What to Wear Jet Skiing (A guide to fashion and function)

The first time I went jet skiing, I had no idea what to wear. Even though my friends just told me I needed to wear a swimsuit and I would be fine, Read below to know what you should wear specifically when going jet skiing.

  1. Life Vest (it is the law)
  2. Wet suit/ Tight Swim Suit
  3. Rash Guard Shirt
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Sunglasses that will stay on

You may be wondering why you cannot wear your bikini, or why you need shoes to ride a watercraft? If so, your questions will be answered below.

What to Wear

Life Vest

First of all, you are going to be required to wear a life vest, it is required by law and you will probably appreciate the added protection it gives you when you fall off the jet ski at 45 miles an hour.

Life Jackets are so important. We all know the function of life jackets, but there is a lot to be said about their fashion. Once I went on a trip and spend all day out of the water. I decided I wasn’t going to wear sunscreen because.. well… I wanted a tan.

Just so ya’ll know. That pale white color of my skin didn’t turn golden brown. I got the worst sunburn of my life, Why? Because I was on the water for the next 2 days burning my sunburn.

Why do I share this story? Well, I was wearing my life jacket which gave me a great sunburn line that looked remarkably like a sports bra tan. Fashion.

That experience actually gave me the idea to market something called a tantoo. Rather than a permanent tattoo, you would just tan design on for a cool temporary look. Unfortunately, I never went anywhere with that idea……

Wet Suit

Ok so this is one that is not 100 % necessary, BUT, could help you a lot. Wet Suits are designed specifically for water sports of all kinds. They are typically made of a stronger, tighter, and warmer material. All of these attributes are perfect for being out on a cold body of water.

Similar to a life jacket, the wet suit will reduce the pain of a crash and burn. If you can’t get your hands on a wet suit, then I would suggest some swim trunks for men that fit pretty well.

For women, I would definitely suggest some style of one piece suit. If you are just lounging on a beach it doesn’t matter how tight your suit is, but once you hit the water, you’ll want something that won’t fall off.

Rash Guard Shirt

This option is great if you go the one piece or swim trunks route. When you are out on the water, it is known that the suns rays are magnified when reflected off the water.

So it is crucial that you have the most protection possible. You will save yourself a lot of suffering by planning ahead and wearing proper clothing.

You might be thinking, how will I get a rash riding a jet ski? Great question! A sunburn can be considered a type of rash, and this shirt will protect any exposed skin that is extra prone to burning.

There is also the possibility that you will fall off. When you fall off of any motorized vehicle, it is going to hurt. When you hit the water, you will want as many layers between you and the water as possible. Trust me.

Honestly, I would probably go with a normal t-shirt, but if you are looking for that extra protection, this is a great choice for you. Check out this site if you are looking to purchase some stylish ladies rash vests.


You are right, this doesn’t fall into the clothing category, but it is something you wear and out on the water, it is something you should wear!

I’m not going to be that person who says its not safe, skin problems, etc. I say wear it because you want to be able to sleep for the next three nights without crying yourself to sleep cause you burned so bad.

What Not to Wear and Why

Bikinis and Loose Swim Trunks

When you wear your new swimsuit on a jet ski, you may easily slip off and have your swimsuit taken right off by the water. Since jet skis travel at very high speeds, it is good to be wearing tight wet clothing with sleeves.

You also need to think about how your skin is open to the sun. Even though you are getting splashed by water and not feeling the sun on you, it is. Wearing a rash guard long sleeve shirt is a smart idea if you get sunburned very easily.

Open Toe Shoes

Flip flops are the worst type of shoe you can wear on a jet ski. This is because they fall off super easily, they do not protect you from the sun, and they do not have a good grip.

The only reason you should ever wear flip flops is if you know you want a new pair.

Crocs get really slippery when they get wet and are not a source of traction that you need when jet skiing.

You can easily hurt your bare feet on a jet ski by getting cut from things sticking off of the jet ski, or sliding your feet when getting on and off.

Wallet, Keys, and Phone

You should keep your more expensive things at home when going onto the water while jet skiing. Things will easily fall out of your pockets as you are speeding through the water.

You aren’t going to the grocery store, just leave all that stuff in the car. If You probably won’t need your debit card or your punch cards while you are out on the lake.

Fashionable and Functional

I know, most of my suggestions have little to do with fashion, and everything to do with function. I’m not trying to say that you need to be ugly every time when you go out on your jet ski. What I am saying is if you want maximum comfort and protection, these are some good choices.

If you want to be that guy or girl who is wanting to go out on the lake to look fine and find some good lookin friends, then by all means, wear what you want!

You have been warned. 🙂 If you fall off the jet ski and your swimsuit falls off you, or you lose your Ray Bans, or that wallet packed with cash, you might wish you were in a wet suit with some water shoes. 🙂

Fashion and function are at odds in the world of water sports, try looking into gear that looks good on you and will perform the way you need it to.

Most importantly, go have fun!!!

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

Recent Posts

outdoortroop-21 outdoortroop-20