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2019 Sea-Doo vs. Yamaha vs. Kawasaki

Buying a jet ski is very confusing especially when every manufacturer says one thing about the other. You don’t know who to listen to and don’t know where to look.

2020 Update: Check out the 2020 Sea-Doo VS Yamaha VS Kawasaki Guide Here.

This is why I created this guide. I have gone over all the details from Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki and created this one guide to help you better understand which jet ski better suits your needs.

I will try to be unbiased as I can, but I do want to make it clear that I know Sea-Doo more than any other manufacturer. If a manufacturer or anyone finds something wrong, please let me know so I can change it. I want this guide to be the best and benefit everyone looking for a new jet ski.

Please don’t stop at this guide, make sure to visit each jet ski manufacturer to see what they have to say too.

Sea-Doo

Yamaha

Kawasaki

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Table of Contents
  1. Jet Ski vs Waverunner vs PWC
  2. Categories
  3. iBR and RIDE
  4. Terminology And Overall Details
  5. Rec-Lite
  6. Recreation
  7. VX-C Vs. Nothing
  8. VX vs. STX–15F vs. GTI 130
  9. Yamaha VX Deluxe vs. Nothing
  10. Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 vs. Yamaha VX Cruiser
  11. Yamaha VX Limited vs. Sea-Doo GTI SE 155
  12. Kawasaki Ultra LX vs. Yamaha VX Cruiser HO
  13. Tow Sports
  14. Sport Fishing
  15. Why The Fish Pro Sucks
  16. Luxury
  17. Sum Up The Luxury Category
  18. The Luxury Lineup
  19. Sea-Doo GTX 155 vs. Yamaha FX HO
  20. Sea-Doo GTX 155 Pros
  21. Sea-Doo GTX 230 vs. Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
  22. GTX Limited 230 vs. FX Cruiser SVHO
  23. GTX Limited 300 vs. FX Limited SVHO vs. Ultra 310 LX
  24. Performance
  25. Performance Overall Details
  26. The Performance Lineup
  27. Sea-Doo GTR vs. Yamaha VXR
  28. GTR-X 230 vs nothing
  29. FX SVHO vs. RXT-X 300 vs. Ultra 310X SE
  30. GP1800R vs RXP-X 300 vs Ultra 310X
  31. What’s Next?
  32. Questions?

Jet Ski vs Waverunner vs PWC

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the general names of jet skis. The name “jet ski” is owned by Kawasaki, “waverunner” is owned by Yamaha, and “personal watercraft (PWC)” is the name Sea-Doo (Bombardier) uses.

To make things simple I’m going to use the word “jet ski” in this guide since it’s the name most people are used to.

Categories

In 2019 we got a few more jet skis added to the list and a whole new category too. This is over 45 different watercraft to choose from not including the color options.

The categories exist to break up the models just like how we do for cars. For example, we have trucks, sedans, SUV, hatchback, and many other options for cars and jet skis follow a similar pattern.

The categories to pick from are Rec-Lite, Recreation, Tow Sports, Luxury, Performance, and the new one Sport Fishing.

2019 Prices

To help better understand what we’re working with I’ve created a chart of all the jet ski models and listed them from the lowest price to the highest. You can use the search box below to filter out or search for the models you’re looking for.

MakeModelMSRP
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 60HP$5,399
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 90HP$5,999
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90HP$6,599
YamahaEX$6,799
Sea-DooSPARK 2up 90HP w/ iBR and Conv. Package$6,999
Sea-DooSPARK TRIXX 2up with iBR$7,499
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90HP w/ iBR and Conv. Package$7,599
YamahaEX Sport$7,799
Sea-DooSPARK TRIXX 2up with iBR + Sound System$8,049
Sea-DooSPARK TRIXX 3up with iBR$8,099
Sea-DooSPARK 3up 90HP w/ iBR and Conv. Package + Sound System$8,149
YamahaSUPERJET$8,499
Sea-DooSPARK TRIXX 3up with iBR + Sound System$8,649
YamahaEX Deluxe$8,799
Sea-DooGTI 90$8,799
YamahaVX-C$8,999
YamahaEXR$9,299
YamahaVX$9,699
KawasakiSTX-15F$9,699
Sea-DooGTI 130$9,799
KawasakiSX-R$9,999
YamahaVX DELUXE$10,499
Sea-DooGTI SE 130$10,599
YamahaVX Cruiser$10,799
YamahaVX LIMITED$11,199
Sea-DooGTI SE 155$11,199
KawasakiULTRA LX$11,199
YamahaVX Cruiser HO$11,499
Sea-DooWake 155$11,999
Sea-DooGTR 230$12,199
YamahaVXR$12,299
Sea-DooGTX 155$12,799
Sea-DooGTR-X 230$13,199
YamahaFX HO$13,499
Sea-DooGTX 230$13,899
Sea-DooRXT 230$13,899
YamahaFX Cruiser HO$13,999
YamahaGP1800R$14,199
Sea-DooWake Pro 230$14,799
Sea-DooFish Pro$14,799
KawasakiULTRA 310X$15,299
Sea-DooRXP-X 300$15,399
YamahaFX SVHO$15,499
Sea-DooRXT-X 300$15,799
KawasakiULTRA 310X SE$15,799
Sea-DooGTX Limited 230$16,099
YamahaFX Cruiser SVHO$16,199
KawasakiULTRA 310R$16,299
Sea-DooGTX Limited 300$17,099
YamahaFX Limited SVHO$17,399
KawasakiULTRA 310LX$17,999

