Is it OK to Start a Jet Ski Out of the Water?

I have seen lots of people run their wave runners or jet ski’s out of the water for no reason at all except to show a friend how high it revs. They might not know it, but this is bad for your ski.

Is it ok to start a jet ski out of the water?

Yes, it is ok to start a jet ski out of the water for a minimal time period. This should be less than 15-20 seconds if not on a hose and less than 2 minutes if hooked up to water. You should limit the times you start your ski out of the water to prolong the life of any moving parts.

How to run your Jet Ski out of the water:

If you absolutely have to run your wave runner on a hose, follow this procedure detailed below:

  1. Hook up hose and make sure all connections are tight and won’t come off once water builds pressure.
  2. Start the Engine
  3. Turn on Hose
  4. Blip throttle or do what you need to do
  5. Turn off Hose
  6. Blip Throttle to expel water out of header
  7. Turn Jet Ski off

The Details on how to run your jet ski out of the water HOOKED UP to a water source

1. Lots of newer jet skis have a built in connection to run off of a water hose to flush the motor or winterize it with antifreeze. This connection typically takes a cut off garden hose.

Other jet skis will require a kit such as the models below for their specific brands:

  • Yamaha
  • Kawasaki
  • Sea Doo

Some fittings may be external like they installed on Honda skis while they were made and are located towards the rear of the ski, while some are located within the engine bay as in the Yamaha Superjet.

Once you have your correct flush kit or hose to attach a hose to your wave runner, attach it to your ski per the directions or manufacturers owners manual.

2. Start your jet ski engine, you will never want to start the water first as you can run the risk of hydro locking your motor. If this ever happens, shut the water off immediately, pull out your spark plugs and crank the water out of the motor.

3. Now that your engine is started, if you are close to the hose bib, you can turn the water on, but not too much. If you are not close, you may want a friend to turn on the water as you want to get the water flowing as quickly as possible once the ski has been started.

4. Whatever you need to do while your ski is started such as check your engine for strange sounds, winterize your ski with fogging oil, or change carb settings, get it done quickly.

Just because a jet ski is on the water system doesn’t mean it can be ran out of the water forever. Other items are cooled by lake water such as the pump.

5. Now that you are finished, turn the water off that is supplying the jet ski as to not hydrolock your engine.

6. Blip your throttle to get the remaining water out of the ski. This is a lower rpm blip, not redline blips as high rpm’s out of the water can damage the ski.

7. Turn your jet ski off and you are complete.

How to Start your Jet Ski out of the water while NOT hooked up to water

  1. Start your ski
  2. Do what you need to do quickly, within the shortest time period as possible, but never over 10-20 seconds.
  3. Turn off your ski.

How to run your jet ski out of the water if you have closed-loop cooling as in the SeaDoo brands?

If you have a Sea Doo, you may have a newer unit that has a closed loop cooling system. This does not mean that you can run your jet ski out of the water for an indefinite time, it only means that you will not have to hook up freshwater if running for a short period of time.

Your closed loop cooling will keep your motor cooled, but it will not cool your exhaust muffler, pump, or any other items that may be cooled by lake water while riding. Those items are picked up by your impeller.

Why would you start your ski out of the water?

You may run your jet ski out of the water to winterize it, check on a setting your recently changed, be looking at a used ski and want to make sure it starts, expelling excess saltwater or freshwater after a ride, or other reasons.

Why is my jet ski so loud when I start it out of the water?

Your jet ski is very loud when out of the water due to the muffler typically being located under the waterline. The muffler also uses water to muffle the sound, so if you don’t supply it water, it will be louder. Other sounds may be heard while out of the water such as parts rattling underneath the ski or on the ski. These are ok and are typically are dampened by being under water.