Pros and Cons of Owning a Jet Ski [Video]

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Riding a jet ski promises a lot of fun, and owning one has more advantages beyond just the great adrenalin rush!

On the other hand, it’s good to know that there are some cons of ownership as well. It’s wise to be aware of all of them before you purchase one.

We, at JetDrift, have gathered the most important facts about the real pros and cons of owning a jet ski!

Pros and Cons of Owning a Jet Ski: The Pros

It’s a Hobby

Owning a watercraft doesn’t just mean thrilling rides on the water. It means you have a new hobby!

Starting a new hobby is always a good thing as it has many advantages. But be aware; it could be a challenge, especially if you are new to motorsports!

First, you can make new friends on the water. There are countless Facebook groups for jet ski riders, you can find the best ones for you and join others for a ride. If you choose a local dealer or a service shop, you can help your community as well!

Learning about jet skis will increase your knowledge and help you pick up new skills. Finally, it can increase your confidence and enrich your life!

Don’t worry, riding and owning a jet ski is not rocket science. We recommend you start your research here where we’ve collected most of the basics of jet skis under one roof!

Versatile usability

The other great advantage of jet skis is their versatility. If you have a motorbike, you can go for rides, and that’s all. But a jet ski can be used for several different purposes.

Unlike small vintage jet skis, current newer models have a really large hull, which means they are an alternative to small boats. This means you can take your family and friends with you! Beyond the thrill of the adrenalin rush, you can consider other activities as well.

The most popular related activities are touring, fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, swimming, and snorkeling. If you’re looking to chill after your rides, you can simply beach and relax on the shore.

This means that you can learn not just one, but many new hobbies at the same time!

Physical Activity

When it comes to the advantages of jet ski riding, the health benefits are often overlooked. But they shouldn’t be!

If you’re wondering about these benefits, we’ve collected the most important ones for you:

  • Stress relief
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Improves cardiovascular system
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Burns calories
  • Develops concentration
  • Entertaining and fun

The Fun Factor

Honestly, endless fun on the watercraft is one of the main reasons why many buyers finally purchase them.

Jet skis are crazy fast and accelerate like a sports car. If you’re a family man, you can take the children for a ride, or tow them on a tube. A jet ski not only brings fun for yourself, but for your companions as well!

If you prefer riding alone, you can consider a stand-up jet ski. It’s a different world of course, but they also promise a ton of fun if you have some athletic skills!

As they say:

“Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you a jet ski.
Have you ever seen anyone frown while riding a jet ski?”

There’s definitely some truth in this, as you’ll never be bored on a jet ski!

Safety

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, and you understand that roads aren’t race tracks, then jet skis are for you.

No roads, no traffic or objects on the road, so you won’t crash into a car or smash into a tree near the road. So if you ride your craft carefully, it will be much safer than driving a car!

Jet skis are the motorbikes of the water, but without a helmet which makes the rides more thrilling. Don’t forget, speed has a very different feeling on the water!

When it comes to safety, it should be mentioned that life jackets are compulsory safety equipment for every rider, and some other protective gear is highly recommended as well.

Showing Off

Let’s be honest; a certain amount of jet skis are sold because the owners simply want to look cool on them. And they do in many cases!

Jet skis are really cool and because of this, many people are also envious of the owners. Showing off is something that you can see on the water and near the boat ramps every day, and jet skis are good tools for that.

Maybe it attracts the attention of a few girls (that’s the purpose, usually) but the other boaters probably won’t be so happy with the show!

Finally, “that guy” who’s showing off on his jet ski is never too popular near the dock, nor on the open water. Because of this, it’s always wise to stay respectful and modest on the water!

Pros and Cons of Owning a Jet Ski: The Cons

To make this post complete and unbiased, we definitely have to mention the cons of jet ski ownership as well. Let’s check these one by one!

The Costs

When it comes to owning a jet ski, one of the main drawbacks is the cost.

In the beginning, you have to pay a hefty price for your new jet ski. Another way is to finance it or you can even consider a used one. In any case, buying a new jet ski is never like buying a pair of sunglasses!

And don’t forget about the regular maintenance costs. Surprisingly, it can be like owning a car!

The monthly costs of a jet ski start somewhere around $100 and go up to several hundred dollars per month, depending on the model, riding hours, and many other factors.

And how many hours does an average jet ski owner ride his craft? Around 30 hours! If you do the math, it’s clear that every single hour on a jet ski will cost a
minimum of $30-$40, and can go up to hundreds of dollars!

This amount depends on many factors. For instance, owning a Rec-Lite or Recreation jet ski with a non-supercharged engine could be much more affordable, especially if you store it in your garage and do the maintenance yourself.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you finance a brand new Performance jet ski, and keep it in a marina, its costs per hour could be many times more!

What you can do? Do your research upfront and find out what the best model is for you. You can even consider renting first to test different models. Also, always check your budget before you buy a new jet ski!

