How to Remove Hydro-Turf

Replacing old, worn Personal Water Craft floor mats is important maintenance. Sun, water, and general use wear out this critical craft part that provides safe footing. Replacing these worn mats not only preserves the new appearance of the craft, but also preserves personal safety.

Over the years owners tend to replace these factory foam mats with the newer more improved Hydro-Turf traction mats. Depending on how old your Jetski is will depend on what type of floor mat you have and the type of contact adhesive or rivets that were used.

Even these steps are more suited to removing Hydro-Turf from Sea-Doos and Yamaha Waverunner jet-skis. They can also be applied to removing marine carpets on boats.

Part of restoring one of our old Sea-Doos was a complete 4-Tec engine oil and filter change, along with a PWC coolant flush, and yearly Sea-doo spark plug replacement. Now that the insides are healthy it’s time to make sure the outside of our Jet-ski looks pretty.

How to Remove HydroTurf, Materials List

Rubber gloves (Optional-if you do not mind adhesive remover and adhesive on your hands. That stuff stinks and it is hard to remove let alone it could be carcinogenic.)

  • Chisel, Drill, and Rivet Tool (to replace the rivets on the back rub rail) If required.
  • Plastic scraper (Think windshield ice remover or stiffer if you can find one. Do not use a metal one; they are hard on the gel coat finish if you slip, and you will slip.)
  • Lockjaw vice grip pliers (Use gently and slowly so as not to tear the mat you are removing. Yes, the old mats need to stay in one piece since you will be using them as your matching guide.)
  • Adhesive Remover. Goo Gone Profesional Power
  • Adhesive (If your new mats are not 3m peel and stick) DAP Weldwood Contact Cement
  • Sandpaper (Use no coarser than 320. It depends on how roughed-up you want the new surface for the new mats.)
  • A new set of Jetski Hydro-Turf mats (Save your old ones to make sure of the fit. I know you buy according to the model, but it is always better to be sure. Wrong parts do get put into wrong boxes occasionally.)
  • Some basic DIY hand tools that every man should have in his garage.

An extra pair of hands (You need help to hold the new mats in place as you set them. On fresh adhesive you do not get a second or third chance to adjust the placement.)

Steps to Remove the Sea-Doo Old Marine Grade Floor Mats

Now depending on the age and model of your Yamaha, or Sea-Doo jetski will require different methods on how to remove Hydro-Turf. The most common way to stick them down was contact cement. But I have also seen some older models which have been pop-riveted down.

  1. To remove the back mat, the corner bumpers and rub rail may need to be removed. Use the chisel behind the rail to pop off the rivet end cap (your new mats should come with rivets but save these end caps). Continue along with each rivet until the entire rail is removed. Not all Jetski models require this step.
  2. If your Sea-Doo flooring has pop rivets then you will need the chisel to pop these off. Check the video at the end of these instructions for this step.
  3. Clean the old mats and the surface around them. Use a window cleaner and a clean cloth or paper towel. Use the cleaner sparingly; the surface does not need to be soaked unless it is extremely dusty or dirty.
  4. Spray on the cleaner. Let it sit for a minute, and wipe it with a wet cloth followed by a dry one. Let stand for a few minutes or blow off with compressed air for a completely dry surface.
  5. Apply the Goo Gone Pro adhesive remover first around the edges and then over the entire surface with a small paintbrush.
  6. Give the adhesive remover time to loosen the adhesive under the mat. Check the instructions on the back of the Goo Gone bottle for additional instructions. This is because some brands of contact cement can be stubborn to remove.
  7. After the adhesive remover has had time to do its work, put on your rubber gloves.
  8. Using the edge of the scraper, gently pry up one of the corners and pull back the old mat as far as you can until you feel resistance.
  9. With one hand or using the vice pliers, hold up the part that has come loose and apply more adhesive remover along the edge of the area of resistance.
  10. Give the goo remover time to loosen the area.
  11. Using the scraper, hold the loosened section up and away as you gently pry through the just loosened resistance.
  12. Continue this process until the old mat is completely removed. Repeat for the other mats.

Steps to Install the New Sea-Doo Hydro-Turf Mat Kit

1. With the old mats removed, re-apply the Goo Gone adhesive remover to get rid of any old adhesive still remaining. This is an important step. You must have a perfectly clean, smooth surface on which to apply the new mats. Any lumps of old adhesive prevent good adhesion of the new mats.

Paint on the adhesive remover paying close attention to the instructions. Use a rag to wipe away any foam backing stuck to the gel coat.

contact adhesive remover for hydro-turf jet-ski
Removing the old rubber traction mats will leave glue and rubber behind. Don’t worry we will clean that up later.

2. If you have holes where the old pop rivets used to go and you are not reusing these then you should fill these holes in. 5 minute Araldite works great in these situations. Rember to sand down any excess using the 320 grit sandpaper.

3. Use the sandpaper to gently scuff up the cleaned surface. Take a damp cloth or compressed air and clean the freshly sanded surface. This step will ensure a perfect bond. Take note, not to sand past where you will the sticking down the new Jetski feet mats.

4. Mark out the locations of the new mat with a lead pencil. This will make locating the mats easy when sticking them down.

jet ski foot well mark out traction mat location
Remember to mark where your Hydro-Turf mats will go with a pencil

5. If the new mats are not 3m peel and stick, follow the instructions to apply the new adhesive. Let the adhesive dry to a tacky consistency.

6. Enlist your helper to hold in place the first corner of the new mat as you carefully and slowly roll the new mat into place. Be sure to press out any bubbles or lumps as you go. Re-install the corner guards and rub rail on the back with the new rivets, or screws and replace the end caps.

7. Let the newly installed mats air dry and set for 24 hours before standing on them.

Custom Marine Carpet Flooring for your Jetski

If you are after a different custom look and color to the standard black mats that are available for your jet-ski, you may like to consider marine carpet from Boat Carpet Outlet. That way you could order a small roll of your favorite traction carpet and cut it to size.

Once you have removed your old Seadoo or Yamaha foot carpet, just lay it on the new marine-grade flooring and trace around it. Use a sharp Stanley knife to cut out your shapes. Best to have a sheet of plywood under the carpet as you cut into it to stop your knife from getting dull on the concrete. Perfect custom job.


And that’s about it, this task should take no longer than a few hours, and sometimes the longest part is waiting for the Goo Gone adhesive remover to do its job. If it’s a really stubborn contact cement sticking to your gel coat you will just have to leave it sitting longer, 20-30minutes will be fine. Using some glad wrap over the adhesive remover will stop it from drying out in hot weather.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. All the best for your DIY Jetski Hydro-Turf projects. Now get out there and have some fun.

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