Jet Ski News
California - Central
Report: one f the coolest polaces to ride my sea-doo's is canyon lake in Canyon Lake CA, legally you cant ride in the lake itself but there is an overflow you can legally ride in, its about the size of 2 football fields and about 6-7 feet deep but it is very nice, during the week its pretty empty if not 100% empty and on the weekends there may be a few people riding there, and always see pro's out there like chris mccluggage beings he lives on this lake. its kinda hard to find this place beings you have to take a steep dirt road to get there but its well worht the troubled drive to get in there and its free!!!
Report: My name is Jeff and wanted to let you know of a place that I have been going too. I go to Modesto Res in Modesto Ca. it is a nice place to ski and camp I pay around $17 for my two ski's and truck, it is a big lake to ride on the water is nice maybe a little choppy. You have to have the MTB free fuel before going. It is Modesto's drinking water. I have gone on Holiday weekends and it isn't all that busy everyone kept telling me forget it you won't get on but I have. It is a very big lake. They have two unloading ramps and a little store at one ramp. You can also unload where you camp or spend the day which I have done and haven't been in any trouble as of yet :o) .
Thanks Jeff (from sunny Ca)
Report: Here's a great spot. About 40 miles east of Fresno, 20 miles south of Shaver Lake is Pine Flat. It was a Military created lake for flood control in 1949. The lake impounded by Pine Flat Dam is the largest reservoir on any southern Sierra stream. The one million acre foot reservoir, when full, covers 6,000 acres and stretches 20 miles into the oak-forested foothills with 67 miles of shoreline. Its gross pool elevation is 951.5 feet above sea level. As the name says it is like glass year 'round...I was out jetskiiing last couple weekends coming across all kinds of people from on side of the state to another - one guy from Ventura said he moved out here to ride year round. The beaches suck, it is just a bunch of rock. There are 4 ( I think ) launch ramps and the cost is an "on your honor 2$" meaning go stick 2 bucks in some metal post and take an envelope and stick it in your window (you do not need to put in the 2$ to make the envelope come out) if you do go please put in the 2$ the price is right. A couple of other hidden treasures not mentioned are Lake Hensley and Lake Eastman 45 minutes North of Fresno just out of Madera. Year round cost at Pine Flat is a flat (heh) cost of 25$/yr.
Worst place -- Millerton lake - a big infested pond scum over crowded garbage fest. 15 minutes north of Fresno.
Thanks Adam Walker, Avid Jet-Ski Person, Fresno, Ca.
Skimonster says a good place to ride is the Kern River. It has 12 miles of riding with different kinds of hazards from shallow water to tree branches in your path also it has class 1-4 white water rapids. So if you go to Bakersfield Ca. to ride the Kern. BE CAREFUL!!!!!
Please note that the message about the Kern River being the place to ride NOT. THIS IS THE MOST BOGUS THING I HAVE EVER HEARD OF. I have been here all my life and spent a good deal of it around the river. And have NEVER seen anyone, I do mean anyone with the juevos big enough to ride much less launch their pwc on the Kern River. The water level on this river goes up and down daily, much of it you cannot even ride an innertube over, theres not enough water. PLEASE FOR YOUR OWN SAFTEY, DO NOT TRY TO RIDE ON THIS RIVER. Extreme rocks and low water levels = NOT GOOD FOR RIDER OR SKI.
--Thank you to KKRANENBURG for warning us.
"One the best riding places is the Kings River, Ca. It is located about half and hour south of Fresno. It runs about 8 miles long, but you can go further upstream or downstream if you'd like. It is free to ride here but you might get charged for loading/unloading depending on the ramp and the day of the week. There are 4 great resorts located along this stretch."
