There are some certain safety items that are required to have by the United States Coast Guard and most local water law-enforcement. The number one thing you must have is a life preserver (life jacket). This by far is the most important thing while riding. If you want some more information about life preservers check out this full length video from The Watercraft Journal.
It is also required to keep a fire extinguisher, tow rope, signaling device (typically this can be a whistle), and the key to the watercraft, which is also your engine cut-off lanyard. This is the bare minimum needed to get out on the water. However, here at The Watercraft Journal we encourage you to keep a few more things that can make a ride easier and more enjoyable.
Some other things you might want to consider is an anchor and anchor line/rope (along with docking lines and a tow rope in case you must rescue somebody). We have found that Sand Docker Anchors makes one of the best and easiest-to-use anchors on the market today. If you’re interested in purchasing one, use the discount code “pwcjournal” on their website for 10-percent off.
Sun protection is a very important when out on the water. Frankly, two of the most important things you can bring with you are eye protection and sunscreen. Eye protection will not only keep bugs and water out, but it can reduce the strain on the eyes from the reflection of the water. Windrider, a longtime supporter of WCJ has an excellent selection of sun protection apparel everything from shirts, hats, and so much more.
Our favorite product from them are their sunglasses because they not only have a great fit but they also float and are not bulky like other floating sunglasses on the market. Some other things to consider are a dry bag. Also, it is good to keep a waterproof floating box to store things such as your cell phone keys and wallet along with your boating license if required by your state.
Another item is a quality first aid kit. Now a full-blown paramedic kit may not be necessary but a general first aid/survival kit (in a waterproof box or container) is a good idea to consider. These can be found at any sporting goods store. The one shown in the picture is a simple first aid kit but will save your ride by making you comfortable in the event you have to use it.
For those that ride in saltwater flushing is a “must.” Like what is shown above in the photo, items such as a flush connection, a salt solvent/flush, the mixing bottle, a garden hose and a 5-gallon bucket. Obviously, you won’t be keeping these in your watercraft, but you may want to consider stowing in a trailer storage box.
Now this is just an overview of some of the things to keep. From this list the rider can subtract add and modify depending on the machine you own and type of riding they do. Somethings not mentioned above are things like fenders, food and water. (That is, depending on the length of ride.) Tool kit in case of a minor mechanical failure. Especially on those longer rides and offshore. A personal locating device, dye packs. Attached below will be videos from the watercraft journal that give move detail about different things you can bring depending on your machine and your riding style.