1 Seater or 2 Seater or 3 Seater?

If you’re wondering if you should get a 1, 2, or 3-seater jet ski the good news is the answer is simple. Most of your options are going to be 3-seater. The 2-Seaters are not as common, and there is no 1-seater unless you count standups.

I know this is quite confusing when many watercraft look like they only seat 2 people. I would get this all the time when going over watercraft to customers.

The honest truth is that if it’s a 3-seater then it’s really a 2-seater and if it’s a 2-seater it’s a 1-seater. If you pay close attention to the advertisings, you’ll see that the 3 people on a watercraft are actually 2 adults and one child. You won’t be able to get 3 grown men on one watercraft without it being tippable.

The stability becomes less of an issue as you go up in price to the larger models, but this example holds very accurately for the Rec-Lite category.

I’m not trying to scare anyone away from lower-priced watercraft, they’re quite stable compared to machines built decades ago. Just something to keep in mind if you want to ride 3 people all the time.

iBR and RIDE

Throughout this guide, I’m going to be referring to iBR and RIDE. Both are the “transmission” names for the watercraft manufacturers. Sea-Doo uses iBR and Yamaha uses RIDE. Kawasaki still uses the manual lever for forward and reverse with neutral between them. Kawasaki does not have a brake option like iBR or RIDE have.

At the core level, both do the same thing. Both give you forward, neutral, and reverse. Both also do this by an electric motor and the tech has now been around for a while.

Both options will even slow you down and work as a brake when above a certain speed.

Where they differ is that the Yamaha RIDE acts like a forward throttle and reverse throttle and the Sea-Doo iBR works like a gas and brake setup.

To better understand this here is videos showing how each works.

Sea-Doo iBR

Yamaha RIDE

Terminology And Overall Details

VTS – Variable Trim System. It’s an electronic trim like what boats have. It uses the output nozzle of the watercraft to angle the nose up or down. You’ll adjust this for different water conditions, racing, or tow sports. Not all models have it, but it is nice to have.

Footwell – The place where you put your feet. It’s usually carpeted with soft foam matting. It’s still best to wear water shoes, and we go over that here.

Polytec – A relativity new hull material first seen in the Sea-Doo Spark in 2014. It’s lighter and acts differently than fiberglass. Fiberglass is the standard that all boats use to make a hull out of. Think of Polytec as a plastic plate, if you drop it the plate bounces. Fiberglass is like a glass plate, you drop it then it’s a good chance it’ll break. This is not a perfect comparison to make but helps give you the general idea.

Closed Loop or Open Loop Cooling – This is how the jet ski cools its engine. If you want to learn more, I have a post on it here.

DESS – Digitally Encrypted Security System. Sea-Doo uses this on their safety lanyards as a key. There is a chip inside the key that will only start your watercraft. Kawasaki has something similar, but it’s not on the lanyard and Yamaha either uses a fob or enter a pin on the dash. Not all models have DESS or a security system, but for Sea-Doo when you go above the Recreation Category, they all get the DESS key with the learning key.

Learning Key or Slow-Mode or Low RPM Mode – They all do pretty much the same thing. They limit the power of the jet ski for new riders or for the buddy you have who always destroys your stuff. Some even go a step further and limits not only top speed but take off power too.

Sea-Doo Palm Grips

Palm Grips – All Sea-Doo models will have the Palm Grips. These are more ergonomically correct handlebar grips that help to take the strain out of riding. Its one of those things you don’t realize how important it is till you ride for more than 30 minutes with and without it. Most people don’t know they have a death-grip when riding and that really wears your hand’s wrist out and the Palm Grips can help with this.


Rec-Lite

The Rec-Lite category is the cheapest option to get into for new watercraft.

Right now it’s only Yamaha and Sea-Doo competing in this category with the EX from Yamaha and the Spark from Sea-Doo. Sea-Doo released the first Rec-Lite model back in 2014 with massive success that did “Re-Spark” the industry. Yamaha not sitting quietly came in hard in 2016 with the EX to give Sea-Doo a run for their money.

The Rec-Lite is an excellent option if you’re new to watercraft and don’t want to spend a whole lot to enjoy the open water.

Rec-Lite Price Range

The cheapest Rec-Lite will be the base model Spark 2up 60HP starting at $5,399. The most expensive will be the Yamaha EX Deluxe at $8,799.

