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The ultimate jet ski buying guide: 5 factors to consider when choosing a watercraft

The Ultimate Jet Ski Buying Guide: 5 Factors to Consider

Choosing a jet ski can be a daunting experience, not only for rookies but for experienced riders as well.

Depending on your intended use and location, budget, and skill level, different watercrafts may be more or less suitable, which means buying a jet ski needs careful consideration.

So, how do you choose the right jet ski according to your specific criteria, really?

We’ve put together this helpful jet ski buying guide to stir your (pun intended) towards the right direction.

Here are 5 factors to consider before choosing your first (or next!) PWC.

Compare jet skis (brands and models) before reaching your decision

Different jet ski brands offer different models in terms of size, budget, and more.

Even if you’re set on a brand, comparing the individual models will take up a considerable amount of time, but it’s important to not skip this step. 

  • Research different brands and models to find the one that best fits your needs.
  • Compare jet skis not only based on budget, but also in terms of fuel efficiency, safety etc.
  • Read reviews and ask friends or acquaintances who have jet skis for recommendations.

A jet ski buying guide will never provide a definitive answer on what is the “best personal watercraft” but it will help you reach a decision that meets your specific needs.

So, let’s see how to do this!

how to choose the right jet ski

First thing to consider before buying a jet ski: why do you need one?

Most jet ski brands manufacture different types of platforms to meet various needs.

Sea-doo has 7 distinct PWC categories, from Rec Lite (perfect for beginners) to Performance (used for racing), and from Touring (for relaxed rides) to Fishing (for, well, fishing!).

As you can tell, the first question you have to ask yourself before settling on a personal watercraft is “What do I want to use the jet ski for?”

Depending on your answer, you’ll be able to narrow things down and buy the best personal watercraft for your exact needs.

There’s no right or wrong here: just think of your personal desires before buying a jet ski.

*Where* will you be using it is also a question worth asking: Although lakes, rivers, oceans and even canals are great spots for jet skiing, salt water can require more frequent maintenance.

sea doo watercraft

Choosing a jet ski according to your skill level is a must

Another very important thing you need to take into account before buying a jet ski is whether you are a beginner or an experienced jet ski rider.

Different models will have different performance capabilities and features, so it is important to consider your skill level when shopping for a jet ski.

Truth is, everyone wants a Ferrari, but if you’ve nowhere to drive it to, why spend all that money? If you’re just getting started with watercrafts, opt for a more affordable, easy-to-use platform, and gain the necessary experience before moving into an “advanced” category.

The best jet ski for beginners comes from the Recreation Sea-Doo category: the GTI sets the gold standard for family fun on the water!

A rookie using a Performance Sea-doo, like the RXT-X 300 with the most powerful engine in the Sea-doo lineup, is no good news.

How to choose the right jet ski according to size

If you want to know what to look for when buying a sea-doo, then size is an absolute must!

If you only plan on using your sea-doo for yourself, then there’s no need to go big. On the other hand, there are jet skis manufactured for family fun, with enough space for up to 3 adults, like the sea-doo GTI.

Similarly, the Adventure sea-doo category has enough space to pack your favorite gear, making it the perfect size for long-distance adventures on the water. 

Last but not least, you can opt for bigger-sized PWCs if you’re buying for your rental company!

Jet ski buying guide according to budget

Determining how much you’re willing to spend early on in the process will save you from the drama!

Personal watercrafts range in price and it’s important to set clear boundaries before buying a jet ski so you can narrow down the options.

However, the total “cost” of the jet ski spans well beyond its original price tag:

  • Fuel efficiency: Jet skis can be expensive to operate due to fuel costs. Consider a model with good fuel efficiency to save money in the long run.
  • Maintenance: Consider the maintenance required for the PWC. Some models may require more frequent maintenance, which can increase the overall cost of ownership.
  • Manufacturer: Buy from a legitimate retailer with years of experience and good reviews. Insurance and easy access to spare parts can play a significant role in the final cost.
  • Buying new or used? While new models are pricier, they come with warranties and peace of mind. On the other hand, a used PWC needs thorough inspection before purchasing!
best jet ski brands comparison

The best Sea-doo jet ski for you is the one that has all your favorite features

No Sea-doo buying guide would be complete without mentioning the necessary features and accessories, as this can make or break any deal!

Again, there’s no right or wrong here: Some people may require a built-in GPS system, while others may need a high-quality Bluetooth speaker for music.

The athletic type might need the Sea-doo Wake Pro model that’s purpose-built for tow sports, while the pro fishing type might require the latest high-tech fish locator – everything goes!

This will also play a very important role when it comes to safety. Make sure the jet ski you choose has a good safety record and meets all safety standards. Look for features such as a lanyard kill switch and a built-in flotation device that hopefully you’ll never have to use, but it’s important to have.

Further reading: Jet ski accessories to elevate your riding experience: best picks on the market

Should I buy a jet ski?

This is a fun little question to end on a positive note.

Of course you should buy a jet ski – and you can stop speaking to everyone who thinks otherwise!

We hope you’ve found this jet ski buying guide useful, and now you know how to choose the right watercraft for your needs, including factors like size, capacity, and stability.

Buying a jet ski is no easy task, but if you stay true to your needs, you’ll definitely find the platform that will take your water fun to the next level!