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What should I never leave home without?

Sea-Doo ambassador Brett Barley grew up on the North Carolina coast. He’s been chasing waves and fish his entire life with his Sea-Doo and in many other ways. Through the years, he’s gained a lot of experience, so we asked him for a list of essential items he takes a long on every ride.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD): A must have for ALL riders, yes even your passengers! It’s the one thing that can be a literal life saver on the water.

Neoprene Shorts: They might not sound glamourous, but speaking from experience, they are quite comfortable. Not only do they protect you from the elements, but they can also protect you from unwanted water intrusion should you fall off your Sea-Doo (Yikes!).

Anchor: Whether you’re fishing, swimming, or hanging out with friends at the sandbar, a good anchor makes all the difference when you want your Sea-Doo to stay put. Plus, the rope comes in handy as an extra dock line and can be used for a tow in a pinch.

• Water bottle: Hydration is key no matter what you’re doing, but it’s especially essential for a day out in the hot sun. Be sure you’ve got plenty of water packed in your LinQ cooler or in your cargo compartment.

Jacket: My typical go-to is a windbreaker, but any type of light, packable jacket is an essential for every ride. I spend a lot of early mornings on the water, and they can be a little brisk – particularly early in the season. The weather can also be pretty unpredictable on the water, so the best practice is to be prepared for anything.

• Radio: We’re not talking about blasting your favorite tunes on the water. This is the type of radio that can get help to you should you need it. Something like a Garmin inReach or Spot satellite radio keeps you in communication with the mainland. Use it to send text messages alerting others to changes in plans, calling for emergency help or even checking local weather. Most require a minimal monthly subscription, but it’s a small price to pay for safe ride.

Safety kit: My go-to safety kit has a few items. First, a proper fire extinguisher is legally required on board. Your local dealer or marine store can help you find the right one. Next, I always carry a kit that at a minimum includes rope (about 50 feet), whistle, waterproof flashlight, and the canister it comes in can be used to bail water if needed.

You may want to consider making your own Sea-Doo essentials list based on your typical riding conditions or the type of adventures you like. Be sure to check out the Sea-Doo Owner’s Zone for more great tips on how to live your very best Sea-Doo Life.

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