Spark vs. EX

When the EX came out, I did a great review on it here that still holds very true to this day. I recommend you read it. I went in thinking how the EX was going to kill the Spark because on paper it was better but came to find out it was not as great as it seemed.

Yamaha doesn’t have a 2 seater option so it’s not fair to compare the 2up Spark to any Yamaha so we’ll start at the 3up options.

EX vs. Spark 3up 90HP Base

The competition really starts at the base models of the 3up Spark and EX. Honestly, the EX is better because it gives you more, but in 2019 it’s also $200 more.

It’s a hard pill to swallow as I personally own a 3up Base model Spark, but Yamaha has done well in the EX.

EX Sport vs. Spark 3up 90HP iBR w/Conv.

When we go to the next level of the Spark and EX it’s the Sea-Doo that takes the lead.

Not only is the Spark cheaper but you also get iBR which is the brakes, forward, neutral, and reverse. With the EX Sport, you get the old school manual reverse. With the iBR system, you are also going to get the DESS keys and a learning key on the Spark.

The EX does have a nice advantage with the mirrors, but now Sea-Doo has options to add them if you need them.

The EX will also have a bigger engine and a bigger gas tank. This is a plus, but the Spark is lighter and goes just as fast. If we could just get the EX engine in the Spark body that would make many people very happy!

EX Deluxe vs. GTI 90

I know the GTI 90 is not technically a Rec-Lite watercraft, but it only makes sense to compare it to the EX Deluxe.

While the Spark 3up 90HP iBR w/Conv. is Sea-Doo’s top of the line Rec-Lite model and the EX Deluxe is Yamaha’s it is stupid to compare them. The biggest reason why is because the Fully loaded Spark without speaker system starts at $7,599 and the top of the line Yamaha EX Deluxe starts at $8,799. That’s quite the price difference.

We could possibly compare the EX Deluxe to Spark Trixx 3up, but the Trixx would still be $700 cheaper.

I do find it crazy that the EX Deluxe cost as much as the GTI 90 which I consider a better jet ski but I have come to realize both serve a purpose.

The EX Deluxe is for the young family who is new to the sport but still wants a quick and playful machine. While the GTI 90 is for the family, who are looking to upgrade from an EX or Spark because they value comfort over playfulness.

The EX Deluxe will for sure smoke the GTI 90 in a race, but the person buying the GTI 90 doesn’t care. They want a machine they can use all day without any discomfort and plenty of room for storage.

If anything a perfect option is to get both the GTI 90 and the EX Deluxe. You can have your cake and eat it too. You’ll have the machine that is fast and playful and the other machine that is great for longer rides and has plenty of storage.

EXR vs. Spark Trixx

This is one of those not so fair comparisons again.

What the EXR and Trixx have in common is that they’re the branch off of their counterparts.

By this I mean the EXR is just an EX with more HP and pump upgrades to make it go faster. And the Spark Trixx is a Spark with upgrades to the pump and accessories to make it more playful.

The Spark community has wanted a Sea-Doo Spark with more HP and Yamaha funny enough delivered it with the EXR. In a race, the EXR will for sure beat the Trixx, but the Trixx is going to be more playful and more eye-catching as you do wheelies on it.

Both options are for the people who want an affordable watercraft but don’t want one that is boring. If you want to go fast you get the EXR. If you want a machine that is playful, you go with the Trixx.

I do have to mention that if all you care about is pure speed then for a few hundred more you can get the Kawasaki STX–15F. The STX–15F is the fastest Recreation category watercraft on the market. The EXR will be more a playful body but something to keep in mind.

Sum-up Rec-Lite

  • The most affordable option.
  • 2 seater or 3 Seater.
  • Nimble and quick.
  • Great for first-time buyers.
  • Speeds range from 40mph to 50mph.

Overall Pros of The Spark

  • Polytec hull makes it lighter than the competition.
  • More color options.
  • The top deck is modular, so you could replace panels that get damaged more easily than the competition.
  • Some models come with iBR which is the brakes, forward, neutral, and reverse.
  • Some models will get the Digital key which is programmed to your machine only. You also get the Learning key which limits the power of the machine for new riders.
  • One big storage instead of 3 smaller storage compartments. You can fit life jackets and other bigger items in the Spark storage better even though it’s less overall storage compared to the EX.
  • You have a 2 seater option while Yamaha does not.

Overall Cons of the Spark

  • Mirrors not standard.
  • Smaller gas tank but it is a lighter hull.
  • Lower HP then the EX, goes just as fast though.
  • Could always have more storage especially dry storage.

Overall Pros of the EX

  • Has mirrors standard on the two higher-end models.
  • You get RIDE which is the electronic forward, neutral, and reverse and can also act as a brake but only for the EX Deluxe.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • More Horsepower.
  • Technically has more storage, but it’s split up very awkward. But the dry storage under the seat is excellent and I wish Sea-Doo did something like that.
  • That base model EX is a good value.

