How Fast Can a Jet Ski Go? (With the Fastest Models on the Market Now)


You’re thinking of buying your first jet ski, especially since all your friends have recently gotten into the hobby. Owning one of these aquatic racing vehicles could be kind of cool, you’re thinking, but you want to be able to go fast on your jet ski, like really fast. How quickly do jet skis travel on average?

Jet skis can reach speeds of 40 to 70 miles per hour, with speeds of 50 MPH considered average. Many jet skiers report that riding at this pace is more than sufficient enough for speed lovers.

Ahead, we’ll discuss more about jet ski speed, including a comprehensive section on some of the fastest jet skis that money can buy. You may just find your new jet ski by the time you’re done reading!

How Fast Does the Average Jet Ski Go?

Jet skis, on average, are about 800 pounds. They’re incredibly lightweight compared to other vessels, so you should anticipate going exponentially faster, right? That all depends on the model of jet ski you buy.

On the lower side, the max speed some jet skis can hit is 40 MPH, which admittedly isn’t all that fast. Most models top out somewhere in the 50 MPH range, which, as we said in the intro, feels a lot faster than you’d imagine. Driving a car at 50 MPH and operating a jet ski at the same speed are two totally different experiences.

Other jet skis are even faster than that, achieving speeds of 60 MPH. If you want to go even faster still, it’s possible, but you’ll have to be a lot choosier about the jet ski you buy. We’ll talk in the next section about which jet skis are ultra-fast.

For now, let’s discuss some examples of what you’re more likely to see on the market as you begin your initial research into jet skis.

Sea-Doo Speed Examples

Sea-Doo is a water scooter and personal watercraft manufacturer that’s one of the best-known in the world of jet skis. The company also produces Manitou pontoon boats, Alumacraft aluminum fishing boats, Evinrude and Rotax engines, Lynx and Ski-Doo snowmobiles, and Can-Am motorcycles.

Here’s an overview of several Sea-Doo models, their horsepower (HP), and their max speed in MPH:

  • Fish Pro: 170 HP, 55 MPH
  • GTX 170: 170 HP, 55 MPH
  • Wake 170: 170 HP, 55 MPH
  • GTI SE 130: 130 HP, 52 MPH
  • GTI SE 170: 170 HP, 55 MPH
  • GTI 130: 130 HP, 52 MPH
  • GTI 90: 90 HP, 42 MPH
  • SPARK TRIXX 3up: 90 HP, 50 MPH
  • SPARK 2up: 60 HP, 42 MPH 

Yamaha Speed Examples

The Yamaha brand is known for their WaverRunner, a favorite jet ski among many enthusiasts. The Japan-based company, called Yamaha Motor Company in full, also produces outboard motors, motorcycles, and boats. 

Here are some Yamaha models and their max HP and speed in MPH:

  • VX Limited: 125 HP, 53 MPH
  • VX Cruiser: 125 HP, 53 MPH
  • VX Deluxe: 125 HP, 53 MPH
  • VX: 125 HP, 53 MPH
  • VX-C: 125 HP, 53 MPH
  • EXR: 110 HP, 54 MPH
  • EX Deluxe: 100 HP, 50 MPH
  • EX Sport: 100 HP, 50 MPH
  • EX: 100 HP, 50 MPH
  • Superjet: 73 HP, 45 MPH 

Kawasaki Speed Examples

Another noteworthy jet ski manufacturer, Kawasaki is too based in Japan. Besides their impressive line of watercraft like jet skis, Kawasaki also produces ATVs, motorcycles, trains, tractors, ships, industrial plants, engines, and aerospace equipment as part of their Kawasaki Heavy Industries company.

Here are a few Kawasaki jet ski models, their max HP, and their top speed in MPH:

  • SX-R: 160 HP, 62 MPH
  • STX 160X: 160 HP, 62 MPH
  • STX-15F: 160 HP, 62 MPH
  • STX 160: 160 HP, 62 MPH

Krash Speed Examples

A smaller but still worthy contender, Krash Industries specializes in what they call “turn-key freeride/freestyle adrenaline watercraft” such as jet skis that are supposed to be less expensive than some of the competition. Krash is based in Wilmington, Delaware.

Here are some Krash jet ski models as well as their top HP and max speed in MPH:

  • Footrocket: 130 HP, 46 MPH
  • Footrocket Pro: 130 HP, 46 MPH
  • Predator: 130 HP, 46 MPH
  • Reaper: 130 HP, 46 MPH
  • 50 CAL: 130 HP, 46 MPH 

Keep in mind that these speeds, while advertised from the respective jet ski manufacturers, are not necessarily the max attainable speed each and every time you ride. What do we mean by that? A variety of factors can influence your speed, such as air conditioners built into your watercraft. How choppy or smooth the water is will also affect speed, as can how much fuel your jet ski carries, the weight of your gear, how you’re riding, and how much you yourself weigh. 

The Fastest Jet Skis on the Market Today

The above examples show the breadth of the average jet ski speed, but as we said, you’re not capped at a top speed of 60 MPH. If you must go faster, then feast your eyes on the following jet skis. They are considered the fastest you can find.

Sea-Doo

For Sea-Doo, their RXT-X and RXP-X are two of the fastest jet skis around. Both have a top horsepower of 300 HP and amazing speeds of 67 MPH. The 2020 RXT-X, the RXT-X 300, can hit 60 MPH in only 3.6 seconds. The 2020 RXP-X can do the same, which is impressive!

The next fastest from Sea-Doo is the GTX Limited, which can easily reach 230 HP and 67 MPH. The GTX 230 has the same speed specs, as does the Wake Pro. The 2020 model includes a Rotax 1620 ACE engine that makes achieving breakneck speeds easy. Other features include tilt steering, a quick-attach rear cargo system, a Bluetooth audio system, and easy-access front storage.

