Basic Guide for Your First Jet Ski

Jet Ski jumping over wave

Jet skis are a lot of fun. But buying them? Not as thrilling as riding them, that’s for sure. Especially when it’s your first time purchasing one. The experience can be quite overwhelming and it’s easy to make (expensive) mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing. So to save you the time (and hopefully the money too), here’s our quick guide to buying your first jet ski. 

Know The Lingo

A jet ski is actually a personal watercraft (PWC), which refers to any type of watercraft used for recreational purposes, where the rider sits or stands on the watercraft instead of being inside of it (such as boats). What might come as a surprise is that the name “jet ski” actually refers to a specific PWC manufactured by Kawasaki or at least it, that used to be the case. The name became very popular and it has since been used to refer to all PWCs regardless of the brand name. Currently, there are two other large brands in the market aside from Jet Ski — the Waverunner from Yamaha and Sea-Doo from Bombardier.

Jet skis have been a popular choice over larger water vessels due to them being easier to operate and maintain. Plus, riding a jet ski gives that little more thrill. Though designed purely for recreational use, Aussies are also finding jet skis to be great water-vessel alternatives for fishing.

Things to consider when buying a jet ski

Jet skis are expensive but can be worth the investment. And as with any investment, it’s important to make the right calls to ensure good returns. Below are some of the things that you need to consider for your first purchase:

1. A Realistic Budget

Personal watercraft showrooms are designed to excite and make you forget what you can truly afford. Don’t get carried away. Before you even start shopping, assess your personal finances and determine a realistic budget that you can set aside – and stick to that budget. And don’t forget to consider other purchases that you’ll have to make in relation to your new jet ski, such as a trailer, PWC license and life jackets.

2. Jet Ski for Towing

Seasoned jet skiers are capable of supporting towed sports like water skiing and wakeboarding. Consider if this is also something that you want to do because you’d want to choose a jet ski with the power and capability of pulling along others.

3. Number of Passengers

Jet skis were originally geared for solo or tandem water adventures, but some models are capable of carrying up to four people. If this is how you intend to ride your jet ski, make sure to shop for the appropriate model — not all jet skis are equipped to handle that many people even if they look like they can! In saying that, if you’re new to jet skis it’s advisable to buy a smaller model as it will be much easier to control.

4. A Riding Plan

Do you plan to use your jet ski on a daily basis or only on weekends? Do you see yourself riding very fast and over long distances? All of these factors (and more) will come into play when choosing the right jet ski, including the waters where you plan to ride. Light models are best for recreational purposes and not rough waters. Then there are high-performance jet skis that are capable of running at 110km/h. There are also even more powerful sports and luxury models. The point is, the options can be dizzying and how you plan to ride should be your guide in finding the right model.

5. The Warranty

Just like other vehicles, new PWCs will have a warranty, but it is important to be fully aware of what this warranty will cover.  Most PWCs will have a basic warranty that covers major components however some comprehensive warranties will cover all mechanical parts.  Investigate this as much as possible and choose the appropriate warranty level for your needs.

6. The Right Accessories

Let us save you from the trap — you don’t need all the accessories they tell you in the showroom. This is a common mistake that first-time buyers make, thinking that they need all the bells and whistles. Do your own research beforehand about the accessories that you’ll actually need and use.

7. Dealer or Personal Sale

You have a few options to go about purchasing a jet ski. First up you could go to an authorised dealer or showroom and speak to those in the know about all the available features, capabilities and accessories of their range. This is also the way to go if you’re looking for a new or near new PWC. It might mean you’re going to pay a higher price, though if you’re good at negotiating that might not be an issue. The other option is to look up private sellers for second hand jet skis. Just make sure you do the necessary inspections and shop around!

8. Pre-approval on Finance

Getting pre-approved finance before shopping around will allow to choose the best jet ski that your budget will allow, and the power to negotiate a better deal with sellers.

Call us or apply online and one of our consultants will guide you through the entire process.