If you own a PWC, you are likely to capsize it sooner or later. You are at the highest risk of capsizing when riding with a passenger or when riding aggressively. When you come off, it may stay upright, or it could flip over and force you to quickly upright it before water can get into the engine.
Here are some tips to correctly get the ski back upright and even avoid capsizing altogether.
Don’t Flip it
It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to right a ski is to keep it right to begin with. Today’s watercraft are fairly large and extremely stable, which makes them difficult to capsize, but it is still possible. When riding aggressively, be sure to know your limits. Don’t ride harder than your ability will allow.
When Riding With a Passenger
Be sure to explain to your passenger how to lean into turns before taking them for a ride. Avoid aggressive maneuvers when riding with a passenger. It is tempting to show off for your fellow passenger, but we’re sure they wouldn’t be too impressed if you threw them off. Don’t make any unexpected sharp turns and apply throttle progressively to avoid throwing your passenger off. Keep in mind, they don’t have handlebars to hold on to, just you. If they do begin to fall off, they will probably grab you and pull you off as well.
Don’t Fight to Stay Aboard
If you begin to fall off or feel the craft start to roll, get clear of the craft as soon as possible. If you are going off the side, lose grip, then try to grab the steering again, you may end up grabbing a fist full of throttle and/or make the craft turn sharply. That certainly wouldn’t help your situation any and could send the ski or jet thrust into any passengers that already fell off. If it begins to roll, get off the ski as quickly as possible. You will do nothing but aid the flipping process by staying on it during a roll.
Wear Your Lanyard
It is extremely important to wear a lanyard any time you ride a PWC. If it flips and the engine remains running, you chance sucking water into your intake. If you flip and the lanyard remains connected, pull it as soon as you can.
Right the PWC
If you flip, swim to the rear of the ski and look for the manufacturer’s instructions on how to right the ski. The instructions are likely upside down so you can read them once the craft is upside down. The instructions explain which direction to turn the ski. Flipping the ski back over the wrong way could result in getting water in the engine. You would always want to keep the exhaust pipe down so water does not drain into your engine.