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Jet Skis- What should I know

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  • Jet Skis- What should I know

    Hi All,

    I have a family member that wants to purchase a pair of jet skis prior to next summer and has asked for my help. I know very little about them other than what I knew 35 years ago when we used to screw around with a couple old Kawasaki stand-up versions that seemed to break down or get drowned every few hours.

    Any insight you could give regarding what to look for, what to avoid, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Their budget is about $6k for two with a trailer. The heaviest rider will likely be me at 200lbs. They will just be used for cruising around the lake. Age range of riders will be between 13 and 80......


  • #2
    This is a better topic for Dec/Jan/Feb when winter blues have everyone feeling saucy. Since I see you own a prostar, which likely means lover of butter water for great slalom runs, just have said family member purchase you a new water ski instead. Those jet skis create waves.

    All kidding aside, I'm being serious

    100% sarcasm btw


    • #3
      I've riden the big 3 brands. Owned 4 over the years. Sea Doo for me was the most fun to ride and was reliable. 2 sets of 2 machines over 8 years, zero trouble except baby bro sucked a rock from a shallow area and wrecked a prop. Good friend swears by Kawasaki. We both think the Yamaha's are more stable but less fun to ride.
      Buying used - find someone who knows them mechanically to help check them out. Buying someone else's problem is a risk with these things
      Last edited by neil.anderson63; 10-14-2019, 05:12 PM.
      Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.


      • #4
        IMO SeaDoo is the way to go.. We have trusted this brand from day one, literally owning a first generation. Throughout the last 31 years we have had numerous models and various years. The question comes down to what you are trying to accomplish. 3 seaters now-days are very stable and can reach speeds in the 50's, if that's what you are into. The newer spark model is supposed to go back to the 90's where SeaDoos were 2 seaters and very light and fun to jump (yes I was that kid). Sparks can be fun, but no jet ski jumps like the 90's bodies.

        I agree with the above post. If you are looking for 2 jet skis you will want to know where they came from. $6k isn't a bad budget. You will have to figure out if you want to scream around the lake, pull tubers, cruise, or take day trip. Comfort and stability are probably the biggest things you will want to consider. SeaDoo's, to me, meet the bill. Just my opinion. You can look at 2007 / 2013 years and you could easily be in that price range.


        • #5
          my first question would be are they a fat lazy slob that wants to sit on a lake flea or do they enjoy actually doing stuff and are looking more for a standup style?


          • #6
            My standard answer is always, I would buy a seadoo hull with a yamaha motor, since they don't make that......Seadoo! I own 3.


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I think ideally we would get one stand-up and one two-seater sit down. No one is going to get too crazy on these except for maybe me and I don't really need to go 50 mph on our lake. Do most of the relatively recent versions have hour meters? Are most still two-strokes or are four strokes starting to become prevalent. Any other tell-tale signs of abuse besides the obvious (impeller damage, hull damage, oil leaks, etc.)?



              • #8
                Check out the Spark series from Sea Doo. The price, features, fuel economy, and reliability is spot on for me. The performance isn’t bad either. My kids have the Trixx model and haven’t complained about not having enough power.


                • #9
                  Just went through that recently and ended up with a new Yamaha. After talking to multiple vendors, rental places, and other owners, we settled on the Yamaha due to the reliability others have experienced compared to the other brands.

                  One thing to note - Yamahas are painted while Seadoos have gelcoat (not sure if that is true for all years, but it was on the 2019 models). The Yamaha scratches very easily. This would've been nice to know when shopping as it might have swayed my decision towards Seadoo.


                  • #10
                    for standup's I've always been a kawasaki person but that's what i learned on. as for the sit down i don't think you can go wrong with either yamaha or seadoo i would say whichever you feel more comfortable on and has the features you want.


                    • #11
                      I currently own two sea doo's and have had 8 different stand ups. You cant go wrong with a Superjet or SXR, they are really down to preference, however if no one is planning to go crazy and get into tricks, definitely lean towards the SXR. As for sit downs, I have always bought sea doo, with the exception of 1 Yamaha that we owned. The Yamaha was great and very reliable but did not handle or have the ride of the sea doo. Our current machines are the GTR and the RXTX. The GTR 230, is the best value if you are looking at new. Good luck in your search!


                      • #12
                        We have always had Seadoo since I was a kid and I wouldn't own anything else. I have a 2012 RXPX that is bulletproof and crazy fast.

                        To be honest, I barely ride it anymore because its just more of a hassle but my nephew and brother-in-law enjoy it so we keep it for when they are at the river. I have never had an issue with any Seadoo that I have owner.

                        Up until this RXP-X we got in 2012, we would get a new model each year. This one is going on 7 years old and runs like it did when it was brand new.


                        • #13
                          We had a 2010 RXT (215hp) for 8 years. It was incredibly reliable and fun to ride. As our son got more experienced (braver) he pushed it harder. But, it was stable and safe when he was learning. It has a top speed in the mid-60s. But top speed is not what you get with HP, what you get is quicker acceleration, which is fun when trying to toss your passenger off.

                          Don't buy a 2-stroke. I personally feel the reliability of PWC came about when they started making 4 stroke units.

                          I have seen people on stand-ups, but only a few. And the ones I see, don't seem to have them for more than a season or two. But, that is just my perception, I could be wrong.

                          We replaced our 2010 RXT (3-seats) with a 2017 RXP (2-seats). My son felt with the three seats that he was more taxi for hauling all the young kids around. He wanted out of that role as he aged. The RXP is 300hp and wicked fast, but is far from a ski you want someone learning on. That said, they come with a key that you can limit top speed with (green key).

                          I love the IBR function with seadoo. Basically, you squeeze the grip to engage reverse vs pulling a large handle. It is great for docking or pulling up to the boat to chat. I won't get a PWC without IBR.


                          • #14
                            Honestly, a budget of 6k with the trailer will get you older much more unreliable models of any make. I have had a buddies parked at my house on the water and the one worth about three grand is a pile of **** I wouldn’t give you $500 for. I would think about find a pair of two year old ones and up the budget to $15,000. The first time you swim one of these into shore you’ll know what I know.


                            • #15
                              Go vintage, Go weird. Be the talk of the lake. Always a couple of these floating on Craigslist/EBay and well within your price range.
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