Cold Water Riding checklist

With the first freeride of the year, Daytona 2016 past, a lot of people are itching to go riding regardless of weather conditions. Here in the Midwest it has been a mild winter, snowboarding season has hardly even touched upon us. For some jet ski season is right around the corner, for others the season has never ended.  If it were not for me blowing my ski to pieces my season would have never ended.  In the Midwest, within southeastern, Monroe Michigan there is a great spot to ride when its cold.  This spot is known as the hot spot, or hot hole.  For those of you that want to ride through the cold weather, I have created a checklist to help you battle the cold conditions, preparing you for some cold water riding.


Cold Water Jet Ski Checklist


Jet ski

Wetsuit/ drysuit


water socks

neoprene shoes

bathing suit

neoprene gloves

wool hat/ helmet/ ear warmer

change of clothes @

eyeglass or sunglasses strap

extra eyeglasses/ contacts

goggles/ sunglasses- @

sunscreen/ lip balm



wet clothes bag @

Personal Flotation /device


rash guard- good idea to layer up

tent/ easy up


back up jet ski battery


snacks/ lunch

drinking water

ground cloth/ tarp

medical kit

hand warmers

folding chair

jet ski stand

tool box/ tools/ backup parts

Lighter to ignite a bonfire

A Few Tips

Along with this list, I am going to throw out a couple of pointers to help riders stay warm while riding in 30° weather.  First off it is best to wear a dry suit in temperatures this frigid, the thicker the warmer.  Regardless whether you are suiting up with a dry suit or a wet suit, layers should be applied. Starting with thermals to help retain as much body heat as possible.  If you are going to wear a dry suit, after the thermal layer, rash guards, sweats, or anything comfortable and warm can be layered up before putting the dry suit on.  Majority of your clothes will stay dry if this is your route, so comfort and warmth is what matters most.  If one is going the wet suit route, after the thermal layer, I would suggest multiple layers of rash guards, a layer or two of water socks for the feet, and one to two layers of wetsuit, the more layers the warmer.  Yamaha makes a good pair of boots that are insulated well for the cold water, I suggest these to keep your feet warmer or research other suppliers for the best insulated boot.  A wool hat is a good way to keep the head warm out on the water.  Or for helmet wearers a wool hood can be worn under the helmet.  Goggles can also be worn to keep the cold water off the face.  Another little trick to stay warm out on the cold water is to pipe your residual hot water from your cooling up to your handlebars to keep your hands warm, or down into your tray to keep your feet warm.  The last piece of advice I would like to give is to bring towels to dry off with, an extra dry pair of clothes to change into, and blankets to cover up with after you are done riding.  And if possible build a fire on shore to stay warm pre riding, in between rides, or post riding.  Make sure you have an idea of the weather report for the day, as well as the water temperature you are riding in.  The use of sun screen and lip balm is suggested.  Always make sure your watercraft is in good working condition and that you are using the proper safety gear.

I hope this information is useful for any and all hardcore, die hard weather rider.

Stay warm during the cold!  Enjoy your Ride!

This pin marks the location of the Hotspot for those who would like to ride in the cold water, during the cold temperatures in the Mid West.

2016-03-31 13.04.06

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