Overall Cons of the EX

  • The EX Deluxe is priced way too high.
  • The storage could have been better thought out. They should have done one single large storage area instead of 3 smaller storage areas.
  • No 2-Seater option.

Cons of –ALL– Rec-Lite Models

The seat sucks.

If you want to ride for more then 1 hour at a time, then you should avoid the Rec-Lite category. These seats don’t have much padding to them.

Also, the Rec-Lite category is the most playful, so these things are not the most stable. I can stand on the side of my 3up Spark just fine but add someone else to my side and we’re flipping the thing. And this affects all Rec-Lite jet skis.

But that is what makes the Spark and EX so appealing to so many. These watercraft are fun and love to play around. You don’t buy an EX or Spark for a Sunday cruise, you buy it to have fun!

Since they’re so playful, you need to keep in mind that you’re more likely to get wet on a Rec-Lite jet ski. So if getting wet and a playful watercraft scares you then it’ll be better to start at the Recreational Category instead.

The last issue with the Rec-Lite category is pull sports. Many states require not only mirrors to pull someone in a tube or to wakeboard but also a spotter. So you would need a person driving, a person watching the person being pulled, and the person who is being pulled. That is a total of 3 people so that means you can’t use a 2 seater jet ski. This is in case someone gets hurt there is enough room to get them on and get back to safety.

If you plan on doing any pull sports, I recommend getting an impeller protector like this here on Amazon (Amazon Link Ad) to keep from sucking up your own tow rope.


Recreation

The Recreation category is the next step above Rec-Lite.

An interesting little tidbit is that the watercraft sizes in this category would have been “Luxury” hulls 15 years ago. Not only are 2019 Luxury jet skis even better now but the value you get with Recreation models is excellent too!

Recreation Overall Details

  • More stable than the Rec-Lite category.
  • Top speeds range from 42mph up to 62mph.
  • More storage than the Rec-Lite category.
  • Great option for families.
  • Doesn’t handle the chop as well as the bigger Luxury options.
  • All manufacturers except for Kawasaki will have their own version of electronic forward, neutral, reverse/brakes.
  • All models beyond this point no matter the category will have Mirrors (except standups).

The Recreation Lineup

Sea-Doo – GTI 90, GTI 130, GTI SE 130, GTI SE 155

Yamaha – VX-C, VX, VX DELUXE, VX Cruiser, VX Limited, VX Cruiser HO

Kawasaki – STX–15F, ULTRA LX

We already covered the GTI 90 by comparing it to the EX Deluxe so let’s move on to the next models.

VX-C Vs. Nothing

The VX-C is an oddball.

Its sole purpose is for commercial use like rentals. That is what the “c” stands for in VX-C. So it’s not meant for the average joe to buy.

The problem is that it’s on Yamaha’s website with price, specs, and everything. I’ve been told it’s not to be sold to the general public and to only businesses. With this in mind don’t expect your local dealership to have one for sale. If they do, then the VX-C is just a VX without RIDE.

VX vs. STX–15F vs. GTI 130

Yamaha VX $9,699

Kawasaki STX–15F $9,699

Sea-Doo GTI 130 $9,799

This area has changed a bit in 2019.

We still have the outlier STX–15F that has not changed much in years but still has the most powerful engine in this price category. While the VX and GTI 130 will be hitting close to 53mph, the STX–15F will be over 60mph.

But the VX and GTI 130 have it beat in tech and modern design.

All 3 will be a 3-seater with plenty of power for pulling tubes. This is an excellent option for a family that wants something bigger than a Spark or EX but don’t want something too powerful.

Sea-Doo GTI 130 Pros

  • Greater storage capacity.
  • iBR (Brakes, Neutral, Reverse, and Forward).
  • DESS and Learning Key – DESS is the security system that Sea-Doo uses.
  • Closed Loop Cooling – Uses the same method your car uses to cool the engine, so it doesn’t take in any dirty or corrosive water. Still takes in water to cool the exhaust.
  • Palm Grips.
  • Polytec Hull – Keeps the weight down.
  • Second most HP behind the Kawasaki.
  • Driving Modes – Sport, Touring, ECO.

Sea-Doo GTI 130 Cons

  • No reboarding ladder.
  • No cup holders (Yamaha only).
  • The smallest gas tank of the bunch.
  • Cost $100 more than the other 2.

Yamaha VX Pros

  • Biggest gas tank.
  • RIDE, Dual throttles for forward and reverse that also can act as a brake.
  • Reboarding Step.
  • Lightest of the bunch. Entirely surprised by this one because the Sea-Doo has the Polytec hull so it should have been lighter.
  • 2 piece seat. It’s slightly easier to take off and work on.
  • Cup holders in the glove box.

Yamaha VX Cons

  • Open Loop Cooling – It takes in ocean or lake water to cool the engine. To be fair, many consider this a plus because it has less moving parts.
  • Less storage than the GTI but slightly more than the STX–15F.
  • The least amount of horsepower among the bunch.

