What to Wear Jet Skiing: The Complete List of Gear

What to Wear Jet Skiing

If it’s your first-time jet skiing, you want to make sure you’re fully prepared with all the right gear. You don’t want to turn up being inappropriately dressed and wearing the wrong things – not only could you look a bit “un-cool” but it could also be dangerous if you’re not equipped correctly. My family and I frequently go jet skiing when on vacation and have got a list of what to wear jey skiing to share with you. You can see that list below, followed by our recommendations on the best prices.

What to wear jet skiing

  1. Life Jacket
  2. Swimwear
  3. Gloves
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Water shoes
  7. Hat

Our recommendations

Life jacket or vest (view Amazon recommendation)

When it comes to jet skiing probably one of the most vital safety items that you need to wear will be your life jacket or vest. No matter if you’re a passenger, driver, adult or a child – you need one, period.

A life jacket is especially important for those who are not very good swimmers, or a new to being on a jet ski as panic can set in if they fall off the watercraft. But it is best to do your best and hang on as it can hurt falling off and hitting the water!

If you are renting a jet ski, then the operator will supply this for you. If you’re someone in the market for buying your own jet ski, you need your own.

The condition of your life jacket is important as it can affect the effectiveness of its use. There should be no rips, tears or excessive fading. Ideally, you should replace your life jacket every 3-5 years. This is an investment that can potentially save your life if you are separated from the jet ski or you get an injury. So, you need to be certain that it is always up to scratch.

When it comes to the fit of your life jacket it needs to be comfortable and a proper fit. As a rough guide to finding your size, do not go by your t-shirt size. You will probably need to go up a size or two as life jacket sizing can be a little all over the place. You need to be able to buckle up all the belts and close all the zips on your jacket. If it is a little tight and you have to hold your breath to fit your tummy in, you need to get the next size up.

Once you have your jacket on and everything is secured and zipped up you need to test the fit. Grab the bottom of your jacket and try to lift it up. If it fits correctly it should not move much. However, if the shoulders of the jacket end up around your head – it is too big and you need to go down a size.

Doing this simulates what the jacket will do in the water –  if the first thing it does is rise above your head you will not float correctly and risk drowning. It could save your life so ensuring it is the right fit and works is essential.

Remember to wear life jackets that approved for jet skiing and you can have some fun in the sun day long and know that you are safe.

Swimwear (view Amazon recommendation)

Jet skiing is wet. There is no doubt about that, so, wearing swimwear is a pretty obvious requirement. Whether you wear swimming trunks, a bikini, a one piece or a wetsuit – standard swimwear is essential. They are designed specifically not to absorb large amounts of water that can weigh you down and take long periods of time to dry.

Your swimwear should be comfortable and tight fitting, although you should still be able to move in it easily with minimal restrictions as you need to be able to control the jet ski. When it comes to your swimwear the more you cover of your body the better, as it will minimize the potential area for sunburn, windburn and irritation.

Try wearing a rash vest or a wetsuit to maximize the amount of your body you cover for protection from the elements.

I imagine you will already have something suitable in your wardrobe, but if you don’t the wet suit I recommend here is really good. It’s what my wife and I use.

Gloves (view Amazon recommendation)

This piece of attire is often overlooked for jet skiing. Wearing a set of gloves is rather important as it prevents irritation, blisters, sores and sunburn on your hands.

This is especially true if you have a ‘death grip’. As you hit some waves your wrist and fingers will bounce around and the impact creates friction.

You can opt for fingerless water gloves during summer months to allow you to have a better grip. While during the cooler seasons you may want to opt for gloves with fingers to keep your hands and fingers warm against the cool wind and water.


Do not go wearing your favorite pair of sunglasses out on the water. You will more than likely lose them at some point. Instead, opt for a cheaper pair of sunglasses with a glasses chain attached to minimize the likelihood of you losing them in the depths of the water.

It is preferable to have a pair that float or a glasses chain that floats. This allows you to save money from buying pair after pair of sunglasses.

This accessory is extremely important when you are out on the water. It can be rather bright due to the sun and the reflection of the water. It also protects your eyes from the salt and wind which can dry your eyes out rather quickly.

Protecting your eyes and vision is so important. You only get one set of eyes and preventing any harm to them should be at the top of your list.


Whether you like it or not, you need it. Sunscreen will provide your protection against sunburn which can be rather painful. Use a sunscreen with a high SPF and specific for water sports/activities as it will last longer. If you truly want to avoid sunscreen, use a combination of sunscreen and rash vests, shorts etc to cover your body as much as possible.

Water shoes (view Amazon recommendation)

Have you ever taken a step out of the shower and seen your life flash before your eyes as you go for a slip? Yeah, well when it comes to jet skiing your feet slipping can be dangerous and cause an injury or two. Your feet need to be securely planted on the jet ski at all times.

Wearing the appropriate footwear that is specific for water use is important. There are many options so you are bound to find something that is suitable for every individual. You can get porous shoes for breathability, toes that are closed etc.

Avoid flip flops at all times! These can actually allow your feet to slip a lot easier and provide minimal to no traction or protection. Look for shoes that are lightweight and made of nonabsorbent material such as neoprene. Crucial for safety, find a pair of water shoes to wear at all times when jet skiing.


You need to protect all parts of your body and that includes your head. Wear a hat or a cap that is tight and preferably has a strap of some sort to secure it to your head and does not go flying off.

You should try to opt for a hat that is made of lightweight material, or specific for water use as it will dry much quicker if it does go for a dive.

Bonus item – dry bag (view Amazon recommendation)

Although you may not wear a dry bag, it is super necessary for any jet ski. Get one that is big and brightly colored. You can then put important items such as your phone, money/wallet and even a little towel in it to be kept safe and dry.

Including a towel can be really useful if you have a stop off somewhere or if you just need to wipe your face down from all the salt and water that has been sprayed in your face.

If it falls off you can be rest assured that everything in the bag will be safe, dry and easy to spot as it is brightly colored and floats! Remember to load it up on shore and seal it properly before getting back out on the water. Always put something back if you take it out to ensure that nothing important goes missing.

Jet ski questions for beginners

What should I not wear when riding a jet ski?

There are a few items that you just should not wear when you are on a jet ski. This includes items such as:

  • Anything expensive
  • Jewelry – earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets etc
  • Anything that is dangly or has loose ends

How do I store my life jacket?

Prolonging the life of your life jacket can be done with really two simple steps. Remember to rinse your jacket off with water after each use. This prevents the salt from building up and drying out the materials of your life jacket. You should also just hang up your life jacket to dry. This prevents mold from growing and infesting your jacket.

There is nothing like being out on the water and enjoying the sun, especially when you are having the time of your life on a jet ski. There is no denying that it is going to get wet. But it is super important that you are wearing the appropriate attire, especially for safety. So, I decided to do some research and find out exactly what to wear on a jet ski. Now, here is what I found out!

How fast can jet ski go?

Standard jet skis can hit speeds of 65 miles per hour. Don’t be worried if you are just starting out, you won’t be hitting speeds like this unless you are an adrenaline junkie and what to really test yourself.

You can see some examples of the most popular models and their top speeds in this guide to how fast jet skis go.

Why does water shoot out the back of a jet ski?

Ever wondered why you see those large plumes of water shooting out of the back of a jet ski? Well, wonder no more! You can find out what the jet of water means in this other blog post – it’s nothing to be worried about!


I hope this guide to what to wear jet skiing has given you the confidence of turning up and being completed prepared!

Jet skiing is one of the most fun things that my family and I do when we go on our vacations. We are completely addicted to it… and I think you will be too!

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