Gliding rapidly over the waves on a jet ski may be the highlight of any beach or lake trip. If you have never ridden a jet ski, you do not know what you are missing.
When planning a trip to go jet skiing, you need to be aware of the guidelines which could include weight limits.
Some jet ski rental companies follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and some are held to requirements issued by their insurance carriers.
Why Do Jet Skiis Have Weight Limits?
You may wonder why a jet ski manufacturer would include a weight limit in their guidelines, but there are solid reasons that revolve around how the water vessel responds and safety concerns.
When you pile too much weight on a jet ski, you can make it unstable, which increases the dangers of accidents. If you have ever ridden on a jet ski, you know they require greater control at lower speed levels.
Too much weight on a jet ski causes more drag, especially when traveling at lower speeds. With too much weight comes difficulty controlling a jet ski which sometimes leads to accidents, especially around the dock or other vessels.
What Determines the Weight Limit of a Jet Ski?
When shopping for jet skis, you will often find the price is a significant determining factor in the weight limits of the vessel.
Less expensive jet skis usually hold less weight than more expensive models because of the materials they are made from.
You will also find the seating capacity determines the weight limit. Jet skis typically seat between one to three riders.
A jet ski that holds three people is going to offer a higher weight limit than a model that only holds one.
Check the Weight Limit According to the Manufacturer
Whether you are riding a friend’s jet ski, purchasing your own, or renting one, you need to be aware of the weight limit before climbing on board.
All jet skis have weight limits, and today’s models have stickers on the side that indicate their limits.
The following provides the weight limits for the top manufacturers of jet skis. As this information may change with subsequent models, always check with your owner’s manual to ensure you have the latest and most correct information.
- Sea-Doo Spark 2UP (Up to 2 Riders) 352 pounds
- Sea-Doo RXP-X 300 (Up to 2 riders) 400 pounds
- Sea-Doo Spark 3UP (Up to 3 riders) 450 pounds
- Kawasaki Sit-Down Jet Skis (Up to 3 riders) 496 pounds
- Yamaha EXR, EX series (Up to 3 riders) 529 pounds
- Sea-Doo GTR, GTI, GTX, RXT (Up to 3 riders) 600 pounds
- Sea-Doo Wake series, Fish Pro (Up to 3 riders) 600 pounds
Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Sea-Doo are the top three manufacturers of jet skis. You may be surprised to learn that they produce around 46 of the jet ski models available on the market.
What Is the Average Weight Limit Range for Jet Skiis?
You will notice that some Yamaha models do not come with an official weight limit. Instead, you will see they simply list the weight capacity as one rider. The weight limit is around 500 to 600 pounds. Generally, most jet skis have a weight limit of 300 to 500 pounds.
Jet Ski Weight Limits Are NOT to Be Taken Lightly
You might be tempted to go past the weight limit for a jet ski, but you should not. The weight limits on a jet ski are not suggestions. Overloaded jet skis are difficult to control and are more likely to cause accidents.
You may also find an overloaded jet ski is going to sink further into the water and is more likely to capsize. Jet skis overloaded with too much weight are not going to be able to jump the waves as easily and are at risk of flipping.
Is It Safe to Ride a Jet Ski If You Are Overweight?
If you are overweight, should you ride a jet ski? If you are going to ride a jet ski as an overweight person, you should consider riding on one that seats more than one person.
The weight limits on two and three-seater jet skis are always going to be higher.
When purchasing or renting a jet ski, make sure it has a ladder to climb onboard. If you fall off, you are going to find it very challenging to pull yourself back on the jet ski.
Without a ladder, you may find it impossible to get back on the jet ski and balance enough to get seated properly.
If you are overweight, you should also pay attention to the seat of the jet ski. For the most part, suspension models have the highest seat heights.
Unfortunately, overweight people are going to find the jet ski becomes more top-heavy with a higher seat, which could throw off the balance of the craft and make you fall forward into the water.
Jet Ski Weight Limits Are For Your Safety
Jet ski weight limits must be followed to protect yourself, other riders, and other vessels on the water. Make sure you check the weight limits before you climb on board, especially if you are above average weight.
Pushing or exceeding the weight limits of a jet ski will only lead to problems with control and possible accidents.