Kawasaki STX–15F Pros

  • Fastest of all 3.
  • Tried and proven design.

Kawasaki STX–15F Cons

  • Hasn’t changed in years.
  • Smallest storage of the bunch.
  • Manual forward, neutral, reverse.
  • Open loop Cooling.
  • Less weight capacity.

Yamaha VX Deluxe vs. Nothing

One could argue that I should compare the VX Deluxe to the Sea-Doo GTI SE 130. I could see this, but the problem is that the VX Cruiser better compares to the GTI SE 130.

Yamaha has two models, the Deluxe and Cruiser, which are pretty much the same machine. The VX Cruiser has a nicer seat and different color options.

If you ask me, it’s pointless to have the VX Deluxe, and Yamaha should drop it and keep the VX Cruiser since it’s the better machine. If you don’t believe me just check out Yamaha VX comparison chart here.

Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 vs. Yamaha VX Cruiser

Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 $10,599

Yamaha VX Cruiser $10,799

The Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 and the Yamaha VX Cruiser are going to be two very evenly matched watercraft. With this in mind let me try to point out the pros and cons of both so you can better see which one suits your needs the best.

Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 Pros

  • Greater Storage.
  • iBR (Brakes, Neutral, Reverse, Forward).
  • Learning key that can be programmed from 32mph up to 50mph for new riders.
  • Driving modes – Touring, Sport, and ECO.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • VTS – Variable Trim System, it allows you to raise or lower the nose of the watercraft. Excellent for pull sports and choppy waters.
  • Touring Seat.
  • Palm grips – It takes the pressure away from your wrist when jumping waves or long rides.
  • 3-Seater.
  • DESS Key – Digital key that only starts your machine. Yamaha doesn’t use digital keys but a different system.
  • Closed Loop Cooling – Doesn’t take in the lake or ocean water to cool the engine but does take in water to cool the exhaust.

Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 Cons

  • Heavier than the VX Cruiser.
  • Smaller Gas Tank than the VX Cruiser.

Here is a video of the 2018 GTI SE 130, since the watercraft did not change from 2018 to 2019 this video still holds true.

Yamaha VX Cruiser Pros

  • Lighter hull due to the NanoXcel hull.
  • About the same speed as the Sea-Doo GTI SE 130.
  • Bigger gas tank, 18.5 vs. the 15.9 gal on the Sea-Doo.
  • Security fob with low-speed mode much like how the Sea-Doo has a learning key.
  • Cruise Assist and No Wake Mode – This is really nice to have and something the Sea-Doo GTI SE 130 lacks.
  • RIDE.

Yamaha VX Cruiser Cons

  • Open Loop Cooling – Takes in lake or ocean water to cool the engine.
  • Less storage on the VX compared to the GTI SE 130 – Kind of a big deal because covers and life jackets do take up a good bit of space.

Yamaha VX Limited vs. Sea-Doo GTI SE 155

This is going to be a fun comparison. One watercraft has the power, and the other has the features.

After this comparison, if you think they should really combine the power of one with the features of the other, then you might want to jump ahead to the Wake category.

Yamaha VX Limited $11,199

Sea-Doo GTI SE 155 $11,199

Yamaha VX Limited Pros

  • Matching Single-Rider Towable Tube (Awesome!).
  • Storage Bag.
  • Dual Bumpers – Honestly all watercraft should come with this in my opinion.
  • Tube Inflator for the towable tube.
  • Matching Cover – Something else every watercraft should come with standard. Yes, most watercraft don’t come with covers, and it’s well worth it to buy one.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • Cruiser Seat.
  • Cruise Assist/No Wake Mode – A must have for pulling tubes.
  • NanoXcel Hull,  it’s lightweight.
  • RIDE.

Yamaha VX Limited Cons

  • Smaller engine than the Sea-Doo GTI SE 155. The VX has a 125HP engine, and the Sea-Doo GTI SE 155 has a 155HP engine. This makes a big difference with adults being pulled on a tube.
  • They should have put the VX Cruiser HO engine in the VX Limited as it would have been perfect and way better than the GTI SE 155.

Sea-Doo GTI SE 155 Pros

  • 155 HP engine – I call this the “bulletproof” engine that Sea-Doo makes. You can’t go wrong with this thing. Plus, it has more than enough power for anyone’s needs and for sure enough for pulling tubes.
  • iBR.
  • Learning Key that can be programmed.
  • More storage capacity than the VX Limited.
  • Driving modes – Sport, Touring, ECO.
  • Touring Seat.
  • Palm Grips.
  • DESS Key for security.
  • Closed Loop Cooling – A similar system that your car uses to keep it’s engine cooled.

Sea-Doo GTI SE 155 Cons

  • Smaller gas tank than the VX.
  • Heavier than the VX Limited.
  • Lack of cruise control and slow speed mode.
  • No extras like a tube, cover, or fenders.

