The 5 Best Rental Jet Skis on the Market [Video]

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Based on our research, the 5 best rental jet skis in the US are as follows:

  1. Yamaha VX
  2. Sea-Doo GTI
  3. Yamaha FX
  4. Yamaha EX
  5. Sea-Doo Spark

If you want to find out more about these models, this post is for you.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know on the best rental jet skis under one roof!

The 5 Most Common Rental Jet Skis

1. Yamaha VX

There’s no question that the most common rental jet ski in the US by far is the Yamaha VX WaveRunner.

If you visit a jet ski rental shop in your area, you will more than likely find a Yamaha VY WaveRunner in its fleet.

This is no accident since this family is known for its outstanding reliability, great running costs, and excellent riding characteristics.

Classed as “Recreation” models, VX WaveRunners offer great stability and they can even carry three adults with ease. Therefore, they can be used for long tours.

When it comes to engine options, these jet skis are manufactured with 1818cc (180 HP) and 1049cc (125 HP) engines. Keeping fuel economy and durability in mind, the majority of rental shops choose the latter engine option.

The VX is available in four configurations, which are as follows:

VX-C

The simplest model in the line is specifically engineered for rental companies (C here stands for Commercial). It comes with a slightly moderated performance and without a brake system, but does feature a mechanical reverse. Also, its colors and decals are more basic and it’s marketed without a reboarding step as standard. Its simple features and low maintenance make the VX-C the best rental WaveRunner available.

Base VX

This is a more featured configuration of the VX-C with a better design, reboarding step, and the innovative Yamaha RiDE brake and reverse system.

VX Deluxe/Limited

The high-end models in this family are equipped with more bells and whistles like sound systems, special seats, and a unique color scheme. They are less typically found in rental shops than their base brothers.

2. Sea-Doo GTI

Although they appear less often than VX WaveRunners, Sea-Doo GTIs are also commonly used by jet ski rental shops.

In 2019, Sea-Doo released the GTI PRO, as a purpose-built rental Sea-Doo. This model was available with or without the iBR brake and reverse system.

To the regret of many jet ski rental shops, the manufacturer has dropped this model from its PWC lineup.

Despite this, standard GTI models are still used in many jet ski rentals. These skis are powered by 130 or 170 HP engine options. As you might assume, Sea-Doo GTIs with the first engine are much more common in rental shops.

Just like the competitor VX WaveRunners, Sea-Doo GTIs are classed as “Recreation” jet skis and can carry up to three adult riders.

3. Yamaha FX

Although they are much less common than Yamaha VX and Sea-Doo GTI models, Yamaha FX WaveRunners also appear in jet ski rental shops.

They are considered “full-size” jet skis, meaning that they are larger and more stable than the aforementioned Recreation models.

They also come with more powerful engines, luxury features, and more capacities, which come in handy on longer tours.

On the other hand, they are slightly less durable and much more expensive, which makes them less appealing to rental companies.

4. Yamaha EX

Besides the big boys, the Yamaha EX is also used as a rental WaveRunner.

The key advantage of this ski is its affordable price tag, simple features, and outstanding running costs. It’s safe to say that the Yamaha EX is the most economical rental jet ski out there.

Cons?

Due to its small lightweight hull, the EX is much less stable and predictable than the VX or FX WaveRunners. Although it’s rated for three people, it can only carry two adult riders.

Each EX WaveRunner shares the same 1049cc engine rated at 100 HP. Base models are available without the RiDE brake and reverse system, which ensures higher durability and lower maintenance costs.

5. Sea-Doo Spark

Surprisingly, more and more rental shops are building their fleet with Sea-Doo Sparks, which is basically the Sea-Doo-equivalent of the Yamaha EX.

Being the smallest production sit-down jet ski, the Spark is very nimble and offers a lot of fun. Under the hood, you can find an 899cc naturally-aspirated triple rated at 60 or 90 HP.

The main drawback of this model is that it’s not as stable as larger models, and comes with very limited capacities.

Despite being rated for two or three riders, the Spark is more like a solo jet ski.

Can You Rent a Supercharged Jet Ski?

Supercharged jet skis are quite rare in rental shops, and with good reason.

These models are known for having lower durability and extreme fuel consumption, not to mention their hefty price tags!

On top of that, they require more experience due to their high-performance (230-310 HP) engines.

Therefore, supercharged rental jet skis are not really widespread, and hard to locate.

Can You Rent a Stand-Up Jet Ski?

If you want to try a stand-up jet ski, the good news is that these machines can also be rented from some shops. However, stand-up rental jet skis are much less available than their sit-down counterparts.

Rental shops that offer stand-up jet skis typically offer 4-stroke Kawasaki SX-R 1500s or Yamaha Superjets.

The latter could be powered by either a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine depending on the model year.

Conclusion – Which Jet Skis Do Rental Companies Use?

As a rule of thumb, jet ski rentals prefer the simplest jet skis available to keep their costs down. This is why the majority of rental jet skis come with a smaller-displacement, non-supercharged engine and simple features like a mechanical reverse without a brake system.

Although innovative brake and reverse systems like Yamaha’s RiDE or Sea-Doo’s iBR ensure a better user experience, they are prone to breaking and are expensive to fix.

This is why the most commonly used rental jet ski is the Yamaha VX-C, which is marketed without RiDE, but features a mechanical reverse.

Besides this model, some rental shops use other Yamaha WaveRunners like the more featured VX, EX, or even FX models.

When it comes to competitor brands, the best rental Sea-Doo is arguably the GTI 130, followed by the GTI 170 and the Spark.

Kawasaki jet skis are rarely used in rental shops due to their small dealer network.

This is our short compilation of the best rental jet skis. We hope you find it useful!

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