Are you ready to ride


With lockdown restrictions easing over the past weeks there are a lot of PWs (Personal Watercraft) afloat at the moment. To help riders stay safe and refresh their knowledge before they head out, we caught up with RYA PW Instructor Trainer, Candi Abbott, to create this great video taking you through your essential checklists for yourself, your kit and the conditions, to get you safely underway.

�Unfortunately there have been a number of negative reports recently, in the press and on social media, about some riders misbehaving. This not only gives other riders a bad name but in the long term could affect our access to the water. Following these checks will ensure you have a great day afloat and also reduce the possibility of needing the assistance of the RNLI, who are already pretty pushed�, comments Candi.

Quick look checklists

Check yourself

  1. Wear an impact buoyancy aid
  2. Wear suitable clothing for the conditions
  3. Take a VHF or mobile phone
  4. Don�t forget all your basic safety items from your PW handbook
  5. Basic first aid kit
  6. Basic toolkit
  7. Wear your killcord

Check your kit � make sure your ski works before you go!

  1. Fully charged battery
  2. Check fluid levels and condition
  3. Check steering controls
  4. Check for leaks in engine bay
  5. Check for fault codes on dash
  6. Check seals
  7. Check your trailer

Check the conditions

  1. Check the slipway is open
  2. Find out if you need a permit
  3. Check the weather and tide conditions
  4. Check for local rules or regulations
  5. Ride with a social distance buddy

And remember, tell someone where you going and when you plan to be back or use the RYA SafeTrx App, follow current social distancing regulations and check local regulations online before heading out to make sure you are allowed to ride and avoid any disappointment when you arrive at your destination.

Have you got the skills?

PWs are an increasingly popular way to access the water, and this increase in popularity has brought an upsurge in people taking training. You can take the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency Course in almost any area of the UK and on gaining the certificate, riders can apply for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) to be able to ride a PW in some other countries.

�Many launch sites around the UK require riders to hold the certificate, both on inland lakes and coastal locations. All new personal watercraft sold in the UK come with a voucher towards an RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course.�The course helps candidates understand the environment in which they are riding and to ride safely being conscious of other water users�, explains Rachel Andrews, RYA Chief Instructor of the Personal Watercraft Training scheme.

For all the latest Covid-19 guidelines for recreational boating and training availability visit Return to Boating.