Can You Anchor a Jet Ski?

Jet skies are so lightweight they’re easy to be carried away in the waves, but what if you could anchor it? Ideally, you’ll be able to dock or pull up on a ramp or beach to avoid losing it to the water. But can you use an anchor as well, if need be?

Can you anchor a jet ski? Yes, you can anchor a jet ski. You’ll need to choose the correct anchor for the area you’ll be in, as well as using the appropriate amount of rope.

Anchoring a jet ski isn’t as simple as anchoring a boat. You won’t be able to find a jet ski anchor as easily in stores as you’ll find anchors for boats, nor is there the variety. This is because few jet ski owners want to use the storage space or have the added weight of an anchor, but we have ideas for that!

How Do You Anchor a Jet Ski?

Unless you’ve happened to know someone who anchors their jet ski, you may have not even known you could anchor your jet ski. Anchors designed for jet skis aren’t easy to find, often requiring you to special order them, and those made for boats are too heavy to carry with you.

While they can be difficult to find, anchors for your jet ski can make it possible for you to sit and enjoy a spot without worrying about straying with the current. Once you’ve found a good anchor, jet skis aren’t difficult to anchor. In fact, it’s the same as with a boat.

Just as you do when anchoring a boat, you’ll need to cast your anchor down and ensure it catches. For the best results, you’ll need to know what kind of surface you’ll be anchoring to. While some anchors are intended for sand, others are for gripping rocky surfaces, which is why it’s important to choose the right anchor for your typical spots.

Jet ski anchors are designed in the same styles as larger boat anchors. A Danforth-style anchor is still best on muddy conditions, and mushroom anchors are great for easy anchoring on lightweight jet skis. Simply think of them as smaller versions of boat anchors when determining which to buy.

Storing Your Jet Ski Anchor

Being able to store your jet ski anchor while riding your jet ski is probably the biggest thing to consider when choosing an anchor for it. If you had enough space, you could take a full-sized anchor with you! However, jet skis aren’t designed with much space.

You can purchase extra storage devices you can attach to your jet ski in some situations, but if even if you don’t, you should have a couple storage compartments built into your jet ski. You should figure up how much space is in them before you purchase an anchor and line.

You also don’t have to keep your anchor inside your jet ski either. Many skiers choose to buy multiple types of anchors for different situations and store whatever they don’t need at home.

If your compartments are very small or you tend to carry a lot in them, leaving little room for an anchor and line, your best bet will simply be to purchase sand bags, which we’ll go into in a later section. These fold up nicely to be tucked into the compartment without taking too much room.

Attaching Your Jet Ski Anchor to Your Jet Ski

On the front of your jet ski, you should find a metal hook or loop. This is there for you to attach the anchor line to, either with a knot if you’re using a rope or with a clip for a chain or cable. You should also be tying your jet ski up with this hook or loop if you typically dock it.

If your jet ski doesn’t have one or it’s broken, your best bet is to have it repaired or replaced. You don’t want to attempt to anchor it off another part of your jet ski, especially by the back end of it. Anchoring or tethering from the end of your jet ski will cause the back to sink and flood.

You may also be tempted to attempt to anchor off your handlebars, but this will end up even worse for you than anchoring by the back end. If the current catches the line and pulls, your jet ski risks being pulled underwater on its side.

Jet ski anchor for up to 25 feet depth
The Extreme Max Grapnel kit is my top pick

What Kind of Jet Ski Anchors Are There?

Just like with boat anchors, jet ski anchors come in a variety of styles intended for various bottom conditions. Using the wrong anchor may lead to losing your jet ski, as the current can uproot some anchors if they aren’t the right fit for the bottom conditions.

There are four basic types of jet ski anchors:

  • Fluke anchors
  • Anchor bags
  • Mushroom anchors
  • Screw anchors

All of these are better for some situations than others. For instance, mushroom anchors are likely to float away in a rough enough current while a fluke anchor could keep it in place. Make sure and read through each different type to know which is best for you and your situations.

