The 10 Best Jet Skis in 2020
For the water lovers and thrill seekers out there, jet skiing offers quite the adventure. It could be easily compared to riding a motorcycle, but instead of riding on the road you’re hitting the waves, on water. Pretty cool, right?
Unfortunately, most of us are not lucky enough to live in a warm climate, therefore we have to take full advantage of the short summer months to practice this sport.
What is a Jet Ski
Before we go any further, let’s get our lexicon on point. A jet ski, or a personal watercraft can also be called a water scooter. It is basically a recreational watercraft the rider can either sit or stand on, and it’s less than 13 feet (4m) long.
The first personal watercraft was introduced in the early 1970s and since then they evolved into many different brands. Even if you’ve never ridden one, you have surely heard of Kawasaki’s Jet Ski, the Sea-Doo from Polaris Industries or Yamaha’s powerful Wave Runner.
Types of Jet Skis
Personal watercraft models (PWC) can be divided into four categories, so it can help narrow down the vast possibilities.
Lite Recreational: relatively on the smaller size – they do not fare well in rough waters or big waves.
Recreational: a step up from the first category, they offer a more comfortable ride and they also come with more power and speed.
Performance: the name is pretty self-explanatory. These jet skis offer top of the line specs and unsurprisingly they come at a higher price than the previous two categories.
Luxury: those models are not only the most expensive, but they also offer the best performance as well as utmost comfort.
The 10 Best Jet Skis Right Now
Sea-Doo Spark Trixx
This lightweight high strength personal watercraft is designed to perform all types of tricks on the water, hence its funky name. The additions from Sea-Doo’s regular Spark model are the Extended Range VTS (Variable Trim System), the adjustable handlebars and the extra step wedges.
Powered by a 899cc Rotax 900 ACE engine with 90 horsepower and weighing in at 428 pounds (194 kg), this jet ski offers a great power to weight ratio making it an excellent little PWC for the adventurous type. It is designed with an IBR kit (Intelligent Brake & Reverse) for added security.
This popular jet ski offers quite a great bang for your buck. An entry-level WaveRunner, this PWC delivers endless fun on the water. It is agile and powerful, yet very comfortable and features Yamaha’s Ride dual throttle system which includes an additional lever on the left handlebar so it makes docking and reversing a breeze.
It’s equipped with a 1,049cc inline-three engine with 110hp and also comes with good standard storage and decent fuel capacity as well. If you so choose, you can carry an extra passenger on this jet ski. The EXR is powered by Tuning Fork Company’s high-output TR-1 marine engine and it’s built from fibreglass-based Sheet Molding Compound (SMC).
Yamaha’s original SuperJet was released in 1990, and since then it has thrived to become one of the most popular stand-up personal watercrafts ever made. The SuperJet entirely made in Japan and its third generation – the 2021 model which was released in August 2020 – showcases a complete redesign of its original model.
The hull is brand new in its entirety and the jet ski is powered by Yamaha’s 1,049cc 100hp three-cylinder four-stroke TR-1 marine engine. It is still a very reliable machine but a little bit better for the environment than its predecessors.
Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R
The Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R is a four-stroke power stand-up watercraft, and even though it’s basically in the same class as the SuperJet, the two couldn’t be more different. Kawasaki’s Jet Ski is significantly larger than the SuperJet and its 1,498cc engine, with a cool 160hp, allows it to be faster as well.
The aesthetics are also different: with a more pronounced bow shape and a handle which is longer and wider than that of the SuperJet. That’s why the Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R is overall a sturdier model.
The new 2021 RXP-X model has received some changes to its look as well as its performance. Coming in lighter by 67 lbs (30kg), the Sea-Doo RXP-X is still one of the largest watercrafts on the market. The revamped T3R hull has a new deep-v design which provides greater stability at high speeds.
The seat is more comfortable as well, the jet ski comes with more storage than its predecessor, LinQ accessory integration and an optional 100-watt Bluetooth sound system. The engine is a supercharged 1,630cc Inline-Three with 300 hp, taking this scooter to breathtaking top speed of 67 mph (107 km/h). All these improvements make the RXP-X a very enticing machine.
Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310R
For the racers out there, the Jet Ski Ultra 310R features one of the most powerful engines out there. This beast of a machine is powered by a four cylinder supercharged 1,498cc engine, with an incredible output of 310hp and a top speed that also stands at 67 mph (107 km/h). But it also comes with a deep-v hull which helps it in rough waters.
Its ergonomic deck design comes with sufficient legroom and the left-hand reverse arm is made for easy usage. Not only is this watercraft one of the most powerful in its category, it is also built with comfort in mind.
Yamaha FX Limited SVHO
One of the leaders in the luxury PWC class, the Yamaha FX Limited SVHO also went through a major overhaul in 2019. It gained a revised powertrain, with a 250hp supercharged 1,822 engine, a new deck and hull design, and several limited edition amenities such as cruise control, no-wake mode, a colour touchscreen, all of which make your riding a personalized adventure.
One of its most attractive features is RiDE, Yamaha’s dual-accelerator system which adds a secondary accelerator that controls reversing and quick slowdown when going at high speed.
The Hungarian company is the first in the world to produce an electrojet. As the name suggests it, it is an eco-conscious personal watercraft, with a three phase asynchronous electric motor that offers 95 hp. Built entirely from carbon fibre and equipped with high-tech electronics, this elegant machine combines looks and performance.
It was designed for maximum endurance and comes equipped with a water cooled electric motor, state-of-the-art battery management system and a bright colour display with phone connectivity.
Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod
This ultimate yacht toy takes the luxury category to a different level. Featuring a ravishing design with a hull made out of carbon fibre, the Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod is an impressive jet ski, to say the least. It’s equipped with an all aluminum supercharged 6.2 L V8 Engine that generates a cool 300hp, taking this “wet rod” to a 65mph top speed.
Some of its standard features are LED lighting throughout, a 15” touchscreen display, a battery switch, a premium sound system, an under-seat cooler, just to name a few.
Mansory Black Marlin 550
Based in Germany, Mansory is a luxury automotive tuner that’s well known for its unique upgrade programs for some of the world’s best super cars. This is their first try at something outside their expertise and we think they totally nailed it. The Black Marlin 550 is based on the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260 RS model but it is made out of carbon fibre, which lightens its weight by 22 lbs.
It might not seem like a lot considering its overall size, but it does improve the riding experience. The supercharged 1,494cc Inline-Three engine has been tuned to deliver an astonishing 550hp, which should take this beast to a mind blowing top speed of over 80 mph (128 km/h). Mansory’s luxurious jet ski promises a sturdy ride – an example of German engineering at its best.
If you haven’t decided yet which jet ski to buy, maybe this list has made your decision a little easier.
Whether you have a competitive streak or you just want to try something different, this hobby sure offers plenty of fun.