Most Reliable Jet Ski Models on the Market Right Now

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top jet ski models
most reliable jet ski models on the market

There are innumerable amounts of jet skis on the market, but which ones can you really rely on? Which one will be worth the money? Below I discuss a selection of the most reliable jet skis on the market.

Here are the best, most reliable models of jet skis on the market right now:

Jet Ski BrandModelPrice
YahamaWaverunner EX$7,800
YahamaWaverunner EXR$9,300
YahamaWaverunner VX Limited$11,300
YahamaWaverunner FX
Cruiser SVHO
Sea-DooSpark Trixx$7,500
Sea-DooGTI Series$8,850
Sea-DooRXP-X 300$15,500
KawasakiUltra 310X$15,400

When it comes to jet ski, the most important thing you could want is reliability. If you invest in a PWC, you want something that you can count on for a long time. So, let’s talk about the models and types of jet skis on the market right now that you can depend on.

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Most Reliable Jet Skis

The most dependable jet ski brands are Sea-Doo, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. These brands have withstood the sands of time to build a lot of trust with customers.

Each brand offers reliable models, but to know which models are the most deserving of your trust, it needs to be broken down a little bit more. Let’s get into the details now.

Yamaha’s Most Reliable Jet Skis

Yamaha’s strongest feature is definitely in its engines. They perform very well, and they seem to last forever. If you like to do your own maintenance, a Yamaha is easier to work on than a Sea-Doo which will save you money over time. Although Yamaha’s prices are higher than Sea-Doo’s, the maintenance costs saved by doing your own work on them can reduce the difference in price.

Yamaha also has very fuel-efficient gas intake which will save you from having to pause your fun on the water to refuel. Yamaha’s can turn without acceleration unlike other jet skis, which make them great for families with children. The braking system is also very nice and brings the jet ski to a stop smoothly.

Yamaha has a lot of safety features included. Yamaha’s Ride technology lets riders turn easily and makes it one of the safest models out there.

It is said that Yamaha’s Waverunners are the most reliable jet skis, but it is important to keep in mind that there are families who will find a better match for them from another brand. You should ask yourself several questions before deciding which jet ski is right for you, but Yamaha is an excellent choice.

Here is a list of some of Yamaha’s best jet skis:

  • Yamaha’s Waverunner EX– This is Yamaha’s version of a Rec-lite model. It sells for around $7,800 and is very similar to Sea-Doo’s Spark. It comes with dual mirrors for optimum visibility when towing, and can sit up to three people. This is a very popular option and although it is more expensive than the Sea-Doo Spark, it comes with a much better engine and is worth it.
  • Yamaha Waverunner EXR– This is a step up from the traditional EX in that it is more powerful and lighter in weight. This boosts acceleration and increases the top speed. The hull and deck on this jet ski are molded with NanoXcel 2 which is the lightest composite Yamaha makes.
  • Yamaha’s Waverunner VX Limited– This is another very popular option for Yamaha’s brand. It has great performance and has more features than the EX sport. It is considered a recreation model and comes with a single-person tube. This model sells for around $11,300 and there is plenty of storage space and enough room for 3 persons on board. It is a great option for families with older children because it is powerful, but also very safe.
  • Yamaha Waverunner FX Cruiser SVHO– This is a more expensive jet ski because it is a luxury model that has many features. It is around $16,000 and has a hull that is made of top-class materials. With self-draining footwells and the capacity to fit 3 people, it is no wonder this is a popular option. It also comes with a touchscreen interface, unlike the cheaper jet skis Yamaha makes.

Sea-Doo’s Most Reliable Jet Skis

Overall, Sea-Doo has the best pricing. Most first time buyers go with Sea-Doo because they are family-friendly and well priced. Sea-Doo has the biggest selection of jet skis by far and there is one for everyone out there. Here is a guide of some of Sea-Doo’s most popular jet skis:

  • Sea-Doo Spark– This is Sea-Doo’s cheapest option and most popular as well. It is around $5,500 and can carry 1-3 people on it. This is the best Rec-lite option out there.
  • Sea-Doo Spark Trixx– Those who love to perform tricks out on the water will love this jet ski from Sea-Doo. It is around $7,500 and has more features than the original Spark including an adjustable telescopic handlebar and step wedges for more stability during a stand-up riding position.
  • Sea-Doo GTI Series– This is another very popular option that is around $8,850. It has a standard size seat and weighs more than the Spark does. This is a recreation model and it has plenty of storage and also an Eco Mode for even more fuel efficiency. This is one of Sea-Doo’s best jet skis.
  • Sea-Doo RXP-X 300- This is more of a performance model and is made for racing. The engine on this jet ski is very powerful and it comes with a hull designed for racing. The hull has a deep V-shape that ensures more precise turns. It is around $15,500 online and is a very nice jet ski.

Kawasaki’s Most Reliable Jet Skis

Kawasaki jet skis are known for their speed. If you love to speed on the water a Kawasaki is for you. Adrenaline junkies usually buy these because they go at the fastest speeds and feel very powerful. They do not offer any jet skis in the Rec-lite model because they have the most powerful engines and their customers want power.

Although they are the most expensive jet skis out there, they do feature things that Yamaha and Sea-Doo do not. Kawasaki offers built-in speakers and heat-resistant seats and the most powerful watercraft out there.

The engines are not the easiest to work on, so if you love to be your own mechanic you might want to think about purchasing a Yamaha instead. Dependability can mean different things to everyone, but Kawasaki is not for the faint of heart and that is a fact.

The biggest drawback of Kawasaki is their prices. They are not budget-friendly and their jet skis do not come with a lot of features like Yamaha and Sea-Doo do. These jet skis are known for being very comfortable, so if you love to ride for long periods of time these jet skis are perfect.