REPORT:Morrow bay, near San Luis Obisbo, offers excellent access to the ocean. No charge to launch, but quarters are required for freshwater rinse. The bay is 5mph, but the open ocean and beautiful coastline offer a fantastic ride! Big waves to jump (4'-15'+!!!) along miles of deserted beach south of the harbor will keep you busy, and the coastline cliffs of Montana Del Oro park are worth the trip further down the coast! You'll see Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in the background (about 10 mi south of Morrow Bay). Don't get too close, though, as the law reads you must stay at least a mile away from the plant. Oh yea, sea lions on bouys, and in the water everywhere! These pics are from 2/12/04
Temps: Air:65, water:54 degrees
California - Southern
Report: DANA POINT is absolutely the best ocean experience- here's why : beautiful coastline north & south, sea lions,occasional dolphin, San Clemente pier, offshore islands/reefs, and the best and safest WAVE JUMPING ANYWHERE in socal! OK, here's the scoop : $18 gets you and two toys to the ramp (bring your own hose to rinse everything-no extra charge for fresh water use).Head northwest out of the marina 1/4 mi. to the buoy full of sea lions (this buoy makes a horn type noise with the swells).Head south2 or so mi.along the coast(stayiing at least 400ft offshore)to the first reef , just past the last "no boat .. swim area" bouy . Sometimes a part of the reef is exposed...be careful...behind that, twards the beach approx. 100 ft the swells;MAY crest to a jumpable peak but you have to be patient a few min. Remember to always stay 200ft from shore!.If no waves, head south 3mi to the pier. Very scenic, but the fishermen don't like you to get to close. Just southwest 1/4mi is an island that always has sea lions (you will see it). Take a break and enjoy a snack a drink. Now the best part : head south around the point 2mi (staying 200ft from shore) past the surfers to directly in front of san onofre nuclear plant.Waves always form 200-400ft from shore in 2 distinct areas. Big and small, something for everyone, and as long as you keep 200ft+ from shore it is legal!
Report: A great "public launch" site in the Southern California Coastline is at the Santa Monica Harbor. It's only $5.00 per day including boat & trailer. The rides are what dreams are made of. You turn right and you experience picturesque Malibu shoreline. Turn left and you enjoy the Manhattan Beach/Pier, Hermosa Beach/Pier, King Harbor in Redondo Beach (My Home) where you have too many dining choices from fresh fish and chips to fine seafood dining, then Long Beach, Huntington Harbor and Beyond. Just South of Palos Verdes Peninsula at Cabrillo Beach in Long Beach is a perfect launching point to Catalina Island. A suggestion, leave early as well you must pick the right conditions or it will be an extremely choppy ride. However, when the glassy conditions are present the experience feels like religion. You will surely sea-life en-route like sea-lions and dolphins as well as whale watching in season. Directions to the launch ramp take Pacific Coast Hwy (Also Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica) South just south of Venice to Fiji Way turn West (right turn coming from the North) the ramp entry is
approximately 500ft on the right. During the week you pay via an unattended electronic receptacle. On weekends there is an attendant. Happy riding, be safe and ride responsibly. Let's keep this sport/recreation available to everyone.
Report: If you're talking about so.cal riding you can't forget oceanside. Some of the best wave riding i've gotten to do(besides point loma) is Oceanside simply because you don't have to worry about rocks, crowds, or cops. The only thing there besides surf is a couple of pros in the early morning pushing your ego to go bigger and crazier than you've ever gone before. Just drop your trailer right next to the ramp,(like 8 bucks) and head out and around the jetty to just north of the base's beach. You kinda gotta stay away from the military guys but that's about it. Get ready for some serious wave riding.
-- Thanks Kyle
Report: I'm kinda new to the sport but the place that i like to ride at is the El Capitan Reservoir by Lakeside. IT can get a little crowded during the weekends, but if you want to go on a monday, you're the only person on the lake. Fees are 5.00 for adults (16 yrs or older) or 2.50 for kids, and the launch fee is 10.00. The water is a little low this time of the season, and only one launch ramp is open, but there is alot of beach to camp on. Since the lake is a water supply, you can't dump ANY gas or oil in the lake. The water can get a little rough, but when the patrol boats go roaring by, the but out a sweet wake, and you can jump THAT if you want to. The lake is sorrounded by mountians so it gets a little windy. The reason that i go here is the price. I think it's pretty cheap, and it is one of the few places to go in San Diego county.
Report: The best place to ride in San Diego is around Point Loma. There is a free boat ramp on shelter island in the San Diego Bay. It is about a ten minute ride around the point. The wave jumping is killer. It is the only place you can ride surf in SoCal that you won't get a ticket because it is on a military base. If you want to jump waves it is either here or Mexico!
-- Thanks Moore1420
Report: Silvered Lake is a pretty cool place to ride. The lake is good size for PWC's. It is located off the I15 fwy just south of Victorvill or north of Fontana. The off ramp is the 138 cut off or Silvered Lake off ramp. Just follow the signs. It cost $5 for your truck and $6 for each vessel. There are lots of boat in places around the lake to beach your skis and set up camp. The only thing you cannot pull inflatable toys. But wake boards and water skis are ok.
