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Jet ski necessities - everything you need for a day of riding a wave runner

Updated on October 4, 2014

A day of fun in the sun starts with a bit of preparation for the jet ski enthusiast

My experience with jet skiing started 3 years ago when my adorable significant other, John, talked me into investing in a wave runner - and not just any wave runner - we had to get a turbo charged Honda jet ski. At first, I turned up my nose at this little beast (after all, it really wasn't a boat...)but, the very first time I took the wheel, I was off and jumping waves, crest to crest on my trusty jet ski. I haven't stopped since!

Our jet ski mostly stays in the Chesapeake Bay, but I had the opportunity to trailer the wave runner behind my SUV to my Key West vacation home where I've been perched for the past 6 weeks. During this time, I've become quite the pro at becoming more organized and packing for a jet ski day on the water. I've learned some tips, tricks, and have some valuable information to share with you if you're a fan of jet skis like I am.

By the way, that's my jet ski anchored on a shallow sandbar off Boca Key right outside Key West. I'm out about 1/2 mile from shore and the water was about ankle deep. Amazing jet ski ride and time!

Note: All pictures on this article are my own unless they are items for sale on where I am an affiliate.

Further note: I've started a few websites you might like: - where you'll find a lot of items that make boating safer and more fun and - because RVers and boaters frequently need similar items.

Click the link to the left to see this Dry Pak Cell Phone, GPS waterproof case.
Click the link to the left to see this Dry Pak Cell Phone, GPS waterproof case.

Jet ski necessities

Keep your cell phone alive and dry!

My go-to accessory for a day on the jet ski is that Dry Pak Cell Phone, GPS waterproof case there to the left. I always load it up with my cell phone, license and credit card for those shore stores.

Jet ski wave runners have two storage compartments - one in the front which is fairly large and one right in front of the driver which is supposed to be a "dry box." I haven't challenged said "dry box" by overturning my ski (and hope never to) but I take special precautions to protect my cell phone while I'm riding the jet ski.

After all, a cell phone can be instrumental in getting you help if something should happen while you're out on the water. The below cases all protect cell phones from water and moisture. I highly recommend this be your first purchase...well, after you buy the jet ski!

DRY PAK DP-44 Yellow/Blue 4" x 4" Alligator Waterproof Wallet
DRY PAK DP-44 Yellow/Blue 4" x 4" Alligator Waterproof Wallet

This Dry Pak wallet is the perfect size to pack lightly for a shore visit on a jet ski or even a cruise. Load it up with a credit card, passport, and some cash and be safe on that beach excursion.


Jet ski goggles will keep water out of your eyes

There's nothing worse in my opinion than getting hit in the face with a salt water wave when I'm not wearing sunglasses. And, I learned long ago that I do not take my good sunglasses out on the bay while jet skiing. I accidentally dumped a $400 pair right overboard one day. So, now, I keep a few handy pair of goggles aboard the wave runner so that I always will have an extra pair. I strongly suggest you do the same.

Additional ideas for you as you go jet skiing

Through trial and error, I've come up with the below short list of helpful items to have on hand on your wave runner. Hope these help you stay comfortable as much as they have me.

  1. Suntan lotion. You'll be on the water which means that you'll be getting direct and reflected sun rays. Purchase a stronger SPF sunscreen than you think you might need and - listen up here - leave it on the jet ski! That way, you'll always have ample sunscreen coverage. If you're getting really wet while riding your wave runner, reapply every hour.
  2. A ziplock bag with 2 wet washcloths. My folks taught me this tip when we used to travel in the car. Mom always had a baggie full of wet washcloths that came in handy for many many reasons. On the jet ski (especially if you're running in salt water), you'll probably want to wipe your face down once in a while or just run the washcloth over your arms to get the salty water off.
  3. Fresh water. Don't underestimate the need for hydration while you're on the water. I usually have one or two bottles stored on the ski just in case.

Sunglass cleaners are a vital part of my happiness while on the water

Once we've jet skiied to where we're going, the first thing I do is reach for one of these eyeglass cleaners. I keep, oh, about 100 on board so that my glasses are cleaned to my (picky) satisfaction.

Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct
Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes 200 Ct

These pre-moistened wipes are perfect to throw into the jet ski's glovebox so that they're within easy reach. One packet can easily clean two pairs of glasses so you and your companion will both be happy.


Waterproof cameras are a necessity for your jet ski ride

I personally love my little Sony Cyber-shot and, in fact, I've written an article about it so you can see some of the personal photos I've taken: My sony waterproof camera.

The below are some of the best waterproof cameras on the market today.

My jet ski dry bag folded and ready for wave runner action.

My jet ski dry bag folded and ready for wave runner action.
My jet ski dry bag folded and ready for wave runner action.

