With more and more families purchasing PWC and diving into the watersports lifestyle these days, there are some key safety do’s and don’ts to consider before letting your child hop on behind you for a ride. Always make sure your child is big enough to ride behind you, which you can gauge by checking to see if their feet fit firmly in the foot well of the craft. If your child doesn’t pass this “foot well test,” they could easily lose their grip and fall off the back.
Passengers should never ride in front of the PWC operator either, since they can be thrown over a PWC’s handlebars when hitting a large wave or during a collision. Always put your passengers behind you, and make sure they hold on tightly around your waist.
In the case of grown children—namely teenagers—the minimum operator age varies from state to state, though the U.S. Coast Guard and PWC manufacturers agree on 16 years old, with some states raising their minimum to 18. In either case, taking a PWC safety course is highly recommended for all new watercraft owners, regardless of age.
Also, before heading out on your new AquaTrax, make sure your passenger is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life preserver that fits properly (i.e., not too tight or too loose).
Riding a PWC is a ton of fun, but it’s imperative that your children understand that your craft is a highly powered jet-driven boat and not a toy. As such, your kids need to follow certain guidelines to ensure their time on the water is as safe as it is enjoyable.