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Jet Ski Touring 101 for Beginners [Guide]

Jet Ski Touring 101 for Beginners [Guide]

Unlike their tiny predecessors, today’s jet skis can even be used for long tours. The best touring jet skis feature stable hulls, remarkable capacities, and large fuel tanks. Therefore, they can travel many miles with ease.

If you want to find out the basics of jet ski touring, this is the blog to check out.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

What is Jet Ski Touring?

Jet ski touring is an activity in which you cover long distances with a jet ski instead of just playing around near the shoreline. A jet ski tour can have many purposes like reaching specific destinations like camping or fishing spots or just enjoying the freedom of traveling countless miles on the water.

Are Jet Skis Good for Touring?

Contrary to popular belief, today’s sit-down jet skis can be used for touring and other activities like fishing and tow sports. Thanks to their huge hulls and powerful engines, today’s jet skis can cover very long distances, especially with an auxiliary fuel tank.

This is why more and more jet ski rentals offer long jet ski tours, which can last a few hours or even an entire day.

Are you wondering how to prepare for a jet ski tour?

Keep reading!

How do you Prepare for a Jet Ski Tour?

The vital steps for preparing for a jet ski tour are as follows:

  • Find a riding buddy
  • Plan your route
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Inspect and prepare your ski
  • Get in shape
  • Gear up
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about each in detail!

Find a Riding Buddy

As a rule of thumb, touring alone on a jet ski is definitely not recommended.

Covering long distances on a jet ski can be dangerous in many ways, especially if you go offshore.

You never know when you will need help because of an unforeseen problem occurring. For example, if your jet ski breaks down, your buddy can tow you back to shore.Keeping safety in mind, never go on a long trip alone!

Plan Your Route

Before you leave on a jet ski tour, it’s recommended that you carefully plan your route. You should pick your final destination and when you want to arrive.

If you cannot take all the necessary fuel with you, you must also consider where the fuel docks are.

Once you have your route planned, you’ll want to share it with your family members or friends for safety reasons.

Check the Weather Forecast

Nothing destroys a jet ski tour quite like bad weather. Although it’s possible to jet ski in the rain, riding in a storm or even lighting is neither pleasant nor safe.

Cold foggy weather can also decrease comfort and cause poor visibility.

To avoid these situations, checking the weather forecast should always be part of your preparation.

It’s also wise to keep an eye on the weather report along the trip. If you see that you’re facing unforeseen weather conditions, you can take a break or re-plan your trip.

Inspect and Prepare Your Ski

Keeping your jet ski properly maintained is essential for a successful tour.

You should prepare the machine upfront for the trip; fill up with gas and engine fluids and check all the systems and accessories to make sure they all work.

If you haven’t used the ski in a while, it’s wise to take it for a quick test trip to make sure that it works perfectly. If you notice any malfunctions, take care of them before the tour.

If you’re planning a multi-day jet ski tour, don’t forget to do the pre-ride and after-ride check every day.


Besides the ski, you also have to prepare your body for the tour. If you’re getting out of shape, maybe it’s time to hit the gym and do some exercise.

Long jet ski tours are tiring and require a lot of bodywork so keep yourself healthy and get enough sleep before the big day.

Pay attention to what you eat as well, since low blood sugar can decrease your focus and cause other problems.

You should also stay hydrated since dehydration negatively affects physiological processes.

Don’t forget to stop and take a break when you feel tired to get your strength back. Know your limits and do not exceed them.

Last but not least, you have to pick and pack the gear you will need out there. Let’s talk about the essential gear you will need for a jet ski tour!

What do You Need for a Jet Ski Tour?

There are many things you may need on a jet ski tour, but the most important ones are as follows:

  • Proper gear
  • Navigation and safety equipment
  • Food and drink
  • Dry box or bag
  • Extra fuel

Riding Gear

Wearing the proper riding gear on a jet ski tour is essential. The list of the recommended gear includes:

The list may vary depending on many factors like the length of the tour, the expected weather conditions, and your personal preferences.

Besides this gear, it’s wise to carry a small and large towel plus an extra set of dry clothes stored in a dry place.

Navigation and Safety Equipment

General wisdom says that you shouldn’t start your jet ski tour without proper navigation and safety equipment.

A smartphone and a GPS are barely the minimum, and make sure that you download all the maps you will need. Some flagship jet skis come with an advanced GPS, allowing you to share your planned route with your riding buddies.

If you are hesitent about which safety equipment you should carry on you, here’s our detailed list of the most important jet ski safety gear.

Food and Water

You should also pack an adequate amount of food and drink, but keeping yourself constantly hydrated can be challenging on a long tour.

This is where a camel backpack comes into play.

This backpack houses a camel bag and a hose with which you can drink from at any time, without stopping the ski. What’s more, it can carry some small snacks as well.

You can also store your food and drink in a storage unit on the ski, or in a dry bag.

Dry Box or Bag

When it comes to jet ski touring, best practice is to store your gear in a dry bag or box.

Today most manufacturers offer innovative attachment systems with which you can attach racks and other storage units to your ski.

For example, the Yamaha RecDeck system includes a removable rear platform extension and an optional rack. The latter can accommodate a cooler, store boxes, dry bags, or even fuel cans.

In contrast, Sea-Doos come with LinQ connection cleats, which are planted into the rear platform. You can connect various purpose-built LinQ accessories directly to these connectors.

If you have an older ski that lacks these innovative systems, you can still install a regular fishing rack on its rear platform.

But if you don’t want to invest in one, you can even secure your gear onto the rear platform with straps. However, note that it’s the most inconvenient and least secure way to carry gear on a jet ski.

Using regular straps increases the risk that your cargo will fall into the water, especially in rough water conditions.

This is why you should store all of your gear in dry bags or a PWC cargo trailer, which can keep water out.

Extra Fuel

If you want to go for a long jet ski tour, you will probably have to carry extra fuel on you.

Today’s sit-down jet skis come with very large fuel tanks and get great fuel mileage, but you can’t burn all of the fuel for safety reasons!

There are many ways to carry extra fuel on a jet ski, but the most common is arguably by carrying fuel cans on the rear platform.

You can plant them into a rack, attach them with LinQ connectors (if featured), or just strap them securely onto the rear platform.

If you are considering touring with your ski regularly, you should consider investing in a larger internal tank or an auxiliary fuel tank.

It is very important that you not store fuel in the storage compartments of the jet ski since the gas vapors can cause an explosion!


Today’s jet skis can be used for touring and other activities like wakeboarding and fishing. These large vessels can cover very long distances and offer plenty of comfort for riders.

If you are considering touring with your jet ski you may find our tips useful:

  • Never ride alone
  • Plan your route and share it with your family/friends
  • Check the weather forecast (upfront and on the way)
  • Prepare the ski
  • Prepare yourself as well
  • Wear the right gear (wetsuit, goggles, protectors, etc.)
  • Use navigation equipment
  • Carry safety gear (and know how to use them)
  • Take two towels and a set of dry clothes with you
  • Store your gear in a dry bag or box
  • Carry extra fuel (in cans or an auxiliary fuel tank)
  • Pack food and water, no matter how far you go