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The 4 Best Ways to Identify a Jet Ski [Video]

The 4 Best Ways to Identify a Jet Ski [Video]

The four best ways to identify a jet ski are as follows:

  1. Check the Graphics and Stickers
  2. Browse Online Catalogs/Google Search
  3. Locate the Data Plate
  4. Decode the HIN Number
Let’s drill into the details and talk about each in detail!

The 4 Best Ways to Identify a Jet Ski

Identifying a jet ski seems like an easy job until you realize that there are virtually thousands of different models out there!

Most models have been in production for a long time, but they are typically carried over for new model years with some minor or even major changes.

These upgrades could be serious innovations or just some cosmetic updates, or even both.

Therefore, you have to carefully check your ski to determine its exact model and year!

Without further ado, the four best ways to identify a jet ski are as follows:

1. Graphic Kit and Stickers

The easiest way to identify a jet ski is by checking the graphics and decals on the body of the ski.

Major manufacturers like Kawasaki, Sea-Doo, and Yamaha typically stamp their brand names on both sides of the hull.

The model name of the jet ski is usually displayed on the side of the top deck or sometimes under the seat.

The latest models come with a detailed graphic kit displaying the brand and the exact model name.

Sometimes the engine option and its performance are also featured in the design.

This information is easy to locate on most skis, except for those that have been repainted or had their graphics removed.

Here’s an example picture below, where you can see:

  • Sea-Doo: Manufacturer
  • Wake Pro: Model name
  • Rotax: Engine manufacturer
  • 230: Engine power (230 HP)
How to indentify a Sea-DooIf you want to drill into the details you may want to take a closer look at the body of the ski. You will probably find some stickers on the outside and inside the hull, which may tell you more about the model and its manufacturer.

These stickers are usually stamped on the top deck under the seat, on the glovebox lid, or inside the engine compartment.

2. Online Catalogs or Google

If you’ve identified your jet ski’s brand and model type, the other challenge is to determine its age. This can be tricky as jet ski manufacturers are prone to using the same model names for several years.

For example, the Kawasaki SXT-15F was manufactured from 2004 through 2020 under the same model name.

Therefore, it’s often not easy to figure out the age of a jet ski.

This is where online catalogs and Google come into play. Just do extensive research to try and find your ski online based on its model name. For this process, you may find our jet ski model catalog useful, which contains all the latest and many older models as well.

However, you have to be careful, as in some cases it’s not possible to identify the age of a jet ski just based on its design.

Sometimes, the design and the graphics of the models are carried over for the following model year without any significant changes. This can occur even if the ski got some major internal updates.

For example, the 2007-2008-2009 Sea-Doo GTX models look almost identical, despite the fact that they have some important differences under the hood.

Therefore, identifying your jet ski based on online catalogs or Google research is not recommended if you want to order parts or accessories for your jet ski.

In such cases, you must be sure of the exact age of your jet ski, so you don’t order the wrong part.

Let’s see how this can be done!

3. Data Plate or Sticker

Many jet skis feature a data plate or sticker, just like other motorized vessels.

You can identify your jet ski by locating and reading this information table, which is typically mounted inside the engine compartment or on the side of the top deck.

This table usually contains plenty of information on the jet ski, including its make, model, model year, serial number, HIN number, and capacities.

However, many jet skis feature a much simpler plate with only the HIN number.

4. HIN Number

There’s no question that the best way to identify your jet ski is to locate and decode its Hull Identification Number (HIN).

This number is usually stamped on the rear side of the hull or on the top of the swim platform.

You can decode a jet ski HIN number using this cheat sheet:

  • 1-3 characters: Manufacturer code
  • 4-8 characters: Hull serial number
  • 9-10 characters: Date of manufacture
  • 11-12 characters: Model year
Jet Ski Identification Based on its HIN NumberThe “model year” of a jet ski is the dedicated year when that particular model was marketed. It can sometimes be confusing as some jet skis are manufactured before their actual model year.

Why?

This is because manufacturers reveal their next year’s models at the end of each summer.

For example, the 2022 jet ski lineups were revealed in August 2021 or at the latest in the autumn of 2021.

Therefore, some early 2022 models hit dealerships before the end of 2021. Even though these machines were manufactured in late 2021, they were 2022 models.

Conclusion – How Do You Tell Which Jet Ski I Have?

The easiest way to identify a jet ski is by checking its graphics and stickers. The manufacturer, model name, and engine specifications are often displayed on the side of the hull and on the top deck.

If you are looking for more detailed information, try to locate the data plate or sticker of the ski.

You can also try to find and identify your ski with the help of online databases.

When you do your research, keep in mind that manufacturers often use the same name and dress of a given model for several years.

Consequently, if you want to order parts, you will need an exact date of manufacture and type of ski to avoid confusion.

To get this information, best practice is to locate and decode the HIN number, which contains many characters including the Manufacturer’s Identification Code, the hull serial number, the date of manufacture (9-10 characters), and the model year (11-12 characters).