Jet Skis Make Wakes Too

Because jet skis are small and highly maneuverable compared to traditional watercraft, it’s often easy to forget how much wake they can generate. Most jet skis start making a sizable wake at about 4 – 5 mph and as operators we need to be mindful of the impact of our wakes. Next time you’re out on your jet ski, take notice of how much wake you generate at various speeds. I think you’ll be amazed.

It’s common place for jet ski riders to cruise into narrow coves to check out the local scenery. In doing so it’s not unusual for jet skiers to be in the vicinity of: docks, moored vessels, whether at anchor or moored to a dock
areas where swimmers may be in the water, small vessels including kayaks, canoes or fishing boats.

Even though many of these areas may not be posted as “No Wake” areas, jet ski operators need to remember that, just like any other vessel, we are responsible for our wake and must exercise caution. Beyond our legal responsibility, we need to be respectful of others on and around the water. Think of how you react when someone creates a large wake near you, your dock, or your vessel.

Compounding the problem is the fact that frequently multiple jet skis cruise together in a group. While this camaraderie adds to the enjoyment of the jet ski experience, the added number of jet skis can multiply the risks associated with their wakes. To put this into perspective, jet skiers need only think about what it’s like riding close behind even a small group of 4 or 5 jet skis. The ride can be very choppy and a little intimidating as your jet ski is being tossed around by the resulting wakes. This is exactly the situation created when jet skis operate at speed or in large groups around docks, swimmers and other vessels.

As Tellico Cruising Club members it’s our role to set a positive example for boating safety and etiquette for our community. As jet skiers let’s do our part.


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