The Hassle

The costs are just one side of the coin, as your jet ski requires constant care as well. These are typically as follows:

– Fueling up before rides
– Doing the pre-ride inspection
– Towing your ski to the water and back
– Launching and retrieving
– Doing after-ride care
Cleaning
Doing regular maintenance
Winterizing after the season
– Buying accessories
Storing

As you can see, there are several checkpoints on your “to-do” list if you have a jet ski. While many owners like doing these activities, there are many others who certainly don’t. They only like riding their jet skis, and the other duties are just a hassle for them.

And if we’re honest, nobody likes waiting for the boat ramp in the burning sun!

What can you do? Consider all of these factors before you purchase a jet ski, and be prepared for the “work” with it!

Pros and cons of owning a jet ski: Don't ignore the dangers!

Pros and cons of owning a jet ski: Don’t ignore the dangers!

Environmental Impact

If we’re talking about the cons of jet skis, we shouldn’t overlook the pollution. Unlike kayaks or sailboats, jet skis definitely have a significant impact on the environment!

They’re polluting the air, the water, and they have a negative impact on animals and vegetation as well. It’s clear that jet skis don’t have propellers, but according to the studies, propellers are only responsible for a small percentage of damage done to marine life.

Gas, oil, and chemicals used to maintain, protect and clean the jet ski often leach into the water, which impacts the environment and is dangerous for wildlife.

The problem is worse with two-stroke engines, as in this kind of engine a third of the fuel goes through unburned.

What you can do? To reduce the pollution produced by your watercraft, consider the following tips:

– Choose a lower performance jet ski, with non-supercharged, four-stroke engine. Lower performance means less gas, less maintenance, and fewer parts needed. Finally, it leads to less pollution.

– Read your owner’s manual to understand how your jet ski works, and how you can operate it properly. Also pay extra attention to the service intervals!

– Try to avoid fueling on the water and choose non-toxic cleaning solutions.

Jet Ski’s Noise Pollution

We also have to mention a jet ski’s noise pollution, as it causes many arguments on the water.

According to this study, jet skis produce a considerable amount of noise pollution. Please note that this study was released more than a decade ago when supercharged jet skis were not so common.

This problem has only escalated with the supercharged engines, as they are crazy noisy! If you’ve ever heard a supercharged jet ski running on full throttle, you probably already know this. And we haven’t yet talked about the modified jet skis with open exhaust systems!

Let’s face it, jet skis are fun for the riders and the passengers, but not for the others who aren’t riding them. These are the 99.9 % who are just recreationally enjoying their visit to any given lake or beach.

For them, jet skis are just like dirt bikes in the forest and snowmobiles near the ski trail.

This is the main reason why others hate jet ski riders;
jet skis make too much annoying noise.

Always keep this in mind when you ride your craft!

What you can do? Choose the ECO mode (or your best cruise speed) and ride as far from others as possible. Try to keep a respectful distance from the shores and other boats any time you ride! Also try to avoid wave jumps, as jet skis are much louder (and more annoying) when they jump out of the water.

Also, try not to continually ride in the same area, this reduces noise pollution for others!

Hate

It’s commonplace now that jet skiers get a ton of hate from others on the water, and sometimes on land as well.

One of the main reasons for this hate is the above-mentioned noise pollution, as the noise of the jet skis is quite disturbing to many others on the water.

Beyond the noise, there are many riders who enjoy the bad reputation of jet skiers.

They love to do tricks close to the ramp, jump into wakes too closely behind boats, don’t respect no-wake zones, and their antics are endless. Many trick riders don’t pay attention to what’s around them; they just concentrate on their tricks and this makes them really dangerous.

Because of this, the other main complaint against jet skis beyond the noise is operating them recklessly and too close to other vessels.

Possibly, the most long-standing conflict on the water is between jet ski riders and fishermen. It’s clear that fishermen are looking for a chill and relaxing time on the water, while the jet ski riders aren’t. This leads to many arguments on the water.

What to do.  Always follow the rules and have common sense as well. And the number one rule: Always act respectfully on the water and keep a great distance from others!

The Risks

Riding a personal watercraft is still safer than riding a motorbike on the road, but it still has its own risks. It’s not like kayaking or canoeing at all!

The speed of  67-70 mph on the water is not a joke, so last but not least, we have to mention the risks of jet skis as well.

An inexperienced or irresponsible driver can be really dangerous on a jet ski, as bumping into another jet ski or boat can lead to serious accidents!

The other issue is if you simply fall from the seat or hit the jet ski hard after a huge wave jump!

What you can do?  Always operate your jet ski carefully. If it’s possible, try to avoid dangerous tricks–or at least wear a helmet and other protective gear.

If you’re a beginner, it’s also wise to learn the basics of how a jet ski works, and how you can operate it safely. It’s also highly recommended you get a jet ski license even if your state doesn’t require one.

And finally, don’t forget to take the essential jet ski safety accessories with you.

This was our short overview of the pros and cons of jet ski ownership, we hope that you found it interesting and helpful!

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