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The Personal Watercraft Association of Australia (PWCAA) was officially launched 1st September 2020. A division of the Australian Motorboat Association (AMA), the PWCAA aims to bring together personal watercraft enthusiasts, powersports dealers and manufacturers interested in protecting and expanding the PWC lifestyle, and helping you to get behind the bars and out on the water more often.

One of the most critical things to understand about the registration on your PWC is that no cover or protection is provided with your annual registration.

So now understanding that in CTP insurance terms, a car is not a boat, let’s break it down a little. Your annual car registration has two key components: the registration and associated costs and the compulsory third-party insurance component. In QLD for example, the Queensland Government’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission clearly states that CTP provides cover for any person injured in a motor vehicle accident… and then clarifies issues such as fault, vehicle driver, ownership and so on.

It also clearly states that CTP does not cover damage to other vehicles or property. However, many people think CTP also covers the damage they might do to another vehicle. It does not. If your $1000 car has nothing more than registration and CTP when it crashes into the latest model prestige SUV with you being at fault, be prepared for a serious bill and/or damages claim from the other driver or insurer. Yes, in general terms you will be covered against any injury claim from people in the SUV at the time of the accident, but that SUV repair will be headed your way in one form or another.

A $1000 car not worth insuring, or at least taking out a form of extended cover to protect you against property damages claims. Think again, unless you have countless reserves of cash and assets and are prepared to hand them over to make good the damage you caused.

When it comes to PWC's, there is no CTP cover associated with your annual registration. So if ever things go pear-shaped in the marina and your $2000 jetski, which you didn’t believe worth insuring, careers into a series of luxury cruisers gouging unsightly rashes into their immaculate flanks, again you can expect a series of very expensive bills to be headed your way. And if someone was injured during that incident, the bills will probably be even greater. Potentially, your $2000 jetski could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more, simply because you did not believe it worth insuring.

Marine insurers usually provide a public liability coverage option within their policies. So if you take up the public liability option, irrespective of whether you have a $2000 jetski or a $2 million cruiser, you can enjoy your time on the water knowing you are covered for any injury to people or damage to property.

Marine insurers, usually limit the amount of public liability coverage, depending on factors such as where and how you use your PWC as well as what you agree to be a reasonable level of protection. If you are determined not to comprehensively insure your $2000 jetski and thereby inherently secure public liability cover, you can just take out a third-party cover.

That means your jetski won’t be insured, but any damage caused by it due to your negligence will be covered within the limits outlined in the policy. Finally, just who are these ‘parties’ in CTP? Well, in terms of car insurance, the first party is the owner or driver of the vehicle ‘at fault’. The second party is the CTP insurer of the vehicle at fault. The third party is the injured person.

In a PWC context, it’s the other person.To own or drive a PWC that does not have some level of insurance protection against the injuries or damage it may cause to others is to run a very, very serious risk of crippling debt should a claim ever be made against you. Remember, there’s no automatic provision against it in your annual registration fee. Finally, as with all insurance policies, always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification.

Like any sport, you can get injured in jet skiing. Also like any other sport, learning proper operation and safety procedures will always minimize your chances of hurting yourself.

In all honesty, jet skiing is an incredibly safe sport. Even inexpensive jet skis are incredibly well-built because safety is a primary concern for anyone engaging in an extreme sport. They’re incredibly simple to operate, so even a beginner can start riding confidently in no time. It results in far less casualties than contact sports such as football, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful.

The safety of jet skiing is directly linked to careful and attentive ridership. Hitting other jet skis can cause injuries, as well as losing control and being thrown off. If you’re an experienced rider, you might not quite yet know how to stabilize the craft if you’ve hit a buoy or another object in the water.

Some people pull on the throttle too hard and strain a muscle, or worse. But, what all these unfortunate situations have in common is they can be completely avoided by paying attention to yourself, your riding, and those around you.

If you haven’t jet skied before, it’s best to know what you’re going into. Yes, it will be a thrilling experience that you’ll never forget. Many people even start jet skiing on their own after riding with us.

Common Jet Ski Injuries

To help you get on the path to your first jet skiing experience, we’ve put together a helpful list of the most common injuries in jet skiing, and how to avoid them. With this guide, we hope you’ll come for your first lesson with a confident handle on what “safe skiing” truly means.

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement jerks your body too quickly for your body to react to. People get whiplash from car accidents, horseback riding, and just about anywhere quick movement is a factor.

If you want to avoid whiplash while jet skiing, you need to pay attention to the throttle when you’re about to accelerate. Pulling on the throttle too quickly will jet your body forward and potentially causing a neck injury.

You can also avoid whiplash by not turning too quickly. Always take slower, wider turns, especially when you’re just starting out.

Bruises

Bruises happen when your body is impacted by another object. While jet skiing, there are a couple different ways you can get bruised, and some are not so obvious as you might think.

Perhaps easier to understand is if you hit another jet ski or object in the water. If your body makes impact with that object, you might get a bruise.

