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The Lightest Jet Skis Compared [2 & 4-Stroke]

The Lightest Jet Skis Compared [2 & 4-Stroke]

The lightest jet skis are arguably the stand-up models, which only weigh 220-500 pounds depending on the age and engine type. If you are looking for the lightest sit-down jet skis, you can choose between modern 4-stroke Rec-Lites and vintage 2-stroke skis. You can expect the dry weight of these tiny machines to be anywhere from 300 to 600 pounds.

Let’s drill into the specs and talk about the specific models in detail!

The Lightest Sit-Down Jet Skis

The lightest jet skis ever built are the tiny stand-ups, but they are not for everyone. They are not only hard to ride but also can’t be used for activities like touring, fishing, and towing.

Because of this, sit-down type jet skis are far more popular among buyers, but many of these machines are pretty heavy and look more like boats than “personal” watercraft.

The only exceptions are the smaller vintage 2-stroke runabouts and their reincarnations, tiny Rec-Lite jet skis.

Let’s first talk about these breeds in detail!

Modern Rec-Lite Runabouts

You can find the lightest 4-stroke runabout jet skis in the Rec-Lite category. The dry weight of these models starts at 430 and goes up to 600 pounds.

(In contrast, a full-sized jet ski can weigh 800-1000 pounds dry.)

The Rec-Lite class was created by Bombardier in 2014 with the introduction of the Sea-Doo Spark. This tiny ski was intended to revive the legacy of the 2-stroke era.

Since the market was already hungry for small playful jet skis, the Spark instantly became popular.

Today you can find two Rec-Lite jet ski families in the marketplace, manufactured by Sea-Doo and Yamaha.

The aforementioned Sea-Doo Spark is still available, just like its more playful sibling, the Spark TRIXX.

As the name suggests, the latter was designed with tricks and playful rides in mind.

Thanks to their small hull and tiny 60-90hp engines, the dry weight of the Spark is only 430-450 pounds, which makes them the lightest Sea-Doos off-the-shelf.

Their competitors are the Yamaha EX series, which packs the base EX, EX Sport, EX Deluxe, and the top-of-the-line EX Limited.

With an average dry weight of 580-600 pounds, these skis are the lightest Yamaha WaveRunners available.

We also have to mention the JetBlaster, which also shares the body and engine with the EX series. It was released to compete with the Spark TRIXX.

EX-based WaveRunners are significantly heavier than Sea-Doo Sparks, but in return, they are more stable and have greater capacities.

If you are not mechanically inclined, best practice is to invest in one of these models. But if you are looking for a more aggressive ski with a more agile attitude, and don’t mind wrenching a 2-stroke engine, keep reading.

There are still many vintage 2-stroke jet skis in the marketplace, which offer an unbeatable riding experience!

Vintage 2-Stroke Runabouts

The lightest runabout jet skis ever built are powered by 2-stroke engines and feature surprisingly lightweight hulls. You can expect the dry weight of these to be in the ballpark of 300-600 pounds.

These skis were manufactured from the ‘80s to the ‘00s, so they are pretty aged now. Despite this, they are still popular due to their affordability, simplicity, and unbeatable riding experience.

The most iconic series are arguably the high-performance Sea-Doo XP, Yamaha WaveBlaster, and Kawasaki ZXi families.

Besides these race-intended model lines, the larger Yamaha XL/XLT, and Sea-Doo GT/GS series are also very popular among riders.

Examples (dry weights):

·         1986-1995 Kawasaki X2: 282 lb.

·         1993 Yamaha WaveBlaster 700: 320 lb.

·         1986-1993 Yamaha WaveRunner 500: 348 lb.

·         1988-1993 Sea-Doo SP 587: 365 lb.

·         1996 Yamaha WaveBlaster 760: 398 lb.

·         1996 Sea-Doo XP 800: 434 lb

·         1990-1991 Sea-Doo GT: 461 lb.

·         1998-2000 Yamaha GP 800: 498 lb.

·         1995-1996 Kawasaki 750 ZXi: 522 lb.

·         1997-2000 Yamaha GP1200: 525 lb.

·         1999-2004 Yamaha XL 700: 540 lb.

·         1998-1999 Yamaha XL 760: 551 lb.

·         2000-2002 Sea-Doo XP Limited 951: 561 lb.

·         1996-2003 Kawasaki 1100 ZXi: 589 lb.


However, not every 2-stroke jet ski is so lightweight.

The largest 4-seater models like the deservedly popular Yamaha SUV 1200 and the Sea-Doo LRV weigh 816 and 952 pounds dry, respectively.

If you are considering buying a 2-stroke jet ski, note that these machines require much more care and attention than their 4-stroke successors. What’s more, a majority of service shops refuse to work on them.

Therefore, if you are not mechanically inclined you may want to steer clear of a 2-stroke PWC engine!

The Lightest Stand-Up Jet Skis

There’s no question that the lightest jet skis can be found in the Stand-up class. You can expect the weight of these vessels to be anywhere from 220-500 pounds.

The lightest stand-up jet skis ever made are the vintage 2-stroke models like the Kawasaki JS series and early generations of Yamaha SuperJets.

These skis typically weighed 220-300 pounds while their more modern successors reached the ballpark of 350-400 pounds.

Examples (dry weights):

·         1986-1988 Kawasaki JS300: 223 lb.

·         1977-1992 Kawasaki JS440: 244 lb.

·         1990-1993 Yamaha SuperJet 650: 287 lb.

·         1994-1995 Yamaha SuperJet 701 SN: 267 lb.

·         2008-2020 Yamaha SuperJet: 306 lb.

·         2003-2011 Kawasaki 800 SX-R: 397 lb.


Due to strict environmental restrictions, today’s stand-up jet skis are typically powered by 4-stroke engines. They are also built on larger hulls to accommodate these massive power sources.

As one may expect, 4-stroke stand-ups are significantly heavier than their 2-stroke predecessors.

For example, the innovative 4-stroke Yamaha SuperJet weighs 375 pounds dry and 409 pounds with gas and liquids.

Its main competitor, the Kawasaki SX-R 160 (formerly: SX-R 1500) weighs 503 pounds dry, which jumps up to 551 pounds when fully loaded.

We also have to mention the lesser-known KRASH freestyle/freeride jet ski, of which the curb weights average between 300 and 350 pounds.

Conclusion – How Much Does a Small Jet Ski Weigh?

You can expect the dry weight of the smallest jet skis to be anywhere from 220-600 pounds. If this seems like a lot, remember that the heaviest jet skis can weigh up to 1,000 pounds!

If you are looking for the lightest sit-down jet skis available, the Sea-Doo Spark is for you. The dry weight of these tiny machines is as low as 420-450 pounds.

Their competitors are the Yamaha EX family, which offers a dry weight of 580-600 pounds.

However, vintage 2-stroke skis are still available on the used market. They weigh only 220-600 pounds but you need mechanical skills to keep them alive.

As a takeaway, we’ve listed the average weight of the lightest 2-stroke and 4-stroke jet skis by class:

Class2-Stroke Engine4-Stroke Engine
Stand-Up220 - 400 lb.375 - 500 lb.
Sit-Down300 - 600 lb.430 - 600 lb.