Water Scooter Facts

The water scooter is a personal water craft (PWC) used for recreation. It is officially defined by the Coast Guard as a jet driven boat which is less than 13 feet long. Most of the time these vehicles are labeled by their brand name or trademark name such as Jet SkiR (Kawasaki), WaveRunnerR (Yamaha) or Sea-DooR (Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.) Most water scooters can hold no more than two to three people at a time.

Water scooter build

Water scooters are lightweight, usually not more than 26 pounds. They are made with fiberglass and aluminum. They are easy to tow and transport. The water scooter is controlled with handle bars. The engine does require fuel, but there are virtually no moving parts to maintain. Water scooters are limited to riders 12 years old and up. Riders must wear a life vest.


Personal water crafts were first developed by Clayton Jacobson II in the 1960s. Over the years, he tweaked his creation until he had made a fiberglass version. Competing companies made similar water crafts in the early 1970s. These were both sit down and stand-up water crafts. Today water scooters are popular all over the world.


Most people who ride the wave scooters say it's like flying over the water. It's a real cardiovascular workout because you use your arms to control the device. Water scooters are fast, fun and easy to use. They are also affordable and because there are no moving parts or propellers they are safer for swimmers or wildlife nearby. Many people prefer water scooters to motorized boats.

Other uses

Water scooters are also used for non-recreational reasons. They're safer than small motorboats. Lifeguards often use water scooters for rescuing swimmers and carrying them back to shore. They are also used by police and rangers to patrol the waterways. Water scooters have been used to rescue flood survivors, too. The U.S. Navy uses personal water crafts combined with GPS, radar reflector and radio modem for deploying small vessels during target practices with small arms. Water scooters are banned in many state parks in the United States.

One negative side of water scooters occurs when there are too many on a lake at a time. Many tourist and private communities on lakes or waterways are experiencing this problem. The water scooters are like motorcycles, sometimes as many as 48 to 70 at a time, darting about. Many tourist communities are starting to limit the number of water scooters allowed on the lake at one time. Some lake front communities have a border area that prohibits water scooters from coming near homes. This allows residents to fish or swim without fear of being hit by a water scooter.

Water scooters have only been around about 30 years, but their popularity has grown over the years. They are used primarily in large lakes and oceans. They are fast and easy to control; even a 12 year old can use one. Water scooters are also used for rescuing flood survivors, naval target practices and policing the waterways. It's important to remember that water scooters are vehicles and must be operated safely.

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