Enthusiastic families on their beach vacations ask one common question: Is there an age limit to riding a Jet Ski?
For your information, over 40 states have set a Jet skiing age limit, which ensures the safety of children and adults. Also, you must be in possession of a boating education course certificate on top of passing the minimum age threshold to ride a Jet Ski on the US coast.
Before you plan your next vacation to a beach in the US, such as in the State of Florida, for your Jet Skiing and boating adventures, make sure you learn about the boating laws and meet the necessary personal watercraft license requirements.
In most cases, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor to ride a Jet Ski if you’re under 14 years of age. So, here’s what you must know about the minimum age to operate a PWC (how old to drive a Jet Ski)!
Legal Age for Driving a Jet Ski in Florida
As soon as summer starts, most families start planning their next vacation to the most beautiful and exciting waterfronts in the US. People get ready to enjoy many waterfront activities, including Jet Skiing. But before you plan your Jet Ski adventure, make sure you ask the question: how old do you have to be to Jet Ski?
The legal PWC age or the Jet Ski age limit varies across the US. However, professionals suggest that the age limits to operate a Jet Ski in the US is between 12 years and 18 years.
If your kid is asking, “can a 14-year-old drive a Jet Ski,” you should know that they can because that’s the minimum Jet Ski driving age in Florida.
While some states have set the minimum age limit to 13 years, 12 years, and 14 years (Florida), all have one common requirement. That requirement is to have a boating safety course education certificate that serves as a measure of safety for Jet Ski riders.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Jet Ski by Yourself?
You or your loved one can drive a Jet Ski all by yourself if you meet the minimum age requirements and have a boating safety course certificate.
Whether you’re traveling in a state with minimum age requirements such as 13 years, 12 years, or 16 years, you must abide by local laws because they will apply regardless of the situation.
So, if you’re traveling to a state with a 15-year-old where the minimum age requirement to legally operate a Jet Ski is 16 years, they cannot ride it. Regardless, they will be allowed to ride a Jet Ski in Florida as per the local laws there.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive a Jet Ski with an Adult on Board?
It isn’t like riding a car, and therefore, the rules aren’t as rigid. However, you must comply with Jet Skiing local laws depending on where you are in the US because it’s a matter of safety for you and other tourists at the location.
It’s sometimes best to accompany a child trying to Jet Ski for the first time. The presence of an adult will improve both Jet Ski and boat safety for a young individual.
Whether your child is 14 years old and legally allowed to ride a Jet Ski in Florida, it’s advisable to have a supervising adult behind them to make sure they’re safe and learn in the best possible way.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Operate a Rented Jet Ski?
Parents often ask questions such as “can a 15-year-old drive a Jet Ski in Florida when renting?” or “how old is to ride a Jet Ski in Florida?” Florida boating rules and boating license requirements clearly state the minimum age to be 14. However, if you have a child younger than that and you agree to let them have a Jet Ski experience, it’s best to accompany them on the ride for their safety.
Most reputable and legally-abiding Jet Ski rentals don’t allow kids younger than the minimum age to ride a Jet Ski. That’s unless their guardian or parent is willing to let a supervisor accompany them and sign a waiver.
What Type of Safety Equipment is Must-Have on a Jet Ski Ride?
You will require a few pieces of safety equipment, whether it’s your first Jet Ski ride or your hundredth.
It’s best to wear a life jacket and, if possible, a helmet to make sure you’re safe from any severe concussions, head injuries, or drowning risks.
A Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is sometimes mandatory depending on the state and region you’re visiting for Jet Skiing. Some states lay a great emphasis on the minimum Jet Skiing age limit.
Check the US Coast Guard’s size guide when purchasing a PFD. Other essential safety equipments include:
- Boating license
- Riding gloves
- Bucket hat
- Eye protection
- Waterproof storage such as a small bag for phone
What’s the Passenger Limit for a Jet Ski Rental?
The strict regulations and local laws will vary from one state to another. However, the average passenger limit for Jet Ski rides is three people in most cases. If more than three people are willing to have a Jet Ski experience, you will have to rent more than one Jet Skis!
Some personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, aren’t designed to hold more than one or two people. In rare cases, a PWC, like a Jet Ski, will hold three people. You should talk to the rental company and check the passenger limit of the Jet Ski you’re renting for your adventure. Fitting more than the recommended number of passengers on a Jet Ski may be illegal in some states.
In simple words, you must be at least 14 years old or older to ride a Jet Ski in the State of Florida. Plus, it’s best to have a boating license, boat safety course certificate, or at least a temporary certificate to comply with local laws. If you’re the parent, in this case, it’s best to accompany your child on the first ride.
But, if you also don’t have any experience, try finding a reliable Jet Ski or kayaks rental company to provide an experienced supervisor. Once you’ve read all the requirements and fulfilled them, get ready to ride across the blue waves in Florida!