Beginner help

Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
17
Location
Minnesota
#1
I grew up racing motocross, and had a Kawi 440 stand up back in the day which I thought I rode pretty well.
Well for a decade now I've been dreaming of getting out of moto and into stand up Jetskis.

The other day I purchased a carbon XFT with a hard hitting 718CC engine with mag pump.
The ski is awesome - especially for my first real ski to get me going and into the sport.

The reason I'm writing this thread is because (doing so well at motocross and virtually everything else) I really had higher expectations for myself. I took the ski out for the first time and I really need practice. The ski is awesome, but I am not happy with my riding.
Please give me some advice on the following areas -

I liked the idea of the XFT because it's based on a SuperJet but like 5 inches shorter. When I ride this XFT I cannot just ride it. It porpoises so bad that I'm unable to keep any real speed. I thought I knew from my past experience that this was due to the weight being too far back (You'd think with a shorter ski I'd be forced to be more forward) I tried everything to get more weight forward and thus far have been unable to get it to ride decent. (It's only been one day)

The only other thing is that I wanted to get into this sport because as I get older I figured it'd be more forgiving than motocross and hitting the dirt - well, my thumb is bloody, my knees are black and blue and my ego is in shambles.
At one point I hit the throttle and cranked the bars thinking I'd end up doing a 180 or something cool. haha - guess it's not as easy as I thought (but then again I didn't really expect to be awesome in an hour. Which is my total ride time on this thing)

Haha - any tips and pointers would be greatly appreciated.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Likes
455
Location
Coeur D' Alene, ID
#2
Ride time is king, personally have not enjoyed the ride of the rickters I have been on, but lots of people love them so most likely just me. You have the right idea regarding the porpoising however, you will most likely need to ride surf stance while on plane and screwing around, no great way to get enough weight forward on these short skis if you are back in the footholds. However, as you ride more it should get better. I chase boats on my freak with both feet in the footholds a lot. You could also buy a "bandaid" and install a longer ride plate on the ski, that will help it plane out much easier and drastically cut down on your porpoising, however it will make it a little more difficult jumping waves etc. More or less training wheels, but would make sure you enjoy the ski and get out there to get better.

As for bloody knees, the price we pay for short skis are short trays, which means it is very easy to bang the absolute poop out of your knees if you are not landing ride plate first. I invested in some downhill MTB shin/knee guards for when i am working on new tricks or getting stupider than usual. Many of us wear moto gloves to help avoid injuring fingers, helps avoid random smashing of fingers. I have also hooked most the local freeriders around here on helmets, not only protects your head but helps avoid busted ear drums from bad crashes, 60 bucks at walmart can get you a nice looking light helmet. I never ride without mine anymore.

As much as i enjoyed tossing on some board shorts and a life jacket and going riding, freestyle skis will punish you for that; shoes, gloves, helmets are minimum gear to stay healthy IMO.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
17
Location
Minnesota
#3
I was just reading about ride plates and think that might be my ticket until I get a little better. I tried surf stance, leaning way over the bars. I could not get it to ride nice, but man the low end power and low to mid turning capability - the thing just wants to leap out of the water.
I have my awesome moto helmet I think I'm going to start wearing and plenty of pairs of moto gloves, and just bought some shoes for when I'm riding.
I belice the XFT is designed on the newer round nose SJ hulls. so I assume/hope that one of those ride plates will work well?
Any ideas on what a happy medium plate would be? I weigh 205 lbs
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Likes
455
Location
Coeur D' Alene, ID
#4
Does the ski have Trim? You might check and make sure your turn nozzle is level when at rest, if someone had it dialed up a bit at rest that would cause some major porpoising issues. The ski should plane out, just depends at what speed that happens.

Moto helmet will work, but if it gets waterlogged it may cause some neck strain, the downhill MTB helmets have very little foam that will absorb sweat or water, so they stay light.

As for the ride plate its hard to say, I do not know if a stock superjet one will bolt up, someone else will have to comment, many AM hulls use AM ride plates designed for them from what I have seen. As for ride plate length, the longer it is the better it is going to ride for you as far as plane and carving is concerned, and you can always Dcut the plate or trim it back as you get more comfortable for a more playful ride.

For my Round Nose ski when i had it, the happy spot for my ride plate was Dcut under the reduction nozzle. Would still plane out great but would pop off boat waves no problem. I am 220lb rider myself.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
17
Location
Minnesota
#5
Does the ski have Trim? You might check and make sure your turn nozzle is level when at rest, if someone had it dialed up a bit at rest that would cause some major porpoising issues. The ski should plane out, just depends at what speed that happens.

Moto helmet will work, but if it gets waterlogged it may cause some neck strain, the downhill MTB helmets have very little foam that will absorb sweat or water, so they stay light.

