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Best Jet Ski for Beginners vs. WaveRunner vs. Sea-Doo [Video]

Best Jet Ski for Beginners vs. WaveRunner vs. Sea-Doo [Video]

Are you looking for the best Jet Ski for beginners? If you prefer other brands over Kawasaki you may be interested in which is the best Yamaha WaveRunner or Sea-Doo  to start. If yes, don’t miss our detailed review to make the right choice!A personal watercraft (PWC) is perhaps one of the most exciting purchases you can make for yourself.

If you have the passion, the time, and the resources; you can find the watercraft that is best for you.

However, when it comes to making the choice of which model to buy, it can put beginners in a bit of a pickle.

With 51 different models and types of watercrafts to choose from, making the final decision can be daunting, not to mention the countless used PWCs.While the choice may vary from person to person, there are some general considerations that everyone needs to make before buying a watercraft and we have highlighted them in this post.

The 3 major manufacturers in the industry are Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki and, altogether, they produce 46 different models.

Apart from these companies, PWC models are also available from Krash Industries, and these models are available in the US as well! These range from the single stand-up Jet Ski to the high-performance luxury watercraft.

Before buying a watercraft, there are several factors that should be considered like:

Now we have compiled the pros and cons of the major PWC categories to give you a comprehensive overview.

The best Jet Ski for Beginners vs. Waverunner vs. Sea-Doo

Rec-Lite Watercrafts

There are mixed reviews about whether the Rec-Lite watercrafts are suitable for beginners or not.

The main models that lie under this category are the Sea-Doo Spark series with Rotax (closed loop cooling) engines and the Yamaha EX series.

Let’s look at the pros of choosing these Rec-Lite models as your first watercraft!

Sea-Doo Spark TRIXX is a lot of fun to ride - but it's really nimble


The Rec-Lite watercrafts are smaller in size and lighter in weight as compared to their counterparts.

This makes them quite easy to handle on the water and also more convenient to store and launch.

The light weight makes them easy to store on boat platforms and they can also be towed by a small car. The physical size of the hull also comes with a smaller engine; one that is of only about 60 – 110 horsepower.They aren’t the fastest PWC in the market which is what makes them safe for children as well.

Perhaps the biggest advantage associated with this category is that these models are light on the pocket as well. They are the cheapest PWC models in the market, and they also incur reasonable maintenance costs.

Therefore, picking a Rec-Lite watercraft for yourself as a beginner looking to have adventures out in the waters on a budget is the best decision you can make.

However, be heedful to the need of your watercraft having a break and reverse. These are essential features that you must have in your craft as a beginner.

The best choices in the category are the Sea-Doo models with iBR and the Yamaha models with the RIDE system.

These models are great to teach you how to ride like a pro in minutes.


Here is when we look at the other side of the story and understand why many experts vote against the Rec-Lite models at being the best for beginners.

One of the disadvantages that an unskilled rider might face while riding a Rec-Lite is a slight difficulty at handling it in the water.

While riding a watercraft with such a nimble hull can be a lot of fun, it might also be a little challenging for first-time riders.

Another disadvantage of the Rec-Lite model is their lack of storage and passenger capacity as the hulls and seats of these models are typically smaller.

So, if you have a family and you’re looking to entertain them all at once on one ride across the water, the Rec-Lite models might not be suitable.

Moreover, the moderate performance of the watercraft might also be an issue.

While first-timers might be satisfied with the lower performance of the watercraft initially, they might start to feel like they need an upgrade quite soon.

The best Jet Ski for beginners: Kawasaki STX-15FThe best Jet Ski for beginners: Kawasaki STX-15F

Recreation Watercrafts

Unanimously, all experts agree that the Recreation category is suitable for beginners.

It is by far the most recommended and is also not that expensive.

The most famous models that fall under this category include the Sea-Doo GTI series and the Yamaha VX series. Experts say that the best Jet Ski for beginners is the Kawasaki STX-15F.It’s good to know that many PWC rental services choose VX WaveRunners due to their reliability and good price value ratio!


Perhaps the greatest reason why watercrafts in this category are better recommended than the Rec-Lite models is their greater stability and capacity.

These models a slightly heavier than the Rec-Lites and also have a greater room for storage.

This makes them an ideal choice for families while also providing lots of fun to the individual rider.

Another major advantage of the Recreation PWCs is that most models come with brake systems that help make the whole experience better for the beginner. The iBR and the RIDE system provide essential assistance to first-time riders and that is what makes them safer and more consumer-friendly.

The price of the Recreational watercraft is also not that high and the maintenance costs are mediated too.


As a watercraft for beginners, there are little to no disadvantages associated with the Recreation watercrafts.

However, the choice of the watercraft greatly depends on the person buying it and it may be variable according to preference.

For example, you can find the same engine capacity in a Rec-Lite model as well which is a much lighter watercraft promising more fun and thrill out in the water.

Therefore, it might be possible that you may choose a Rec-Lite over a Recreation model but that is all subjective.

Performance/Luxury Watercrafts

There is a decent amount of agreement between experts when it comes to whether or not the Performance and Luxury watercrafts are for beginners; they are not!These models come with powerful supercharged engines that operate at 230-310 horsepower.You might be familiar with how to ride or control such a beast in the water if you’ve had past experience with motorbikes, snowmobiles or other similar vehicles but to say the least, it can be extremely dangerous for you to start up riding with such a powerful model.

