I’ve visited beaches around the world and many of them have one thing in common – a watercraft rental stand. Apparently being on vacation awakens a primal urge to go fast on the water, and attempt maneuvers that are not for the faint-of-heart. I’ve seen otherwise risk-averse people throw caution to the wind when presented with the opportunity to ditch the safety of their cabana and slice through waves at speeds in excess of 40 mph.
Personally, I always preferred lounging in the cabana where I could read a book while enjoying a cold glass of lemonade. Things changed when I got a Sea-Doo Spark. Now when you see that guy doing donuts a few yards from your cabana, it will probably be me.
I first tried the Sea-Doo Spark while at an event in Miami. Before that event, I had never attempted to ride a personal watercraft (see cabana reference above). I was a bit apprehensive and unsure of what to expect. Thankfully, I was able to rely on the expertise of the Sea-Doo representatives. They helped to ease my mind and their presence gave me the confidence to ride the Sea-Doo Spark without fear.
Things were totally different when I got my own Sea-Doo Spark. It wasn’t waiting for me on a pristine lake, nor were there any experts standing by to answer my questions or address any issues. I had to figure out everything on my own, and my learning curve was steep. The easiest part was actually riding the Sea-Doo Spark because the controls are intuitive. However, there were a few things I needed to hash out before getting on the water.
Prior to owning my Sea-Doo Spark, I had never towed a trailer. Visions of the trailer’s coming unhitched haunted my dreams for several days before I picked up my Spark. Fortunately, the salesman was an experienced outdoorsman who taught me the finer points of loading the watercraft on the trailer, securing the trailer to my vehicle, and driving with the trailer. While the Sea-Doo Spark is light enough for many popular compact sedans to tow, be sure to read your owner’s manual before attempting to tow anything.
I managed to get the Spark home with no problem; however, backing the trailer into my driveway proved to be my achilles heal. No matter what I did, the trailer wouldn’t cooperate. It kept twisting and turning in ways that I didn’t want it to. It took me at least 30 minutes to get the trailer close enough to my garage.
If you’ve never towed a trailer before, find an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Before you take your water craft to the lake, be sure to have the proper safety equipment. You will need a fire extinguisher, a life jacket, a wet suit or neophrene shorts, sunglasses or googles, sunscreen, and water for hydration. A small first aid kit would also be handy. Don’t skimp on or neglect your safety equipment. It could save your life.
On the day I took the Sea-Doo Spark to the lake, I stopped at a gas station to get some fuel. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. The pump will shut off sooner than you expect. Resist the urge keep pumping gas into the tank. It is full. I ignored that warning and ended up spilling a large amount of gasoline that required some serious clean-up.
At the lake, you will need to get your Spark into the water which means you will have to back it down a ramp. I hope you take my advice and practice before attempting this or else you will not be very popular amongst your fellow boaters. Since my skills in this area were limited, I let my friend back the trailer down the ramp. I was in charge of removing the Spark from the trailer and preparing it for riding. I unfastened the straps, guided the Spark into the water, and moved it away from the launch ramp to a safe location near the dock.
Abide by the Law
Have a good understanding of the watercraft laws in your state, and abide by the posted rules and regulations. My friend got a ticket because he was going too fast in a “No Wake Zone.” The Game Warden was also checking to make sure that all vehicles had the proper registration and documentation. Be sure to take care of these things beforehand.
Once on the water, you can relax and have fun. The Sea-Doo Spark is nimble and easy-to-ride. Try the different modes – Comfort & Sport – to discover your optimal riding experience (watch this video that I made about my experience). When your day is over and it’s time to reload, be sure to check all of the connections to make sure they are secure. You don’t want ot have a mishap on the way home.
I must admit that I could have saved myself some trouble if I had taken the time to read the Owner’s Manual and watch the DVD that came with the Spark. However, my hard-learned lessons should save you some heartache. You can also visit Sea-Doo’s YouTube Channel to get more tutorials. The best part about owning a Sea-Doo Spark is that you don’t have to visit an exotic location to enjoy it. It’s affordable, easy-to-operate, and exhilarating. There’s no better way to spend time on the water.
Disclosure: I am a Sea-Doo Ambassador. All opinions are my own.