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Thread: Newbie Tips

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  1. #1
    Pro Pro
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    On the water (Melbourne)

    Exclamation Newbie Tips

    Thought I'd post a couple of thought starters for those first timers with new skis who might want to keep a few things in mind. No particular order here. Just posting from my experience, nothing more nothing less. All welcome to add & edit over time.

    1. Check the forecast ... always. Good weather in the garden doesn't necessarily translate to good weather on the bay.

    Links I use:

    The 'real-time' seabreeze measures for St.Kilda and Frankston are spot on. The overall forecast is typically right, but at times very very wrong.

    I think it's also good to trial different conditions over time so you can experience 5/10/15knots, chop, swell, waves etc. Just pace yourself. Rain is always a challenge ... like serious acupuncture on ya face! Waves are a different challenge altogether, suggest you hang back and leave them alone until you really build your confidence.

    2. Familiarise yourself with the area your visiting, carry map/compass wherever possible.

    For Port Phillip Bay, refer following as a start:

    On the second link you can click thru on the right and order a Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay boating guides/maps. Don't leave home without them! Before my GPS I rode the Bay heaps with this map and Seadoo digital compass. Also did end-to-end Lakes Entrance with the same (though need to buy the Gippsland Lakes map). Have come unstuck a couple of times when no map available too! Also, be considerate of tide changes in some areas ... Western Port has huge tidal change.

    3. Bungs In - check them prior to launching!! And occasionally when you stop.

    4. Petrol?

    You super-chargers should at least carry an empty 10litre jerry in your storage so you have the option to refill at a few places. Or carry it full if you know it's going to be a long ride. You need to get a feel of your petrol/km's travelled/throttle use over time. 1/3 in, 1/3 out, 1/3 reserve is the go ... You can pull up at Rye, Carrum and St.Kilda marina for a short walk to refuel. Will have to find some new petrol stations along the bay I think.

    5. Sand Anchor

    Definitely get one sooner rather than later, Seadoo and Slippery sell them. They are pricey for such a simple thing, but necessary. Great in <10knot wind to keep your ski off the beach in metre or so water and prevent light scratches from rocking hull ... though these are inevitable over time. In choppy weather need to pull your ski up on the beach, check the sand conditions first.

    6. Respect the essentials, ie. 5 knot zones, 200m distance off beach etc. There is so much bay to play in I never understand the beachies who prefer to impress within a confined area where swimmers etc. are about ... aka "The Look At Me's".

    7. Carry a good rope for mooring (soft) and towing (solid). I have a dedicated 8m tow rope with caribina clips. When mooring, stay on leeward side where practical so ski drifts off pier.

    8. Get to know your neutral, reverse throttle feel sooner rather than later ... you'll always need it in haste!

    9. Wherever possible, get off your ski at hip/thigh height. It's always tempting to get closer to the beach and this is fine so long as you know the area, else likely rock lurking underneath and you're gonna know it when you hit it!

    10. Know your ski and stay in control commensurate with conditions. Just take your time and your skills will grow. No need to be a hero. I'd say I was most comfortable at about 25hr mark, and ofcourse the big milestone seems to be riding your ski standing rather than sitting.

    11. Clothing ... layered neoprene, gloves, boots, wetsuit, goggles etc. As much as you can't afford them having lashed out on your new ski, you're going to need them. Better to have them in your storage for use then not have them at all. Summer is great in boardies etc. but windchill and conditions can change and affect your riding ability. Always cooler on the Bay then in your driveway! Build up some inventory. JetPilot, Slippery and Quakeysense are the jetski brands I know of and members here can help you with gear. Good quality surf brands are fine to. Only problem I have is the proverbial toilet break ... heaven knows why they don't come with some form of fly given technology these days.

    Last edited by Nello; 14-09-2008 at 02:08 PM.
    "All Experts Were Once Amateurs"
    2012 Seadoo GTR-X



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