Fluke Anchors for Jet Skis

Fluke anchors are the “typical” anchors. They have multiple prongs angled up with a sharp tip on each to catch on rocks, mud, and grass on the bottom surface. This is the best all-around anchor, being compatible with rocky, sandy, and muddy bottoms.

Fluke anchors made for jet skis often have flukes that can fold up, out of the way when you aren’t using it. This is specifically designed for the small holding space you have on a jet ski. They’re also lighter weight than standard flukes, preventing it from weighing you down when you’re moving.

If you’re ever unsure what terrain you’ll be attempting to anchor in, bring a fluke anchor. Because it has the flukes, it’s able to latch onto rocks on the bottom to anchor you in. However, it’s also heavy enough to sink down into sandy or muddy terrains and grip in there.

With this anchor, after you’ve measured out your rope, you’ll cast it overboard and secure it the same as you would with a boat anchor. As long as it’s able to catch on something on the bottom, you’ll be fine to leave it for as long as you need.

Anchor Bags for Jet Skis

Along with traditional anchors, you can also purchase “sand bags,” which are bags you fill with rocks, sand, or an assortment of the two. You then drop it in just like an anchor and the weight of the wet sand and rocks will tether your jet ski in place. This sand bag style anchor on Amazon is a good example, but it only has a 6’ rope. Be sure to add a longer rope if you ride in deeper water.

Sand bags are convenient because you can empty out the contents when you aren’t using them. Empty anchor bags are significantly less heavy to keep on your jet ski than an anchor. They also won’t bounce around and damage anything near them, unlike a heavy anchor.

Sand bags are the most popular jet ski anchor because of how little room they take up. You’ll only need enough room in your storage compartment for the line and bag, leaving plenty of room for anything you want to bring out on the water with you.

Unfortunately, if you go out on rougher waters and want to anchor, you’ll be out of luck with anchor bags. Because they’re only held down by weight, you’ll have to fill them with the heaviest items around. In most cases, you won’t find anything heavy enough to keep your jet ski in place during heavy waves.

Mushroom Anchors for Jet Skis

Mushroom anchors are similar to sand bags in that they use primarily weight to anchor your jet ski. These anchors are shaped like a mushroom, with the flat head being weighted to rest on the bottom. These are typically heavier than a sand bag, as you can buy a set weight versus filling it with whatever’s handy.

The largest drawback to this anchor is the weight of it. While you’ll always know how much weight you’re anchoring with, you’ll also have to carry the weight with you the entire trip, unlike the sand bags. While a fifteen-pound weight may be great for anchoring, it isn’t for carrying in small storage compartments.

Like their sandbag counterparts, these also aren’t ideal for rough waters. Because they’re only held in place by weight, strong currents can cause them to move around or even uproot them completely, carrying your jet ski away. Keep this in mind when deciding which anchor to use.

If you’re mostly in sandy areas with mild waters, this is one of your best bets. You’ll get more weight than sand bags, if you’re worried about losing your jet ski to the current. You also don’t want to use a screw or fluke anchor in sandy areas, as they can’t grip the sands and will float away.

Screw Anchors for Jet Skis

Screw anchors are the most secure anchor for your jet ski. These screw into the ground, with a clip designed to be connected to your line. With these, you don’t have to worry about a current jarring loose the fluke or carrying off your weighted anchor.

If you live on the water but don’t have a dock, these can be perfect for long-term anchoring. It will also work for campground visits. Just make sure you aren’t in the main channel.

Screw anchor for jet ski storage
The Sandshark is available on Amazon

If you’ll be spending quite a bit of time away from your jet ski, this is your best option. As long as you securely screw the anchor into the sand or mud, you won’t have to worry about it floating away. These come in a variety of sizes, from ones with long handles to simple, cheap screws with a hook.

If you’re looking to anchor into the water below you, but don’t want to swim down or dunk your head under to reach it, you can purchase ones with long handles. These have a heavy-duty screw on the bottom of a long pole that you screw into the sand or mud.

