I love summer when I get to take the family to the beach. We love to do all kinds of water sports and one of my favorites is riding a jet ski with my daughters.
I don’t own one since they would be used that much. So, I usually just rent a couple of jet skis. I would highly recommend it!
This article tells you all you need to now for renting a jet ski, but here are the main points: You can rent a jet ski by the hour or daily; you must be 21+ years with a valid license to rent and no alcohol while operating vehicle.
I have put together some overall guidelines which vary somewhat by state and leasing agency policies.
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Tips For Renting A Jet Ski For Fun In The Water
What Kind of Watercraft You Can Rent
There are three major watercraft makers usually offered by rental outfits. What you are actually renting is a Personal Water Craft. Since Jet Ski is the most popular brand available to rent, I will use this name interchangeably with Personal Water Craft (PWC).
Jet Ski is the trademarked name for Kawasaki’s line of PWCs.
WaveRunner is the trademarked name for Yamaha’s line of PWCs.
SeaDoo is the trademarked name for Bombardier’s line of PWCs.
Most people commonly think of “Jet Skis” as the stand-up type of PWC, and the WaveRunner as the sit-down type.
This is no longer true. There are stand up jet Skis, and Seated Jet Skis. The same is true for WaveRunners, etc. Most manufacturers offer a line of a two-seater, three-seater, and stand up models.
A personal watercraft with a moderate-sized rider can go 50 miles per hour on the water. While all models typically for rent seat up to 3 passengers, general ride performance and stability is better with one or two adults. How fast a PWC can go depends on the number of riders and the total weight of those riders.
Where Can I Rent A Jet Ski?
There are two main options for renting:
- Rent the Jet Ski and trailer
- Rent a Jet Ski and ride at the rental location like a lake, bay front or the ocean
Renting A Jet Ski On Location
If you are renting at a dock or beachside, you will ride the Jet Skis where you rent. There will be brightly colored buoys that mark the barriers for you to ride.
This is important because inside the marked area is a safe area that is deep enough and free of rocks and stumps that could harm the watercraft. You will be required to stay inside these barriers.
Renting A Jet Ski And Hauling To The Water
If you choose to rent and haul, you will take the Jet Ski with you to ride at another location. You will have additional responsibility for the safety and security of the rented equipment. The Jet Skis come with a trailer and will be ready to go.
If you rent two skis, you will get a double trailer. All trailers will require a vehicle with the proper towing capacity. You will need a 2-inch ball and the associated wiring harness. Some rental companies offer a delivery and pickup service for about $75.
Select a riding location that doesn’t have obstacles that can damage the hull and engine or limit your speed and maneuverability. Usually, the rental contracts for these places require that the renter watch a safety video that discusses safety practices for the rider and the Jet Ski.
Need more info about pulling a Jet Ski trailer? Watch this video by Rentus: Rented Water Craft & Jet Ski Trailering.
How Much Does It Cost Rent A Jet Ski?
You can expect to pay $90-$100 per hour. Read more about the costs involved here: how much to rent a jet ski?
How Do To Rent A Jet Ski?
You need to be 21 years old or older to book a rental and 18+ years old to ride one.
Most places also require a second rider to be 44” or taller and 6+ years old. All riders usually need to be able to reboard the PWC without assistance.
There is typically a limit of 275 pounds for a single rider and up to 500 pounds for three riders.
It is highly recommended that first time or inexperienced riders ride in pairs.
Do You Need A License To Rent A Jet Ski?
You will need a valid drivers license to book a Jet Ski. You will also need to check out the state requirements for a state boater’s license or boater’s education card. Most states are requiring it with a time commitment of around 1 hour.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Driving A Jet Ski?
Most states have a zero-tolerance for drinking while driving and drug use while operating a personal watercraft. So, no drinking alcohol while driving or riding.
Jet Ski Regulations for Coastal States
Here are some important resources for the state regulations Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife – Operation of Personal Watercraft
- Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries – Boating Regulations
- Mississippi Department Of Marine Services – Boating Rules & Regulations
- Alabama Boating Rules and Regulations
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation – Boating Regulations
Riding Tips For Jet Skis
- There is usually a lanyard that is connected to your life vest with the starter key. Your personal watercraft will shut off automatically if you fall off
- Wear your life vest at all times
- There are no brakes for a Jet Ski
- The left handlebar has a green “start” button and a red “stop” button.
- The throttle is usually a trigger on the right handlebar
- Do not follow other riders. The lead rider can stop abruptly and cause serious injury
- You need to use the throttle if you want to turn. If you don’t, you will go forward
Before Taking the Jet Ski Out
You will be required to fill out and sign a contract to enforce that all drivers know and will follow the boating safety regulations.
Allow for 30 minutes to fill out paperwork and an additional 30-45 minutes to watch a video before you ride. Most places will require you to review an instructional video that explains how. Instruction time does not count towards your rent time in almost all cases.
You and your passengers will be required to wear a life jacket or vest at all times.
Important to note: most places will require you to sign a waiver, so be prepared.
Returning the Jet Ski
They usually don’t want you to the beach the watercraft when you return it to the dock. Many jet skis are not equipped to for this and can receive severe damage to the hull and engine.
With dock rentals, most places will have a person who will signal when your ride time is up. They will usually blow a whistle or blow a horn. You are required to come in when they signal time is up or you can be charged for extra time.
So, we have provided several tips for jet ski rentals. Here are some important points:
- There are three major watercraft makers usually offered by rental outfits: Jet ski, Waverunner, and Seadoo.
- You can rent your watercraft either on the water location or by trailer.
- You need to be 21 years old to rent and 18 to ride solo. Second passengers can be 6+ years old.
- Rentals are usually by the hour although I found a few that allow a half-hour rental.
- The typical jet ski season is from May until mid-September.
- Allow for 30-45 minutes to fill out paperwork. Some places will require you to watch a safety video before riding.
Are riders allowed to jump or dive off the jet ski and swim? No, riders are not allowed to jump off the jet skis in the riding area. Most insurance companies won’t allow renting agencies to allow it.
Can riders come back to the dock and switch riders? No, riders are not allowed to leave the riding area until time to end the ride time.