How to Ride a Jet Ski With Passengers? [Video Guide]

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How to ride a jet ski with passengers?  This is a typical question asked by many beginner riders, and with good reason!

As jet skis have become bigger over the last years, there are now many models that can accommodate three riders conveniently. Thus, fewer people want to ride alone as sharing the fun with others is always great, especially with children!

At first glance, riding a jet ski with passengers seems pretty simple, as there is a huge saddle on the jet ski for the other riders. They just sit behind you and you’re ready to go, right? The answer is surprisingly no!

Jet skiing with passengers is quite different; that’s why many beginner riders capsize their jet skis when they try to ride double the first time.

Riding on a jet ski always has its own risks, and it can be even more dangerous if you’re not alone! If you’re not prepared and don’t operate carefully, you can capsize your jet ski easily, or even incur a much worse accident.

However, with some practice, both you and your passengers will enjoy the rides!

To make your first double ride easier, we have compiled the most important tips and tricks on how to ride a jet ski with passengers!

Risks of Riding a Jet Ski With Passengers

Let’s start with the risks of double jet ski rides. These subjects may not be too pleasant to talk about, but it’s definitely recommended you be aware of all the risks and dangers below!

Passenger falls off

One of the most common issues is when a passenger falls off the jet ski’s seat. This happens typically if the operator makes a sharp turn and the momentum throws the passenger into the water.

It can be very dangerous, as hitting the water at higher speeds feels like hitting  concrete!  Another very common problem could be if the passenger falls off the rear side of the jet ski, which can lead to different serious injuries.

As the jet ski squirts water out from the rear side with extreme speed, there is a high risk that the water may forced into the passengers’ orifice(s) if they fall behind the jet ski.

This is definitely not the most pleasant part of jet skiing, and can lead to really serious injuries. That’s why every owner’s manual, and the warning stickers, state these risks and recommend you wear at least neoprene shorts as protection! (It’s highly recommended for females and males as well!)


Another very common accident when a sharp turn ends is capsizing the jet ski. Riding double needs an experienced operator, because even the passenger can capsize the jet ski with only one slightly imbalanced turn! That’s why it’s very important to educate your passengers upfront!

Other injuries

Beyond capsizing, passengers may be injured without falling off the seat. During sudden accelerations or stops, they are forced forward or backward by the momentum so they can incur several injuries like strains or even fractures. That’s why you always have to ride a jet ski with passengers more carefully.

How to Ride a Jet Ski With Passengers

If you want to go for a double jet ski ride, there are several things to keep in mind. Here, we’ve tried to collect the most important factors for you. With these tips in mind, you can expect more safety and fun on the water!

Know the Basics

If you’re a complete beginner rider, it’s highly recommended you get some practice without passengers, first. Many jet ski models are surprisingly powerful, so it’s not wise to start taking passengers with you on your first rides.

It’s also good to know the basics of how a jet ski engine and pump work, and you can consider a Boating Safety Course (jet ski license) as well – even if your state doesn’t require it!

It’s also very important to read the owner’s manual, as well as the stickers on the jet ski. You may also want to know how to flip over the ski if it’s capsized as well as how to get back on a jet ski after a fall.

Safety Gear

To stay safe and legal, you and all of your passengers are required by law to wear United States Coast Guard (USCG) – approved life jackets.

When it comes to protection, as we’ve mentioned before, a neoprene short is the minimum protective gear, but many owner’s manuals recommend shoes, gloves, and eye protection as well.

Beyond the proper jet ski clothes, make sure you keep all of the required safety accessories onboard. Before you start, also check if you’ve attached your safety lanyard to your life jacket!


When it comes to riding a jet ski with others, continuous communication is a must. You always need to tell them where and when you’d like to turn; this helps them to prepare and feel safe.

Note that all passengers have different skills, physical health, and tolerance. This means they may adapt to the ride in many different ways, so make sure you don’t exceed their limits!

Like with motorbikes, while riding a jet ski, it’s also essential that the rider and passenger cooperate and lean together during turns.

If your passengers are inexperienced, they may lean away from the turn, which makes driving more difficult for you.

Therefore, it’s recommended you educate them upfront about the basics and how to lean naturally during turns. But keep in mind; too much leaning can be dangerous as it may capsize the jet ski–especially at lower speeds.

The best practice is to tell them to just keep their whole body in line with yours. With this trick, they’ll follow you perfectly when you start to lean!

Riding a jet ski with passengers can be more dangerous - be careful!

Riding a jet ski with passengers can be more dangerous – be careful!

How to Operate the Jet Ski

Double rides always require double attention from you, especially if your passenger is a child. You’re not only responsible for yourself, but for your passengers!

This means you should be careful around docks, buoys, or other objects, and always keep a safe distance from other vessels.

Try to ride as carefully as you can. You may be surprised, but if you ride a jet ski with passengers, it’s typically slower to respond, so spins and turns can be more challenging!

The best practice is to start slow. Don’t scare them to death with a drag race at the beginning, and introduce them to higher speeds slowly.

Always decrease your speed before turns, but you also have to maintain a constant speed during the turns. Without throttle, you may lose the balance of the jet ski. In the worst case, this could lead to capsizing the jet ski.

Also, avoid braking or accelerating suddenly, as it could be dangerous for your passengers. You want to keep them in the saddle, so the best practice is if you ask them to sit facing forward really close to you, while placing their arms tight around your waist.

Doing tricks is also not recommended with passengers, so it’s best if you stay away from wave jumping and other dangerous stunts.

Start With Short Trips

To keep safety in mind, if you haven’t experienced double jet ski rides, it’s highly recommended not to go far from the shore.  This will result in higher safety and more comfort for you the first time.

It’s also wise if there are other jet skiers with you, as they can assist you in case of a fall or if you’re in need of any other help.

Doing watersports without experience is also dangerous, as towing a tube or a wakeboarder with a jet ski definitely needs some practice.

Choose the Right Ski

When it comes to double jet ski rides, it’s essential to choose the right jet ski.

The small Rec-Lite models (especially the 2 seaters) are usually not the best choice due to their small and rigid hulls. Don’t even mention their seats, which are usually not comfortable for the passengers, especially on a long ride!

This is the same problem with the older vintage watercrafts as their hulls were pretty small and too rigid. It means the double rides could be challenging on these models, especially at lower speeds until the jet ski starts to plane.

Keeping safety in mind,supercharged models are also not recommended for beginners due to their extreme performance. The best practice is if you choose a jet ski from the recreation category, or a non-supercharged touring model!

The final and most often overlooked factor is the weight limit of the jet ski. Always pay attention to this, as exceeding the limit can lead to decreased stability and difficulty maneuvering.

Also, don’t take more passengers with you than your jet ski is designed for. This is not just illegal, but really dangerous as well!


As you can see, riding a jet ski with passengers is not too tricky, but it definitely needs some practice and attention.

Always be aware of the risks and be prepared for unknown situations. Also, don’t forget to educate your passengers upfront! Keep your speed low and avoid sharp turns, spins and dangerous tricks.

Don’t forget safety gear as well as protective clothing..

If you’ve tried everything, and you still don’t enjoy the double rides, the best plan is to buy a second jet ski for the passenger!

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