Some people will say they are going for a Jet Ski ride, and others mention a WaveRunner.
If you have always wondered what the difference is between a Jet Ski and a WaveRunner, you are in the right place.
Both Jet Ski and WaveRunner can refer to the same thing, but are they the same?
Here are some of the differences.
Jet Ski vs. WaveRunner: What’s the Difference?
Both Jet Ski and WaveRunner are brands of personal watercraft.
The main difference is the brand name, but there are a few other differences very few people pay attention to at this point.
The Jet Ski was the first model to hit the market, and it was made by Kawasaki.
Following not all that far behind the Jet Ski was the WaveRunner, which was put out by Yamaha.
The largest difference between the two at the time of the release was the fact that you could sit down on the WaveRunner.
With the Jet Ski brand, you were standing up as you were riding.
Both the Jet Ski and the WaveRunner are still very popular models of personal watercraft, and both offer a great riding experience.
What Is Better, a Jet Ski or a WaveRunner?
Both the Jet Ski and the WaveRunner are popular brands among people who enjoy spending time on the water.
It is truly hard to say that one is better than the other.
However, each of these brands has different options available.
The Jet Ski now offers models where passengers can sit as well as stand up, so they are not as distinctly different in style from the WaveRunner as they once were.
If you want something that is the original product and has been around for a very long time, then the Jet Ski would be the better choice for you.
Many of the WaveRunners are known for being a bit more luxurious.
They have some more modern features and luxuries.
There are models of Jet Ski and of WaveRunner that are priced around the same, but
the WaveRunner does start at a bit lower price than the Jet Ski does.
Are Jet Ski and WaveRunner the Only PWCs?
Although Jet Ski and WaveRunner are probably the most well-known personal watercraft, the Sea-Doo is also quite well known.
The Sea-Doo was produced by Bombardier.
A Sea-Doo is very easy to use and easy to control, as well.
If you are looking to rent a personal watercraft, you may find that the Sea-Doo is what is readily available.
Many rental locations will choose the Sea-Doo because it is relatively not as fast and not quite as powerful.
This gives the owner of a personal watercraft rental business a little peace of mind when people rent their craft and take the models out for a ride.
The Sea-Doo is still a great choice for someone who wants a recreational option and may not want a PWC to ride for pure thrill.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Ride a PWC?
Riding a PWC can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous.
There are times when you can get into situations with other boats or other Jet Ski or WaveRunner users which can be difficult to navigate.
It’s very important to keep this in mind when you are riding on a PWC.
Since this is not quite as easy as riding a bicycle, you must be 16 years old to drive a PWC.
Some personal watercraft will have space for more than one person to sit on.
This is a great way for parents to transport their kids and take them for a ride.
However, the PWC must be operated by a person who is 16 or older.
These rules are set in place to keep all people on the water safe, and it does not matter if you are riding a Jet Ski or a WaveRunner.
How Many People Can Ride on a Jet Ski or a WaveRunner?
Although we mentioned that, when the Jet Ski was first released, it was a stand-up model for only one person, it has since changed quite a bit.
These types of Jet Skis are still available, but you can now get a personal watercraft which can carry more than one person.
Most of the Jet Ski or WaveRunner models that are popular on the market today will be built to carry two to four people.
The personal watercraft becomes much more capable and high functioning when you can carry a large number of passengers.
Of course, personal watercraft will also be a little slower because of the fact that it is so much bigger and can carry so much more weight.
Comparison of a Jet Ski model and a WaveRunner Model
Now that you have a better understanding that Jet Ski and WaveRunner are two different brand names, let’s look a bit more closely at the difference between the two models.
We are choosing a stand-up Jet Ski (since this is the original) and comparing it to one of the many WaveRunner models.
Both the Jet Ski and the WaveRunner are going to be priced about the same.
1. Seating Capacity
As we mentioned, the Jet Ski is a stand-up model.
Anytime you see a person standing on the Jet Ski, it won’t be safe to have more than one passenger.
Since it is not safe, the Jet Ski SX-R is going to be built for one person.
The WaveRunner VX-C can fit from one to three people.
Again, the person driving has to be licensed, but this can be a great model for families with children who like to ride on the WaveRunner as well.
2. Dry Weight
The WaveRunner VX-C is obviously a bit bigger as it is designed to fit more than one person.
The weight of the WaveRunner is about 700 pounds compared to the Jet Ski SX-R at around 500 pounds.
You should make sure that the vehicle you plan to use to tow your personal watercraft has the capability to pull much more than just the weight of the personal watercraft.
Most sport utility vehicles or trucks will have no issues trying to pull a personal watercraft.
3. Fuel Capacity
The fuel capacity in your personal watercraft is going to be more critical for some people than others.
If you live in an area where it is easy to get fuel, you won’t be as concerned about the fuel tank’s size.