As for the ride plate its hard to say, I do not know if a stock superjet one will bolt up, someone else will have to comment, many AM hulls use AM ride plates designed for them from what I have seen. As for ride plate length, the longer it is the better it is going to ride for you as far as plane and carving is concerned, and you can always Dcut the plate or trim it back as you get more comfortable for a more playful ride.

For my Round Nose ski when i had it, the happy spot for my ride plate was Dcut under the reduction nozzle. Would still plane out great but would pop off boat waves no problem. I am 220lb rider myself.
I'll have to look into MTB helmets. I don't want to ruin my Shoei.
Perhaps a longer plate that is D cut would work better. I love the low, mid range capability, but it's unridable at any real speed so I'm stuck with like a flatwater only ski. which might be nice (I'll keep the rideplate that's on it for later) once I get some skill and ride time under my belt.
 

sjetrider

615 Freeriders are addicted to T1 madness.
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
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585
Location
in the 615 (Nashville)
#6
XFT or XFS Rickter?
an xft will be a horrible ride, sell the hull and buy something proven like a Phantom or superfreak or KDX, if it is an xfs if is ridable and you simple have to ride agressive at all times (this is the case with all AM hulls) chest over bars alway on throttle.
The XFT I rode was rediculous and was not worth soending 15 mins on, let alone an hour and definately not a first AM hull to own in any way.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
17
Location
Minnesota
#7
XFT or XFS Rickter?
an xft will be a horrible ride, sell the hull and buy something proven like a Phantom or superfreak or KDX, if it is an xfs if is ridable and you simple have to ride agressive at all times (this is the case with all AM hulls) chest over bars alway on throttle.
The XFT I rode was rediculous and was not worth soending 15 mins on, let alone an hour and definately not a first AM hull to own in any way.
Definitely an XFT
I don't understand why you say they're not worth spending 15 mins on? The design (from my understanding) is basically a superjet hull that's shortened 5 inches and lighter because of the carbon fiber construction. It should ride well and be decent. I'm getting better at it, but I still think it'd be better with a longer ride plate.
 

sjetrider

615 Freeriders are addicted to T1 madness.
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
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Location
in the 615 (Nashville)
#8
Hacking 5" off the back of an SJ does not make a good riding hull really. I am really not bashing your purchase at all, but I have ridden 2 XFT's, owned 5-6 different after market hulls, ridden a dozen T and Q8 SKY were by far the worst handling and riding hulls I have ridden, next comes the WDK REV which unfortunately I owned for a while.
just my opinion of course but asking someone with more time on one may be a good idea. Even the original XFS Rickter was not geat but better by far than the XFT even though it weighs in like a fat chick after a pie eating comp..
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
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Location
Minnesota
#9
Hacking 5" off the back of an SJ does not make a good riding hull really. I am really not bashing your purchase at all, but I have ridden 2 XFT's, owned 5-6 different after market hulls, ridden a dozen T and Q8 SKY were by far the worst handling and riding hulls I have ridden, next comes the WDK REV which unfortunately I owned for a while.
just my opinion of course but asking someone with more time on one may be a good idea. Even the original XFS Rickter was not geat but better by far than the XFT even though it weighs in like a fat chick after a pie eating comp..
Do u ride mostly surf or are u doing flat water and boat chasing? Just curious. And what hulls did u think rode the best?
 

sjetrider

615 Freeriders are addicted to T1 madness.
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Likes
585
Location
in the 615 (Nashville)
#10
I ride boat wake and flatwater, surf a few times a year, my choices from what I have ridden are #1 T1, #2 KDX, #3 superfreak badass -8.5 ( I hear great things about the Phantom but have not ridden one).
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Likes
17
Location
Minnesota
#11
The XFT is light with lots of power but I think it'd be better if I was lighter or had a longer ride plate
Perhaps I should get a diff hull

I want one that u can ride and attack corners and stuff along with it being short and flippable
Is there such thing? Like my XFT porpoises so bad at any real speed it's a challenge
 

Just4Fun

First World Problems...
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
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293
Location
Southern Oregon
#13
I heard the XFT is flat water only?. I've never really liked the way ricketers rode. They always felt tippy to me, been on quite a few different models.

You might consider ditching that hull if youre coming from a Motorcross background and just scoring a nice RN superjet. It will be more like riding and less time fighting to stay on. Still completely capable of rolls of boat wake's, and a lot of other fun tricks.
I have a phantom with an ET1107 for the lake a tigercraft sv1 with a 718 for the surf and a bone stock round nose my wife rides. Always have a great time on the stock RN, rode one for several years before I upgraded to AM..
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
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542
Location
Houston
#14
I'd suggest a Superjet really. You can learn on an AM hull, but it will be a steep learning curve. I've never really heard much about the XFT...probably a reason.

Longer ride plate will help the porpoiseing, but only so much. Tray time is the only way to gain skills.
 
Joined
May 21, 2018
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Location
Central Pa
#15
If a stock ride plate will work I have a 08+ you can have. As for helmets I have a Giro helmet. They are amazing and stay light even when in the water.
 
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