Report: One of the worst places to ride for PWC riders is Castaic Lake. Castaic Lake is off the I5 fwy just north of Magic Mountain. If you find there web site it looks like a cool lake, but when I went to try it out it really sucks. PWC riders are limited to a small area of the lake and have to ride in a clockwise circle around marked bouys. None of this is mentioned on the web site. Also no pulling of ANY water toys by PWC's. To make things even worse the marked off area is next to the damm and the is NO sand to beach at. All concrete and large rocks.
-- Thanks Polaris1_97
Report: Lake Isabella Southern Calif. Located east of Bakersfield, on the other side of the mountains. Man made lake, lots of water and places to launch. Get started early as the wind kicks up the water later in the day. Great weather most year round, people are cool about helping each other out. Lots of fun. Not too crowded. Worth the trip. Easy to get to from the desert or the valley. Has marinas on lake to gas up and chow down.
--Thanks Jerry Bair
Dana Point, just down the coast from the harbor entrance. Behind the jetty is pretty calm, farther down the coast is a trip in more ways than one. Caution about beaching--it's generally illegal and small rocks will cause impeller damage!
"The best place to ride in So. Cal. Is "Cabrillo Beach". It is the most convenient place to ride in my situation. There are no hassles. You pay $8.00 to park with your trailer, go to the ramp and launch. After that you can pull up on the beach and trade off with your friends or whatever. The way this beach is laid out, you have a huge area in the breakwall that you can ride as fast as you want, without the waves. If you want to though, you can go outside the Breakwall and ride on the huge waves. The only drawback is that it is really convenient for all the "pond scum" to get access to also. But if you want to go out for a cruise after work (during the week), the water is like glass, because you will be the only one there." John Huthmaker
California - Northern
Report: Humboldt Bay, Eureka CA. Low tides provides a 3-6ft breaking wake inside the bay. A cruise out the mouth of the bay produces swells in excess of 15ft. Year round riding is fine providing you have a good wetsuit (thick gloves, booties, socks, and helmet are a plus). There is a No camping launch area, with no fees. The area is watched by the USCG. We have been riding there for some time and have never had a negative experience with anybody in the area. Bathrooms and outdoor shower in the parking area. Drive north on highway 101 to Eureka, exit to Somoa/Highway 255. Turn south on highway 255, drive appx 3 ½ miles, pass the Somoa Airport. ¼ mile ahead on right is the launch. Only one caution!!! At low tide there is a 4+ ft sea swell at the launch. So launch BEFORE low tide starts, or pick up the pieces of your ski & trailer (I've done it). Always bring a spotter or call the USCG (if going alone). And PLEASE !!! The area is being used by surfers and fishing boats, so keep an eye out.... Cause we're all here to have a good time, RIGHT? See ya out there!
Report: Lake Berryessa in Napa, Ca- Well what can I say. A beautiful lake setting in the wonderful wine country. This is about 1 ½ hours drive from the Bay Area. Nestled deep in the valley, this lake is awesome. You can always get some real nice glass in the morning. No one is ever up early and there really isn't any wind until the early afternoon. Rarely are there whitecaps, but there are some days in the late evening you can catch some bigtime wakes. Because this lake is not that wide, near where we stay, (the Marina Resort) the wakes are great. There are also a bunch of coves to get into and tear up. Lots of shoreline and plenty of secret hideaways to explore. Make sure and find fork cove right around the corner from the Marina Resort that is the spot! Do make sure and watch for some points and sandbars extending out from the points, this is a dammed lake so the water rises and falls with the seasons. We ride from early May until late October and haven't worn our wetsuits yet! Great camping, cheap launching, gas on the lake, and a great little restaurant that makes the best Tri-tip sandwiches ever! It is $20 per night with boat for camping and a little more for the lakeshore spots. New this year is little cabins right near the water. $75.00 M-Th per night and $100 per night weekends. No bathroom, but get up, straight out the door and hop on your PWC! . Great for the family and a real nice bunch of people. Oh, and it can get jammed with a lot of people on the weekends so get there early and reserve your campsite. Holidays are also packed, as to be expected, but the guys there do a great job of moving trailers around and coordinating space. They are there to make sure you have a good time! Check it out! Also, www.lakeberryessa.com is where I recommend to stay and launch from.
