Personal Watercraft Water Sports

Are you considering buying a personal watercraft (PWC) as your first boat or adding one to your existing fleet? Whether you’re a newcomer to the incredible boating lifestyle or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are some key differences between PWCs and other types of boats. But with these tips, you’ll be off of the dock and having fun on the water in no time.  There are several basic categories of PWC. Stand-ups provide a single rider with freedom and maneuverability, while two and three seaters allow for more comfortable cruising.

Just the sheer act of riding a personal watercraft is an activity in and of itself. With their “personal” size, advantageous power-to-weight ratio, and exceptional handling, these machines offer an experience like no other boat on the water. Personal watercraft, however, aren’t just toys but have grown increasingly versatile, with individual models now geared toward touring/cruising, tow sports, and high-performance. Those looking for the ultimate performance challenge can check out a thriving race scene. Group outings, poker runs, and long-distance excursions are also popular activities.  The three biggest manufactures of Personal Watercraft are Kawasaki, Sea-Doo, and Yamaha.

The entry level category is called Rec-Lite. This category is mainly, but not strictly for the price-conscious buyer who just wants to get on the water or for first-time buyers. Sea-Doo’s model for this category is called the Spark. Characterized by its lightweight and playful Polytec hull, it is an excellent way to begin experiencing the amazing Sea-Doo Life. There are different sizes, engine options, and accessory options but the price ranges from $5399 to over $7500.

Yamaha’s Rec-Lite model is the EX. There are different model offerings here as well ranging in options and accessories. Its starting price at $6699 is a bit higher than the base model Spark, but it does start out with more storage and fuel capacity. Kawasaki does not have a Rec-Lite category but their closest entry level Recreation Jet Ski is the STX-15F. This can be a great entry ski as well as its heavier hull and more powerful engine offer better stability and comfort for family riding. It is however priced higher at $9699.

On the other end of the spectrum is the luxury category of personal watercraft. This category is mainly for those who have owned before and are looking to get the most comfort, power, and options available or for those who are just looking to blow some cash. For Sea-Doo, this is the GTX Limited 300. Priced at $16899, you get Sea-Doo’s new ST3 hull with its 300 horsepower engine. You also get pretty much every option your heart desires including the new 100 watt Bluetooth audio system.

Yamaha’s top-line luxury WaveRunner is the FX Limited SVHO. Pricing is right there with Sea-Doo and you also get an impressive list of options including a towable single-rider tube. For Kawasaki, there is the Ultra 310LX. It has the highest sticker tag at $17999, but you get a monstrous 310 horsepower engine with lots of storage, fuel capacity, and other accessories.

Accessories

BEST Kayak Anchor Accessories for Canoe, Jet Ski, SUP, Paddle Board & Small Boat

This galvanized anchor doesn’t need a painted coating to keep it resistant to rust. The anchor line is 40ft long and allows for more horizontal drag and a better hold.  They also include a nylon storage bag, a buoy ball and a stainless steel hook for situations requiring a quick disconnect.

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Airhead AHDL-4 Bungee Dockline

Bungee cord docking line that absorbs shock to boats, cleats, and docks. Bungee cord is hidden inside the rope and acts as a built-in snubber .  Two foam floats protect the boat from chafing and sliding adjustment at both ends for quick docking.  Recommended for docking boats and PWC’s up to 4,000 pounds. Tensile strength is 2,150 pounds.  4 feet in length, stretches to 5 1/2 feet.

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Stearns Adult Watersport Classic Series Vest

Enjoy a comfortable day grabbing wakes in a Stearns Adult Watersport Classic Series Vest. The comfortable, US Coast Guard-approved PFD is designed with four adjustable chest belts and two large armholes for better movement. With webbed 1-in. straps, a durable 200D nylon shell and PE foam inside, this life jacket is sure to be on the boat with you season after season.

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Stearns Child Watersport Classic Series Vest

Your little adrenaline junkie will enjoy a comfortable day grabbing wakes in a Stearns Child Watersport Classic Series Vest. The comfortable, US Coast Guard-approved PFD is designed with three adjustable chest belts, an adjustable crotch strap and two large armholes for better movement. With webbed 1-in. straps, a durable 200D nylon shell and PE foam inside, this life jacket is sure to be on the boat with you season after season.