The Seal Line Dry Bag

John bought this dry bag and I thought it was ridiculous! Why did we need to keep as much stuff dry? It's since become invaluable to my happiness while on the water. I stow 2 changes of clothes for both of us (just in case and, believe me, we've used them before), my Nikon D5000 camera, my kindle, 2 pairs of shoes. You get the drift. If you're going to order one of these dry bags, trust me and order one larger than you think you need. i love this thing!

Seal Line Black Canyon 55-Litre Dry Bag, Blue
Seal Line Black Canyon 55-Litre Dry Bag, Blue

This dry bag has never failed me. It has a very cool way of closing to ensure it stays dry - the top folds over and then the ends clip to form a sort of handle. A picture of it folded follows.


A Good Pair Of Water Shoes Is A Jet Ski Necessity

Speedo Women's ZipWalker Water Shoe,Black/Black,8 M
Speedo Women's ZipWalker Water Shoe,Black/Black,8 M

We rarely board the jet ski before donning our water shoes to protect our feet from sharp rocks, glass or anything else (like a fish hook - true story...) hanging out on the bottom of the bay.

I like these Speedo water shoes as they're easier to get into than the ones with laces. These slip right on and off.


Some of my other boating related articles you might like

Handy gifts for a new boat owner
Update Aug 3, 2013: An apology to my readers - Squidoo has changed their rules so each article can only have 20 links - this means that, at the moment, some ...

Log Books For Boaters
It's very important to keep track of the workings and maintenance of a boat. That's what you'll find in this article - log books to do just that.

Personalized Boating Gifts
Personalized boating gifts mean you REALLY care....

Must-have pontoon boat accessories
Pontoon boats spell p-a-r-t-y and that's what's on this article - items you must have on a pontoon boat to ensure a good time will be had by all.

My personal review of the Sony waterproof camera DSC TX10
I'm a fan of my Sony waterproof camera. I take it on the boat every time we cast off.

Using The Instant Fisherman Fishing Pole - Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy
I love my Instant Fisherman; it didn't matter to me that I got laughed at on the pier a few times. I always caught fish!

Pool Floats For Adults
I'm a champion floater and here's some of my favorite pool floats - work perfectly well in the bay also.

Christmas boat decorations - deck your boat with boughs of holly
Just a fun article with some great pictures of boats decked out for Xmas

Boat teak maintenance and restoration
It's a fact of life - teak must be maintained....

Sport Fishing on a charter boat - 5 things to remember
I took a charter ride off Key West in 2012. Wish I'd known some of these things before I chose my spot on deck.

Some fun and potentially interesting links

I wasn't always the pro jet ski rider I am today - oh no, I was a pure idiot at first. Evidence of this is in the first link below which I posted on my mom's blog Gertie's Galavants - travels with a 95 year old. Read on to see how I blew my friend and myself off the wave runner...

Leave me comments so I know you skied by!

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    • Marten22 profile image

      Marten22 3 years ago

      great great lens! thanks for sharing!

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Never been jet skiiing but its on my list!

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 4 years ago

      Great lens! I love jet skiing can't wait for summer!

    • latiptop profile image

      latiptop 5 years ago

      Great lens! I'm going to add it to my Fun in the Summer Sun lens!:)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      You sound like you really do live your life with zest and happiness. I can just imagine you out on the waves on your jet ski. Have a truly wonderful summer.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Great tips! Squidliked!

    • profile image

      tutors091 5 years ago

      cool gear, i will love to own one.

    • profile image

      Juliety 5 years ago

      Very good informations.

    • xXOUTDOORSXx profile image

      xXOUTDOORSXx 5 years ago

      one of my favorite things to do during the summer!

    • profile image

      justin-yao 5 years ago

      a nice lens

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Since the older kids in our family have this, we already gave up our boat as everyone can use this even to pull skiers.

    • wolvyz profile image

      wolvyz 5 years ago

      I have a big dream of riding on one of these.

    • ceejaycmarshall profile image

      ceejaycmarshall 5 years ago

      I want one!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Super information-I need to buy one of these before my next trip! :>)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      Very neat lens! We just got a couple jet skis about a month ago, and they're a lot of fun in the Minnesota lakes, but it looks much more fun in the ocean!

    • profile image

      YourFirstTime 5 years ago

      I've wanted to own one of these for forever. Thanks for the tips.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      We use those dry bags when we go out in the kayaks or on our boat. Great things to have.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      My husband has a jet ski but it's been a while since I rode it. I hadn't seen these Seal Line bags yet. They look perfect!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Jet skis sound like a blast! It's nice to learn what's needed to ride one safely from such an expert!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 5 years ago

      Very well done - great information!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Informative article with great advice. Glad to see you writing again. You haven't lost the knack.