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The Best Jet Ski Rescue Sleds Today

As surfers become more daring and test out more of the world's largest waves, lifeguards and water safety professionals have had to adjust their techniques for more efficient and swift rescues.

In this article we will take a look at a few different rescue sleds and why they are entrusted with this life saving job.

What is a Jet Ski Rescue Sled?

A Jet Ski Rescue Sled is an essential life saving device that was created in the 80’s by two Hawaiian lifeguards.

Brian Keaulana and Archie Kalepa recognized the need for a quicker and more swift rescue in big wave breaks that are far too dangerous for a rescue swimmer.

In an effort to accomplish this, the two lifeguards began attaching foam sleds to the back of jet skis to pull swimmers and surfers out of impact zones.

In 2009, however, what started as a basic and incomplete idea grew into a professional production with the help of Todd Bradley.

The three partners worked side by side to create inflatable rescue sleds which proved themselves to be significantly more efficient than the previous sleds they were using at the time.

Now, Jet Ski Rescue Sleds have grown to be used for many different reasons.

These rescue devices have become game changers in the world of big wave surfing.

Waves such as Jaws, Mavericks and Nazare all are notorious for how dangerously deadly they can be if you wipe out or are stuck within the impact zone.

These still incredibly dangerous waves have become significantly safer as trained jet ski rescue drivers are constantly on standby to pull surfers back into the lineup.

Although this is what first comes to mind when we think about these jet ski rescue sleds, they are also used for rip current and ice rescues, as well as tow-in surfing.

Types of Rescue Sleds

Inflatable Sleds

Inflatable sleds are typically lightweight and easy to transport meaning that storage is one of their main advantages.

They also are very buoyant above the water.

With that being said, inflatable jet ski sleds are recommended for your recreational needs such as transportation to and from a lineup or tow-in surfing.

Solid Core Sleds

Solid Core Sleds are commonly made with a foam interior and are not inflatable. These sturdy sleds are the primary choice for lifeguards and water rescue professionals.

They can withstand high surf conditions and are incredibly efficient for swift removals out of impact zones.

The Best Jet Ski Rescue Sleds Today

Life Sled

Life Sled’s have been used by lifeguards in Hawaii since they were first introduced.

Due to their reliability, sleds that are over 7 years old are still in operation today, according to Brian Keulana.

On the Life Sled website you will find 3 different options of rescue sleds, version 1, version 2 and the inflatable lifesled.

Of the three options, Version 1 and Version 2 of the life sleds are the most reliable for bringing into high surf conditions.

Without fear of deflation, both these sleds also have a deck material that specializes in increased grip as it hits the water.

So, not only are the heavy duty handles securing, but the sled itself will hold onto whichever passenger it carries.

If you don’t want to take our word for it, read up on the reviews from big wave surfers and lifesaving professionals.

These sleds have been tested and utilized in some of the most high impact waves and have made it through to attest to their credibility.

Learn more about this jet ski rescue sled.

High Surf Accessories Standard Sled

Although High Surf Accessories have other options that may be more convenient for tow-in surfing, we took a deeper look into the Standard Sled at the price point of $2,400 to see how it compares to other boards used specifically for rescuing purposes.

To begin, the deck of the sled is made from a deron rod stock that is put in place by epoxy.

Then, the outer layer of the sled and the deck pad are fused together with the rod and epoxy by heat welding.

All of these intricate features are what places into the durability of this board and its ability to handle harsh water conditions.

To add, the center attachment point on this sled is configured in a specific rigging technique that secures the sled to the stern while holding a constant forward and downward tension

Learn more about this jet ski rescue sled.

Liquid Shredder Rescue PWC Tow Sleds Soft Hybrid

At the price point of $1699-$1799, Liquid Shredder sleds have been tested and approved by many organizations such as many USA Municipal Lifeguards, EMS, Marine UDT and many more.

These organizations pick liquid shredder for its solid core that is reinforced with aluminum stringers and their “last chance” loops which help surfers and victims grab onto the sled more efficiently.

Plus, this specific sled is listed on American Lifeguard Products as a very reliable sled that is one of their go to’s!

Learn more about this jet ski rescue sled.

P2P Stock Inflatable Sled

P2P boards pride themselves on easy assembly as you can take the sled directly out of the box and into the water.

The stock inflatable sled, at the price of $995, has been altered over the years with recommendations from water safety experts who contribute feedback to the company.

This strategically constructed design contains 12 different webbing handles as well as three points on the front of the sled that can hookup to the jet ski.

When you order this sled it also comes with a pump, a bag to transport the sled in and a repair kit.

Learn more about this jet ski rescue sled.

Jet Tech Rescue Sled

On the cheaper end of the market is the Jet Tech Rescue Sled at the price point of $653.33.

This is another inflatable sled which means although it can be incredibly effective for tow-in surfing and standard rip current rescues, you want to refrain from using it in high surf rescues.

With that being said, this sled and its grippy deck pad and bungees are perfect for transporting you into the lineup or towing you into a wave.

Learn more about this jet ski rescue sled.

Jet Ski Rescue Sled Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How Do You Attach A Rescue Sled to a Jet Ski?

Since each model of rescue sled is slightly different, we don’t have a definite answer for you. However, we have a few tips for you that can be applied on your sled no matter which company you’ve purchased your sled from.

First up, you want to ensure that your sled isn’t too tightly or too loosely attached to the back of your jetski. Doing either of these things can affect your ability to maneuver the sled and how stable it is.

Another essential component is securing your sled from three different points, one directly from the nose of the board and two from opposing sides. This will make sure that your sled remains facing forward and doesn’t flip upside down.

Q. How Do You Store a Rescue Sled?

Once again, storage can vary depending on what type of sled you purchase but we’ll provide a few steps that you can’t go wrong with.

Clean and dry

Wash the salt water off your sled with fresh water and dry it off to avoid the build up of salt and mold.

Place indoors and out of the sun

It is always best to prevent damage from moisture and sunlight by keeping your sled in your garage or at least in a protected area outside.

Although all these things are a good rule of thumb, always read the directions that come with your specific sled. In the end, each company will know the best setup and care for their product to perform how it was designed.

Conclusion: Jet Ski Rescue Sled

Whether you need a Jet Ski sled for transportation, recreational, or rescue purposes, all these sleds are great options for you to take a closer look at.

So, take a step into the new generation of big wave surfing technology and see what it has to offer!


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