Once summer hits, personal watercraft users everywhere are loading up their trailers and heading for the nearest body of water to get in some high-speed thrilling action. Nothing really beats the feel of spray on your face on a hot, sunny day when you’re skimming across the surface of a lake. As much fun as personal watercraft or PWC are, they are similar to an aquatic motorcycle in how they work and, while falling into the water is much safer than skidding across the pavement, it’s still important to follow good safety practices on a PWC.
If you’re looking for PWC riding tips, you’ve come to the right place. The fine people at Gordon Bay Yamaha in Lake Joseph are ready and willing to help you master riding your PWC however we can, so we’ve made this list of tips for you to follow.
Injury can occur on any piece of heavy machinery, so it’s important that you’re doing everything you can to prioritize your safety and the safety of others around you. First and foremost, you should be able to swim before you ever get on a PWC. You don’t have to be Olympic-level but you don’t want to flounder and sink if you fall overboard. Next, wear a lifejacket at all times and insist that your passengers wear them, too. Attach the engine shut-off lanyard to your wrist or lifejacket before you ride so that your PWC comes to a complete stop when you fall off or become incapacitated.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses and well-fitting water shoes (not flip-flops!) while you ride, and keep water with you to stay hydrated. You should also carry a first aid kit, a horn or whistle, signal flares, an emergency radio, your cell phone with its charger and a dewatering device on board your PWC. Storage compartments make it easy to stash everything you need for a safe ride.
Familiarize Yourself With Your PWC
Even if you’ve ridden a PWC before, you should make sure that you’re familiar with how your particular model works. Every brand is a little different, so know where all the controls are, how the throttle works and take some time to ride at various speeds, practicing turning and slowing down as you ride, so you can become accustomed to how your PWC works.
Use Your Body To Steer
When you’re on a PWC and you want to turn, you’ll have to throw your weight to the side that you’re turning into, and make sure not to let up on the throttle. The jet shooting out the back of your watercraft is what powers your PWC and slowing down will make it impossible to have the power to turn successfully, so maintain a constant speed when you’re turning and use your body weight to guide your craft in the right direction.
Respect Other Water Users
When you’re out on the lake on a sunny day, chances are good that many, many other people will have had the same idea. Whether these are swimmers in the water or people cruising on a yacht, you’ll have to look out for them and give them all a wide berth. Pass other crafts to the right and signal your approach with a horn or whistle. Slow down when approaching the ramp and don’t ride your PWC in water less than three feet deep or you may clog your intake with rocks and sand from the bottom.
To see a great selection of personal watercraft, come to our Lake Joseph dealership. We carry a variety of new and used PWC by all the greatest brands. If you still have questions about riding your PWC, our experienced staff can answer them for you. Gordon Bay Yamaha is conveniently located near the cities of Muskoka and Toronto, Ontario.