Tips and Tricks of Jumping a Jetski

To be able to perform tricks on your watercraft is probably the coolest thing about owning a PWC. 

Hitting the waters and jumping over the waves being the absolute winners in this genre. 

Although, jumping the waves seems easy at sight, achieving it takes a lot of practice and the right technique. 

So, if you are a new Jet Ski owner who wants to defeat waves, here is everything you need to know. Furthermore, even if you are an experienced rider, these pointers will come in handy for you as well. 

What are the steps to remember while jumping a Jet Ski?

Step 1: Preparation

Knowing about the weather condition helps big-time before attempting a jump. With that being said, one should be aware of the wave and wind conditions as they govern whether or not you’ll take off and land perfectly. 

Judging waves:

  • Reef waves occur in one spot. They move faster and have underlying rocks. Moreover, they are shallower than the beach waves making them more dangerous for your water toy.
  • Beach waves are generally slower than reef waves. They form on the bed of the sand and have the tendency to break.

 Make sure it’s the beach waves you are going for a safer jumping experience. That’s because these waves cause minimum damage to the watercraft.
Note:  Waves will never charge at you one at a time. They will always come in what we call as “ sets”. Mind it, no two sets are similar. They contain different sizes or even the amount of waves in them. So be prepared.

Judging winds

  • Offshore Winds are the winds that blow off the shore. These winds tend to create a cleaner surface of the water and hold up the wave for a long time.
  • Onshore winds are the winds that blow towards the shore. Do not plan a jump when these winds are blowing because they can make the water bumpy.

For winds, offshore winds are ideal for planning a jump.

Step 2. Preliminary surveying- Moments before approaching a wave

Things to keep in mind:

  • Familiarize yourself with the surf conditions and how the waves are breaking and forming.
  • Understand the area.
    Learn about the potentially hazardous spots too. This includes areas with rocks, reefs, and shallow points. Make sure you don’t land there.
  • Look out for seaweeds that may get stuck in your intake.
  • Moreover, learn the safe zones (that is the halfway mark from the peak of a wave to where the fronts have broken). It is here that you can easily manouever and prepare for the upcoming wave.

3. Approaching the wave

The best way to jump waves is to hit it at an angle at about quarter speed. Then, all you have to do is to give it full throttle and lean back so that you jump over the waves.

Now, many times people forget that it is better to be late than sorry and do the mistake of hitting the very first wave. That’s what you have to avoid.

Leave the first wave. Use it just for the purpose of providing slope to your water scooter so that when you hit the second wave you are already at an angle.

Try landing vertically. If you do, your ride plate will break the water first, and the impact on your watercraft while landing will be less. Otherwise, if you’ll land flat, you’ll definitely damage your hull.

Also, zip tie the seat latch to the grab handle. This way your Jet Ski won’t sink when you land on your tail first.

Note: 

  • Try to find a wave that has a steep face.
  • Let the wave come to you.
  • If the waves break early don’t turn around. If you do, you’ll get thrown off your watercraft.
    So, whenever in broken waves, tuck your head down and pull your handlebars closer and hold them tighter while keeping your arm straight. Either roll over the wave or blast through, either ways you’ll save yourself from falling off. 

What should be the body posture while jumping the Jet Ski?

Well, preferably stand while hitting a wave. Keep your knees bent (in half a squat), arms bent and your feet outwards on the tray. 

If you sit down while jumping, it becomes hard to control your watercraft and place its landing.

Besides this, a little practice will help you with the position that works for you and makes you comfortable at the same time.


What to do if you come off in the water or if the PWC capsizes?

  • First and foremost, don’t panic. Keep your head cool. It is all okay.
  • Try to get to your ski as quick as you can.
  • Face your ski towards the shoreline and get on it from the back so that if the wave comes you are pushed forward.  If in incase your PWC is upside down, roll it up. Maximum times, instructions are mentioned in the hull. on my s Jet Ski, it is to climb on the top of my craft from the right side and roll the ski while grabbing the rails.
  • If you are in a position where another wave is coming, make sure you are between the wave and the ski. Never be in front of it. 
  • If your jet ski is giving no acceleration after the fall, just let go of the throttle and gently accelerate again and feel for the prop to bite in, then accelerate.


What are the other precautions you can take to avoid accidents?

Don’t get too enthusiastic

Many times in the excitement of jumping your Jet Ski, riders get too over-enthusiastic and end up hurting themselves. 

Just take it a little slow. Don’t barge in the waters. Going fast at the waves can make you land the ski nose first or ‘belly whack’ the ski, which is really bad.  

Start with smaller jumps and examine the water body first. When you are comfortable enough, give you Jet Ski a good jump.

Stay calm

Figuring out how to jump waves can be frustrating. Initially, there will be times when you will fall down your watercraft.  But do not lose hope and especially your patience even if you get bruised. Believe me; it is only a clear and calm mind that will help you avoid major accidents. 

You don’t need to jump every wave

Don’t jump every wave that comes your way. Take it easy until you know how you are landing. Also, notice in what direction you Jet Ski rolls/turns when you hit the wave. Once you know what’s going on, you’ll understand when to hit the wave. 