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VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes Barefoot Quick Dry

VIFUUR aqua socks are lightweight. Perfect Fit and Soft: material do water activities comfortably.  These are quick-dry water shoes, breathable and smooth fabrics with fine stretch on uppers. These shoes are designing multiple patterns and colors to meet different people’s taste.  Sizes for men, women, and children.

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Aleader Men’s Mesh Slip on Water Shoes

This slip-on amphibious shoe goes where other athletic shoes wouldn’t dare to tread. Hydrophobic engineered mesh offers lightweight breathability, while a contrast stitching lateral support system locks down the foot for stay-put performance in or out of the water. Because a waterlogged shoe can weigh you down, new FluidFlow technology allows water to freely drain through the outsole for quick-dry comfort.

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SEAWAG Universal Waterproof Case for Smartphone

The Seawag waterproof case for smartphone will be your ideal partner during your aquatic activities to protect your smartphone. All our products are completely waterproof and tested to a depth of 25 meters (80 feet), even resistant to sand, dust and snow. Its design allows easy access to all functions of your smartphone without having to remove it from the case. Featuring a transparent screen at the back of the cover, you will have the opportunity, even in the water, to take pictures and record videos. Universal, suitable for all sizes of phones.

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GoPro Hero 5 Session

Capture different with HERO5 Session. With its stunning 4K video, one-button simplicity and voice control, HERO5 Session may be the ultimate combination of performance and small size. Liquid-smooth image stabilization, waterproof design and go-anywhere durability help capture life as you live it. And when it’s time to edit and share, HERO5 Session can automatically upload footage to your GoPro Plus cloud account, providing easy access on your phone. Then you can use Quik, the GoPro editing app, to automatically create videos that wow.

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30 Comments

  1. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    WOW, this watercraft is fantastic! We live near the sea, so that would be a great toy to play with on the water:) My son is turning 16 years old, and this could be a nice present for his birthday. I wonder how old and what type of license do you need to drive this watercraft?

    Thank you for this useful post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You can drive a personal watercraft at any age. I know here in Florida, you simply need to pass the boaters test and get your boaters license which can be done online. Without a boaters license, then it varies by geographic location. I know for us the rules are completely different in the two different counties that we like to ride in. But since my son has a boaters license, it doesn’t matter for him where we ride 🙂 This would make a great birthday present!

      Reply
  2. Tenia

    Very interesting article! The only time I’ve been on the water is in a boat, and a Waverunner is one thing I would like to try. Maybe I’ll get my chance this summer.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is a blast Tenia! I love being out on the water, doing anything on the water. I think it just calls my name! Thanks for reading about personal watercraft water sports.

      Reply
  3. Syddique

    Really, really fun read. I’m not familiar with the world of personal watercraft, and I had no idea of the pricing. It seems interesting though I must say. I’m going to check out some of your other posts to get some more information, any recommendations?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Every good jet ski for beginners should be affordable, and easy to learn on. There’s no point in investing a ton of money into a watercraft that is difficult to operate. More advanced jet ski’s will have tons of expensive add-ons that beginners don’t even understand. When starting out, look for models with minimum features. The Sea Doo Spark is definitely the most popular jet ski for beginners. With purchase options as low as $5,299, it’s a hard to beat price. I would recommend the Sea Doo Spark for a first time purchase 🙂 Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  4. Ben

    The gopro is pretty good and very handy to film while doing an activity outside. I owned one before – I had to sell it for money reasons. Anyway, great ideas of accessories here. I’ll keep them in mind.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Good Ben, and yes the GoPro is great for any outdoor activities. My son uses his to video himself surfing, then watch back to correct errors. I want now too! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  5. CT Brown

    Fun read. I haven’t been out on the water for some time. Father-in-laws heath caused him to sell his boat, and kids have their own kids. I’m guessing in a few years when gkids get a bit older we will be right back out there. Lot of cool stuff.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed reading CT. Yes, anything on the water is fun! Thanks for reading about Personal Watercraft Water Sports.

      Reply
  6. Bruce

    You explained the needs for a great time enjoying water sports well. We are going into Florida’s Marco Island in the late summer and are going on a Jet Ski Tour that takes and hour and a half. I’m sure I’m going to need some of this gear. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, you will Bruce. How fun! I live in Florida but have not been to Marco Island yet. I have heard it is beautiful. Thanks for visiting BeachTraveldestinations.com.