Not so obvious is when you’re going too fast and bobbing out of the water. Similar to when a car goes over a pothole, you will feel the jet ski repeatedly hitting your bottom end pretty hard. The best way to avoid this injury is by controlling your speed and being aware of your surroundings.

Sprains

A sprain happens when the tendons between your bones are overstretched or damaged. Baseball pitchers experience many sprains because they are constantly extending their throwing arm with a lot of force and at high speed. If you’re riding too fast on a jet ski, you might also get a sprain.

When some people accelerate too quickly, they could sprain their shoulder or their arm. Keeping your hands firmly grasped around the handles will keep you from falling off the jet ski, but it could potentially overextend your arm.

To avoid getting sprains, keep your speed in check – accelerating too fast is one of the leading causes of sprains in jet skiing.

Fractured and Broken Bones

A fractured bone is one which has partially cracked due to impact or bending. They’re not as bad as a full break, but are still extremely painful and take time to heal.

Crashing into another jet ski can cause fractured or broken bones. So, make sure you’re always keeping an eye out for riders and other objects in the water.

Loss of Breath

You’ll definitely lose your breath while jet skiing because of the excitement. Yes, we’re kidding here, but we feel it’s important to remember that there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to jet skiing. It’s still an incredible experience that anyone can enjoy, as long as they do it safely.

As long as you control your speed, stay aware of your surroundings, and make sure not to accelerate or turn too quickly, you’ll all but neutralize the probability of getting an injury while jet skiing. And at PWCAA our friendly and helpful leaders and coaches have successfully gotten first timers to have safe and thrilling experiences on jet skis.

If you’re ready to experience Australia on water, come ride with us!

We can all agree that safety should come first, in life and in fun. So when it comes to riding a jet ski for the first time, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. We put together this list of our top newbie rider jet ski tips. Whether you’re totally new to jet skiing, or you’ve ridden a few times, these tips should be insightful and will keep you safe while you’re having fun.

Before we get into our tips for riding a jet ski for the first time, let’s answer a couple frequently asked questions about Jet Skiing.

Will I get wet?

Yes! Even if you do not fall in, you’ll likely get a good soaking in one way or another. That’s all part of the fun!

What Should I Wear on A Jet Ski?

Usually, a bathing suit and your live-vest are enough, but if the water or weather is on the colder side you may want to wear a wetsuit or drysuit.

Are Jet Skis Dangerous?

Any activity involves risk. injuries do occur. however, if you listen to your guides and proceed with caution your risk of injury is greatly diminished. That’s why you have to pay attention to our first-time jet ski rider tips below!

5 Things to Know for First Time Jet Ski Riders

1) Keep it Straight!

First time jet skiers often have difficulty keeping the jet ski straight. The good news is this is easy to correct. Riders often stare at the handlebars or the water just off the bow (front) of the ski. Instead, lift your head up and look off in the distance. This will allow you to drive straight and enjoy your trip. If you continue to struggle, simply pick a stationary target on land or water (buoy) and steer directly at it.

2) Remember, You Can’t Turn Away from Danger Without Throttle

The jet in jet ski refers to the water jet that shoots out the back and makes the ski go forward. That jet moves side to side to steer the machine. There is no rudder. So, when you slow down or stop giving the machine thrust all together your ability to steer is diminished or you lose it completely. So, if an emergency arises and you need to avoid a collision don’t take your finger off the throttle. Doing that will make it impossible to steer away from danger. Rather, keep your speed up and steer away from the threat.

3) Splash Down…How to Re-Board Your Jet Ski

Sometimes people fall off their jet ski. This is typically no big deal and can even be part of the fun. However, there is a method to getting back on. You always reboard a ski from the stern (back). Simply reach up to the handle behind the seat and pull yourself out of the water onto the back deck of the ski. If you are riding tandem, only one person should board at a time. Attempting to reboard from the side will cause the ski to flip. Don’t rush. Take it slow. If you’re out of shape and have several failed attempts to reboard you can get very tired, very quickly. Relax in the water, think about how you’re going to get back on board and then slowly climb back aboard.

4) Relax! It’ll Hurt Less!

Many first time riders complain that their hands get tired or they feel slight soreness in their shoulders. This occurs because new riders often hold on for dear life. Instead, lean forward slightly and relax your grip. Keep your elbows slightly bent. This will allow you to ride without fatigue. Don’t lean too far forward and always be careful not to hit your chin or nose on the handlebar.

5) Hold Tightly…But Not Too Tight!

We’ve talked about driving, but there is a trick to being a good and comfortable passenger as well. Holding the drivers waist or the back of their life jacket is a good method for staying on. However, don’t hold on so tight that you make it difficult for your partner to drive the ski. As with driving, relax. Keep your body loose, not stiff. This will lower fatigue and increase you enjoyment.

Now you’re ready to ride!

BONUS TIP

A lot of people want to stand up on the ski. However, for a novice rider, standing might make controlling the ski much more difficult. Also, your chances of falling could be greater. Driving from the standing position is something to attempt after you become an intermediate or expert rider.

Now that you have mastered these tips you’re ready to hit the waters with us on a jet ski tour you’ll never forget!