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Tips for Water Skiing Behind your Jet Ski

Water skiing behind your jet ski! You can do that? Yes, and many experienced jet skiers love skiing behind their jet skis and have done it safely for years. But before you try it, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

jetski_wakeboard_smallWhile it is possible to pull a skier behind a jet ski, by law it must be a three-seater. This is because you need a driver, a second person to be a spotter/flag holder and room (a seat) to recover the skier. To pull a 150-200 pound skier, you should ideally have an 110 horsepower or greater jet ski.

If you’ve decided to water ski behind your jet ski, be sure to use a 100 foot tow rope. This will allow your skier enough clearance of the turbulence behind your jet ski. And when it comes to tow ropes, you’re best bet is a brightly colored rope so you avoid going over it and getting it stuck in your jet ski’s intake. Unfortunately, this happens to most people some time or another. If and when you drift over a tow rope, shut the engine off immediately! If the rope gets into the pump, don’t start the engine. Starting your engine with the rope caught in the pump can strip your drive shaft splines.

If you believe your tow rope has gotten into the pump, have your jet ski towed back to shore. Back on shore, put your jet ski on a trailer and remove the tow rope from under the ski. If the rope is really twisted in the engine, you may need to remove the spark plugs and rotate the engine backwards in order to unwind the rope. In extreme cases, you might have to cut out the rope. You need to remove any rope in the drive area. If rope is left in the drive area, you’ll run the risk of cavitation or cause damage to seals. When removing rope from your jet ski’s engine, avoid tipping your jet ski on its side. Tipping your jet ski can allow water into the crank case from the ski’s exhaust system which can hydro lock the engine.

Many jet skiers also like to pull certain tubes behind their jet skis too. If you’ve decided to pull a tube behind your jet ski, pay close attention to turns. This is when most people fall off or out of the tube. If you’re using an open tube, you should be aware that open tubes catch the water if they land upside down. Open tubes can also be damaged from the drag. And in some cases the jet ski tow hook can be ripped out from the drag. In extreme cases, tubers doing rolls can create a huge enough force that the tow hook is ripped out of the jet ski’s fiberglass.

If you’ve decided to tow a tube or a skier, make sure you allow at least twice the distance of the tow rope from the shore line. The reason for this is because when a jet ski turns away from the shore line, the person you’re towing behind you is snapped toward the shore. If you’re too close to the shore, you create a dangerous situation that could end your day on the water in injury or death. So take the necessary precautions. Safe jet skiing is the best jet skiing.