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Jet Skis: A History of Fun on the Waves

Jet SkisWhen many of us are looking to hit the open water for a little fun and relaxation, we choose to do so while riding a Jet Ski. However, they weren’t always the water vehicles we use today. They actually went through a couple transformations to become what we now refer to as a Jet Ski.

It all started in Europe in the mid-1950s when motorcycle makers there were looking to create a new vehicle. What they produced became water scooters which, sadly, were ultimately a failure. It wasn’t until the 1960s that we saw real breakthroughs in the design and success of these personal watercraft.

Australian motocross enthusiast Clayton Jacobsen II designed his own version of the Jet Ski that would require the pilots to stand up while operating it, according to About.com. Included in this design was the huge breakthrough of switching from using outboard motors to an internal pump-jet. After a failed attempt to sell his idea to snowmobile manufacturer Bombardier in 1965, Jacobsen turned next to Kawasaki in 1973 and successfully sold his vehicle, which Kawasaki renamed the Jet Ski.

A decade later, the popularity of personal watercraft surged in the 1980s, leading to a series of changes to the original Jet Ski to make it better for its users. The most notable change was the new models returned to allowing riders to sit down, a feature absent since those first water scooters in the 1950s. This helped improve the stability of the pilot while they rode the Jet Ski. Another improvement was designing models that could fit two riders comfortably, allowing parents to ride with their young ones and friends or couples to ride the waves together.

At Woody’s Watersports, we’ve always loved Jet Skis, and today we offer a wide variety of them for rent, allowing visitors to spend a beautiful Florida day having fun out on the water. Get more information on our rentals or schedule a rental today for your upcoming visit!

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