PWC Instructor Resources

Session briefing:

Your student briefing needs to contain the following elements -

  • Re-call signals - whistles are difficult to hear over the noise of your students engine, therefore you need to create one of two scenarios - either set them a number of laps of the course to complete and inform them that they must slow down and return to you on completion OR brief them to look over at you on a regular basis, if you are giving them a hand-signal (i.e. arms ontop of your head or pointing & waving them in) then they must return to you at this point. For hand-signals to work effectively, you must position yourself in an obvious place, insight of your students. It may be worth purchasing a fog horn to gain their attention in an urgent situation.
  • Course
  • Direction of travel
  • Safe speed awareness & the speed that you want them to carry out the exercise
  • Road rules & byelaws (including slowing down to displacement speed i.e. 5 knots if another craft enters the operating area)
  • Timings
  • Aims - what you want them to achieve & why they are doing it.
  • Key teaching points of the exercise - How they are going to achieve the aims (Demonstration?)



Transiting with a group of jet skis

Brief your students to follow you on your starboard side, in front of your wake, leaving a minimum of 3-5 PW lengths between them and the PW infront.. the pattern should look similar to the photo above.

The dangers of following directly behind each other is that if someone was fall from a PW or stop suddenly the PW behind will run straight into them. The reason for keeping your students to starboard is that they are then kept on the right side of any channels and away from other craft.



  • What happens if my student does not stop when I show my hand signal?

Move yourself into a more obvious area in direct eyeline with your student (not on a collision course!) so that your student can see you & show the hand-signal again, or just hold you hand up in a stop position.


  • What should I do if my student goes in far excess of the speed limit that I have set them?

Stop the session immediately, recall your student & remind them of the initial briefing. Most PWC's have a speed guage onboard - for novice students, tell them a physical speed to follow i.e. 10 knots/mph/kmph - it is very difficult for new riders to know the difference between planing, displacement speed etc.


  • What should I do if my student does not follow the course I set-out for them?

Stop the session immediately, recall your student & remind them of the initial briefing. You may need to demonstrate the course for them to have a full understanding of what is expected of them (especially with slalom exercises).


  • Another jetski/boat/craft is heading right towards my group & looks like it is going to cut through my course?

Stop the session immediately, gather all of your students together in one group & wait for the craft to pass by. If your students paid attention to your briefing they should already slowed to displacement speed when they saw the other craft heading towards them.


Group control:


Teaching PWC courses creates an entirely new element to any thoughts you may have previously had on 'group control'. The main reason for this is the fact that you are looking after anything up to 3 PWC's and 6 students at any one time, all of which have the capability of going up to 70mph in opposite directions!

The key is in giving an effective briefing, but we are also going to have a look at the 'worst case scenario' and how you as the instructor can deal with this.


Prior to briefing - Answer the following questions to yourself: 

  • What is a safe area to operate?
  • What type of course can I lay to keep my group safe, that I can be seen (& can see all my students), It needs to be out of any main channels & preferably away from the general public?
  • i.e. a box course means that you can be sat on your safety craft in the middle of the box - remember only 2 PWC's on a box course at anyone time, if you are doing 'an introduction to high speed' then only 1 PWC on the box at anyone time. The other students can join you in the middle of the box to observe.
  • What is a safe speed to beable to effectively run this exercise?
  • What is the ability/background knowledge of my students? (Never assume!)