Jet skis open up so many options for people who love the water, but I don’t know if most people realize how many jet ski accessories there are and what you can do with them.
Your jet ski can be a tool for exploration, a way to get around, a party platform, a dive boat, a racing machine, or a way to go fishing.
With some extra accessories, you can upgrade your jet ski experience, go farther, and do more.
This is my ultimate list of jet ski accessories – including fishing gear.
1. Telescoping Paddle
No one likes to think about being stranded without an engine and paddling back to shore. Unfortunately, this does happen to people from time to time. If you lose engine function while out on the water, you don’t have a very good chance of getting your Jet Ski back to shore unless you have a paddle.
You don’t want to try pushing a jet ski while swimming. You won’t get far.
There’s no room for a full paddle on a jet ski, but telescoping paddles don’t take up that much room and provide a safe method of propulsion when everything else fails.
The Attwood Telescoping paddle is a perfect compact safety paddle that won’t let you down.
A personal flotation device, or life jacket, is necessary for everyone on recreational watercraft. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good swimmer. There are currents too strong to swim against and everyone gets tired eventually.
You need a PFD for safety reasons, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with the standard life jackets, which can be bulky, hot, and uncomfortable. Newer models provide the same flotation assistance while being more comfortable and breathable.
I like the O’Brien Traditional Life Jacket, which is comfortable, buoyant, much thinner, and more comfortable to wear than other dated designs.
You’ll need a wetsuit unless you are jet skiing exclusively in the warmest waters of the world.
Deeper water tends to be colder, and in most places, the temperature of the water can change significantly from day to day. Boardshorts might be fine most of the time, but eventually, they reach their limit and you’ll want to find at least a shortie wetsuit, to keep your core warm.
Unless you’re in a cold climate, you’ll probably be fine with a 2/2 spring suit. Quiksilver makes some great models that are comfortable and easy to clean.
If this is a surprising jet ski accessory for you, you probably haven’t handled really choppy conditions yet. Gripping the handles in rough water can lead to blisters. This can be especially painful in salt water.
Gloves are useful in so many different situations – for diving, handling ropes, and doing repairs to start with.
The Jet Ski Racing Gloves from JetTribe are comfortable without being restrictive and are tough enough to last through a lot of rough water.
5. Water Shoes
If you’re stepping into shallow water, water shoes are a good idea to keep your feet protected. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked onto the beach to notice a little trickle of red blood coming from a nick or scratch I got walking over the rocky reef.
6. Bungee Docking Cord
Docking your jet ski can be done with rope, but it’s much easier to use a bungee cord that will pull it close to the dock. Since jet skis aren’t that heavy, a bungee is more than enough to tie them down while allowing some additional movement.
Obcursco makes some great jet ski bungee docking lines that are 4 feet long with good tensile strength, to keep your jet ski where it belongs.
7. PWC fenders
Any watercraft tied to a dock needs fenders – otherwise, you’ll quickly scuff and damage the fiberglass.
Fenders don’t need to be very big or take up a lot of space for jet skis. Small fenders will protect your jet ski from grinding up against wood or iron pilings and docks.
I like the HULL HUGR Contour PWC fender, which is smaller than the fenders used on most boats but bigger than some of the other options for jet skis. I like to have maximum coverage so that a scratch is less likely.
8. Jet Ski Lock
The last thing you want is to leave your jet ski on the beach and return to find that it has been taken.
A valuable piece of sporting equipment like a jet ski is a target for thieves, and there are likely plenty who are bold enough to hop and drive away – even if you’ve got the keys.
The best way to protect yourself from theft is with a jet ski lock that can be fixed to a tree, a rock, or anything solid to prevent thieves from pulling it away.
The VMAX6 from Trimax Locks is one of the heaviest duty jet ski locks out there. Thieves beware.
9. Jet Ski Cover
When you’re not out on the water, you don’t want your jet ski going through wear and tear.
Protect it from the elements by covering it with a jet-ski cover when you’re not using it. Even if you are storing your jet ski indoors in a garage, or underneath an overhang, it can still help to cover it so that dust, dirt, and grime don’t accumulate.
10. Race Collar
These aren’t that common outside of racing, but they really should be.
Although we tend to imagine that crashing on a jet ski throws the driver and/or passenger harmlessly into the water, this isn’t really how it works out in practice. Hitting the water hard can cause real damage to human bodies.
A race collar keeps your neck in place when you fall so that you don’t twist it and get a neck injury.
You don’t need to be racing to need one. If you are traveling on a jet ski at high speeds, it’s better to be safe than sorry and protect yourself with a race collar.
EVS Sports make excellent race collars that you can trust to protect your neck.
There is nothing more important than protecting your head in a crash. At high speeds, falling off a jet ski is more like falling off a motorcycle than slipping into a pool. You can get seriously injured without a helmet.
If you’re knocked unconscious when you hit the water, you’re in a very dangerous place.
Always wear a helmet when you are jet skiing.
12. Tow Ropes
Pulling things behind a jet ski is one of the most fun parts of owning or renting one. Whether you are hauling a wakeboarder or a banana boat, you need a reliable tow rope.
Airhead makes some great tow ropes specifically for tubing.
13. Impeller Protector
When you are pulling something behind your jet ski, there is always a possibility that a rope can be pulled into the impeller.
