Click or Press enter to Enter to Enable skip content option

Your personal watercraft is a finely tuned machine able to deliver plenty of adrenaline rushes and summer fun. If you have ever wondered how it works, keep reading! We’ve created a beginner’s guide to understanding your PWC below.

If you have any questions or want to look at personal watercraft for sale, head on over to Family Powersports San Angelo. We proudly serve those in Abilene, Big Spring, and Sonora, Texas.

The Engine

All those thrilling experiences on the water start with your engine. It uses a drive shaft attached to a rotating part, called an impeller, to move throughout the water. The impeller at the rear of the PWC is next to a small pump which works to bring water into the vehicle. It then pushes the water out of a hole in the back, which creates a jet drive process that moves your personal watercraft forward. It’s a great example of one of Isaac Newton’s laws of motion: action and reaction.

As a safety measure, your PWC is designed with an engine shut-off switch. It connects from your personal watercraft to your wrist or life jacket. If you should fall off, the shut-off switch will automatically turn the engine off. This brings your vehicle to a stop, making it easy to climb back on board. This also is useful in helping reduce your chance of a collision as you’ll be able to suddenly turn the engine off and come to a stop if another vessel comes out of nowhere.


Your personal watercraft’s engine makes it move, but this wouldn’t be worth much if you could not control where you go! Steering happens thanks to the set of handlebars, much like you see on a bicycle or a motorcycle. You tilt the handlebars in the direction you wish to go and your PWC follows suit. It may take some time to get used to the turning radius on your given model, but before long it will be muscle memory.

Beyond choosing what direction to go, steering helps you control how fast you want to get there. The throttle controls how quickly the jet drive processes. In other words, the throttle moves your personal watercraft at the speed you desire. It may sound counter-intuitive, but steering is actually easier when you are traveling at a higher speed.

Adjusting Your PWC

Part of what makes personal watercraft work well does come at a cost. For example. the powerful engines can create an awfully loud sound which tends to be the opposite of what you want for a serene time at the lake or river. One trick to remedy this is to install noise-absorbing foam between the hull and engine of your PWC. You can also use noise generators to create sound waves that cancel out engine noises. Another approach is resonators that take air into the engine in a maze pattern, rather than a straight line, which helps diffuse the engine sound.

Another common issue is the amount of pollution emitted when you use a personal watercraft, which is especially problematic with older models. All you need is to upgrade to install a clean four-stroke engine and fuel-injection systems to help reduce your environmental impact.

Ready to look at personal watercraft for sale? Visit Family Powersports San Angelo. We offer a range of models for all budgets and lifestyles. Our friendly staff is happy to chat with you and help you find your next dream model. We proudly serve those in Abilene, Big Spring, and Sonora, Texas. Stop by and visit today!

Click to call sales

While great effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, errors can occur.
Please verify all pricing information with a customer service representative.
This is easily done by calling us or visiting us at the dealership.

Directions Contact us Apply for Financing