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Are Jet Skis Different Than WaveRunners?

by | Jan 28, 2021 | Watercrafts | 0 comments

Fleet of WaveRunners

A personal watercraft –or PWC– offers a fun, high-energy way to cruise around a body of water in style. There are a few different kinds of PWCs you could buy or rent. Two of the most popular are jet skis and WaveRunners. Both are great options for an adrenaline-charged boating experience but they do have a few key distinctions. Let’s look into what makes them unique so you can have a better idea of which fits what you’re looking for more. 

Key Distinctions 

Jet skis and WaveRunners both fall under the PWC or water scooter category. They are essentially different brands of the same type of watercraft with some select differences. Despite being in the same family, they aren’t exactly interchangeable. Here are some variations in the two PWCs: 

  • Driving position (sitting vs standing) 
  • Storage space 
  • Performance 
  • Speed 

What is a Jet Ski?

Man on a Kawasaki Jet Ski
Photo Credit: Kawasaki

Kawasaki produced their version of the PWC in 1973, the jet ski. Due to its immense popularity, the term “jet ski” has become virtually synonymous with all PWCs. But there are some differences between the jet ski and the WaveRunner. 

Jet skis were the first stand-up PWC models and, for a long time, the only PWC available. They are renowned for their high-end performance. Many compare the feel to an on-water motorcycle. Those searching for a PWC capable of high speed and tricks should look no further than the Kawasaki jet ski. Due to their stellar performance, they tend to be more expensive than the WaveRunner. 

What is a WaveRunner?

Couple on a Wow Marco Island Jet Ski Tour

Yamaha jumped into the world of PWCs in the late 80s. They shook up the market when they offered the very first sit-down model. The WaveRunner could carry one or two people and made the PWC more accessible to the everyday person, even those with knee injuries. 

WaveRunners are often praised for their family-friendly recreational potential. They are typically a favorite option for all-around use in the world of PWCs. Yamaha also has their own take on the stand-up jet ski, the SuperJet. 

Which is Best For Me? 

The Kawasaki jet ski and Yamaha WaveRunner are both top-tier PWCs. Today, both brands offer both stand-up and sit-down seating as well as multi-person seating. The best model for you will depend on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a watercraft.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each to give you a better idea of which PWC is best for you:

Jet Ski Benefits

The jet ski might be for you if you’re looking for the fastest, most powerful riding experience. As the original manufacturer of the PWC, Kawasaki is prized for its craftsmanship and performance-driven design. Oftentimes, extreme sports enthusiasts will lean toward a jet ski due to its powerful engine. But, beware; with all these high-end features also comes a higher price tag. 

Other Features to Keep In Mind:

  • Protective seat covers
  • Speakers 
  • Smart Learning Operation (SLO)

WaveRunner Benefits

The WaveRunner might be for you if you want a cost-efficient, family-friendly watercraft. It is far easier to maneuver than the Kawasaki jet ski featuring more comfortable and intuitive controls. It can also turn without accelerating which is a plus for beginners or those apprehensive about going too fast. WaveRunners are also easier to maintain. Since Yamaha is generally less high-tech than Kawasaki, DIYers can easily make repairs on their WaveRunner at home. 

Other Features to Keep In Mind:

  • Safety features
  • Larger fuel capacity
  • Rudders to assist in steering

Have a Jet Ski Experience in Marco Island 

If you’re planning a trip to the 10,000 Islands area and are in search of fun activities the whole family can enjoy, look no further than Wow – Marco Island Jet Ski Tours and Rentals. Experience the beauty of the region on our top-notch jet skis. You can zip around at speeds up to 60-70 mph or take it slow to take in the scenery. See twisting mangrove forests, the Dome Homes, and dolphins!

We hope we can be your trusted guide to Marco Island and the surrounding area! 

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