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DIVEIN.com’s Complete Guide to:

The best jet ski in 2021

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The authors:

christos nicolaou

Christos Nicolaou

Divemaster and Paddler
Christos is a passionate diver, enthusiastic paddler & amateur SUP racer.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Bradley is a sailor, diver and stickler for details

A jet ski is one of the most popular and fun recreational vehicles you can find. Jet skis give you the chance to fly over the water like never before. Great for practicing your balance and coordination, jet skis can help develop your leg muscles.

Jet skiing is a relatively accessible watersport and is easy to get into. There are many things that make jet skiing so awesome, but it’s probably the fact that it’s one of the fastest and most adrenaline-fuelled watersports that makes it so attractive.

Welcome to the most exciting watersport in the world!

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Check out our top 10 best Jet skis :

 

  1. Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310XL
  2. Sea-doo Spark Trixx
  3. Yamaha Superjet
  4. Sea-doo GTI SE
  5. Yamaha FX SVHO 
  6. Sea-doo RXP-X
  7. Yamaha EXR
  8. Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R
  9. Sea-doo RXT-X
  10. Narke Electrojet

 

Guide to Jet Skiing

We’ve made the most comprehensive guide to jet skiing. Here you can find the answer to any questions you may have about jet skiing. You can also discover how to get started, how to find the right jet ski and general tips for starting your journey into jet skiing. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that this beginner’s guide to jet skiing will answer.

 

What is a jet ski?

 
A jet ski is defined as a small jet-propelled vehicle that skims across the surface of the water and typically is ridden like a motorcycle. The jet ski is a recreational personal watercraft (PWC) that the rider can stand or sit on. For an affordable price, jet skis offer intuitive handling and exceptional performance on the water. Jet skiing is the watersport of riding a jet ski.

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How does a jet ski work?

Unlike traditional motorboats that use an external propeller, jet skis use an internally mounted internal impeller. With its unique corkscrew style, a jet ski impeller is used to generate forward thrust. It draws a large water volume into a propulsion channel and then forces the water out through a size restricted cone-shaped jet nozzle. This setup allows the jet ski to work in shallow water and reduces the risk of injury to the rider as there are no moving external parts.
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How to jet ski?

Like most watersports, jet skiing is intuitive and is different for each person. Naturally, some people will find it difficult, and others will find it easy, but for the most part, it’s pretty straightforward.

How to drive a jet ski?

Firstly find a comfortable sitting position, then place both hands on the handlebars and firmly place your feet on the footrests. Next make sure the key is connected to the kill cord lanyard and attach this to your wrist. Turn the jet ski ignition switch and slowly start to push the throttle. Maintain a slow speed of about 5 to 8 miles per hour until you are clear of the shoreline and all obstacles.

You can change directions by leaning towards the direction you want to turn and maneuvering the handlebar to face that direction. You will need to keep accelerating in order to turn, so make sure to keep centered and balanced on the jet ski when maneuvering.

If you are faced with a wake or large waves, try to cross them at a 90° angle for maximum stability and so you aren’t pushed off the jet ski. It’s easier than you think to lose control of the jet ski so try going slowly until you get the hang of it and make sure you are taking the necessary safety precautions.

What happens if I fall off?

If it’s your first time on a jet ski you will probably fall off at some point. All jet skis require a kill switch that attaches to the driver and “kills” the engine when it’s pulled out.

Don’t worry if you fall off, as long as you aren’t going 50 miles per hour, you should hit the water relatively softly, and assuming you’re wearing a personal flotation device you should be fine.

If your jet ski is capsized, you can turn your jet-ski upwards in one direction and swim to the back for re-boarding. You shouldn’t re-board from the side because your watercraft could flip over. Hold onto the handles on the back of the seat and pull yourself up onto the seat and reattach the kill cord.

 

Choosing a jet ski

What type of jet ski do you need?

The type of jet ski you need will depend on the features and specifications you want the jet ski to have. There are various types of jet ski models available ranging from recreational to performance, each having its own advantages and disadvantages for riders.

 

Recreational-light jet ski

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The recreational light jet ski is the most affordable type of jet ski on the market. With a top speed of around 40-50 miles per hour, these models have a 50 to 100 horsepower engine and are used for leisure. For this reason, they are small and lightweight with a capacity of two adults. These jet skis aren’t suitable for waves or bad weather as their lightweight and small hull makes it difficult to ride them in rough conditions.

 

Recreational jet ski

recreational jet ski 2

The recreational jet ski models are the most popular mid-range jet ski models available. They are bigger and faster than recreational light jet ski models and have better specifications and features such as speed control options and performance options.

With an engine of between 100 and 200 horsepower, recreational jet skis have a top speed of between 50-65 miles per hour. Depending on the horsepower of the jet ski, recreational models can be used for leisure, wakeboarding, work (such as towing) and recreational racing.

 

Luxury jet ski

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Luxury jet skis are the most feature-rich jet ski models. They have powerful engines that have over 300 horsepower and boast a top speed of more than 65 miles per hour. Luxury jet skis are built to be big, with more storage and fuel capacity than other models.

They are designed to offer the highest level of comfort available while providing a stable and enjoyable ride in almost any condition. All the premium features are included with luxury jet skis, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on anything.

Touch screen displays, security systems and even eco-friendly performance modes are all standard features in luxury jet skis.

