What is the American Power Boat Association (APBA)?
The American Power Boat Association (APBA) is a governing body for power boat racing in the United States. The APBA is the oldest racing organization in the United States and in 2003 APBA celebrated its 100-year anniversary. With more than 5,000 racing members, the APBA sanctions over 200 events each year for just about any motorized watercraft imaginable from Unlimited Hydroplanes to rough riding Offshore boats, to Personal Watercraft. The APBA organizes and assists regional racing promoters in the United States, and regulates a variety of personal watercraft racing competitions. These competitions include the popular Watercross, which is also referred to as Closed Course racing, Freestyle, Slalom events, along with the emerging Endurance and Offshore racing. The APBA is an International affiliate of the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) representing the United States. The APBA Personal Watercraft Racing (PWR) program was created to help racers, manufacturers and sponsors benefit form the rapidly expanding sport of watercraft racing.
What happened to the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA)?
The IJSBA is still around, but the role of the IJSBA has changed from being both an International sanctioning body and membership organization in the United States, to just being an International racing organization. The IJSBA organizes and assists its International affiliates (like the APBA) and produces a rulebook for all of its International affiliates to follow. The IJSBA also produces the World Finals. For more information on the IJSBA visit
Do I have to be an APBA member in order to race?
In order to race in an APBA sanctioned event you need to be a competition member or you can sign up ONCE for a single-event competition membership.
Do I have to be an IJSBA member in order to race?
No, you only have to be an APBA member.
I've decided to become an APBA member, how do I sign up?
There are three ways to join the APBA.
1. On-line registration through this website.
2. Download a membership application on this web site and mail it to APBA.
3. Sign up with your regional promoter at the races.
What does the APBA Competition Membership include?
You can race in APBA sanctioned events all over the United States in the following watercraft racing categories: Watercross, Slalom, Freestyle, Endurance and Offshore. There are 3 levels of competition, which include Regional and National events, as well as the World Finals.
In addition to being able to race in the above events, you will also receive a membership kit which includes; a magazine, a membership card, APBA stickers, an IJSBA competition rule book, discount on APBA merchandise, and more!!
What are the different classes I can race in?
New racers can race in the Novice and/or Beginner classes. The APBA separates the riders into classes based on the type of watercraft you own (i.e. Ski, Runabout) and the Modifications (i.e. Stock, Limited, Superstock). The Beginner classer are usually an open class. Check with your local promoter to see what classes he/she offers.
How do I enter a race?
The first thing you need to do is find who the race promoter in your area is and decide which event you want to attend. Once you've selected the racing events you want to attend, you can get the appropriate racing forms from your local promoter or their Web site. Please keep in mind that each event has a specific deadline for registration and there may be penalties or additional fees for late registration.
What kind of safety gear do I need and where do I get it?
Safety is a critical part of racing and should be taken very seriously. Helmets, goggles, footwear, wetsuits, gloves are some of the equipment necessary. All of this equipment is available at your local watercraft dealer.
What about numbers for my boat and what number can I run?
The APBA and the IJSBA requires a specific size and color of backgrounds to race depending on skill level. Numbers and backgrounds are available for sale at most of the races. Clear, legible numbers are very important. Remember, if the numbers cannot be read while the watercraft is moving, the rider stand a good chance of not being scored properly. It is the responsibility of the rider to have the proper size and color numbers and backgrounds. See the rulebook for the correct size background and number.
Riders can pick any number from 101 to 999. Numbers 1-100 are earned numbers. We suggest you buy the numbers at the races, so you will make sure you do not put a number on your watercraft that someone already has, and have to replace the numbers you already bought.
What are the rules and where do I get them?
The APBA is an International affiliate of the IJSBA and the events are run by the IJSBA rulebook. APBA members will receive an IJSBA Competition rulebook as part of their membership. You may also go to the IJSBA Web site (www.ijsba.com) and view the entire rulebook for a quick reference. Because new rules are implemented during the course of the year it's important to check the APBA and IJSBA Web sites for rule updates. It is the racers responsibility to check this before competing!