A NEW business offering locals and visitors the chance to ride the waves while experiencing Shetland’s breathtaking scenery is making a splash.
Shetland Adventure Tours has been offering jet ski trips in local inshore waters since May this year.
Jet skiing enthusiast Craig Nicol said the idea to establish a business offering guided tours occurred to him one night last year when out on a trip along the coastline of the northwest mainland.
“It was late one evening; we set off from Ronas Voe up to Uyea. On the way back the sun was setting, the cliffs were lit up, and it was just a beautiful moment. I thought ‘lots of people would enjoy that’, he said.
By spring the following year a company was formed, instructor courses were successfully completed, and two Yamaha wave runners with quieter four stroke engines were purchased.
The business, run by Nicol and his two sisters Rosalind and Catriona, is mainly operating out of Urafirth but it can easily move to a different location depending on weather conditions.
He said safety was paramount: “These jet skis live on trailers. We are mobile, there are waters in the west and along the east coast; we could have a storm brewing in here while it is flat calm around Collafirth.
“So we are flexible as to where we can operate from. That said, if it is not safe to go, or if it’s not going to be fun, we just won’t go.”
Keen to dispel any myths and to be a good neighbour, he said he was well aware that jet skis do not always have good press.
“Jet skis don’t have the best reputation,” he said. “They are being talked about as being ‘waspish’. A lot of people are thinking about them as terrorising beaches and jettys. That is not what we are about.
“We are about getting out into the blue yonder, seeing some fantastic cliffs, and also having the thrill of being in control by riding your own jet ski, gaining memories that will last a lifetime.
“This is a great family activity. We’ve worked hard to make it as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.
“The first person we took off said afterwards that if you have had a day that you never going to forget than that is money well spent. That’s what we are aiming for.”
Shetland Adventure Tours can be contacted via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShetlandAdventureTours/. Prices start at £45 per person per hour based on two people sharing a jet ski.