What You Need To Know Before Renting A Waverunner on Fort Myers Beach

Jan. 1, 2018

Renting a waverunner is easy and fun! First thing to know is that you must be 18 years of age to rent a waverunner.  You will be asked to show a valid photo ID (driver's license or passport) in order to start the rental process. Although you must be 18 to rent the vessel, participants 16 and 17 years of age are allowed to drive a rental waverunner on Ft. Myers Beach.  We require all drivers to show a valid driver’s license or other photo ID. A parent can rent a waverunner and let a child drive (as long as the child is 16 or over).  The waverunners have a small compartment where you can store your ID if you choose to take it with you on the waverunner, or we can hold it for you at our rental booth.  Passengers are allowed on the waverunner.  We do not recommend children under three as a passenger.

The state of Florida requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 to have a NASBLA approved Safe Boating License in order to drive a vessel (waverunner or power boat).  If you do not have a NASBLA approved safe boating license (from any state), you can get a Temporary Boating License in person at any Holiday Water Sports location or go on our website to complete the test online.  A link is provided on our home page to get your temporary license online.  You will receive an email confirmation that you passed the test, but you will still need to show proper ID at our counter as well as the confirmation email proving you have passed. The procedure to obtain a license in person at our beach location is to let the rental agent know you wish to obtain a temporary boating license.  You will need to show your ID to prove your age. You will receive a study guide that instructs you on safe boating practices and laws.  Once you know the material, you return the study guide and the rental agent will issue you a test.  The test is multiple choice and it costs $3 each.  Our rental agents are not allowed to assist with the test.  Once you have completed the test, the rental agent will grade it and if you pass, you are issued a temporary license.  You must have this license with you while operating the vessel. 

After all licenses are approved, participants must fill out a release of liability and waverunner instruction form.  These forms explain liability of participants and outline driving instructions and rules/laws on the water. It is important that these forms are read carefully and filled out properly.  Payment is made when the forms are done.  You can either charge to your room if you are staying at a resort location, pay with a credit card or in cash.

Once all the paperwork is completed, you will be sent to an instructor to receive a verbal instruction on how to operate the waverunner.  The instruction will go over local waterway rules and regulations, safe driving of a vessel, how to operate the waverunner and other important items including wildlife viewing regulations.  You will receive the rules in writing, verbally in the instruction and they are also posted on our rental booth.  

We will pass out lifejackets and then it is time to go have fun!  Each waverunner is equipped with a watch so participants know when to come back to shore.  Overtime will be charged.  Anyone suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be allowed to drive our waverunners.  

If you are taking the waverunner out on our guided Dolphin Adventure Tour, the instruction will include all of the above information plus other items necessary to keep you safe while traveling in the back bay areas.  Dolphin Adventure Tours are very popular and we recommend advanced reservations, especially in March and April.  

I hope this helps answer some questions about renting a Yamaha Waverunner.  We look forward to seeing you all soon!

Things to do in Fort Myers Beach with Teenagers

Fort Myers Beach is a great place to take teenagers and tweens on a family vacation.  The island is small enough that the kids can be given a little freedom to explore without ever going to far from your resort.  My children, ages 18, 16 and 13, have grown up on Fort Myers Beach.  They still never tire of going to Times Square for the sunset celebration.

There are many outdoor restaurants right in the square with affordable food and great drinks (for mom and dad!).  One of my favorites is Petes Time Out.  This classic Fort Myers Beach restaurant serves the best mojitos in town.  The food is delicious and it is affordable, even for a family of 5 (like mine).  Petes Time Out is owner operated and it shows.  The outdoor tables give you a perfect view of the live music in Times Square without being so close that you can’t have a conversation.  The kids will love the freedom of being able to walk around Times Square in the evening.  It is well lit and family friendly.  Don’t forget to go out on the beach to watch the sunset.

Another teen favorite is fishing on the Fort Myers Beach Pier.  You can rent fishing poles and get bait and tackle on the pier.  Drinks are also available.  You never know what you will catch when fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  Fishing from shore at Bowditch Point is one of my kids’ favorite spots.  The channel is deep and the current is strong, but that makes for great fishing.  Visit Holiday Adventure Tours and Boat Rental at the Pink Shell Beach Resort where you can pick up a fishing pole, bait and drinks.   It is a short walk from the Pink Shell to Bowditch Point Park. 

