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5 Best Jet Skis for Tow-In Surfing [Video]

5 Best Jet Skis for Tow-In Surfing [Video]

The best jet skis for tow-in surfing are full-size 3-seater Touring/Luxury runabouts with powerful engines. These model lines include FX WaveRunners, Kawasaki Ultra 310s, and ST3-based Sea-Doos. It’s also wise to customize the ski with some special accessories like a stability collar, rescue board, tow pilon, safety straps, and more.

If you want to find out more about the best jet skis for assisting surfers, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

5 of the Best Jet Skis for Tow-In Surfing

When it comes to big-wave surfing, jet skis can provide great support for surfers.

However, only the full-size Touring/Luxury models are really suitable for this purpose because they have the following characteristics:

  • Large and stable touring hull
  • Great rough water capabilities
  • 3-rider saddle
  • Powerful yet reliable engine
  • Electric brake and reverse system
  • Cruise control
  • Dual mirrors
A full-size, 3-seater hull is barely the minimum to tow in or rescue a surfer in rough water conditions.

The ski also needs sufficient engine power to deal with big waves. High-end supercharged jet skis can reach a whopping 250-325hp, but the most powerful naturally-aspirated models can also do 160-200hp out of the box.

A cruise control also comes in handy to maintain a specific speed while an electric brake and reverse system makes the operation safer and easier.

For your convenience, we’ve reviewed the best available jet skis that are commonly used to support surfers.

1. Yamaha FX HO

It’s safe to say that the Yamaha FX HO is one of the best jet skis for tow-in surfing.

This full-size 3-seater WaveRunner is built on the most stable FX Yamaha PWC platform and houses the most powerful non-supercharged PWC power source available.

Labeled as the 1.9 HO Yamaha marine engine, this unit delivers a remarkable 200hp.

Due to its non-supercharged engine configuration, this ski also offers excellent fuel economy along with class-leading reliability.

Another great advantage of this model is its unique visibility spout (a.k.a. “rooster tail”). This Yamaha-exclusive feature is designed to increase visibility when riding behind waves.

2. Yamaha FX SVHO

The FX SVHO is basically an FX HO with a supercharged 250hp engine configuration.

This extra power comes in handy on large waves, but it also translates into significantly higher fuel consumption and lower reliability.

What’s more, supercharged skis are far more expensive and tend to be much louder, which can be annoying for surfers.

3. Sea-Doo Wake Pro

If you are looking for a purpose-built tow PWC, you should take a closer look at the Sea-Doo Wake Pro.

As the name suggests, this 3-seater touring Sea-Doo is designed with tow-sport lovers in mind.

It’s built on the ST3 platform, which earned its reputation for industry-leading stability and great rough water performance. Under the seat, you can find a supercharged 1630 Rotax ACE engine rated at 230hp.

It also features an easy-access front storage compartment and a set of sport-intended accessories like a tow pylon, board rack, and more.

4. Sea-Doo RXT-X 325

The amazing RXT-X 325 shares its platform with the Wake Pro, but it enjoys the most powerful Sea-Doo engine option.

Introduced for the 2024 season, this Rotax 1630 ACE 325 engine delivers an industry-leading 325 hp.

This power source and the super-stable ST3 hull make the RXT-X 325 one of the best jet skis for surfing assist.

5. Kawasaki Ultra 310LX-S

The Kawasaki Ultra 310LX-S is one of the most advanced jet skis in the marketplace.

It’s designed with the redesigned Ultra platform. It enjoys a deep, 22.5-degree deadrise that cuts through the chop with ease.

The heart of this ski is a supercharged 1.5L Kawasaki marine engine rated at 310hp.

While its factory-installed rearview camera may seem useless to the average user, it can be a game changer when it comes to surfing assist.


In addition to selecting the right jet ski, you should also modify it to build the perfect tow machine. Based on our research, the most common accessories on a surf rescue jet ski are as follows:
  • Rescue sled
  • Stability collar
  • Extra turf mats
  • Strap kits
  • Tow pilon and tow rope
  • Surfboard rack
  • Safety equipment
Let’s talk about each in detail!

Rescue sled

A rescue sled is an essential accessory on any rescue ski, and surf rescue machnes are no exception.

This device is a durable inflatable board that has to be attached to the rear platform of the jet ski. It’s typically covered by turf mats and features sturdy grab handles on its sides.

With this board, the jet ski operator can pick up surfers much quicker and easier.

Stability collar

Another useful accessory is a stability collar, which is an inflatable tube wrapped around the jet ski’s rub rail. At first glance, a jet ski equipped with this tube looks like a mini RIB boat.

The main idea behind jet ski collars is to increase stability and buoyancy, but they can also block some water spray and provide extra deck space, which makes it easier for the surfer to reaboard.

On top of that, they work as a bumper around the hull, which reduces the risk of injuries in case of a collision.

Extra turf mats

It’s also wise to wrap the top of the gunwales with high-quality turf mats to make them less slippery.

Strap kits

Stap kits can also add an extra layer of security as they are designed to keep the seat and the front hatch in place. In harsh weather there’s always a chance of these items falling off, which would result in water flowing inside the hull.The most advanced models are equipped with grab handles that also come in handy in a lot of situations.

Surfboard rack

While many surfers prefer carrying the surf board in their hands while riding a jet ski, it’s good to know that the top deck of jet skis can be equipped with dedicated PWC surfboard racks.

These units do the same job as wakeboard racks, but they are designed for larger surfboards.

Tow pylon and tow rope

A tow pilon is also a nice addition because it comes in handy when the surfer wants to be towed behind the jet ski.

Certain models like the Sea-Doo Wake Pro come standard with a PWC tow pylon, but you can also find plenty of aftermarket pylons on the market. Sure, it has to be completed with a tow rope.

Safety accessories

It’s also wise to keep some safety accessories onboard in accordance with applicable laws.


The best surf rescue jet skis are full-sized touring runabouts, which are typically classed in the Luxury/Touring category.

These machines are built on the largest 3-seater hulls, which ensure excellent stability and rough water capabilities.

The most well-known model lines in this breed are the Yamaha FX family, the Kawasaki Ultra series, and Sea-Doos built on the ST3 hull like the GTX line, RXT-X 325, and the Sea-Doo Wake Pro.

Each of these skis houses a powerful (160-325hp) engine and comes standard with the necessary features like a 3-rider saddle, mirrors, electric brake and reverse system, and cruise control.

Therefore, you can’t go wrong with any of them!

It’s also wise to customize the ski with some aftermarket accessories like a rescue board, stability collar, tow pylon, strap kit, PWC surf rack, and safety kit.