 

Performance jet ski

performance jet ski 2

Performance jet skis are elite versions of recreational jet ski models. They are made for competition and are easily the fastest jet skis on the market. With increased acceleration, torque, and handling, performance they can reach top speeds of 70-80 miles per hour, powered by extremely powerful engines. These models require a high level of skill to ride effectively and are best suited for experienced jet ski riders.

 

Stand-up jet ski

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Originally, all jet ski’s were narrow stand-up models with a long handlebares that can move up and down with the driver’s stance. However, they’ve gone out of fashion due to how difficult they are to use and are now mainly used in competitions. There are still a few stand up models, but if you’re serious about a stand-up jet ski, your best bet is to buy one second hand.

 

Jet Ski features to consider

Engine power

Jet ski engines tend to have between 60-310 horsepower depending on make and model. Naturally aspirated engines that come in stock jet skis typically produce 60-180 horsepower, while supercharged models can provide 250-310 horsepower.

Naturally aspirated engines use atmospheric pressure in the intake to push the cumbustion process of the motor. They deliver steady power, whereas turbo charged engines use force induction and can lag–even though they give more power.

If you’re just starting out or renting you might want to consider a jet ski that offers lower horsepower in order to minimize the learning curve.

Handling

Depending on your ability and skill, you will want a different level of handling from your jet ski. If you want to ride a smooth and nimble jet ski, having an ergonomic steering system on your ski will help you react faster and make more precise turns.

Capacity

An important factor in deciding what jet ski is right for you has to do with the number of passengers. Most jet skis are made so that two adults can ride with comfort, however there is the option in many models of having up to three passenger capacity including the driver.

These larger jet skis are often also great for pulling a waterskier or wakeboarder, equipped as some of them are with a ski pylon mount.

Storage

Storage is another important feature that jet skis can provide. Most jet skis have a dry storage space under the seat or under the handlebar. Additional storage space is available on the back of the jet ski. The amount of storage you need depends on the type of activities you will be doing, but generally speaking, most jet skis offer a suitable amount of storage for valuables and a small waterproof backpack.

Trim

A jet ski’s trim helps keep the nose of the ski down, up, or even–depending on how it’s adjusted. When the trim is up, it keeps the nose down and helps increase your stability if you are riding in choppy water. For reaching speeds on calm water, you want your trim even so you can glide across the water with the least amount of resistance.

Kill cord

The kill cord shuts off the engine, so that the jet ski doesn’t continue going when the rider falls off. A kill cord is a red lanyard with a clip at one end that attaches to a button on the console and a clip attached to the rider at the other end. Jet ski riders usually attach the kill cord to their wrist, their life vest or knee.

 

Common Jet Ski Brands

There are many different brands of jet skis. The three most popular brands are Seadoo, Kawasaki and Yamaha. These brands are by far the most widely used and have the most extensive range of jet ski products on the market.

Seadoo

seadoo

The first ever jet ski manufacturer, Seadoo, has a long range of excellent jet skis and an even more impressive reputation. Seadoo is the most popular jet ski brand in the industry and is known for producing high quality and affordable jet skis.

Seadoo has the largest line-up of jet skis out of all the major manufacturers and has some of the most affordable models. The SeaDoo Spark is currently the cheapest jet ski available on the market.

Kawasaki

kawasaki

Kawasaki has a history of market leadership in the personal watercraft industry. Released in 1972, the stand-up Kawasaki Jet Ski was the first commercially successful personal watercraft.

Kawasaki offers powerful and feature-rich jet skis to suit most consumer needs. Their products have higher prices than most of the other manufacturers. That said, the quality is exceptional and Kawasaki has been known to consistently produce innovative–albeit a limited range of–jet skis.

Yamaha

yamaha

A leader in the power sports industry, Yamaha is a major player in the jet ski market. Yamaha’s marine products also enjoy a long history of success, including motors and navigation instruments.

They have an extensive range of ergonomically-designed and exceptionally versatile wave runners (their brand of jet skis) that have a large fan base. These wave runners are famous for their reliability, comfort, and control on the water. They also require very little maintenance.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

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    💰 How much is a jet ski?

    Jet skis can cost anywhere from $5,000 on the affordable end of the spectrum, to $20,000 on the higher end. The most expensive is the Kawasaki Ultra 310LX and the cheapest jet ski currently on the market in 2021 is the Sea-Doo Spark.

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    🗜️ Does a jet ski require a lot of maintenance?

    Generally, jet skis require little maintenance other than getting serviced. Simply winterizing a jet ski every year can significantly increase its lifespan and limit the overall maintenance required. If you rinse the jet ski with fresh water after usage and keep the oil and fluids topped up, you shouldn’t have any issues.

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    🤔How to winterize a jet ski?

    Remove all gear from storage spaces under seats and thoroughly wash the hull to remove any grime or algae. If you ride in salt water, take special care to ensure no salt residue is left behind. Wipe down and dry the seat, handles, and hull to limit any degradation of the material.

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    🤨 How much is jet ski insurance?

    The average annual cost of jet ski insurance can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 per year. The cost of jet ski insurance depends on factors such as the year, the make, and the jet ski model.

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    🧐 How much does a jet ski weigh?

    Jet skis weigh on average about 725 pounds. The lightest jet ski on the market is the Yamaha superjet at just 375 pounds, and the heaviest jet ski is the Kawasaki Ultra 310LX at 1,073 pounds.

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    🙋🏻 How old do you have to be to drive a jet ski?

    There is no age limit on a jet ski. However, the manufacturers have recommendations for the minimum height of the passengers for safety reasons. For safety reasons, a jet ski operator’s minimum age is normally considered to be 16 years old

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