What would I buy? I would swing more to the VX Limited only because of the extra accessories you get. But I’ll be wanting that power the GTI SE 155 has. At the end of the day.

I know what Yamaha is trying to do, they want the VX Limited to compete with the Sea-Doo WAKE 155. It competes very well on price, but the WAKE is in a league all it’s own so that is why I could not compare it to the VX Limited. It would be like trying to compare an SUV to a hatchback even though it looks like they both do the same thing.


Kawasaki Ultra LX vs. Yamaha VX Cruiser HO

Kawasaki Ultra LX $11,199

Yamaha Cruiser HO $11,499

Kawasaki Ultra LX Pros

  • Bigger and more stable hull.
  • A lot more storage, like almost double the VX.
  • Cheaper than the VX.
  • The hull will take rougher water way better.
  • More than enough HP for tow sports.
  • Adjustable handlebars.
  • Slo-Mode for new riders.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • Reboarding Ladder.

Kawasaki Ultra LX Cons

  • It’s much a heavier watercraft.
  • No RIDE, still uses a manual reverse lever.

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Pros

  • Lighter than the Ultra LX.
  • Reboarding Step.
  • Cruiser Seat.
  • RIDE.
  • Security Fob.
  • Dual Cup holders in the glovebox.

Yamaha VX Cruiser HO Cons

  • Smaller gas tank compared to the Kawasaki Ultra LX.
  • Smaller hull than the Ultra LX.
  • Less overall storage capacity.
  • I wouldn’t say the VX is not stable, but the Ultra LX is bigger and will be more stable by comparison. Both are very stable compared to the Rec-Lite category.

Tow Sports

Its just Sea-Doo in the Tow Sports category with the Wake 155 and Wake pro 230.

Both Wake models share a lot of similar features. The most significant differences will be that the Wake 155 is based on the GTI body while the Wake Pro 230 is based on the GTX (ST3) body.

I’ve found that the Wake series hold the best resale value because of the number of features you get from the factory.

If you do plan on doing any tubing or wakeboarding, please pick up an Impeller Protector like this here on Amazon (Amazon Link Ad). Without the impeller protector, you’re going to suck up your tow line, and it will ruin the day for you. You’ll have to get the jet ski back to land and unwrapped the rope by cutting it free. To further help, avoid reversing or sitting idle when pulling anyone. This is because you’re sitting on a very powerful vacuum and it will suck up that tow rope when given a chance.

Wake Model Features

  • Ski Pylon – This gets the tow rope higher for the person being pulled for better leverage. It also gives grab handles to the spotter.
  • Ski Mode – You program how hard you want to take off and how fast you want to go and the computer does the rest. Once Ski Mode is set all the driver does is hold the trigger in and steer the watercraft. The machine will ramp up to the desired takeoff speed and cruise at the speed set. The driver can also bump up or down the speed with the up and down buttons on the handlebar.
  • Wake Board Rack – It’s the little things. You get a place to store your wakeboard so that it’s not in the footwells of the watercraft bouncing around.
  • Trim – You can raise and lower the nose of the watercraft. Both are not heavy enough for any huge wake, but it’s better than having to drag out the big Wake Boat.
  • iBR.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • Learning Key.
  • Driving modes – Touring, ECO, Sport.
  • Palm Grips.
  • Cruise Control.
  • Slow Speed Mode.

Wake 155 Only Features

  • Slightly more overall storage than the Pro.
  • Smaller and more fuel efficient engine.
  • Cheaper.

Wake Pro 230 Only Features

  • Tilt Steering.
  • Bigger more stable hull.
  • Wider reboarding ladder.
  • LinQ Ski Pylon – Comes off and on easy.
  • Direct Access Front Storage.
  • Watertight storage for a phone.
  • Ergolock Seat.
  • Integrated Cleats – a must have!
  • Larger Swim Platform.
  • Supercharged ACE Engine.

Sport Fishing

The Sport Fishing category is new for 2019 and Sea-Doo is the only one in this category with the Fish Pro.

This is a category that I love but also hate at the same time. I love how the Fish Pro has all the features that hit it out of the park and make this watercraft stand above the rest. I hate how it’s marketing towards fishing only.

I have nothing against fishing, but this watercraft has features that should be on more watercraft. I honestly believe Sea-Doo has made their best watercraft ever, but it’s going to be passed over by so many people because of the “fishing” aspect.

Let’s point out what I mean by the Fish Pro being the best jet ski Sea-Doo has ever made.

155HP Engine – Sea-Doo put in their Rotax 155HP engine which I consider to be the most bulletproof engine they have ever made. They clearly know this too and is why they put it in this machine. I’m not saying all of Sea-Doo engines are crap, they’re quite good, but this one, in particular, has a fantastic track record. It’s reliable, simple, and great on gas. What more could a person want?

