We firmly believe that jetskiing is one of the most fun activities in the world. But, getting into it can be a little intimidating – especially for beginners. If you have a mom, wife, girlfriend, daughter or lady friend that you want to get into it – or maybe she’s interested – it’s important that you offer up a comfortable, non-white knuckle experience to help them get the hang of it. If you’re not sure where to begin – we have you covered.
1.THE SKI IS EVERYTHING
It’s important when you are working with a beginner to get them on to a ski that is not an intimidating starter. Speed, stability, sound and reliability all play a factor in helping get a beginner comfortable with a ski. Generally, we recommend starting with one of the slower range old school skis with a good handling set up. This will allow your lady to get a chance to practice pulling herself up into the tray, standing, and getting the hang of using the throttle without fear of the ski getting away from her or being too powerful. For our complete list of recommend skis for beginners, click here.
2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Water conditions can greatly affect the comfort level of your beginner rider. Throwing them out to the wolves in the busy water is not usually the best place to start. Taking them to a calm or secluded area is the best way to boost their confidence. They can focus more on how to master the machine without worrying about people around them. The less things they have to worry about – the better!
3. TEACH THEM THE “CRASH COURSE”
Before letting them go for it, be sure to explain the basics to them so there’s no need to panic in the event they end up in the water.
- How to start/restart the ski.
- What happens when the lanyard comes out of the ignition switch.
- How to re-board the ski.
- Does your ski idle in circles after you fall in? Make sure you tell them!
4. WHERE TO BEGIN?
When it comes to learning how to ride, it’s important to keep the pressure low. Start by encouraging them to try the basics, in th
- Idling around on their belly in the tray.
- Pulling themselves up on their knees in the tray and idling around.
- Slowly standing up (the trick is to keep the knees bent!) and riding a little faster.
- Turning while standing.
Starting in this order will help your rider familiarize themselves with the ski and the power of the ski but at a slower pace. It’s important you give her time to get comfortable before you try to get her to send it.
5. GET THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT
If it helps with your lady’s comfort levels, consider getting her some extra gear. While you might like ripping it barefoot in your board shorts – she might not like it as much. A pair of water shoes or boots is great if you are riding in rocky areas – keep her from finding those sharp rocks with her feet, while providing a little extra tray grip. A helmet is never a bad idea! If you like the way her face looks right now, you might consider picking up a moto helmet for her. It will keep her face in good shape while also easing her mind from any face-to-pole contact. Lastly (and most importantly) make sure you get her a good quality life vest. It’s important that it fits her snug and doesn’t float above or around her head. Don’t just loan her your old beater! Give her the peace of mind with a proper life vest.
5. HYPE HER UP
Getting behind the bars of a stand up jetski can be intimidating for a lot of people. It’s important that as you help your lady learn that you continuously hype her up as she makes progress. A little hype here and there is a great way to get your beginner rider excited about what they are doing, and encourage them to continue their journey to being a shredder. Riding alongside or not far out of eyesight can also help keep anxiety levels low and make her feel more comfortable – knowing you are not that far away in case she has an issue.
Women have inherently great balance and reaction timing. If you can provide them a comfortable learning environment, most girls can get the hang of riding a stand up pretty quick. The encouragement and hype you bring will only help raise their own stoke levels about riding as well. When it comes to getting a beginner into it, it’s very important that you don’t go the trial by fire route. Set them up with a comfortable ski that isn’t too intimidating. Put them in a controlled environment where they can concentrate on themselves and not others, and provide them with the basics so they can check them off their bucket list. And most of all — tell them they are doing awesome!
ANNA GLENNON / JETGIRL 777
Anna is a World and 8x National champion jetski racer and powersports enthusiast. She oversees parts sales at Pro Watercraft and is the media & marketing manager.