Before the starting band snaps, there are some things you will need before they even let you on the track!
Before you load up for your very first race, there are some things you will need in order to participate. We’ve ironed it all out for you so you don’t have to find out the hard way.
At every PWC closed course racing event, there is a tech inspection prior to letting you participate. This inspection is typically for safety, and the inspector will check to make sure you have the following:
- US Coast Guard approved Life Vest
- A US Coast Guard approved life vest is required at all closed course PWC racing events. If the vest is USCG approved, it will be labeled as such on the inside of the life vest.
- DOT/SNELL approved helmet
- Helmets are required at all racing events. Traditionally, the races will require a DOT/SNELL approved helmet because of their quality. Most helmets will have a DOT or SNELL sticker or label on them from the store. Make sure yours has one! You don’t want a cheap helmet.
- Back Brace
- More recently, racing associations have started to require a back brace. A motorcycle-style back brace that you can pick up from your local motorcycle shop will work perfectly. A back brace can be worn beneath or on top of your USCG approved life vest.
- Working Kill Switch
- To precent incidents or collisions, racing associations require a working kill switch to participate. This means that when your lanyard or key is pulled, the engine of your PWC will shut off. In the event that you fall off your watercraft during a race, they don’t want it driving away without you and into oncoming traffic.
- Tow loop
- In the event that you go for a swim during a race, safety marshals will come on to the track to pick up you or your ski. A tow loop is required on the bow of your ski so that a marshal can safely move or remove your watercraft in the event that you or your ski need to be removed from the race track.
While not required, we also recommend:
- Water shoes or race boots
You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to pass safety inspection at your first race — otherwise you’ll find yourself scrambling the day of!