      Reply
  7. King Kong's Girl

    I love going to the beach, boating, sometimes fishing, or just being there. I haven’t tried this water sport although, from the looks of it, it’s really gonna be fun. As I love trying out new things, this one is going to be added to my bucket list. Glad I came across this site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is fun, you will love it. I would first rent one at the beach. Here in Florida, they run between $55 – $75 for a half an hour. And you will find that to be plenty at one time. After that, my hands feel like they are going to fall off. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  8. KD Forsman

    great article about watercraft, but what caught my attention was the Aleader Men’s Mesh Slip on Water Shoes! These look awesome and I’m definitely heading over to Amazon to add these onto my wishlist, as my husband would love these. Thanks for sharing, cheers, Karen

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Karen. The slip on water shoes work great! Even just for walking along the beach. Keep you from burning your feet, cutting them on shells, and of course from slipping on PWC’s. Thanks for reading about Personal Watercraft Water Sports.

      Reply
  9. Tyler

    Wow dang! It looks like you really know your stuff – I like how you linked a lot of items relating to this… because I would have bought them if I bought my self a PWC.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, all these items, you have to have. There are a few others, but the list was getting too long LOL. Glad you enjoyed reading. Hopefully one day you can get your personal watercraft!

      Reply
  10. Dev

    Hi,

    Excellent post. While I would love to own a PWC someday, it just isn’t in the cards right now. For that reason I really appreciate you including a variety of price range options for when I finally am ready to own my own PWC. However I do love watching footage of PWC activities so I really like your suggestion of the GoPro. Whether just watching someone boating, jet skiing, wake boarding or something else, GoPro footage of watercraft activities is always really fun to watch. That said, the most important recommendation you’ve made here is the life jacket. Very glad to see that included here as well.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh yes Dev, have to have the life jacket. My son loves using the GoPro for surfing, so he can watch his tricks and correct etc. I just love to watch. Thanks for reading about the personal Watercraft water sports!

      Reply
  11. Sarae

    This is great info! I really didn’t know the prices ranges on various PWCs. It is interesting that there is such a wide range! Would you recommend the Kawasaki STX-15F for someone who is just learning that has two very small kids? I know you wrote that it is comfortable for family riding, so would this be my best option? If I end up purchasing one, I’d like something that would be good for my kids to ride along with me, and something that will be easy for them to learn on when they are old enough to ride themselves. Also, how long can I aspect it to run well if I’m taking great care of it? For that kind of money I am hoping it’ll be an investment that will last awhile!! HA!

    Thanks again for this great post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      This is a great personal watercraft for kids to learn on. And they will last a very long time if taken care of. The engine hours (hours of enjoyment) really does not take a toll on the life expectancy of the personal watercraft. Taking care of it does. So it is a great and fun investment that will last many years if taken care of. Thanks for visiting the Personal Watercraft Water Sports post 🙂

      Reply
      1. Sarae

        Thank you for your response! Very helpful

        Reply
        1. Leahrae (Post author)

          You are most welcome!

          Reply
  12. Arun Sabharwal

    Hi
    A great and very informative post. At present, I have no plans to buy a personal watercraft but would consider one at the entry level. I have bookmarked your post to come back later. But in the meanwhile may I ask you to advise me on the various things to be considered apart from the price and Horsepower.
    I am leaving my email ID below. Please add me to your list and keep me updated.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Arun, there are a few things to consider on top of price and horsepower. First, you want to decide if you want a 1, 2, or 3 seater. You will also want to decide if you want one that allows you to stand up, however this is for more experience riders. Whether you want to buy new or used should be considered as well. If it is used; water test it, check for damages, check for rust, and check if it has been sunk (take off seat and see how heavy it feels, a watercraft that has been sunk will have a very heavy seat). Those are the biggies 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  13. Jasmere

    I had no idea that this much went into water sports! It’s really involved from the looks of it. Have you ever seen that water jet pack they have now? That thing looks insane, definitely want to try it lol.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yeah, I have seen the water jet pack. I am willing to try anything once, but I am not so sure about this LOL. Yes, if you live near a beach, you would see so many different varieties of water sports. It has really grown into a hobby. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  14. Eric

    How fast can these personal watercraft vehicles go? The video didn’t say anything about speed so was just wondering. Would like to get one soon, and 6500 seems like a pretty good price to start looking at some.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      About 70 mph is about the fastest. I know my son likes to push it to the limit and scares me to death! No, $6,500 is not bad at all. Come back when you are ready for all the accessories 🙂 Thanks for visiting Personal Watercraft Water Sports.

      Reply

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