Jet skiing for beginners: All you need to know!

You probably ended up in this article because you want to discover more about Jet skiing for beginners! Well, you are in the right place as we will brief you about the most important things and basics to know before hopping on a jet ski and cruising off.

The first thing to know, jet skiing is a fun water-based activity to practice during summer in almost all the bathing spots at the sea. Even if jet ski competitions exist, it is for the most part a recreational activity that will provide you with the right amount of adrenaline when riding little waves at a different speed, but also allow you to discover hidden bays and beautiful beaches, which are otherwise difficult to get to.

As you will see, jet skiing is at all times a supervised activity. You will always be briefed by a professional instructor, explaining to you how to ride this water vehicle and informing you about all the water rules you need to respect!

Here’s a little fun fact before diving into this jet ski beginners guide: the word “jet ski” is actually the brand name of a personal watercraft manufactured by Kawasaki and has since become a commonly used word – just like Bubble Wrap,  Kleenex, or Frisbee.

How to ride a Jet ski

Riding a Jet ski might seem difficult, but when following the guide’s instructions and respecting all the rules, you’ll see just how easy it is! It is actually the easiest vehicle to drive. Minimum age is required and usually, it depends on the centre that provides you the activity. The same goes for whether a driver’s license is needed for the driver. More on that a bit later. 

In order to start riding your jet ski there are a few things you’ll need to learn, once you checked that you have enough engine oil for your excursion:

  1.  Turn on/off
  2.  learn how to control the forward, neutral and reverse commands
  3.  learn how to regulate brakes in case you have them

Mind that for older jet skis the throttle to steer might be really sensitive. The instructor will carefully guide you through all of this.

Parts of a Jetski


Mind that the control panel of a jet ski is composed by:

  1. A speedometer that shows the speed you are currently driving
  2.  The engine cut-off switch is a small clip that must be inserted into the boat’s console. The clip will stop the engine if the driver is falling out of the jet ski
  3. A safety lanyard is a little rope connected to the engine cut-off switch
jet ski panel


Finally, in order to acquire stability while driving your jet ski you need to know how to lean in different situations. For instance, while accelerating you will need to be inclined forward, leaning back when stopping and leaning on the sides during turns.

Even with waves, the jetski will go at a stable speed thanks to more responsive steering, if you want to use a specific technique try to ride the waves at 45 degrees diagonally.

Different types of Jet skis

There are several types of jet skis. Some of them are focused on performance, usually for people that are experienced and wish to drive fast, and others are easier to control and perfect for a jet ski safari on which you’ll discover beautiful coastlines. Some examples of jet ski types are:

  • Sea-Doo: the easiest watercraft to drive (speed from 40 to 70 mph depending on the model)
  • Kawasaki: offers a higher speed and performance, some models might be also suitable for beginners (speed from 54 to 67 mph)
  • Wave Runner: great control system ( speed from 50 to 67 mph)

What to keep in mind when choosing a jet ski for beginners offering better control are the following characteristics: stability, breaks, and recreational watercraft. 

How to rent a Jet ski

Renting a Jet ski might seem not always easy during the busy summer season due to the great number of people at the sea looking forward to having fun. Our advice: make sure to book your excursion in advance!

If you want to try jet skiing, you have usually two options to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for.