Yamaha

Don’t sleep on Yamaha. They have even more quick jet skis, with the average speeds 63 to 67 MPH.

In the 63-MPH range, the FX HO has a top horsepower of 180 HP. This jet ski weighs 836 pounds dry, can seat up to three, and has a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. The SVHO engine makes this jet ski speedy on the water, and with cruise assist, a multi-mount system, a tow hook, and a Connext touchscreen, you get lots of other great features too.

The FX Cruiser HO also reaches speeds of 63 MPH at 180 HP. It features a 155-millimeter high-pressure pump and a four-stroke, four-cylinder high-output 1.8-liter Yamaha marine engine. This jet ski can seat two. 

The VX Cruiser HO is even faster at 65 MPH and 180 HP. This small but mighty jet ski weighs 794 pounds dry, has room for three people, and boasts a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. It too features the same Yamaha marine engine.

If you want a jet ski that can easily hit 67 MPH, sometimes more in the right conditions, with 250 HP, you have plenty of options from Yamaha. The GSP1800 R SVHO achieves its speed thanks to its supercharged four-stroke Super Vortex high-output Yamaha marine engine. This jet ski can also fit three passengers, and it includes a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. 

The jet skis in the FX Series are reliable picks as well. Starting with the FX SVHO, its supercharged four-stroke engine keeps it speedy on the water. Also appealing is its bright Lime Yellow hue, Connext touchscreen, trim system, and two-piece seat.

The FX Limited SVHO in Neon Lava red also has a supercharged four-stroke engine. Easily accommodating three riders, this jet ski weighs 822 pounds dry and can store up to 44 gallons of goodies, including extra fuel. Its fuel capacity is 18.5 gallons. 

Last but certainly not least, the FX Cruiser SVHO from Yamaha too has the supercharged four-stroke engine as well as a glovebox, multi-mount system, Connext touchscreen, and room for three. It weighs 820 pounds dry and comes in black or Torch Red with white accents. 

Kawasaki

If you want speed from your Kawasaki jet ski, then make sure you get your hands on the STX 160LX. It has a max speed of 62 MPH and a max horsepower of 160 HP. That’s all thanks to its four-stroke, four-cylinder inline DOHC engine, which includes four valves for each cylinder.

The rest of these Kawasaki jet skis, all in the ULTRA series, can reach enviable speeds of 67 MPH and 310 HP. The first is the ULTRA 310X. The 2020 model features a supercharged four-stroke, four-cylinder inline DOHC engine with intercooling and four valves for every cylinder. This watercraft can sit three.

The next step up from the ULTRA 310X is the ULTRA 301X SE. This too features Kawasaki’s powerful supercharged, intercooled engine at 1,498 blistering ccs. Other advanced tech in this jet ski includes multiple modes for greater fuel economy, cruise control, and Electronic Throttle valves. 

Next is the ULTRA 301R, a Lime Green and black Kawasaki jet ski with that supercharged, intercooling engine, a load capacity of 496 pounds, seating for three, and 56 gallons of storage capacity.

Finally, we have the ULTRA 310LX with 1,890 pounds of thrust, a supercharged and intercooled engine, 496 pounds of load capacity, 56 gallons of storage capacity, and an appealing Metallic Carbon Gray color scheme with dark green accents. 

Other Factors to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Jet Ski

Speed is great, that’s for sure, but it’s not the only factor that’s important as you browse around for a jet ski you’ll love. Make sure you keep the following factors in mind too.

Price

The thing about fast jet skis is that you tend to pay more for their supercharged, growling, mighty engines. For example, going back to Kawasaki jet skis for a moment, the less powerful ULTRA LX starts at $11,399. Considering that the average price for a new jet ski is $5,000 to $20,000, this is right in that sweet spot.

That said, the ULTRA 310LX with more speed and horsepower starts at $17,999. That’s quite pricy. 

Whether you’d prefer to buy a cheaper jet ski or splurge on a more expensive model, either way, you probably have to budget. Remember also that the MSRP is just the starting price. If you add on any extra features, that jacks up the cost. Even if you skip all the bonus features, you still have to pay taxes on your purchase.  

Size

A big jet ski might look cool in the showroom, but if driving the watercraft is like fighting with a raging bull, then it’s too big for you. Your own weight will indicate the size of jet ski you need, as will the passenger capacity you’re looking for. If you’re often a solo rider, then there shouldn’t be any need for you to get a three-seat jet ski. That should keep the size of your watercraft nice and manageable. 

Features

Do you like to listen to music while patrolling the seas on your jet ski? You can always get a Bluetooth speaker or audio system built into your watercraft. Do you need a touchscreen for navigation? Maybe a waterproof phone box?

These features are pretty common too, as our overview in the last section should tell you. Rather than choose a jet ski brand right off the bat, research which models have the features you want and then gravitate towards a specific brand. 

Warranty

Oh no! Your handlebar controls have stopped working, or maybe your touchscreen failed. In those situations, you’ll want an active warranty on your jet ski. This should prevent you from having to pay for replacement parts as long as they didn’t break due to your misuse or abuse. 

For all other protection on the sea, such as theft and collision, it’s not a bad idea to look into personal watercraft insurance. 

Final Thoughts 

The fastest jet skis out there practically top speeds of 70 MPH. You don’t even necessarily have to buy a souped-up modded watercraft either, as your favorite brands like Yamaha, Sea-Doo, and Kawasaki make these speedy jet skis. 

Now that you know what to look for, no matter what max speed you prefer for your jet ski, you can find the right watercraft for you. Good luck! 

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Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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