needs to be practiced or you will simply launch yourself off the seat. The machine will make the turn but you will not

    Docking and slow speed maneuvering is another area where new riders often misunderstand what is needed. Practice approaching a bouy or other floating marker (not the actual dock) and learn how to bring the machine up alongside and float into position. Learn to do this without touching the reverse lever. A good rider will rarely touch reverse, even when docking. If you see someone using reverse many times with lots of sudden jabs of throttle, you know they have not practiced this stuff.

    One useful method is an S maneuver. I generally approach the dock at right angles, head on. Idle speed, of course. Turn hard one way, the machine starts to turn. Steer hard the opposite way, watch for the nose to swing. As the machine turns, I kill the engine. Momentum continues the rotation and the hull drifts sideways up to the dock.

    Tip: At idle speed, hard steering left and right causes the hull to slow down. You can keep doing this to keep the speed down yet have complete steering control.

    When reverse is applied the steering works differently. Practice steering while using reverse, again while away from docks and other boats. Learn how your machine behaves at slow speeds, how much room you need to turn, stop, etc.

    Passenger notes: Even if you will be the primary driver, your main passenger should also learn how to properly operate the machine. Not only will this give them some understanding and confidence in how you are operating the machine, there will be times where the passenger may need to run the machine. An injury or medical issue may make it difficult or impossible for you to drive (bug in the eye, twisted leg or foot, etc).

    Or one person gets the trailer down the ramp and the other drives the watercraft on. Both people should be able to do both jobs. Yes, she can learn how to back up a trailer without having an anxiety attack.

    With both people being able to handle the watercraft, each can be a cross check on the other person's work. My better half has noticed a drain plug not tight, for example, more than once. Or corrected a trailer safety chain that was not properly hooked up.

    This is possible because she actually knows how and can do the entire job. Everything from pre launch checklist to backing down the ramp, launching, then post ride putting the empty trailer down the ramp, loading the watercraft and pulling them out.

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  5. #4

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    Great info K447. Yes i new to the marine life. I have a ton of stuff to learn.

  6. #5
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
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    Mike, where are you located? Possibly some fellow members in your area that could help you along through this venture into the PWC world.

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  8. #6

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    I am near vincennes indiana. I will ride in the ohio river and at patoka lake often. I have a small sized lake 600 acres very close to me that i will ride in most of the time.

  9. #7
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
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    Being a small lake on this stable of a ski you will be fine to learn to handle the ski. Biggest thing is just like your bike show it respect until you get used to it. Lots of low end torque and it can turn harder than the body's momentum.

  10. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemounlio View Post
    I am near vincennes indiana. I will ride in the ohio river and at patoka lake often. I have a small sized lake 600 acres very close to me that i will ride in most of the time.
    Update your Profile with your location and the PWC model.

    Makes it easier for others to see where you are and possibly offer help.

  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mikemounlio View Post
    It doesnt matter how much i read on the screen nothing beats good old experience. However when it came time for me to get on a motorcycle i was able to pick it up very quickly. I spent a lot of time reading and fully understanding what to do, what not to do, good habbits, bad habits and just general tips. I would like to do the same for jet skis. Im about to buy a brand new ski and would like avoid grendaing it over some simple mistake.

    Any good places to start reading about good riding habits for jet skis?

    I have very little ride time as of now. The wife and i are almost ready to buy a brand new ski and i would like to develop correct riding habbits.
    Good that you are attempting to learn and improve, good on you....

    Here are a few links that might assist:
    http://pwcoffshore.com/Catalina.html
    http://pwcoffshore.com/Training.html
    http://pwcoffshore.com/Offshore_Gear_Review.html

  12. #10
    Wolf714's Avatar
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    Nice write up K447!

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