This WaveRunner Is a Safe Way for Your Kids to Learn on Their Own Personal Watercraft

by Gabrielle DeSantis

It’s summertime, and many of us look forward to a day on the water with family. When hitting the water, kids and adults alike enjoy time on personal watercraft, such as a Kawasaki Jet Ski and Yamaha WaveRunner models. Read on for a comparison of these two popular brands of personal watercraft and tips on how your kids can stay safe on a model designed just for them. 

Jet Ski vs. WaveRunner: What’s the difference?

A man and a child ride a WaveRunner | Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Jet Ski from Kawasaki and the WaveRunner from Yamaha promise hours of fun in the sun. They’re both personal watercraft on which riders sit or stand (unlike a boat, where people sit inside). Whether you’re talking about a WaveRunner or a Jet Ski, different personal watercraft models offer different features. 

If you’re looking to maximize your comfort, Boat International gives the nod to the WaveRunner FXSO. This model stands out for the attention given to its tiered saddle, which provides a great view for all riders, and its strong lower back support. It also offers cruise control, easy boarding, and an adjustable steering system. 

Not to be outdone, the Kawasaki Ultra 310LX Jet Ski gets rave reviews from Boat International for its ability to reach high speeds, thanks to its large 1,498 cc engine. But with five-way adjustable handlebars, smart steering for beginners, and a one-touch 5mph mode for no-wake zones, this Jet Ski also emphasizes safety along with speed.

But only one WaveRunner model is made especially for children.

Yamaha’s Aqua Cruise is a safe WaveRunner for kids

If you’re considering a WaveRunner for the children in your life, one great option is the Yamaha Aqua Cruise. Designed for kids ages 8 and up (up to 155 lbs), this inflatable model offers various safety features. They include a master switch lock, over current protection, low voltage protection, high-temperature protection, stall protection, and finger ingress protection.

Powered by a rechargeable battery, the Aqua Cruise can operate for up to an hour at speeds up to 2 mph, Yamaha says. Though it’s not a vessel for the open sea, kids can enjoy feeling they are masters of their own personal watercraft in a well-supervised pool or other small body of calm water. 

Safety is important for everyone on a personal water craft

Of course, parents aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about safety. Anyone enjoying some time on a Jet Ski or WaveRunner should take certain precautions

Sea-Doo, which also makes personal watercraft, offers a list of some important safety reminders for operators of personal watercraft and boats. First, it’s important to know your vessel well. Ensure you’ve read your operator’s guide to learn all the safety features you may need to take advantage of. Also, keep in mind your vehicle’s passenger limits, and never overload it. 

It’s also crucial to wear a personal flotation device, even if you think you don’t need one. Should the worst happen, you want to make sure you will stay afloat until someone can come to your rescue. Sufficiently protective clothing, such as a wetsuit, footwear, gloves, and goggles, is also essential. In addition, have your engine cutoff lanyard securely attached to you at all times so that if you fall, you can immediately make sure you are out of danger. 

Awareness, too, is crucial. Be weather-aware, and avoid being out in storms. Keep a safe distance from other vessels to avoid the potential for collision. And, of course, make sure you are aware of all applicable state, local, and federal laws. Keeping aware and alert is the best way to make sure your time on your personal watercraft stays fun.

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