For remote locations like a lake up in the mountains where you may be using your personal watercraft, the fuel capacity is a very important consideration.
The WaveRunner VX-C’s fuel capacity is 13 gallons compared to the Jet Ski, which will only hold six gallons.
Of course, we have to remember that the WaveRunner is much larger and will burn fuel quite a bit quicker.
However, if you want to take long distance rides, it is important to know that the Jet Ski SX-R Fuel capacity is not all that large.
4. Accessories and Additions
A personal watercraft is going to be very similar to a car when it comes to accessories and additions.
You may see the base price on a personal watercraft and be pleasantly surprised.
When things get more involved, you may be surprised to see how much you need to add on when it comes to accessories.
If you are someone who is very serious about spending time on the water and you want a model with all the latest and greatest technologies, the WaveRunner VX-C is a great choice.
Although you will have to pay extra for the additional accessories, there are quite a few you can choose from.
One of the most popular additions to add is a sound system.
As you can imagine, a waterproof sound system is not cheap, and it will, of course, be costly to add on.
When you add a sound system to a personal watercraft, it has to be loud enough and clear enough that you can hear it even while you are operating the craft.
You can also set up a WaveRunner to tow a tube.
If you purchase the tow package for your WaveRunner, you can plan on spending a few hundred dollars extra.
This is, of course, before you purchase the tube, which will be an additional price as well.
With the weight and the length of the WaveRunner, it is a good model to consider if you are wanting to participate in other watersports that require towing.
Some people use their personal watercraft to go fishing.
The Jet Ski is a better option for exploring and getting into tighter areas, but it is not always the best for a fishing expedition.
As most fishermen know, the fish can sometimes take a while to catch.
If you have to stand the entire time holding the fishing pole, it is not quite as enjoyable.
The WaveRunner, however, is an excellent choice for fishing and gives you lots of room to move around.
If you are really serious about your fishing, you can also add a Garmin Fishfinder to the Jet Ski.
This will allow you to see what is going on under your WaveRunner as you are enjoying your time fishing.
Personal watercraft are getting more and more popular for those who are interested in spending more time fishing.
They are quite a bit less expensive than a boat and make for a great solution.
Which Is Better?
As you can see from our comparison, it is very difficult to say that a Jet Ski is better than a WaveRunner or vice versa.
The two models are very different and will serve different customers as well.
You have to be very clear when you purchase a personal watercraft as to what you plan to use it for.
If you want to take your family and friends out for a nice ride around a lake, then a WaveRunner could be a great choice.
If you want to spend time perfecting your skills on the water and get some great speed, the Jet Ski may be the best option for you.
Regardless of the model you choose, the most important thing you can do is to make sure that you stay safe while on the water.
This is the goal of any owner and rider of a personal watercraft.
Is a Personal Watercraft Worth It?
Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between the Jet Ski and the WaveRunner, you may be wondering if either one is worth it.
Both of these personal watercraft are going to cost you several thousand dollars, so the first part of the puzzle that needs to be in place is the budget.
For some people, the cost of the personal watercraft will be enough not to purchase them.
If you feel as though you have the funds, here are a few other reasons people love their Jet Skis and WaveRunners.
If you are a thrill seeker and you enjoy moving on the water at high rates of speed, you will enjoy owning a personal watercraft.
You won’t be able to experiment with this type of speed in a car or a boat.
Of course, higher speed rates are also more dangerous, but most will admit they are also quite fun.
2. Gateway to Boating
If you are thinking about boating but are not sure it is for you, the personal watercraft could be a great choice.
The Jet Ski and the WaveRunner are much smaller than a boat, and therefore they are easier to control and manage.
If you have never driven a boat before, it can get very nerve wracking.
When you ride a Jet Ski or a WaveRunner for the first time, you will probably pick up on how to do it rather quickly.
3. Safer than a Motorcycle
A Jet Ski and a WaveRunner are very similar to motorcycles, but they are quite a bit safer.
Although there are rules to the water that must be learned, you won’t have to worry about the road and falling.
Falling off a personal watercraft is a much different experience than falling off a motorcycle.
If you like thrill rides but need something that is a bit safer and more reliable, go with the personal watercraft.
Hopefully, you can now see the problem with referring to every personal watercraft as a Jet Ski, but it is not a Jet Ski!
Jet Ski was adopted as the name of a personal watercraft, but WaveRunner and Sea-Doo are also personal watercraft brands.
Each brand will have its own unique characteristics.
Although the Jet Ski was once built as a standing only model, they now make many different models.
WaveRunners have more than twenty different products you can choose from in a variety of colors.
You can purchase a model for less than $8000 or close to $20,000.
The decision to purchase a personal watercraft is not a hard one, but choosing which model you want will take a bit more time and effort.NEXT: How Often Do You Need To Stain A Log Home? (Full Breakdown)