Thanks Corey Hawk and Erin Murphy of Belmont, Ca
Folsom Lake (yes, THE "Folsom" of Folsom Prison fame) Folsom Lake is a decent place to ride, but tends to get very crowded on weekends...and the cops...UGH! It is good for those midweek rides and fairly reasonable - $12.00 for one ski and vehicle, $4.00 for an additional ski, and $1.00 per dog....depending on how you classify your date! There are at least 6 places you can launch from, and overnight camping is available. There's very limited gas on the lake, so bring provisions with you. Lake Sonoma which has boat in camping for a reasonable price and Coyote Lake which is in Gilroy, San Antonio Lake has camping for a good price and is a real nice place to go.
The Sacramento River, and the American. Both cool places to ride. The Sacramento has a number of restaurants and bars lining it, so for those "posers," it can be even more fun. A great way to spend the day on the water without having to drag an ice chest along...bring $$$$ though. You can launch at several places, but I suggest Discovery Park - $8.00 gets you on the water and your rig parked.
And then there's MORE.....
Camp Far West (a privately owned lake) is located off Hwy 65 just outside Lincoln, CA. about 45 minutes from downtown Sacramento. Stop in Lincoln for gas and groceries first. A small lake, it's fed by two rivers and VERY PWC friendly. There's a buoy course set up on the North end of the lake, and I'd recommend if camping, you stay on the North end of the lake also. Reservations are available, and highly recommended for those busier summer weekends. There's also a non-reserved camping area on the North end of the lake too. Launch fees are reasonable (about $15.00 for ski/vehicle) and both North shore and South shore have mini marts; gas only at South shore. On weekend early evenings, there are boat drags held in "1/4 Mile Cove"....and our gas powered blenders make the mass of PWC's and wake boarding boats all tied together with the stereo cranked a very popular place during these races. My favorite thing about evenings at "1/4 Mile Cove" though...blowing past the white trash speed freaks in their pickleforks on our skis - a real ego deflator for them };-)~ The lake has great fishing, is absolute glass in the early and late portions of the day, and is warm enough to go sans wetsuit year round.
The Sacramento Delta. With over 1,000 miles of waterways to navigate, a multitude of resorts to gas up, launch from, camp at, or just plain party at after a long day of hard riding, the Delta takes the cake. Conditions range from absolute "butter" on the sloughs to huge 8-12' rollers you can try your hand at jumping in the open water channel...try playing behind an ocean freighter...but ride safe! Launch fees can range from $5.00 to $35.00, depending on where you launch from, and the delta can be easily reached from either the Bay Area, southern/central CA or the Sacramento area. Be sure to drop by Lost Isle for a little sand pit volley ball and one of their world famous Mai Tai's....and the "interesting" contests they have.....Lost Isle: it's Gilligan's Island goes decadent!
And still more!
Try and make a little trip up to a little lake in Northern California Called Lake Almanor. I grew up there and it has to be one of the best places to rife the old PWC. There are places to launch all around the lake and all the resorts are really cool about letting you launch and then park. Try our Big Cove Resort and for you Polaris needs head up to Peninsula Sports & Marine and say hi to Richard Brinkman. Lake Almanor is a great place to ride and a great place to get out and enjoy the water.
- thanks justin broglio
I have been riding at San Antonio for the better part of 7 years. The lake is 13 miles long with over 50 miles of shoreline. The lake is 50% skis to boats and offers excellent conditions (glass) in the morning and evening, as the only people on the lake at that time are the few fishermen. South shore offers camping on the shoreline where one can park their ski's without having to take them out of the water. The majority of the 50 miles of shoreline are uninhabited except for day campers. This allows for jet-sking into deep coves and long straights. Because of the shoreline camping we make new friends every year and usually connect with them for years to come. Meeting new people that share my passion for jet-sking, water sking or wake boarding are what bring me back to this location. When I go to San Antonio it is almost like I have not left my home as I know a lot of the people camping at the lake and it is like a community. San Antonio is located about 150 miles north of Santa Barbara and 100 miles (I think) south of San Jose on Hwy 101. The camping fees during the summer are $20 dollars a night per vehicle and a season pass for a PWC is $75 per year (don't know daily rates as I have never paid them). If you have children there are many things the lake can offer, on week-ends there is an outdoor theater that shows films suitable for the young ones. There are also times during the year when fireman from the surrounding area come together and camp for a weekend and fly remote control airplanes that land on the water during daylight and darkness. The rangers will actually come and get your kids so they can watch and bring them back (at least that has been my experience the last three years). I have skied and camped in many other places but this is the place I call home.-thanks John Van Dyke from Lompoc, Ca
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