When I arrived at the reception desk of "Jet Evasion" (ironic?!) I had to hang around for 10 minutes until the old gentleman who was mumbling to himself and helping some other clients with their life jackets found time to greet me. I was told they couldn't accommodate me straightaway, and to return in 1.5 hours (which would have been on the hour). [Don't forget you need IDs which they keep in case of theft or damage to the jetskis.]
So I returned a couple of minutes to the appointed hour. For the next 15 minutes I had to watch the nice old gentleman mumble to himself while helping some clients with their life jackets. After enquring whether my presence as a client had been noticed, I was finally greeted, my identity confirmed, and told to find myself a life jacket. The older gentleman continued to mumble but didn't help me with my jacket. Another round of hanging around and a bunch of us were finally given our instructions by a younger gentleman whose watersports clothing and shoes had seen much better days. He was amiable enough and gave a brisk French and English introduction to the operation and safety rules. We were told to go by the shore and wait. While we were waiting I noticed that the reception desk was more often than not unattended, with people arriving and not quite knowing what to do; and clients who had already jetskiied fetching their valuables from inside the cabin - which was a bit disconcerting as they were kindly 'guarding' my valuables there too.
We waited some more while the jetskis were refuelled. At 45 minutes past the hour, having swum 50 or so metres to my jetski, my backside was finally planted on the jetski. Another client and I were guided by another man on a jetski slowly to the departure point; the guide gave some instructions in French to the other guy: I didn't understand it all partly due to my imperfect comprehension of French and partly due to the fact that the guide was not near me and it was hard to hear him. So I set off not knowing quite how far I could go. I just guessed that I'm probably not allowed to go close to the airport, or close to the centre of the Nice beach where there are other water sports activities going on.
Needless to say that the experience itseld is exhilirating. You can go as fast or as slow as you want as long as you keep a couple of hundred metres away from boats and other jetskis. The guide then came and fetched me and told me to come ashore. By the time I got back I had been seated on the jetski for exactly 20 minutes (30 minutes had been booked). I had to tie my own jetski to the mooring, and swim 50m back to the shore. Surprisingly, the reception desk was unattended, so I had to wait a bit more to find someone and get permission to go inside the cabin to fetch my things.
Compared to the slick operation of the watersports activities centre that organises other activities like parasailing near the centre of Nice (between Blue and Neptune plages), unfortunately this outfit comes across as somewhat haphazard and amateurish. They do of course adhere to the dtrict rules of jetskiing on the Cote d'Azur, which is where any apparent loosely strung organisation comes from. It is still a thrilling experience as I said; but in terms of the reception you receive, the way you're looked after, the amount of time you have to wait, and the duration of time promised on the jetski don't expect this to be the same jetskiing experience you might have had in luxury resorts in East Asia, the Middle East or the Caribbean. All the same an exciting experience, perhaps not to be 'evaded' altogether if you're spending a few days of the summer in the area.
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