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What is TDE on a Yamaha WaveRunner? [Explained]

What is TDE on a Yamaha WaveRunner? [Explained]

Simply put, TDE on a Yamaha WaveRunner stands for Thrust Directional Enhancer. This feature is actually an ultra-slow maneuvering mode that comes in handy at docking or retrieving the ski on the trailer.

If you want to learn more about this key feature, this post is for you.

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

What is TDE on a Yamaha WaveRunner?

Contrary to popular belief, riding a WaveRunner requires skills and practice. Did you know that most of the damage occurs around docks and boat ramps?

Let’s face it, docking or retrieving a jet ski on the trailer can be a stressful maneuver, especially if you are a novice rider.

Many people are usually watching you while you are trying to be careful and fast at the same time. This can result in massive stress!

Things can easily turn bad if you add some wind or tide to the situation.

This is where Yamaha’s TDE (Thrust Directional Enhancer) comes into play. This feature is actually a special riding mode designed to operate the WaveRunner at ultra-low speeds while the engine is running at idle speed. In TDE mode, the pump’s thrust can be controlled by buttons instead of the throttle lever.

The main idea behind the TDE mode is to allow you to move the machine slowly without touching the throttle lever. This is a key advantage, as a little “burp” on the throttle can cause your ski to hit the dock or the trailer.

But if you have a modern WaveRunner with a built-in TDE mode, you don’t have to be afraid of these issues. All you need to do is activate the system and control the throttle with the dedicated TDE buttons.

This feature is useful in many situations, including:

  • Approaching and leaving docks
  • Tying up to buoys or boats
  • Operating the ski slowly in a stream
  • Keeping your position on the water
Besides WaveRunners, TDE mode has been available on Yamaha jet boats since 2012.

How does TDE Work on a Yamaha WaveRunner?

In a nutshell, TDE mode uses the reverse gate to switch the WaveRunner forward or backward from a neutral position. Therefore, in TDE mode, you don’t have to apply any throttle to move the craft. Instead, the system raises or lowers the reverse gate gently, allowing the jet nozzle to deliver a tiny jet stream.

Due to the direct drive system, the engine moves the impeller even at idle speed. However, the ski won’t move as long as the reverse gate behind the jet nozzle blocks the water jet.

All that TDE mode does is move the reverse gate slowly up or down, based on your needs. This ensures a decent steering response at very low speeds.

This is how the manufacturer describes how TDE mode works on its WaveRunners:“The TDE is a function for slightly lifting or lowering the reverse gate from the neutral position to operate the watercraft at very slow speeds when the engine is running at idling speed.”Source: Are you curious to know how to activate and use TDE mode on a WaveRunner?

Keep reading!

How do You Use TDE on a Yamaha WaveRunner?

To activate TDE mode on your WaveRunner, all you need to do is to shift the ski into neutral and push the TRIM/TDE switch on the left handlebar.

Once the mode is activated, the dashboard will show a TDE FORWARD/TDE BACKWARD message, and you can operate the ski with the TRIM/TDE buttons:

  • Pushing the Upper button moves the ski forward at very low speed.
  • Pushing the Lower button moves the ski backward at very low speed.


TDE (Thrust Directional Enhancer) is a special riding mode on Yamaha WaveRunners and jet boats. This mode moves the reverse gate up or down to provide a minimal thrust for ultra-slow maneuvers.

Yamaha’s TDE system is a great help around docks and at the ramp, making slow maneuvers easier and less stressful.

It’s a game-changer, especially for beginner riders!