Personal watercrafts (PWCs) offer amazing performance, nimble handling, and convenience in one package at affordable prices. For instance, having your own jet ski allows you to enjoy your summer vacations on the waters. However, choosing the right jet ski for you is not an easy process, especially if you are new to the jet ski world. So to help you find your ideal jet ski, we have compiled the most important things to consider:
#1 Your Budget
Of course, the jet ski you should buy should be within your budget. How much are you willing to spend to get the adventure you want? When deciding for your budget, consider the jet ski’s capacity, its engine size, and the trailer’s price which you will use to transport your vehicle.
If you are not going to use your jet ski often, you might consider renting instead of buying a new one. This is more cost-effective, especially if you are only going to use your watercraft for just a few hours every year. Buying a new one gives you more advantages though, as you will get it with a warranty.
#2 Brand & Model
For the brand, here are the top and most reputable jet ski manufacturers:
Below are the available Personal Watercraft models:
- Narrow hulls with handlebars mounted on moveable poles
- Requires experience and athletic ability
- The only available model for recreational riding is Kawasaki’s Jet Ski SX-R
- Used jet skis are recommended for newbie riders
- Most-powerful engines (at least 300 HP with 65 MPH speeds or higher)
- Large hulls for stable and more comfortable rides
- More fuel capacity and storage compared to recreation models
- Mostly designed for tow sports, fishing, and touring
- Faster, larger, and have more features than Rec-Light models
- 120 HP to 180 HP horsepower
- 50 MPH to 60 MPH maximum speeds
- Can be used for towing
- Most affordable PWCs
- Can carry 2 adults (plus a child)
- 60 HP – 100 HP engines
- Max speed of 45 MPH
- No towing capabilities
- Lighter and Smaller hulls
#3 Type of Hull
The longer and heavier a jet ski is, the more suitable it is for riding in rough conditions. They are ideal for towing into waves and riding in choppy waters. Lighter models are enough for riding in flat-waterways and rivers.
#4 Seating Capacity
Jet skis are available in 2-seater and 3-seater designs but some can carry up to 4 people. Most jet ski models can carry 3 people. There are high-performance jet skis and smaller Rec-Light models that are designed for 2 riders.
If you are going to ride with your family or friends, you should consider the number of seats you need. But if you are going on a solo ride, a 2-seater sit-down jet ski or a stand-up jet ski would be ideal. If you are a newbie rider, we recommend you start with sit down jet skis.
#5 Jet Ski Functionality
For you to know the features that you really want your jet ski to have, we recommended riding several types of jet skis. This is a big help in making the right buying decision. There are jet skis that are suitable for riding in open water and inland lakes so you should know where you will be riding your jet ski. The same thing with tricks and for towing. Not all jet skis can easily perform tricks and not all have towing capabilities.
Consider buying accessories that will make your rides more enjoyable. We recommend buying life jackets for your own safety. They are required by the law and are non-negotiable. Other useful accessories that you can buy include the following:
- Marine GPS (especially if you are going to use your jet ski for exploring or fishing)
- Covers for storage and transport
- Tow rope
- Tow tube
- Telescoping paddle
- Waterproof speakers
- Waterproof phone case
- Fishing gear
- Dry bags
- Safety whistle
Like any vehicle, it is important to get insurance before buying a jet ski. Some dealers can arrange this for you but it depends on your location. It is even recommended to get a separate insurance policy for your jet ski. A lot of jet ski insurance companies have plans that include damages to your vehicle, personal injuries, medical payments from accidents, property damage, and others.
You will need a safe and reliable means to transport your jet ski. If you live near a waterfront property, transportation is not an issue. Choose a trailer that can help you transport your jet ski anywhere you want without damaging your watercraft. If your jet ski does not have a good towing capacity, you might consider buying a car that can conveniently transport it.
When buying a personal watercraft, decide where you will be storing it. Large 4-seater jet skis are going to occupy a lot of space. If you do not have enough room, you might consider buying a smaller jet ski model. Also, if you are going to keep your jet ski at home, make sure that you store it properly and not under the sun. Cover it and secure it inside a storage unit, shed, or garage.
#10 Docking Station
If you have a waterfront property, it would be more convenient and fun if you install a dock for jet ski. Make sure that you install a docking station that will make loading and launching your jet ski easy and convenient. Decide if you are going to install a floating dock or a stationary dock. A floating dock rests on the water’s surface while a stationary dock has a solid structure and rests on top of pilings.
Although choosing a jet ski that matches your preferences can be quite challenging, having a guide that will help you in choosing one can be very helpful. Make sure that you do your own research before buying your own jet ski. We hope that you were able to find your ideal jet ski using the tips we mentioned here.