Tips for renting a jet ski - Feature

Tips For Renting A Jet Ski

It’s time to take the family on a mini-vacation.  One great activity is to take the family on a Jetski ride.  If you are not sure what is involved in renting a Jetski, you are at the right place. Here are the Top Tips for Renting A Jet Ski.

There are 3 major brands, with Jet Skis being the most common I found to rent. You need to be 21 years old to rent and 18 to ride solo.  Second passengers can be 6+ years old.  You can expect to pay $90-$110 per hour.If you are thinking about taking a trip to a beach, river or a city bay front, I recommend renting one of the available watercraft  for at least one of the days. I have put together some overall guidelines which vary somewhat by state and leasing agency policies.  Let’s get started!

Tips For Renting A Jet Ski For Fun In The Water

What Kind of Watercraft You Can Rent

There are three major water craft 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).

yamaha-waverunners-2019-vx-yellow-family-fun-ocean
JetSki Is Kawasaki’s Line Of PWCs

WaveRunner is Yamaha’s line of PWCs

SeaDoo Is 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 the WaveRunners, etc.  Most manufacturers offer a line of two-seater, three-seater, and stand up models.A personal water craft 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 total weight of those riders.

Tips For Renting A Jet Ski At Location Or With A Trailer

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

If you are renting at a dock or beach side, 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.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 RentusRented Water Craft & Jet Ski Trailering

Who Can Ride The Jet Ski

You need to be 21 years old minimum age with a valid drivers license 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.

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. Most states have a zero tolerance for drinking while driving and drug use while operating a personal watercraft.

How Much Should You Pay

Rentals are usually by the half hour although I found a few that required a one-hour increment. The prices vary quite a bit and you will need to call ahead to make sure you know the rates.

Instance 1

Half hour

Basic Rental

$

50-70

/hr

  • Usual Hours:                9 AM -5 PM
  • All Required Equipment provided
  • $5 for each additional rider on a single Jet Ski
full hour

Recommended Rate

$

90-110

/hr

  • Usual Hours:                9 AM -5 PM
  • All Required Equipment provided
  • $5 for each additional rider on a single Jet Ski
full day

Daily Rate

$

240-340

/day

  • Usual Hours:                9 AM -5 PM
  • All Required Equipment provided
  • 5 to 6 Hours

* These rates are for personal water craft rental only.  Adventure tours are a higher rate if offered.

Most places will have a way to pay online and will require a Visa or MasterCard to make the registration. You also have an option of paying cash in person.  A registration fee plus a refundable damage deposit is also customary when booking a reservation.  You can also count on a set notice for a cancellation refund if this is allowed.Some renting agencies will require a full-day rental for each day it takes to make repairs for damage you or your passengers may have caused to their rental equipment.  Check the details in the contract or service agreement.Ask about accounting for rainy days when booking a reservation.  Most highly reputable businesses will issue a rain check on days when it rains during your reserved time.The typical jet ski season is from May until mid-September.

riding tips

  • 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 safety rules.

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 preserver 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 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.

Conclusion

So, we have provided several tips for renting a jet ski.  Here are some important points:

  • There are three major water craft makers usually offered by rental outfits: Jetski, 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. 
  • You can expect to pay $90-$110 per hour.
  • Rentals are usually by the half hour although I found a few that required a one-hour increment
  • 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.

Related Questions

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.

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