Sea-Doo extension platform for Fish Pro

18.5 Gal Gas Tank – The Yamaha and Kawasaki sales guys love to point out how Sea-Doo “only” has a 15.9 Gal gas tank. Sure, they have more, and I could go on for days why Sea-Doo doesn’t need a bigger tank, but with the Fish Pro, it puts this stupid debate to rest. It has the bigger gas tank and not only that but it has the option to add the LinQ gas can attachments. The Fish Pro is the perfect touring watercraft! Forget fishing, if you want to travel and explore the Fish Pro is the best thing for that.

GTX Body – It only makes sense to use the GTX ST3 hull as it’s super stable and low seating height. Combine it with the front storage access this body is very well thought out.

GPS fish finder Fish Pro Sea-Doo

GPS – You get a fish finder, but it’s also a GPS unit too! Everything is already wired up from the factory, and it looks like it belongs. Its also within reach and super easy to see too. Even if you know your lake or river like the back of your hand having a GPS can help you find new places you may have missed. Or for the new rider, the lake or river gets quite big your first time out and having such a device would be very helpful. I do have a solution if you don’t have GPS on your jet ski here.

Huge Cooler – Have you seen how big that cooler is?! This would be the perfect cooler because it doesn’t take up space in the front storage and you don’t have to drill holes to install it. Plus, you get the extension platform which is super helpful if you pull anyone on a tube or a wakeboard. Throw some speakers on this thing, and you have the perfect party watercraft.

Gunwale Footrest – Okay, I might be stretching now, but I do like the gunwale footrest on the side of the craft. Many times I’ve stopped and placed my feet on the side of any regular jet ski where the Gunwale footrest would be and since there is no grippy anything there my feet would just slide off – very annoying when you’re trying to relax a bit. Having those footrests on the craft is a nice little touch.

Price – I honestly thought this thing was going to start at $17k, but I was way off. Starting at $14,799 that is a steal if you ask me. That’s cheaper than most of the new fishing boats, and on top of that, you have a freaking jet ski for when you don’t want to fish!

Why The Fish Pro Sucks

Now that I’ve gone over why the Fish Pro is the best watercraft ever let me point out what sucks about it.

Wrong Color – Green and orange may appeal to fisherman and such, but I’m sure they would have loved a Fish Pro in the RXT-X 300 color scheme of Red and Gold. That green does not fit a watercraft, it looks too much like their Can-Am ATVs.

Too Fishy – Once again, if you’re a fisherman or you love to fish this is an excellent watercraft for you. But a lot of people are going to gloss over this great watercraft because it carries the “Fish” in its name. What Sea-Doo should have done is make a plain “Touring Pro” and allow people to dress it up as they need be. If they want a fishing jet ski, they can buy the accessories or have the dealership install them. If someone wanted a touring model, they could have bought the accessories that made sense to them. If they wanted a party jet ski, they would have an option for that too.


Luxury

The Luxury category is the highest in comfort, and many of them will also have the biggest engine you can get too. You get the best of all worlds.

Luxury watercraft are for people who want the most stable and the most features they can get. You also may have owned watercraft in the past and want to upgrade to the best jet ski possible.

Sum Up The Luxury Category

  • All models are the most stable options you can get.
  • All models have mirrors standard.
  • Only Sea-Doo and Yamaha have electronic forward, neutral, reverse, and braking.
  • The slowest is going to be around 55mph, and the fastest go over 65mph+ depending on where you live.
  • The comfort and ride are going to be the best in this category.

The Luxury Lineup

Sea-Doo – GTX 155, GTX 230, GTX Limited 230, GTX Limited 300

Yamaha – FX HO, FX Cruiser HO, FX SVHO, FX Cruiser SVHO, FX Limited SVHO

Kawasaki – Ultra 310 LX

Sea-Doo GTX 155 vs. Yamaha FX HO

Before I get too deep into comparing the two, I must say congrats to Yamaha for being the first to come out with a color touch screen for a Waverunner. This seems to be the future for watercraft.

Yamaha also updated the FX hull for 2019 and made other significant improvements to the whole machine.

Sea-Doo GTX 155 $12,799

Yamaha FX HO $13,499

Sea-Doo GTX 155 Pros

  • iBR.
  • ST3 Super Stable Hull.
  • Direct Access Storage – Super easy to get to the front storage.
  • Learning Key.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • VTS – Its trim, you can raise and lower the nose of the watercraft to the different water conditions or for pull sports.
  • Ergolock Seat.
  • Integrated Cleats.
  • Palm Grips.
  • LinQ Attachments.
  • Cruise Control.
  • Slow mode.
  • Lighter than the FX HO.
  • Cheaper than the FX HO.
  • Watertight Phone Compartment in Glovebox.
  • Closed Loop Cooling.
  • Lower overall height – Less weight you have high up the more stable you’ll be.
  • Driving Modes – Sport, Touring, ECO modes.
  • Mirrors.
  • Can easily attach the Ski Pylon if you wanted one.
  • DESS – Digital keys that start only your watercraft.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Touring Seats, the Yamaha doesn’t have cruiser seats till you step to the FX Cruiser HO.
  • Lounge Seating – You can move the seats around and have a picknick or relax on the back.

