The clothing that you wear on a jet ski is going to depend on the weather conditions in which you are riding. Your outfit is going to vary greatly when you’re jet skiing in the summer on a lake compared to riding a jet ski in the fall or winter on the ocean.
Regardless of when and where you’re riding, jet ski clothing that you need is:
- Swim Suit / Clothing
- Life Jacket
- Rash Guard
- Footwear / Shoes
If you’re riding in the summer, there isn’t much more you need, besides maybe adding in a pair of sunglasses and maybe a hat.
If you’re riding in colder weather, there are a few different items that you can add to your wardrobe to make your riding that much more comfortable and safe.
Clothing needed for all seasons
Regardless of when you plan on riding, there are some crucial pieces of clothing that you will need to have a safe and comfortable ride.
This one seems obvious, as you are participating in a water sport – but there are some important things to consider when choosing the right swimwear for riding a jet ski. Comfort is the most important aspect, closely followed by something that provides you with a great amount of mobility.
For men, most standard swim trunks will suit you well as they generally come with an elastic waist and are comfortable right out of the box. The elastic waist will provide you with the mobility that you need to operate a jet ski and the comfort will suit you well for a full day of riding out on the water.
The importance of wearing a good life jacket while jet skiing cannot be overstated. Life jackets will provide you with a deal of safety when it comes to the risk of having a drowning accident while riding. In addition to the safety reasons for wearing a life preserver while jet skiing, in a lot of locations it is the law.
This is an often overlooked piece of any rider’s wardrobe, but can make your ride much more comfortable. Having footwear to protect your feet while riding will leave your feet much more comfortable at the end of the day. If you plan on hopping off the jet ski at any point on your ride, you’re going to want to have footwear to protect your feet.
For women, we like these quick drying water shoes:
They are breathable, mostly made of fabric, and the sole provides a level of grip that you will find super useful while operating a jet ski. Not to mention they come in a lot of different colors, so you can choose a pair that really fits your personality.
For men, we love the Mishansha Mens Water Shoe:
This water shoe has drainage holes, so you’re not going to be walking around with soaked shoes after your ride. It comes in tons of different colors if black doesn’t match your style. It also comes with a quick on and off system, so you’re not going to have to worry about tying laces.
Summer specific jet ski clothing and accessories
If you’re riding your jet ski in the summer, there are a few different accessories that can make your riding experience that much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Chances are, riding in the summer comes with the benefit of riding in direct sunlight. For that reason, we suggest that you bring a pair of sunglasses with you to protect your eyes from the UV radiation produced by sunlight.
Now everyone has their own preferred style when it comes to sunglasses, so we are not going to make any suggestions there, but what we will make a suggestion on is that you pick up some sort of sunglasses strap to avoid losing your sunglasses in the ocean or lake. I remember the first pair of Ray Bans that I lost while jet skiing, and why my sunglasses strap was the best purchase I made all year after that.
If you’re going to pick up some sunglasses straps, there isn’t really much you need to look out for besides whether the specific set of straps you pick will fit your sunglasses. We just always like to suggest that pick up a floating set, to give the extra layer of safety should your sunglasses end up in the water.
Rash guards are one of the best items to have in your riding wardrobe. They are much lighter weight than wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, don’t hold onto water like a cotton t-shirt and do a much better job of protecting you from the sun than a t-shirt.
For men we love O’Neill’s Basic Skins rash guard:
It comes in a bunch of different colors and doesn’t break the bank. This level of rash guard will protect your skin like a UPF 50 sunscreen would, and the protection from the sun doesn’t get washed away when you get wet. Having a nice rash guard will also protect your skin from chafing when rubbing against your life jacket.
For women, O’Neill makes a comparable rash guard:
This rash guard is going to have the same level of protection as the men’s version, and come in at around the exact same price.
Colder weather jet ski clothing and accessories
When riding a jet ski in colder weather than summer conditions, there are a few more precautions that you are going to want to take to protect yourself. The footwear that you choose will be different, and you most likely will need another layer on top of your swimwear and rash guard.
In the colder weather, you can’t go wrong with using wetsuit boots. Plain and simple, they’re going to keep you much warmer than typical water shoes will. Wetsuit boots and shoes come in many different fashions and configurations, and what you need will depend on the conditions that you are riding in.
These boots are going to provide you with a little grip on the bottom of your feet, and come in variable thicknesses to provide protection for different weather and water conditions. If you’re going to be in relatively cool water, but not water that you would consider COLD, you can get away with using the 3-5mm version. If you plan on riding in cold water, you’re going to want the 7mm wetsuit boot.
Wetsuits are a great addition to your jet skiing wardrobe if you plan on riding in cooler conditions. If you are riding in cool, but not cold, conditions you can get away with wearing a 3/2mm wetsuit.
For men we like O’Neill’s Men’s Reactor wetsuit:
And for women we like the Cressi front-zip wetsuit:
Both of these wetsuits will protect you until the water drops down below 60 degrees F. If the water is going to get much colder than that you should probably go with a thicker wetsuit.
When it comes to 7mm wetsuits it makes the most sense to try them on in a store that sells them. The thicker the wetsuit is, the less it is going to stretch to fit your form. That being said, one wetsuit that we’ve had great success with for men is O’Neill Men’s Dive J Type:
This wetsuit comes with a hood, so you have protection to keep your head warm in the cold conditions. The chest and back area pad up to 12mm, which will keep your core incredibly warm in cold water.
If you do feel the need to shop in person for a wetsuit to make sure that it will fit correctly, any local scuba shop should be able to help you out with your purchase!