Here is a list of some of the best Kawasaki jet skis on the market:

  • Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R– This is the current stand-up jet ski that will give you a workout. It sells for around $10,000 and has an all-new platform and a wide V-bottom hull. You can store things onboard and control everything from the handlebars. This is great for you if you love to have a physical challenge.
  • Kawasaki Jet Ski STX-15F– If you are looking for a durable jet ski that has amazing power, this is the jet ski for you. It has 62 horsepower and can go as fast as 63 miles per hour! This is a great machine for a beginner or a thrill enthusiast who knows their way on a jet ski. This jet ski sells for about $9,800 and comes with wide-angle dual mirrors which makes it perfect for towing sports.
  • Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310X– This jet ski can be used for a nice exploration on the water or for racing. It is still very stable in choppy water due to the hull that has a deep V-shape. The handlebar is adjustable in case different people with different levels of experience operate the jet ski. It has a fuel economy assistance mode which is perfect for the use of beginners. This jet ski sells for around $15,400 and has 56 gallons of storage available which is easily one of the largest out there.

Types of Reliable Jet Skis

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most reliable jet ski models on the market

There’s a jet ski model for every person out there. There is a total of 5 categories and they include rec-lite, recreation, tow-sports, luxury, and performance.

Rec-Lite Jet Ski Models

This model of jet skis are the cheapest and are for beginners. They sell for around $5,399-$9,000. Rec-lites can go at top speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour. You can purchase these in one, two, or three-seaters. Sea-Doo introduced these models with their Spark, and Yamaha followed their lead coming out with the EX.

These are the most bought models because of how inexpensive they are and most people are not professional jet ski riders, but just beginners. You can have a lot of fun on the Rec-lite models and even though they are not the most comfortable to ride, they are the most inexpensive. If you get the right model, these will last families a very long time.

Recreation Jet Ski Models

Most jet ski rentals are recreation models, so they are very popular. They are more stable than Rec-lites and are more expensive, but are made with nicer quality material.

If you have a larger family this is the jet ski for you because these jet skis have more storage options than the Rec-lites and they go at top speeds of 60 miles per hour.

Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki all have Recreation models. There are many different options out there and compared to the best quality jet ski’s out there, they are a bargain. Although more expensive than the Rec-lites, they are still some of the cheapest jet ski options out there.

Tow-Sports Jet Ski Models

This model is made specifically for those who love pull sports, like wakeboarding and tubing. Sea-Doo is the only one in the Tow Sports market with their Sea-Doo Wake 155 and the Sea-Doo Wake Pro 230.

These are very nice jet skis that include a wakeboard holder and have a special design that raises the rope away from the pump. The Wake 155 is built for hobbyists while the Pro 230 provides more stability with a more powerful engine.

These jet skis can reach around 50 to 60 miles per hour and are known for their strong resale value. If you plan to tow friends and family every time you go out on the water, this is the jet ski for you. Although the Wake 155 is not much cheaper than the Pro 230, I recommend the Pro which has a better seat and a stronger engine. The Wake Pro sells for around $15,000.

Luxury Jet Ski Models

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most reliable jet ski models on the market

Once you have ridden a cheaper jet ski and feel you are ready for an upgrade, the Luxury model is for you. Luxury models are more comfortable and have more power. They have some of the largest engines on the market and travel at the top speeds of 65 miles per hour.

These are more expensive but are luxurious like the name entails. If you have $15,000 to blow, this luxury jet ski is the perfect summer toy for you.

Performance Models

A very small percentage of people actually purchase a performance model jet ski because these are solely for racing. They are super expensive because they can travel up to speeds of 80 miles per hour. These are the most expensive jet skis on the market at around $17,000.

Those who do purchase performance models have spent many hours on jet skis and are actual racers. They have dedicated their lives to water sports and are total adrenaline junkies.

How to Know Which Jet Ski is Right for You

Yamaha, Sea-Doo, and Kawasaki all offer their own benefits and drawbacks, so educate yourself on each brand and see which brand is the best fit for your needs. However, it is safe to say that whichever model you pick from this list will be a reliable machine for you.

Again, the best jet ski for one person will be different from another person’s. You do not need to pick a side or a brand indefinitely because opinions change all the time, and the jet ski models themselves are forever changing and adapting.

What works for you right now might not work for you in a few years. Perhaps you get a bad back and need a more comfortable seat, or maybe your jet ski is too powerful for you now. It is important to make the right decision over time and think about your specific needs.

Before you start your personal watercraft shopping journey, you should decide which category most appeals to you.

Here is a checklist to keep in mind as you are thinking about what you want in a jet ski:

  • Are you a beginner or a well-seasoned operator?
  • How often will you be using the jet ski?
  • Do you mainly want to do pull sports, speed, or just do some tricks on the water?
  • How much storage will you need?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many seats do you want?
  • Do you want to upgrade and customize your jet ski overtime on your own, or do you want to buy a jet ski with all of the newest features on it to begin with?
  • Is safety a must?
  • Will you do maintenance on your own, or will you have a dealer do it?
  • How are you going to transport your jet ski?
  • How will you store your jet ski?
  • Have you spoken to your insurance provider about insurance for your jet ski? (if not, do so!)

There are a lot of great jet skis out there and better ones coming out every year on the market, so read up, go and physically test out the jet ski on the water and see if it’s for you.

Here is a resource to help you get started on jet ski shopping, check out this website. This will let you know the recommended equipment you will need to get and which things are lawful when operating a jet ski.

Not all jet skis out there are reliable or even worth paying for, so the most important thing you can do before buying a jet ski is your research. When you finally know which jet ski is right for you and your family, you can have confidence in your choice and know that it will be exactly the way you expect. It can be a confusing choice to make but this guide will help you see the pros and cons of the best watercraft brands out there.

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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