If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile you may know that I suffer from generalised anxiety disorder. I struggle with some social situations because of this, and it does make it harder for me to come outside of my comfort zone and try new things. I was so, so nervous before our session with Jet Ski Safaris. I had never been on a jet ski before, and I had also never worn a wetsuit before. Part of my anxiety is linked to claustrophia, and the sensation of feeling trapped. As well as going on forms of transport such as trains and planes, I struggle to wear certain clothing, if it feels too tight or restrictive. So as silly as it might sound, the idea of wearing a wetsuit made me feel on edge.
Jet Ski Safaris is located in Salterns Marina, close to Sandbanks, and they have onsite parking and changing facilities available. As there are several sessions throughout the day, it is very important you arrive promptly so that you have time to get changed, fit your helmet and life jacket and watch the safety video.
Before we started, we were given an iPad with a short form to fill out, along with some terms and conditions to read through and sign. It was a little daunting, finding out that any damage we caused during the session would be down to us to cover (jet skis retail at around £12,000), but our instructor assured us we were in good hands, and that as long as we listened to instructions, it would all be ok.
I explained I had anxiety beforehand, and the staff were great at reassuring me that it would be ok when I was out on the water. When I put the wetsuit on it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and after a bit I forgot I was even wearing it. I think a lot of anxiety is fear of the unknown, and often things I have worked myself up about are nowhere near as scary as I think they are going to be. This was definitely the case with jet skiing. Once I got going I absolutely loved it.
After watching the safety video we were led out to where the jet skis were and shown how to safely start the engine and manoeuvre our way out of the marina. The instructor was really good at putting us at ease and explaining everything clearly but with humour and personality. Once out of the marina, we were shown how to turn and brake around the buoys to complete a circuit at a low speed and then, once we had travelled a little further out, at a higher speed. The instructor demonstrated everything first, and used hand signals to ensure we did everything right on our way around.
Unfortunately the weather, having been amazing for a couple of weeks before, decided to turn on us once we were out at sea and it began raining heavily, which made things a little trickier. Visibility was poor with the rain pelting down, and the sea was also fairly choppy too. Our instructor was brilliant at putting our minds at rest and reassuring us as we got further out to sea. He taught us the correct formation to travel in, and told us to just go at whatever speed we felt comfortable at, always checking back on us, waiting up ahead and asking if we were ok when we reached him.
I was sharing a jet ski with Katie from My Best Make, and I felt so much more confident having somebody with me, even though Katie was as much of a novice as I was, and just as anxious to start with. We took it in turns to be in control of the jet ski, which meant that we both had the chance to take in the views around us as well as steering, which was amazing. Seeing Old Harry Rocks up close from the water was incredible, and something I will always remember.
When we got back, I almost didn’t want the session to be over, but I was also feeling quite cold and wet from the spray and rain, and getting out of the wetsuit and into my warm clothes was lovely. I can’t thank our instructor, and the rest of the team at Jet Ski Safaris enough for not only letting us experience a session with them, but for also being so accommodating and encouraging when I mentioned how nervous I was. If you are looking for somewhere to try out jet skiing in the local area, these are the guys to speak to. Not only was the session amazing fun, I also felt incredibly safe and looked after, even when the bad weather hit. I can’t wait to go back again!
The Bournemouth Bloggers were provided with a complimentary session with Jet Ski Safaris for the purpose of this post, however all words are my own. Some images were kindly provided by Jet Ski Safaris as it isn’t advisable to take a camera or phone out on the jet skis!