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Yamaha WaveBlaster is one of the most iconic and well-known models in Yamaha’s fleet.
It was designed for sharp turns and described as the first “motorcycle on water”. Although this model was a sit-down type watercraft, the WaveBlaster was more related to the legendary Yamaha SuperJet!
While Yamaha stopped manufacturing Blasters decades ago, you can still find many of them running on the water. Are you wondering how this is possible?
Primarily, there is a massive fan base of WaveBlasters, who keep these vintage crafts alive. Additionally, several WaveBlasters are being rebuilt over the years, as endless aftermarket parts are available for this model.
Another reason for Blaster’s continued popularity is that there weren’t any new freestyle, sit-down type watercraft on the market for many years. But the game changed when Krash Industries introduced the Reaper, which was to become a worthy alternative to the WaveBlasters – directly off the shelves.
As Krash watercraft are available in the US, a comparison between the Reaper and WaveBlaster makes sense.
Are you wondering if it’s still worth buying a Yamaha WaveBlaster, or would a Reaper from Krash be a better choice for you instead? Let’s discover the facts by the numbers!
In this post, we’ll provide a basic review of the three generations of WaveBlasters, and will compare them with the new Krash Reaper.
Yamaha WaveBlaster Review
The Origins – Yamaha WaveJammer
Everything started in 1987 when Yamaha introduced the WaveJammer, the first sit-down type solo personal watercraft (PWC) in the world. Powered with a 500cc 2-stroke engine, the WaveJammer’s top speed was around 25-30 mph.
It was an extremely agile model thanks to the small hull and fixed steering column. Because of its difficult handling, this model didn’t become very popular.
It’s safe to say that WaveJammer was the predecessor of the WaveBlaster, and its design also showed up in some other later PWC models. However, while the WaveJammer was in production from 1987-1991, you can still find a few of them on the water:
WaveBlaster 700 Review
The first Yamaha WaveBlaster was introduced in 1993, and this model surprised the market in many ways by creating a completely new category. So it’s not surprising it won “Watercraft of the Year” and dominated competitions for years.
The first Blaster was released under the name of WaveBlaster 700, but it’s also known as WaveBlaster I or Marine Jet 700TZ. One of the most important innovations of this model was its 701cc, 2-stroke, single-carburetor engine, which produced 63 HP initially.
While this performance doesn’t look like much, we should take a look into the Yamaha WaveBlaster’s dimensions and weight. Its hull not only has a radically new design, but it’sreally small as well, measuring only 95.7” long and 34.6” wide.
Yamaha WaveBlaster Top Speed
Speaking of the Yamaha WaveBlaster’s top speed, it could hit a top speed of 44 mph with its 63 HP engine, and thanks to its low weight (320 pounds/145kg), it offered lively rides!
In 1996, the engine was upgraded to a dual-carburetor version, so with the twin Mikuni carburetors, the new engine produced 73 HP, better acceleration and a slightly higher top speed. Thanks to its unique hull design, this model offered unique motorcycle- like rides, which its original advertisement refers to as well:
The small weight combined with the nimble hull and powerful engine quickly became the favorite of many sports-minded riders. Unlike the other sit-down type watercraft in Yamaha’s fleet, the WaveBlaster’s hull was closer to the SuperJet’s design, which led to quicker and sharper turns.
The controls were as simple as possible, just a fixed handlebar and a throttle, no bells and whistles like gauges, mirrors or brake and reverse system.
When it came to the Yamaha WaveBlaster’s fuel consumption, according to the original Owner’s Manual, the WB700 could burn 7.7 gallons of gas per hour at full throttle. Beyond its many advantages and inventions, the Yamaha WaveBlaster 700 had some weak points as well.
Designed for sharp turns, the craft wasn’t the best riding in a straight line, especially at lower speeds. This came from the high sitting position which made this model unstable mainly at idle speed.
For the same reason, the re-boarding was quite challenging, particularly from deep water. So finally, after only four years of production, the WaveBlaster 700 was discontinued to give room to the new WaveBlaster II.
The Yamaha WaveBlaster 760 (known as WaveBlaster II) was introduced in 1996, which definitely succeeded its predecessor. The market was expecting an upgraded version of the WaveBlaster 700, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Though the WaveBlaster 760 was a completely new machine designed from scratch, really carefully, in fact, Yamaha scrapped 6-7 different prototypes before they finalized the new design.
This model had bigger dimensions, as it was 107.1” long and 40.6 wide, and weighed 397 lbs. Thanks to its increased size, the WaveBlaster 760 was more stable and easier to handle. However, the double-padded saddle was still positioned too high, so finally, the high center of gravity made the reboarding more challenging compared to the competitors’ sit-down models.
In front of the saddle, you could find storage that looked like the tank of a motorbike. The rising rear side of the seat ensured an aggressive position for the rider, but it offered convenient rides for the passengers at the same time.
Not only was the hull completely new, but this model got a more powerful engine, as the 754cc, 2-stroke power source produced 90 HP. The WaveBlaster 760 was able to hit 46-47 mph in ideal conditions, which was only 2-3 mph less than the fastest Yamaha, the WaveRider 760’s top speed.
The fuel capacity was also bigger because this model had a fuel tank with a capacity of 10.6 gallons. On the other hand, it was more thirsty as well, as it was able to burn around 10 gallons every hour!
