2023 Vacation Report: Jet Skis for Dummies

If you’re anything like me, you’ve never been on a jet ski. A Sea-doo. A Waverunner. I mean, I’m so clueless, I’m not even sure what you’re supposed to call one of the things. Whatever. You haven’t been on one before. If you’ve been on a lake, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve seen them zipping up and down across the water. If you’re like me (and the main reason you ever go to a lake is to fish or maaaaaybe go kayaking or canoeing), you might have thought, “I wish those dunderheads would go away.”

But imagine a world where you could actually ride on one of those jetsearunners? If one were presented to you at a lake, like Excalibur except without the sharp edges? You can’t tell me you wouldn’t give one a shot.

Well, I gave one a shot, at least. The fam and I headed up to Bear Lake for a mini-family reunion, and my dad rented a wavedooski. (I think that’s what I’ll call them from now on. It’s got a certain ring to it.) So here I am now to talk about both Bear Lake (where I’d never been before) and wavedooskis.

First, Bear Lake. It was much larger than I expected, first off. Even coming from the east, that looked like an honest to goodness lake. Great job, Utah and Idaho! But more importantly, it’s a lake that’s famous for (wait for it): milkshakes. Now we’re cooking with gas. (Actually, we’re not. You don’t cook milkshakes, and anyone who tries to is milkshaking wrong. Fact.) Well, the lake’s famous for raspberries, but the raspberries are famous for shakes, or something like that.

Unimportant. Milkshakes! Huzzah!

As for the lake itself, you drive right onto the sandy beach on the north end of the lake. In Idaho, which was handy for getting another state into my trip. There were a lot of people there. More crowded than the beaches at Maine, but the water was warmer, right?


The water was warm for the first bit as you walked into it, where the sun could heat it up, but once you were in much further, you turned into a popsicle. This was actually good, because it meant that after you swam for about five minutes, you couldn’t feel the rest of your body.

When I compare being at a lake to being at a beach, I’m afraid the beach wins hands down. There are waves and wildlife, which are both big draws for me, and the tide brings interesting things to look at. However, I had a wavedooski. That had to count for something, right?

The first few minutes on a wavedooski are a blast. Accelerating across the top of the water is a rush. I tried some other things, like jumping off the wake of other boats, but there wasn’t too much in the way of wakes out there on the lake. So after those first few minutes, it boiled down to this:

When you got bored going really fast in one direction, you could switch things up by going really fast in another direction.

Oh, and did I mention the warning on the wavedooski that I only saw once I was finished riding it for the day? “WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. Severe internal injuries can occur if water is forced into body cavities as a result of falling into water or being near jet thrust nozzle. Normal swimwear does not adequately protect against forceful water entry into the rectum or vagina.”

I’m sorry, but any device that makes me wear special clothing or risk my rectum is a device that I’m a little reluctant to just jump on top of to go voomping across a lake.

So will I ever buy a wetsuit so I can wavedooski to my heart’s content? Doubtful. It was fun for a day, but I think that’s about all I’ve got in me. (And hey! I don’t have any water in me. So that’s a plus. Yay for not falling off the wavedooski.)

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