If you’re planning a trip to Catalina, you might be considering renting a jet ski. Renting a jet ski on Catalina is a great idea—it’s a fun way to explore the island and gives you access to locations you might not be able to get to on foot or by boat.
The good news is there are plenty of places to rent a jet ski on Catalina. Companies cater to riders of all experience levels, and some also offer tours and excursions. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even ride a jet ski from Long Beach to Catalina!
This article focuses primarily on jet ski rentals on Catalina island, but if riding from Long Beach is something you’re interested in, we will cover a couple of options for those rentals at the end of the article.
What to Expect When Renting a Jet Ski in Catalina
There is only one jet ski rental company on Catalina: Catalina Jet Ski. When you google “jet ski rental Catalina” you will see several options: Love Catalina, Catalina Coastal Tours, Catalina Vacations, and Catalina’s Water Sports. However, once you actually click around on one of the other company’s websites, you will be redirected to Catalina Jet Ski to make the actual booking.
It can be a little confusing, but understanding this is helpful. It doesn’t matter in the long run: you can book through any of the websites that come up on google, but just know that you won’t find a better deal from one or the other, because they ultimately all run under the same company.
All jet ski rentals in Catalina happen in Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city and the center of the action on Catalina. If you are taking a ferry out to the island from either San Pedro or Dana Point on the mainland, it will drop you in Avalon.
The other main harbor on the island is Two Harbors, which is quite a long way from Avalon on the north side of the island. There are many things to do in Two Harbors as well, including kayaking, snorkeling, and boat trips, however, you will not be able to rent a jet ski in Two Harbors. You will be able to visit Two Harbors from your jet ski if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
Let’s take a look at what to expect when you rent a jet ski on Catalina from Catalina Jet Ski.
Catalina Jet Ski
Catalina Jet Ski operates from the Green Pier at Avalon Harbor. They have limited jet skis available every day so it is highly recommended to book in advance, especially if you will be visiting during the high season (late summer and fall.)
Catalina Jet Ski recommends that you allow about 2 hours to get the full jet ski experience in, plus 15 minutes for check-in and safety run-down. Bring any water, devices, phones, or cameras you want to take with you in a dry bag, plus sunscreen and snacks if you need them.
Catalina Jet Ski operates a barge specifically for jet skis in a separate cove from Avalon Harbor. You will need to get on one of the company’s shore boats to shuttle out to the barge for your ride (included in the price.) When you book the time for your ride, make sure you will be able to get to the Green Pier on time so you don’t miss your shuttle.
The company will assign you a check-in time, and kindly asks that you are not late to check-in, as you will need that time to complete the paperwork.
|One-person jet ski||Two-person jet ski|
|$150 per hour||$200 per hour|
Catalina Jet Ski offers two prices: for a one-person jet ski or a two-person jet ski. The one-person jet ski rate is $150 per hour and the two-person rate is $200 per hour. For the allotted 2-hour limit this works out to be $300 for one person to ride for two hours, or $400 for two people to share a ski for two hours.
Catalina Jet Ski also offers a discounted “Early-Bird” rate, which is available Monday through Thursday in the morning. The rate only applies to the 9 AM departure time, and if you book online with a credit card, you pay the full price and then get reimbursed for the discount when you arrive.
|One-person Early Bird Special||Two-person Early Bird Special|
|$100 per hour||$150|
The hourly rate includes transport to the jet ski barge on the Catalina Jet Ski shuttle, plus the jet ski and all safety equipment and fuel used during the ride. The provided safety equipment includes a life jacket, whistle, and kill lanyard. You will also receive a 15-minute full safety training briefing.
Recommended reading: 10 Must Have Jet Ski Accessories
The price does not include wetsuits or bathing suits, and it is highly recommended you bring your own. A bathing suit is necessary as you will definitely get wet while riding, while a wetsuit is optional. If you are visiting while the weather is cool, a wetsuit will make your riding experience much more pleasant. The water on Catalina can get cold—the warmest sea temperature is usually between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can get as low as 55 degrees in the spring.
The Catalina Jet Ski barge is located two coves away from Avalon, about 200 feet offshore. That location is quieter and safer to ride in than the busy Avalon harbor.
From the barge, you have about 10 miles of open ocean to explore, including several of the coves along the Catalina shore. The experience is not guided—you are free to explore wherever you’d like within the allowed area.
It’s very likely you’ll see dolphins, seals, or other sea life during your ride. Always be respectful of wild animals. Do not chase them or harass them. Stay within the 10-mile range—riding outside the area poses a threat to the natural habitats of other sea creatures and can damage the naturally occurring flora.
Rules and Regulations
You must be at least 18 years old to rent a jet ski. Adolescents as young as 16 can operate one as long as a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 is present. Children younger than 16 will need to ride as a passenger. Children younger than 5 may not ride.
You will need to present your driver’s license in order to rent a jet ski, plus the credit card that was used to make the reservation. Adolescents, age 16 who are operating their own ski must also present a valid driver’s license, and will be issued a learner’s key.
Riding a Jet Ski to Catalina from Long Beach
If you are interested in riding a jet ski from Long Beach to Catalina, and you don’t have your own ski, there are a couple of options for rentals. Both of these companies operate guided tours from the mainland out to Catalina. At this time, it is not possible to rent a jet ski and make the crossing on your own.
This company provides year-round trips to Catalina and operates out of Long Beach. The PWC you will ride on this trip will be a Sea-Doo GTI.
The price for a single person to ride from Long Beach to Catalina and back is $399 on weekdays and $459 on weekends. To add a passenger to a jet ski is $59. There is a discounted rate of $379 per ski on weekdays and $439 on weekends for groups of five or more.
The price includes the jet ski, fuel for the trip, all necessary safety equipment, a wetsuit, and snorkeling gear. The tour includes a stop at the Blue Cavern and the 4-mile marker, plus time for activities on the island. The tour leaves Long Beach at 7 AM and returns around 4 PM.
This company is also located in Long Beach and runs similar tours to JetSki2Catalina. The PWCs the company uses are also Sea-Doo GTIs.
Uncharted Society runs their tours through JetSki2Catalina, so the pricing is the same as JetSki2Catalina’s pricing. One thing to note is that the company also offers an overnight option with accommodation in Avalon, starting at $599 per person.
Everything is included in the price, including a wetsuit and snorkel gear. The tour departs Long Beach at 7:30 AM and returns between 3 and 4 PM. It includes stops at the 4-mile marker and Blue Cavern, as well as time on Catalina for snorkeling, lunch, hiking, etc.
Renting a jet ski is one of the best ways to see Catalina. It offers a unique experience and a chance to get close to the incredible nature that the island has to offer. Have you been to Catalina? If so, did you jet ski? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!