I've heard of people doing this before. I just got my ski and don't have money for a trailer so I'm hoping there's a way I can launch it out of the bed of my truck by myself. Anyone have any tips they could share with me?
This is how I've launched my ski for almost 10+ years now. Couple things you need to worry about though.
1) Make sure you have a high-quality launch ramp. Beach/Sand/Etc = NO GOOD! As mentioned earlier, if there's a lot of algae on the ramp use extra caution. Steep ramps allow you to put less tire in the water too, so don't stray from those.
2) You need a friend, preferably a taller/stronger friend, to help when you need to get it back in. Other ways around this that I've thought of are an electric winch system(which would be sweet, but there expensive) or some type of pulley system which I'm currently exploring.
How to do it!
1) Back your truck in until the water is a little lower than the rear axle. This should be about 1/3 - 1/2 the way up the rear tires.
2) Put the truck in park, leave the truck running, get out and drop your tailgate.
3) Pull your ski off the truck, you should have your ski in nose first, so the your pulling it from the tail into the water. Pull the ski into the water let the tail float up, then pull the rest into the water. It should never hit the ground if you do it right.
4) Push your ski safely off to the side of the ramp and secure it (so it don't float away). I put the handle bars up as well, so if any other trucks try to use the ramp they will see my ski.
5) Get back into the truck, put the car in drive, and SLOWLY accelerate. When you feel the truck begin nudge forward, slowly release your parking brake, and drive away smoothly.
If you do it right, you won't spin your wheels or slide out. It also helps to have a full tank of gas when you do this to add some needed weight to the bed. You may also want to try this with a friend with a truck, just in case you fuck it up bad and they should be able to give you a minor tow assist if absolutely needed. Also, this works even easier on lower trucks. If your truck is lifted, you're kinda screwed unless you got 4wd, in which case your totally fine.
Just keep in mind, unless your Hercules, you're not going to be able to get it back into the truck unless you want to try a throttle assist lift, which can easily send your jet-ski into the passenger seat(via the rear window) if not done perfectly.