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Choosing Jet Ski Apparel

Choosing Jet Ski Apparel

Spending a day on your jet ski is a fun way to blow off steam. While most people think of riding a jet ski as a bathing suit wearing activity, there are actually different types of apparel made especially for the occasion. Let's take a closer look at choosing jet ski apparel to help you make the most of your time on the water.

Can I just wear my bathing suit?

Most people think jet skiing should be done in a bathing suit since it's a water sport. It makes sense to think that riding a jet ski should be done in a bathing suit since you will most likely also spend some time swimming or in the water, but a bathing suit is a bad choice for a few reasons. For starters, you need to wear a life jacket at all times when riding your jet ski. A bathing suit, whether a bikini top for women or shirtless for men, will not offer the right coverage for wearing a life jacket and may lead to uncomfortable chaffing from the jacket rubbing against skin. Another reason to avoid wearing a bathing suit is because they are simply not as sturdy as other apparel choices available for this activity. A common injury on jet skis results from internal injuries from being caught in the jet steam when thrown off the ride. The jet stream and a flimsy bathing suit can lead to injuries which is why a bathing suit might not be the best riding apparel. A bathing suit is also a bad choice when you want to ride during the off season or in colder waters.

Types of Apparel

When choosing jet ski apparel, there are a few common types available on the market for today's rider. You can choose to add just one of these categories to your gear at a time or start out as a new rider with a complete lineup of apparel. However you choose to incorporate these types of apparel to your collection, there are a few things to keep in mind about each one before you buy. Let's take a look at choosing jet ski apparel by type.


When considering the right footwear for your riding needs, you have a choice between shoes similar to a tennis shoe style or full on riding boots. While you may think riding in flip flops or barefoot is the preferable option, there are a few reasons to invest in proper riding footwear. For starters, going barefoot or wearing something flimsy such as flip flops will leave your foot exposed in the unfortunate event of a collision whereas proper footwear will create a slight barrier to injuries such as scrape or cuts. They can also come in handy if you need to walk over rocky terrain during your day around the water.

When choosing between shoes or boots, the season is usually the deciding factor. If you are riding during colder months of the year, boots are a better choice since they offer better insulation to trap heat and keep you warm whereas shoes are ideal for warmer months when you want to stay cooler. The key to choosing either shoes or boots is to look at the sole for adequate traction which is important in slippery, wet conditions.

Wet Suit versus Dry Suit

When choosing jet ski apparel, the matter of whether you need a wet suit or a dry suit is bound to come up at some point. While both keep you dry when riding, there are a few things to know about each option.

The first thing to keep in mind is the fit. A wet suit fits close to the body and gives a tight fit to keep you warm while riding. A dry suit is looser in fit and can be worn over regular clothing while offering a warmer option with even better insulation of body heat than a wet suit. A dry suit usually offers better movement ability than a wet suit which some claim can be the more restrictive of the two options. A dry suit also keeps you dry whereas a wet suit will allow water to reach the skin. Another thing to keep in mind is that a dry suit is usually made with long sleeves and long pant legs whereas a wet suit can come in what is called a "shorty" where you get the wet suit body but with shorts instead of pants and even short sleeves rather than long sleeves.

When choosing which one is right for you, the decision will likely come down to the weather conditions. If you are planning on riding in colder water, you will want a dry suit whereas a wet suit is ideal for the rest of the year when it's warmer.


Riding a jet ski requires your hands to have a good grip on the handle bar and throttle to make sure you are in control. A big part of this control comes from a great pair of gloves. While you don't necessarily need gloves for riding, they certainly add to the ease for some people. Gloves can also help keep your hands warm when riding in colder weather, protect against sunburn or scrapes to the sensitive skin on the hand, and help with grip while you ride.

When choosing gloves, you should look for fingerless gloves which give you a bit of grip while still leaving your fingers exposed and fully functional. You also want to consider the material carefully so you get an option with an emphasis on fast drying properties. Make sure whatever glove you choose, they do not impede your hand mobility and function.


When you are out riding on the water at moderate to high speeds, a jacket is a good idea as long as it's the right kind of jacket. You certainly don't want to wear your heavy winter coat in the water since it would weigh you down, but a surf jacket is a good idea. A surf jacket is made to offer wind breaking properties to eliminate the discomfort of colder wind while you ride, and the material is quick drying if it gets wet. Best of all, a surf jacket can be worn with your wet or dry suit or alone for the times when you don't want to deal with putting on a suit but still want a bit of protection from the elements.