For Motorheads: Jet Ski Rentals

 Jet ski rentals are the perfect way to explore the sparkling blue waters that surrounds Key West while you’re here on vacation. The island is surrounded by miles and miles of backcountry flats full of marine life and spectacular views. You can drive out to mangrove islands, circle the island of Key West, explore patch reef close to shore, or ride some waves if you feel adventurous. Some visitors to Key West opt for jet ski rental tours, where a local guide will lead you to interesting spots on a planned route around the island.

Jet Skiing for Beginners

If you’ve never tried jet ski rentals before, here’s a beginner’s guide for first-timers. Jet Skis have come a long way since they were first manufactured, and the sport has evolved to attract families who ride multi-person vessels for a safe day on the water. There is also a Jet Ski etiquette that governs safe boating and environmentalism as well. If you have questions or concerns, our beginner’s guide will clear them up so you can get out there and enjoy the water!

What are Jet Skis?

Jet skis, also known as wave runners, Sea Doos, AquaTrax, or personal watercraft (PWC), is a water vessel meant for sitting, standing or kneeling ON the vessel rather than IN the vessel. They are powered by an inboard motor that runs a water jet pump. The older models have 2-stroke engines but today’s models come with a quieter 4-stroke engine that most people prefer. Personal Watercraft had a reputation in the past as noisy annoying vessels but the integration of the newer, quieter engines is already improving the public’s opinion of these vessels. The new technology includes catalysts and direct injection with a result of dramatically reduced NOx and hydrocarbon emissions. Most jet skis sold today are of the new four-stroke cleaner and quieter variety.

There about one and a half million personal watercraft out there on the water these days, in use by about 20 million people annually. In Florida alone, Personal Watercraft registrations have increased by fifty percent in ten year. As of recently, the average price of a jet ski was about $10,000.

Are Personal Watercraft Safe?

According to the United States Coast Guard, 99.99 Percent of personal watercraft are operated accident free. Because of boater education, tighter restrictions on Jet Ski usage, and better vessel design, the number of accidents has been falling every year since 1996. Statistics gathered by the Coast Guard report that the three most common causes of Jet Ski accidents are:

  1. operator not paying attention
  2. operator inexperience
  3. operator is driving too fast
Jet Ski Rentals

Key West Jet Ski Rentals

In Florida, while PWD registrations have increased by fifty percent since 1995, accidents have decreased by 67 percent in that same time period. Florida has a great safety record, with some of the tightest safety regulations in effect in the country, as recommended by the Personal Watercraft industry. In Florida, the following regulations exist for anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft:

  1. Anyone under 22 must take a water safety course
  2. Anyone on a personal watercraft must wear a life jacket
  3. No riding at night
  4. To operate a personal watercraft, you must be at least 14 years old

Jet Ski rentals are not allowed to rent personal watercraft to anyone under the age of 18. They are also required by Florida state law to provide a demonstration on the water, of how to use a jet ski. When you rent a jet ski, etiquette includes following water safety rules that other boaters would fallow. Jet Ski rentals should also refrain from doing what’s known as donuts repeatedly in front of private homes or other boaters that are anchored. Also, if you are going to ride the wakes of boaters, keep a clear distance from the boat itself. It’s rude and dangerous to ride boat wakes too close to the boat.

Now that you know all about jet ski, how safe it is, and the regulations, it’s time to get out there and enjoy Key West! Have fun with your jet ski rental and enjoy you vacation in beautiful Key West.