PWC Comparison Cheat Sheet: Which jet ski should you buy?

Whilst the market for personal watercraft (PWCs) has grown massively in recent years, there are actually much fewer manufacturers than there once was. There are three key players in the market: Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki – though they’ve always been the go-to brands, hence their long-standing reputation and trust.

Whilst others have tried and failed to crack the market (Honda, for example) these three jet ski brands have stood the test of time and now offer a vast array of models to suit all budgets and needs.

PWC Cheat Sheet: Which brand is best?

What’s the difference between the three brands?

There are differences between the three, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses to consider. Generally, Sea-Doo is very competitively priced and offers good value for money – ideal for first-time buyers and beginners. Though they create innovative and streamlined vehicles at various price points, the lower price reflects the base model, meaning if you’re interested in upgrades the price can start to rise quickly.

Yamaha is renowned for reliable, powerful engines. They can cost more than Sea-Doo, but offer a simple mechanical structure that, with a little bit of knowledge and research, allows you to carry out your own maintenance. The fuel economy is also second-to-none, saving you money in the long run. They also offer upgraded safety features like the ability to turn without acceleration and intelligent braking systems, making them a great choice for families looking to take their children out on the water.

The Kawasaki delivers on speed, perfect for those looking for that adrenaline rush. Their prices are at the top end of the scale, with the most powerful engines as well as plenty of upgraded features like heat resistant seats and built-in audio sound systems to make the price a little more palatable.

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How to choose the right PWC for you...

Ultimately, every individual is going to want and need different things from their personal watercraft. Before you start shopping, it’s worth considering the following questions:

  • What’s your skill level? If you’re a complete beginner, it’s worthwhile taking lessons prior to buying your own PWC so that you can get a feel for what you want and gauge your abilities.
  • How often do you plan on using the jet ski? Long trips will require a bigger fuel tank or storage, for short trips out racing you’d want something light and powerful.
  • What kind of activity do you want it for? Recreation, sports or tricks?
  • What’s your budget? This is important to decide beforehand, as well as if it’s the initial cost or lifetime cost that’s most important – upgrades and maintenance can add a lot to the overall cost.
  • How are you going to store and transport it? These are additional costs you need to factor into your budget – you may need a trailer or cover etc.
  • How much is it going to cost to insure your PWC? It’s essential you get the right cover for your jet ski.

To help you get to grips with a few of the top models across the three brands, check out our PWC Comparison Cheat Sheet:

PWC Cheat Sheet: Which brand is best?

Once you’ve found the right personal watercraft for you, you’re ready to get out and enjoy the water! Use our jet ski Location Finder for some of the best places to go around the UK…

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