My children all love parasailing.  It is a teen favorite!  We have taken numerous friends and relatives up for the flight of a lifetime.   Parents can sign the kids up on shore and let them go out on their own.  The kids come back smiling from ear to ear.  They can’t stop talking about how much fun they had!  Our on-site parasail company Estero Island Parasail also offers a photo package so you can all have proof!

Waverunners are another family favorite.  Teens can drive as long as they are 16 years of age with a valid drivers’ license, and also have a safe boating license.  If they don’t have the safe boating license, we offer the license at all our locations.  It costs $3 and requires a test on safe boating laws.  A study guide is provided in advance.  Parents must sign a release form to allow children to drive or ride a waverunner.  Instructions are given and we monitor the waverunners from shore to make sure everyone is behaving.

When I ask my children what is their favorite activity to do at the beach, they always say, “Just hanging out with our friends.”  The family-friendly resorts on Fort Myers Beach usually have lots of children of all ages, so your teen has a good chance of meeting new friends while on vacation here.  I hope your family enjoys Fort Myers Beach as much as ours does!

Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach with Kids Under 10

When you live in Ft. Myers Beach year round, it’s nice to go someplace cool for vacation.  So this year Kevin and I are taking the kids to North Carolina to enjoy white water rafting, zip lining and other kid-friendly activities.  I have spent hours at night on my laptop planning our vacation.  I have searched hundreds of websites for North Carolina hotels, outdoor activities, camp grounds, restaurants,  etc.  And time and time again I keep thinking to myself, “I wish I could just call someone to tell me the best places to go for outdoor adventure, the best restaurants, the cheapest way to have fun etc.”  But there is not a magic number to call on any website to get all my answers.  I realized that all of OUR customers who spend hours planning their Ft. Myers Beach vacations from their laptops are probably thinking the same thing.  “Where can I look to find the inside tips about the best places in Ft. Myers Beach for family activities, restaurants, night life, fishing, beaches, shelling, boating etc.”  So I have decided to write this blog about some of my favorite places and things to do in Ft. Myers Beach.  After living and working on the beach since 1991, I consider myself a bit of an expert.  I hope it helps make your vacation planning just a little easier!


One of my all time favorite activities when my kids were little was the Pirate Cruise.  It leaves from Salty Sam’s marina on San Carlos Island.  It is just before the “big bridge” when you are approaching Fort Myers Beach.  My kids loved this short 90 minute cruise.  The pirates are dressed up in Pirates of the Caribbean-style costumes and they do a show that is funny for kids and adults too.  You can buy food and drinks (full bar) on the boat, and the kids can get their faces painted like a pirate.  They have a mock invasion and even shoot a cannon. Treasure is found on every trip.  My children all loved this cruise and we even went on several birthday parties on the boat. Check out their website at https://www.floridapiratecruise.com/home  There is a free shuttle from the beach if you do not have a car.  Insider tip, go early if your visit is in the summer.  We have afternoon thunderstorms almost every day.

Stand up paddle boarding is another activity that is fun and easy for children under 10.  We have stand up paddle boards for rent at all three of our Fort Myers Beach locations.  If you are staying at the Pink Shell, the paddle craft are all free for resort guests.  We rent the boards by the hour or ½ hour at the other properties. Stand Up paddling is easy for children because of their light weight.  The boards are larger than a surf board and very buoyant.  We keep the paddle craft inside the swim zone and participants must wear a lifejacket at all times.  Paddling is easy.  Kids can start on their knees, then stand up when they feel comfortable.  It is amazing how quickly most children can stand up on the boards.  The water just off shore of Fort Myers Beach is generally very calm and it is shallow.  Do not allow your children to jump or dive off the paddle board. Insider tip, rent a paddle board for a ½ hour to start and then if you want to extend the time, it is only $5 more. (instead of renting two for ½ hour, get one for an hour and share the time.  It is cheaper.)  Check out our paddle boards at www.holidaywatersportsfmb.com/kayak.

If the kids want to try fishing but you are not much of a fisherman, check out the beginners fishing trip that leaves from the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina.  This trip is only about three hours long and the captain does all the work for you.  The captain will make sure the kids are casting correctly and give them tips to help them catch the fish.  And the best part is that the fish will be cleaned for you at the end of the charter.  You can go and enjoy watching your children catch the fish without the frustration of dealing with the tangled lines and other possible fishing disasters.  Insider tip, this trip is not advertised.  Call the marina and request the kids fishing trip for pricing and more information.  The number is 239-463-8661.

Stay tuned for my next blog.  Next up will be fun activities for teens!