To prevent this, we use an impeller protector, which is just a foam tube that wraps around the rope.
It’s a small thing, but it protects both you and your jet ski. Kwik Tek makes a 24-inch model that works well for most tow ropes.
14. Inflatable Tubes
There are so many inflatable tow tubes that you can pull behind your jet ski, that it would be impossible to cover all of the varieties. You can ride on a dinosaur, or just climb on top of a comfortable couch that happens to fly over the water.
For kids and adults alike, inflatable tow tubes are a blast. I like the WOW Wiener Dog 3 tow tube, which lets the people being towed feel like they’re riding a Weiner dog.
15. Jet Ski Lift
If you need to move your jet ski vertically for any reason, you start to understand how heavy 500 or so lbs is.
A jet ski lift helps to mechanically raise or lower your jet ski out of the water so that you can treat it, refinish it, or do repairs.
Without this handy device, you would probably be stuck hiring a crane or relying on professionals for everything. The Erickson Personal Watercraft Lift is a simple piece of engineering that does the job right.
16. Safety Lanyard
A safety lanyard connects to the jet ski’s kill switch so that if you fall off, the engine will automatically die and the jet ski won’t continue to fly off in the wrong direction.
A safety lanyard is essential and protects both you and your jet ski. West Marine makes a safety lanyard that is compatible with nearly every jet ski on the market.
17. Jet Ski Anchor
Unless you want to be stuck on a jet ski 100% of the time, you need an anchor to hold it in place while you’re diving, fishing or exploring. Otherwise, it will drift.
Luckily, jet skis don’t require large or heavy anchors. A small, tough anchor with retractable prongs can give you peace of mind that your jet ski will still be there when you resurface. The SeaChoice foldable grapnel anchor is easy to store and use.
18. Jet Ski Boarding Ladder
It’s surprising how many people think ladders are unnecessary to board a jet ski before they attempt it themselves.
Jet skis are indeed lower than most boats, but that doesn’t mean it is effortless to climb on board.
Having a ladder to help you climb up can save you some time and make it a lot easier to get back on the saddle after you have been diving or exploring.
The EZ Riser Boarding ladder can be easily attached or removed from your jet ski and makes it simple for anyone to get onboard.
Being out on the water just isn’t the same without a cold beverage.
A tough, small cooler can make a huge difference to your experience by providing you with cold refreshments whenever you like. Just make sure you get a model that is small enough to fit in your jet ski and can keep your drinks cold even in the hottest weather.
The Yeti Roadie 24 is the company’s smallest model and it will easily fit onboard, and it definitely won’t let the beer get cold.
20. Self-Leveling Drink Holder
Once you’ve got your drink out, you don’t want to spill it!
I don’t know if these self-leveling cup holders can prevent spills while jet skiing over chop (I doubt it!) but they more than manage the rolling motions of a stationary jet ski or the vibrations of a slow-moving one.
The RAM Mounts self-leveling cup holder is made from marine-grade aluminum and will last a long time.
21. Jet Ski Fishing Rack
One of the biggest problems with fishing off a jet ski is that it can be hard to store all of the gear you need.
A fishing rack is like a rod holder mixed with a cooler rack. It provides you with a fixed attachment to hold a cooler so you can store your catch, and a rod holder to fish with. It’s most of what you need to fish.
The Plattinum Products rod rack/cooler combo has everything you need for a day of fishing.
22. Rod Holder
If you don’t have a fishing rack, the next best thing is a rod holder. You can find these as permanent attachments that you can add to your jet ski, or you can find suctioning rod holders that can be added or removed when you’re fishing.
I like the Jettech rod holders, which clamp firmly onto your jet ski but are also easy to remove when you’re not using them.
23. Fish Finder
A digital fish finder is an important asset for any fisherman. Bringing one along on your jet ski helps you get a feel about which spots are good and which are empty.
The Garmin Striker 4 is a fisherman’s best friend and will give you all the details about where you need to be to follow the fish.
Knowing where you are is a challenge on the water, especially in areas with strong currents.
It doesn’t always matter where you are exactly, as long as you can see where you want to go on land, but establishing an exact position can be essential when you are fishing and want to track and revisit the best spots.
A GPS will give you exact data on where you are so that you can come back to the same spots or keep scanning for better ones.
The Garmin GPSMAP 64sx is a handheld GPS that is often used for hiking but is perfect for jet skiing. It’s portable, it’s lightweight, and it gives you all of the information you need.
25. SOS Whistle
It can be windy on the water, and you can’t always know that your shouts or screams will reach others if you need help.
Bring an SOS whistle with you, just in case. Alerting other jet skiers or boaters could be the difference between life and death. Any plastic whistle will do – try it out to make sure it works.
26. First Aid Kit
If you get injured on a jet ski, especially in a remote area, you might have to wait for a while and/or endure a bumpy ride to get to the hospital.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst by bringing a good first aid kit with you (and learning how to use it), so that if the worst happens you have bandages, tourniquets, and even medication that could help.
27. Distress Beacon
A flare can help alert other boaters that you are in distress, but if no one sees it, the flare is quickly extinguished and you’re back to the drawing board.
If you find yourself swept out to sea or without power at night, a distress beacon is even better than a flare for seeking help. The distress beacon by Weems and Plath shows a specific SOS signal for up to 60 hours and can be seen by boats up to 10 nautical miles away.