Unlike WaveBlaster 700, the 760 was already equipped with a simple gauge showing the level of fuel, oil, and the engine’s temperature. Sadly, for the speed-junkies, the speedometer was still a missing feature!Riding the Blaster II was still tons of fun for everyone as one didn’t need to have as many athletic skills as riding the Blaster I.
Introduced in 1999, the WaveBlaster 800 (WB800) was the 3rd generation of the Blasters.
However, the hull had the same length (107.1”) and was only 0.3” wider, thanks to the bigger 784cc engine, the Blaster II was 496 lbs. This power source offered 120 HP and was able to burn 12.9 gallons of gas per hour.
Despite its higher performance, many WaveBlaster fan considers this model less lively and flexible due to its higher weight. After 2 years of production in 2000, the model was discontinued.
Because of this, you can hardly find this model on the second-hand market!
Yamaha WaveBlaster for Sale
Are you considering buying a WaveBlaster or another freestyle sit-down watercraft? Let’s go and compare your options and the prices as well.
The most popular models on the second-hand market are probably still the WaveBlaster 700 models, especially with the 73HP, dual-carburetor engine options. The prices start at the $1-2k range and go up to $6-8k depending on the condition. If you’re lucky, you can find one which is perfectly rebuilt, but if you’re looking for a side project, you can manage the rebuilding by yourself.
This model is usually cheaper to rebuild and modify as it has the same engine as many other Yamaha PWCs. But be prepared, as your total spending may exceed your budget easily. Of course, rebuilding and modifying a PWC was never cheap, but at the end of the day, it may worth the effort.
If you’re not happy with the 63-73 HP, you still can choose a Blaster II with 90 HP, or a Blaster III with 120 HP. But the Blaster I’s hull is so popular that some buyers decide to swap the 90 HP engine from the Blaster II for better performance.
Yamaha WaveBlasters vs. Krash Reaper
Let’s face it; these vintage models are not for everybody. They could be less reliable and need more attention. If you’re looking for something off the shelves, you should take a look at the Krash Reaper, as this model is already available in the US as well.
If we compare the Reaper with the WaveBlasters, it’s clear that it has a smaller hull than the WB700 (length: 88”, width: 32”) and stronger engine than the WB800. For a better comparison, we’ve collected the specs of the three generations of WaveBlasters and the Reaper under one roof.
Yamaha WaveBlaster vs. Krash Reaper
|Specs||WB 700||WB 760||WB 800||Krash Reaper|
|Performance (HP)||63 (73)||90||120||130|
|Max. fuel cons. (G/h)||7.7||10.0||12.9||na|
|Max speed (mph)||44.1||46.6||na||46|
On the one hand, there is the price, as the Reaper costs several times more than a used WaveBlaster. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new turn-key, freestyle sit-down PWC, it seems the Reaper is the only option currently on the market.
When it comes to freestyle jet skiing, many riders prefer the stand-up models, but there is still a smaller but solid fan base of the sit-down type freestyle models as well.
They’re much easier to ride, and require fewer skills compared to stand-ups, but still offer a lot of fun and exercise on the water. What’s more, if you get tired, you can simply sit on the seat and have some rest.
Probably, the most iconic model in this category ever, is the Yamaha WaveBlaster, which was manufactured from 1993-2000.
The first model was the WaveBlaster 700, which arrived with a small and lightweight hull (97.5” length, 320 lbs weight) and a 701cc, 63 HP power source.
This model was available since 1996, but in its last year, an updated version was released with dual Mikuni carburetors and 73 HP performance. Thanks to its unique hull and “motorcycle feeling”, it was probably the most popular model, which is still hunted on the second-hand market by many riders.
The WB700 is definitely the best choice for wave jumping and surfing, but it also requires some athletic skills!
The second generation was released in 1996 under the name of WaveBlaster 760, but was also known as Wave Blaster II.
This model was completely redesigned from scratch, got a bigger and more stable hull as well as a 754cc, 90 HP engine. Its larger and more stable hull offers easier handling and smoother re-boarding, especially from the deep water.
Additionally, unlike Blaster I, this model offers a convenient seat for a passenger. If you’re looking for something faster and more stable than Blaster I, the WB 760 is for you.
The third generation was introduced to the market in 1999. The WaveBlaster 800 was definitely heavier compared to its predecessors, as it weighs no less than 496 pounds.
It’s not just heavier, but more powerful as well, as this Blaster is powered with a 784cc, 120 HP engine. Sadly, this model appears rarely on the second-hand market, as it was manufactured for only 2 years.
If you’re considering buying a WaveBlaster, you can only choose from vintage, second-hand models, as Blasters have not been manufactured for decades. Sometimes rumors appear that Yamaha is considering reviving the WaveBlaster, but at this point, the EX series is still their smallest models, which still seem like boats compared to the Blasters.
Depending on its condition, used WaveBlasters are available from $1,000-2,000 on the market, but you can find some in the $6000-$8000 price range as well.
If you’re looking for a side project, you can rebuild one by yourself, but you can also find professionals who can do the job for you. But be prepared that the final budget could be $5,000 or much higher – depending on the parts and mods you need!
If you’re looking for something new and prefer turn-key solutions, you should take a look at the Krash Reaper, as this model could be a worthy alternative to the WaveBlasters.
Fortunately, these watercraft are available in the U.S. so you can purchase them easily. On the other hand, be prepared for a hefty price tag as the Reaper is currently available for $12,599!
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