You can also use these to tether your jet ski by screwing into the sand on the beach. You’ll need a longer line, one that’s able to reach out into the water, but if you find the right place to tether it, your jet ski will be much safer than with just a standard anchor.

What Line Should You Use with Jet Ski Anchors?

There’s a lot of options when deciding how to attach your anchor to your jet ski, just like there are with boats. While you can use just about anything, there are a few options that are better than others.

The top three options for an anchor line are:

  • Cable
  • Rope
  • Chain

With jet skis, you’ll want to think of the weight and how much space it’ll take up inside your storage compartments. If your compartments are incredibly small, obviously, you’ll need something small enough to fit inside without taking up too much room. You also don’t want it to be heavy, or it’ll slow down your jet ski.

You can also use things like fishing line or string, but we only suggest those in your worst emergencies. Otherwise, stick with these three, as they’ll last through several trips.

Can I Use a Cable to Attach My Anchor to My Jet Ski?

Cables are the current most popular jet ski anchor lines, as they’re small, lightweight, and cheap to buy.

Remember how common sand bags are for anchoring jet skis? Because of their small size, jet skis are easily slowed down by excessive weight, which is why so many people prefer lightweight sand bags. Cables are the most lightweight of all the options of anchor lines you can purchase.

Cables are easily folded up to fit into the small storage compartments jet skis have. If you’re using sand bags, many skiers will simply store their cables inside the empty bag, until they’re ready to anchor down. Then, everything is already in one place and contained.

Most cables won’t rust or mold, unlike rope and chains. They’re fairly bulletproof, for whatever you’ll need or whatever type of water you’ll be in.

Can I Use Rope to Attach My Anchor to My Jet Ski?

Rope is the second most popular choice of line for anchoring jet skis. It’s heavier than cable, but not as heavy as chain, and can be cheaper than cables. However, it won’t last as long as cables or chains, which are made of metal. It comes in many different colors.

Rope, unlike cables and chains, will begin to mildew and rot after time if you aren’t careful. Rope takes a long time to dry, and if you’re frequently anchoring with it, it will stay damp. This is the perfect environment for mold, which weakens the rope.

Conversely, you can buy rope that’s waterproof. This is a bit more expensive than just standard rope, and you may have to reapply a waterproofing product to make it last longer. You can also look into acrylic ropes, which will last much longer than cotton or wool rope.

Rope is a good option if you aren’t frequently anchoring and it’ll have time to dry. However, rope is still heavier than a cable and takes up more space in your storage compartment.

Can I Use a Chain to Attach My Anchor to My Jet Ski?

With boats, a heavy-duty chain is a good option for using with your anchor. However, these aren’t ideal for anchoring a jet ski.

Chains are the heaviest of the three options and the bulkiest. They’ll both slow you down and also take up the most room in your storage compartments. However, they’re incredibly long-lasting and will survive more trips out on the water than rope will.

 Chains are our last choice when anchoring a jet ski. However, if you have no other option, they’re still functional and, unlike ropes, won’t rot or mildew. You’ll simply have to deal with a slower jet ski before anchoring and store a bit less in your storage compartments.

How Much Line to Use When Anchoring Your Jet Ski

How much slack you allow your line to have makes a huge difference. When your rope is held taut between the boat and the anchor, it’s easier for it to pull on the anchor and dislodge it. To prevent this, you want to give it plenty of slack.

How much slack should you give it? A rule of thumb to use is five times as much rope as the depth of water. For example, if you’re in water that’s 10 feet deep, you should allow 50 feet of rope. Or, if you only have twenty feet of rope, anchor in water no deeper than five feet.

A quick assessment of the water’s depth and the length of rope you’re using will suffice, no need to bring the tape measure!

While this may seem as if it’s a lot and will allow your jet ski to drift too much, it’s necessary to keep the anchor from being pulled out from its lodging. Remember, the last thing you want is a taut anchor rope on your jet ski.


Articles contain affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. The site is also an affiliate for other brands covered in our the content. We may earn a small commission when readers purchase through these links at no extra cost to the buyer.

Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding. Click the photo for a lot more.

Recent Content