When you arrive on the Hawaiian islands for your family vacation, you want to spend as much time in the water as possible. If you have teenagers or other adults in your group, renting personal watercraft may offer a thrilling way to view beaches, inlets and cliffs.
Many personal watercraft can reach top speeds of about 60 miles per hour. Consequently, not only do you have a potential drowning risk when on one, but you may also suffer catastrophic injuries in a high-speed crash. Picking a responsible outfitter is often an effective way to stay safe.
Do some research
Before leaving home, research personal watercraft rental companies near your resort, hotel or vacation home. Tourists typically are not shy about sharing their experiences, so a readthrough of online reviews may help to narrow your search. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if prospective outfitters have received complaints.
Ask about safety
Many personal watercraft rental services have websites that list safety equipment, features and protocols. Nevertheless, before arriving at the outfitter, you may want to call the company to determine if it has appropriately sized life vests for everyone in your group. You should also ask if your rental includes a safety briefing and operating tutorial.
Read the rental agreement and waiver
Before your rent a personal watercraft, an employee at the rental company is likely to require you to sign both a rental agreement and a waiver. Because these may be legally binding contracts, you should read and understand them. Remember, though, personal watercraft outfitters cannot disclaim everything.
If you or someone in your group suffers a serious injury, you should not let any rental agreement or waiver you have signed discourage you from exploring your legal options. After all, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation to help you pay for medical care and your recovery.