Jet boats. The name is a tip-off. In other words, if you don’t like high speeds, sprays of water and spin-outs, best to stay on shore. But if you’re in for a ride that nearly defies gravity, then hop aboard.
On a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon in the Dells, we headed to the Lower Dells boat docks of Jet Boat Adventures. The first clue that this was going to be a very wet thrill ride came from the ticket-taker, who strongly suggested I take my purse back to the car so it wouldn’t get soaked. I heeded his advice, also collecting cell phones from my teenage son and his friend.
My husband, an engineer with a Master’s degree mind you, thought the best place to sit to avoid getting too wet would be the first row, right behind the windshield. Oh, was he wrong.
The boat, equipped with a 1,200 horsepower engine and piloted by a very pleasant driver, was slowly backed out of the dock. So far, so good. We started with an up-close view of the Kilbourn Dam, the first hydroelectric dam built on the Wisconsin River and the one that separates the Upper Dells from the Lower Dells. Again, very pleasant.
Then the driver started driving in circles and kicking up some waves before making a power stop that sent a surf-worthy wave right over the top of the hull and into, you guessed it, the front row. I had just enough time to wring out my hair before we set a course for open waters.
It wasn’t long before the driver launched us into the first of too-many-to-count 360-degree spin-outs. The sensation is that of spinning just above the surface of the water and believe me, it never gets old. More power stops, more spin-outs, more sliding along the surface of the water (sometimes as shallow as one foot) more drenchings, more screaming, more fun in the Dells.
At 40 mph, the 50 minutes flew by, pun intended.
Would I go back? Absolutely! Would I wear something more appropriate than the new sundress I had just purchased in Downtown Dells? Absolutely to that too. This was as much fun as I’ve had on the water since, well, the invention of the water park I guess!
WildThing Jet Boats is another option and it’s located on the Upper Dells of the Wisconsin River.