Speed on the water can be different from land or snow so it’s better to not risk it by going all out on the high-performance models.

Performance watercrafts are not recommended for first-time buyers (Picture: Sea-Doo RXT-X 300)


As meager as they may sound, there are a few advantages associated with the performance and luxury models.

They provide the greatest space and storage capacity for accessories on board, they are great for family use and investing in a powerful model early on can save you a lot of trouble from switching between different models as you learn how to ride a PWC.

On the other hand, if you choose any models like these, you won’t be longing for higher performance models!


As clear cut they can be, the disadvantages of choosing a performance or luxury PWC as a beginner include them being dangerous.

These models have unimaginable top speeds and rapid acceleration that might not be manageable by beginners especially.

The most famous high-performance models include the Sea-Doo RXT-X 300,  the Yamaha FX SVHO and one of the best Jet Ski, the Kawasaki Ultra 310LX.If you’re a beginner, it is recommended that you stay as far away from these models as possible.

If you’re persistent on buying a performance or luxury watercraft, there are some models that come with a “Learning key”.

This feature does not let the watercraft accelerate beyond a moderate speed, which is a pretty decent speed for a beginner.

It makes the learning process faster and safer while you enjoy the thrill of riding an expensive, high-duty watercraft.

The main disadvantage associated with this choice, however, is the price tag. These watercrafts are manufactured and sold at hefty prices and they do not come easy on the maintenance cost as well.

So, if you’re looking to make that impression on the water, make sure you have the finances to support it as well.

Stand up watercrafts

If there is one type of jet watercraft is entirely not recommended for beginners, it is the stand-up models.

If at any point in life, you have the urge to try out riding a stand-up PWC, there are certain measures that you have to follow.

There needs to be a certain level of experience that you gain by practicing your riding skills on a stand-up model.

Riding a stand up watercraft is almost entirely different from other types of models.

The technique, the level of control and skill that you have to have is poles apart. You additionally need some athletic skill in order to successfully ride a stand-up watercraft.

Therefore, it is very important to never buy a stand-up PWC without having prior experience of riding.

You can always ask your local dealership or any watercraft rental services to have a test ride and learn a bit before purchasing your own watercraft.

The currently available models on the market are the Kawasaki SX-R stand up Jet Ski, the Yamaha Superjet and the freestyle/freeride watercrafts from Krash Industries.

Discover Kawasaki SX-R stand up Jet Ski

Tow Sports and PWC Fishing

If you’re looking to take up other activities on the water besides riding, you can always look through Sea-Doo’s special watercraft category for wakeboarding and PWC fishing purposes.They have the Sea-Doo Wake 155, Sea-Doo Wake Pro 230, and the Sea-Doo Fish Pro especially designed for these activities.

You could surely give them a try before investing all your money into one PWC that can only be a fun activity for so long.

Discover the Sea-Doo Wake Pro 230

Finally which is the best beginner Jet Ski, Sea-Doo and WaveRunner?

In conclusion, every type of watercraft comes with its pros and cons and it is up to you to make the final decision as to which type is most suitable to you.

However, the opinions of experts who have worked in the field for years can help you make an informed decision.

Start your research here and visit multiple Sea-Doo, WaveRunner and Jet Ski dealerships to browse through the numerous different models and types that are available in the market.

Additionally, assess your own situation and ask yourself important questions regarding the operation, supercharger, the fun, and the storage of the watercraft. Also, don’t miss the best beginner tips to learn how to ride a jet ski.Answering these questions can prove very beneficial in helping you make up your mind about the absolute perfect match that a PWC might be for you.

When the time for the purchase of your first watercraft arrives, it never boils down simply to specifications like price or performance.

Every buyer has his individual preferences and expectations. The most important thing to consider for all beginners is to choose a model with a brake, – or what is the best, a model with brake and reverse as well.

Be aware of manufacturer names: no things such as Yamaha Jet Ski, or Sea-Doo Jet Ski. Jet Ski is the trademark of Kawasaki!

You can also discover the models by categories:Rec-Lite models could be a good choice as they are usually affordable and lightweight. It’s good to know that they are nimble so it could be harder to ride them during the first period. But they also lack in space and passenger capacity as well.

Recreation category is boldly recommended for every beginner so you can’t go wrong with it. These versatile watercrafts can be used for many purposes. They can serve you properly if you are with your family, or while doing fishing or even doing watersports.

The Performance or Luxury models are not recommended for beginners. They are the most powerful models with 230-300 HP supercharged engines. So, if you do decide to start with one of them, you need to be extra careful. And don’t forget to use the “Learning key” in the first period.

Stand up models are in a totally different league than sit down models. To ride these models, you will need some athleticism and a decent amount of practice. If you are thinking of starting with a stand up watercraft, it’s highly recommended to try them at least once before purchase.

We can see every category has its own advantages and disadvantages. Its primary importance is to do your own research and figure out what you need.

Timing is also important, as prices may vary over the year.

The best advice is to always ride the craft before you purchase it.

You can borrow it for a test ride, or you can try out different models easily through a PWC rental service. To gain experience, another easy way is to rent one, as there are many rental services nationwide to choose from.

One of the main advantages of renting is that you can get some fancy riding tips from the rental’s staff.

What’s more, you can discover and compare different models at the same rental service! So, you can get a better insight into each model and can find out which models work for you.

If you like what you’ve read, please share with your friends and fans to help them as well!