As exciting as personal watercrafts (PWCs) can be, it’s essential to remember safety and proper handling to avoid accidents in the water. Among the most important things to remember when riding PWCs is steering. Without knowing how to steer a PWC, riders could find themselves in precarious situations that could lead to severe injuries.
Therefore, for those who are just starting with PWCs or want to improve their riding skills, understanding the key to steering a PWC is vital. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the crucial detail you need to remember when steering a PWC.
Understand the Basics
Before we dive deeper, let’s quickly go over the basics. Every PWC comes with a handlebar which controls the direction of the jet propulsion it uses to move on the water. When you turn to the right, the watercraft moves right, and when you turn to the left, the watercraft moves left. Sounds simple, right? However, it’s not always that easy to keep the PWC under control, especially in rough waters or with other boats nearby.
The Key to Steering a PWC: Weight Distribution
Now that we have covered the fundamentals, it’s time to delve into the crucial detail that can make or break your riding experience – weight distribution.
Proper weight distribution will enable you to steer the PWC more easily, maintain balance, and prevent capsizing. Doing it wrong could result in the rider being thrown off the PWC or even dangerous collisions.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when balancing your weight on a PWC:
1. Body Position
The first thing to consider is your body position. The correct way to sit on a PWC is to straddle it with legs apart and feet planted firmly on the footwells.
Keep your back straight and your hands on the handlebars, while your elbows should be bent slightly. Keeping your arms straight could result in losing control of the handlebars, making it much harder to steer the PWC.
2. Equal Weight Distribution
Next, make sure that you distribute your weight evenly across the PWC. You don’t want to lean too far forward or backward, placing a disproportionate amount of weight to one side. Doing so will affect the watercraft’s balance and steerability, making it tough to move smoothly.
3. Use Your Hips
Your hips are an essential tool when riding a PWC. To change direction, shift your hips to one side or the other. If you want to turn left, move your hips to the left. If you want to turn right, move your hips to the right. This simple move allows you to make a subtle yet precise turn, preventing sudden jerks that could throw off the balance of the PWC.
Finally, it’s important to consider your speed. The faster you go, the more likely you’ll need to lean your body weight into turns to maintain balance while changing direction. Conversely, if you’re moving slowly, you’ll need just a slight movement to steer the PWC.
In conclusion, mastering the art of steering a PWC requires a few essential skills. Remember to keep an upright posture, distribute your weight evenly across the PWC, use your hips to turn, and adjust your body position based on your speed.
Of course, these tips are just the beginning. To become a confident, skilled rider, you’ll need a lot of practice and experience. Always follow safety guidelines and take a boater safety course to ensure everyone’s safety on the water. With the right knowledge and practice, you too can master the art of steering a PWC and enjoy a fun and safe ride on the water!