Look out for the right weather and location

Find the location that creates the maximum of waves and look out for weather that can naturally catapult you. Windy days, for that matter, produce the best waves for jumping. 

However, when the weather is crazy like in the case of an approaching hurricane, it’s better to stay home than to take the risk.

Take it slow while going at waves

One of the most common mistakes that riders do is to gas their PWC too fast towards the waves. Because of which, they blow through the waves instead of jumping over them. This results in smaller jumps and more injuries.

Avoid areas with traffic 

This is no brainer that you absolutely have to avoid areas with a lot of traffic. Be careful of your surroundings and riders.

If you are riding with friends, don’t jump close to one another but be within each other’s sight. This way you can look out for one another without colliding your water scooters. 

When in groups, jump in a clockwise or anti-clockwise manner. Make all your friends move in the same direction in a line to avoid chaos and collision.

If the water is flat and you plan on jumping waves, then, only wakes from boats can help you. However, it’s better to take the permission of the boat rider before jumping on any boat’s wake.

Safety is the key

As I have stated above, don’t be too enthusiastic and manage your speed well. Take time to judge waves and always carry a personal floatation device for emergency situations. 

Never jump with a passenger 

Go solo on jumping waves. This makes maneuvering easier and will make your jet ski lighter. And a lighter vehicle is better for jumping than the heavier ones. 

Don’t push yourself

After hours of riding and jumping, there will come a time when you’ll be exhausted. At that moment I advise you to please rest and do not push yourself otherwise you’ll end up hurting yourself and others around you.

Choose the right jet ski

When it comes to jumping waves, lighter jet skis are always better. That’s because they jump well on waves and are easy to control.

Heavier Jet skis can only be used as long as they have good power and a strong hull.
Many people suggest stand-ups for jumping. Although these jet skis are fun, they come with a tedious learning curve.

If you are stuck between a two-seater and three-seater, a two-seater is always a better option as they are perfect for performing tricks.

What are the most reliable Jet Skis for the Jumping Wave?

Yamaha GP1300r HO

  • Yamaha GP1300r HO is a very reliable and controllable sporty PWC. 
  • It comes with great acceleration and even greater turning.
  • Because of its powerful engine, this PWC can reach a top speed over 70 mph easily.
  • It is a fast and aggressive ski jet and helps you to jump the big waves with no problem.
  • Its hull enables it to chop through any water via trim.
  • The high-performance hull of the Yamaha GP1300RH HO is reinforced at critical load-bearing areas for durability and strength.
  • It has a high-performance, fuel-injected 170 hp, three-cylinder, two-stroke, 1296 cc Yamaha engine

PROS: fast, reliable with rear hull design.

Sea-Doo RXP-X 260

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  • This WaveRunner is perfect for any beginner trying to accomplish tricks on the wave. Why? Well that’s because of its “inexperienced rider and low RPM mode” that gives a lot of control on the power output 
  • It has folding re-board steps let you on and off seamlessly.
  • This Jet Ski’s on-board security system keeps your Jet Ski safe.
  • It is very lightweight and its 812lbs of weight helps it to fly swiftly in water.
  • Comes with a 4-stroke engine that produces 260 horsepower, Making it easy to get to the blazing 60-70+ mph speed.

PROS: Comes in a small frame and nimble body. 

Kawasaki Ultra 310X

  • Kawasaki Ultra 310X is a powerhouse. It is the fastest and the most powerful Jet Ski in the market today. It uses the same basic engine as the ZX-14 Sportbike from Kawasaki. Just imagine the power that it holds.
  • This power is perfect for revving through choppy waters and giving your Jet Ski a nice jump on a wave or wake. But that’s only when you are a skilled driver.
  • It cranks out 300 hp.
  • It has a liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder with nearly 1,500 ccs of displacement.
  • With modification, it can reach about 100mph speed.
  • Tons of storage and many other features to ponder on.

Pro: Low RPM and ecological power options
Con: Easy to overcorrect direction and a little heavy. 

Kawasaki STX 15-F

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  • STX-15F has 160 horsepower and delivers speeds up to 62 mph, assuming good conditions. 
  • This Jet Ski is reliable and is impossible to break or hurt no matter how inexperienced the driver is. This makes it perfect for beginners trying to perform tricks. 

Pro:  It has a Four-stroke, four-cylinder engine
Con: Its body and deck is outdated.

Yamaha Wave runner SuperJet

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Standups may not be the stars of the Jet Ski market but they still hold a special place in our hearts for being the best models for tricks and jumping.

Although they are hard to ride and very difficult to control, anyone looking for some air will find riding this PWC very amusing. 

  • 74 HP is crammed into a body. 
  • It barely weighs 300 lbs. 
  • It has a small speed to weight ratio, which becomes great for racing your PWC.
  • It comes with a 2-stroke, dual cylinder engine with 701cc worth of displacement.
  • Yamaha SJ also comes with 38mm Mikuni carburettors that give it a screaming throttle. 

Pro: Comfortable, ergonomic handlebars and nimble.
Con: Stand-up model with an annoying learning curve.

Final thoughts: Jumping a Jet Ski is very exciting and very dangerous at the same time. Just make sure you master the technique before hitting a strong wave. Do follow all the safety rules, wear a helmet and a life jacket while performing a jump. Just be safe you all!

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