Jet skiing is one of the most fun water-based activities you can do in summer. However, when it comes to children, the rules are slightly restrictive, and they may differ from state to state. But it does not mean that kids should not jet ski. While most people rule out jet skiing for their kids, it is allowable as long as they meet the minimum permissible age. You should also have the required protective gear as per state law. Keep reading to find out what the minimum age for jet skiing is in your state.

The average minimum age you have to be to ride a jet ski legally seems to be 14 years. The age fluctuates between 12 years to 16 years depending on state legislation. Some states also require or recommend boater education to young riders. The best way to be sure is to check out the state-specific minimum age and riding requirements to stay on the right side of the law.

Jet Ski Age Limits in the Different States

Florida

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Florida is 14 years. Additionally, boating education is required for anyone under the age of 21 years. You are also not allowed to rent a jet ski in Florida unless you are 18 years or older.

Individuals are also required to pass a safety exam before they are allowed to use a jet ski. A temporary certificate is awarded upon completion of the course from a certified boat safety educator. Lastly, it is illegal to operate a jet ski thirty minutes before sunrise and thirty minutes after sunset.

Michigan

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Michigan is 12-years. Boating education is also required before one can jet ski.

Texas

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Texas is 13 years, and they must have a boating education.

California

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in California is 16 years, and boating education is not mandatory. The state has strict regulations for marine emissions in place. A Carbon Monoxide warning label is required.

New Jersey

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in New Jersey is 13 years, and they must have a boating education. The state also restricts access to Point Pleasant and Cape May canals.

Ohio

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Ohio is 12-years. Boating education is also required before one can jet ski.

Check this too: How to Winterize (Or Un Winterize) a Jet Ski

Arizona

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Arizona is 12-years. Boating education is also required before one can jet ski.

Wisconsin

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Wisconsin is 16-years. Boating education is also required before one younger than 16 years can jet ski.

New York

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in New York is 14-years. Boating education is also required before one can jet ski. Kids must also have a boating safety certificate before they are allowed to operate a jet ski on their own.

South Carolina

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in South Carolina is 16-years. Boating education is also required for children below a6 years.

Washington

The minimum age for operating a jet ski in Washington is 14-years. Boating education is also required before one can jet ski. Only ids older than 16-years can rent a jet ski.  Jet ski use is restricted on the Spokane River.

Can you jet ski pregnant?

No. A jet ski produces strong vibrations that may lead to premature birth or a miscarriage, especially if you are in an advanced pregnancy stage. There is also a potential threat of crashing, which may be extremely dangerous.

Additionally, you also risk falling off the jet ski even at slower speeds, which is too dangerous. You may be able to jet ski if you are going to ensure that your waterski experience is bump-free, but it is not easy to do so.

Can a 1-year-old ride on a jet ski?

According to the coast guard, your baby should be at least 18 pounds and be able to fit in a personal floatation device for them to go on a boat ride. Bear in mind boat rides a relatively safe and less eventful than riding a jet ski.

As such, for safety purposes, it would be best to avoid jet skiing with your infant until they are at least two years of age. Alternatively, you can ski with them on calmer water close to shore. In this case, it is better to be safe than sorry.

What protective gear do you need when riding a jet ski?

These are the mandatory required protective gear and safety items needed when riding a jet ski;

  • A life jacket for each passenger
  • A coast guard approved B-1 fire extinguisher.
  • Proper display of registration numbers, letters, and validation decals
  • Vessel registration, to be displayed when requested
  • A functioning backfires flame arrestor and passive ventilation system.
  • A sound signaling device such as a whistle or horn
  • An emergency engine cutoff lanyard attached to the operator
  • Hand-held VHF radio and a cell phone as a backup
  • First-aid kit, sunscreen, and burn cream
  • A dewatering device like a hand-operated bilge pump
  • An anchor and a long enough anchor line for your area
  • Daytime distress signal devices such as flares, an orange flag, or a signal mirror

How to ride a jet ski with kids

First and foremost, ensure they are wearing a personal floatation device and a life jacket. They should also be positioned between two adults if they are very young. If you are not versed in first air and boat safety procedures. It is best not to take your child into the water.

Keep the speed low and be mentally aware of your surroundings.

Practice your response in case the child falls into the water. Please do not place the child in the front of the jet ski. They may hit the handlebars in case of an abrupt stop or a spillover.