He’s 87, but Frank’s not ready to jack in his jet ski

Frank Nelson pic by Che Chapman

THE name on Frank Nelson’s jet ski says it all: GOLD.

“Growing Old Living Dangerously,” Frank explained.

Most people slow down as they get older but Frank is speeding up.

At 87, he is possibly the oldest jet skier in Australia – certainly the oldest he knows.

Frank traded up to his third jet ski, a Yamaha FX SHO capable of going from zero to 60kmh in three seconds, about a year ago.

“I’ve been jet skiing for seven years and each jet ski has got to be bigger, of course,” he said.

“If you’ve had boats, whenever you’re buying a boat, it’s never a smaller boat,” he said.

Of course.

Frank got into jet skiing after moving to the Coast from Sydney.

“I’ve had boats over the years but I didn’t want another boat so I thought I’d try one of these jet skis,” he said.

“I bought one and I went out and thought, ‘That’s all right’.

“You’re so close to the water and in hot weather, it’s cool. You get a breeze off the water.”

Frank did not want to disclose how fast he goes but suffice to say he is well-acquainted with the speed limit at Golden Beach.

He sometimes rides 40 minutes to Bribie Island to get a coffee. The grandkids, Kai and Ursula, 11, sometimes benefit from a spin with grandad.

Frank usually heads out a couple of times a week.

“I don’t come out in May, June, July, August – I leave that – but all the rest of the time.

“I go to a lot of dams. The ones that have got cabins. I don’t camp. Bugger that. The last time I had a tent, it fell on me.”

Frank tows his jet ski behind another boy toy – a 2015 Holden XF ute with personalised plates.

A mechanical engineer by trade and former General Motors Holden representative, he used to own three Jaguars but had downsized to a top-of-the line Hyundai hatch when he stopped in to see a mate at a Burpengary dealership earlier this year and drove away in the ute.

The joke at the IRT retirement village where he lives was that he would be cruising the Esplanade “picking up chicks in his Sandman” but Frank grabbed the punchline.

“With the windows down and the radio up,” he said.

PURE GOLD: Frank Nelson, 87, is the envy of blokes half his age when he’s on his super-charged jet ski.

PURE GOLD: Frank Nelson, 87, is the envy of blokes half his age when he’s on his super-charged jet ski. Che Chapman

Younger blokes just have to look on with envy.

“When they see the jet ski behind it, that fixes them right up,” he said.

A passer-by who saw Frank on his jet ski stopped and asked his age recently.

“I said, ‘I’m 87.5’,” he said.

“She said, ‘You shouldn’t be driving that, you should be relaxing’.

“I said, ‘I am relaxing when I’m driving’.”

Frank does not believe being a certain age means having to act in a certain way.

“As long as I’m fit enough, I’ll do what I want to do,” he said.

“When I stop, I’ll stop, but until such time, I’ll do as much as I possibly can, and I’m fortunate to be suffering good health.”

Article by the Sunshine Coast Daily