Sea-Doo GTX 155 Cons

  • Smaller gas tank.
  • Less overall storage – But the front storage looks bigger on the Sea-Doo compared to the Yamaha. Yamaha spreads their storage out more over the watercraft. So you have more overall storage, but each spot is smaller than just having one big storage bin which is more ideal for storing life jackets and such.
  • About 5mph slower than the FX HO.
  • Doesn’t have the color touch screen like the FX HO.

Here is a video of the GTX 155 from 2018, since nothing changed from 2018 to 2019 this video is still good to use.

Yamaha FX HO Pros

  • Colored Touch Screen – First ones in the industry to do this.
  • RiDE.
  • Huge reboarding ladder.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • Faster than the GTX 155.
  • Multi-Mount System – you can add a fish finder, speakers, and other items quite easily to it. Or use them as cup holders instead.
  • Storage in the rear for tow ropes and such.
  • Mirrors.
  • Better color option than the GTX 155 if you ask me.
  • Security Fob with low power mode.
  • Cruise Assist and no wake mode. Its the same idea as Cruise Control and Slow Speed Mode on Sea-Doo just named different.
  • Footwell drains – I wished more manufacturers did this!
  • More comfortable footwell mats this year.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Electric Trim.

Yamaha FX HO Cons

  • I hate the glove box latch. It’s so flimsy and frustrating.
  • You can’t use the touchscreen at speed, but I guess that is a Pro, so you keep focus and drive.
  • A little harder to get to the front storage when sitting on the watercraft.
  • No way to get a Ski Pylon, you can only use the tow hook in the rear.
  • Heavier than the GTX 155.
  • Cost more than the GTX 155.

Sea-Doo GTX 230 vs. Yamaha FX Cruiser HO

Sea-Doo GTX 230 $13,899

Yamaha FX Cruiser HO $13,999

The comparison between the GTX 230 to the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO is going to be quite similar to the comparison above of the GTX 155 to Yamaha FX HO.

For the Sea-Doo GTX 230, it’s going to be the same as the GTX 155, but the GTX 230 will have a more powerful engine. You’re looking at 65mph instead of the 55mph. This would now make the GTX 230 slightly faster than the FX Cruiser HO.

For the FX Cruiser HO, you get 2 pull up cleats and a cruiser seat. You also get more color options too.

The GTX 230 does weigh more than the GTX 155, but it’s still lighter than the FX Cruiser HO.


GTX Limited 230 vs. FX Cruiser SVHO

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 230 $16,099

Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO $16,199

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 230 Pros

  • iBR.
  • Bluetooth Audio System.
  • USB Charger.
  • Comes with a Cover.
  • Safety Equipment Kit.
  • Dry Bag.
  • Storage Bin organizer.
  • Time/Distance to empty on the gauge.
  • Altitude Indicator on the gauge.
  • ST3 Hull.
  • Driving Modes.
  • Learning key.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • Water-tight phone storage in the glove box.
  • Integrated Cleats.
  • Palm Grips.
  • Direct Access Front Storage – Super easy to get into the front storage of the watercraft from the driver’s seat.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • LinQ attachments options – Can add gas cans, Ski Pylon, and so many more accessories to the watercraft. Sold separately.
  • Soft Knee Pad for Ergolock Seat area.
  • Supercharged.
  • Cruise Control and slow speed mode.
  • Depth Finder.
  • Water Temperature.
  • Wide Angle mirrors.
  • Seat Strap.
  • Trim Tabs.
  • High-Performance VTS – Electronically raise and lower the nose of the watercraft with presets.
  • Can run on Regular Unleaded.
  • Cheaper than the FX Cruiser SVHO.
  • Touring Seat.
  • Lounge Seating – You can move the seats around and have a picknick or relax on the back.

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 230 Cons

  • Slightly heavier than the FX Cruiser SVHO.
  • Lacks the thick rub rail deflectors that the FX models have. Just nice to have as they would be easier to replace if you get dock rash.
  • No rear storage bucket for tow ropes like the FX Cruiser SVHO has.
  • No Color Touchscreen like the FX models have.
  • NO footwell drain like the FX models have. This is small but nice to have.
  • Smaller gas tank.
  • Smaller overall storage, but front storage looks huge in comparison.

Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO Pros

  • Color Touch Screen
  • RiDE.
  • Huge reboarding ladder.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • Multi-Mount System – you can add a fish finder, speakers, and other items quite easily to it. Or use them as cup holders instead.
  • Storage in the rear for tow ropes and such.
  • Mirrors.
  • Security Fob with low power mode.
  • Cruise Assist and no wake mode. Its the same idea as Cruise Control and Slow Speed Mode on Sea-Doo just named different.
  • Footwell drains – I wished more manufacturers did this!
  • Better and more comfortable footwell mats this year.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Slightly lighter than the GTX Limited 230.
  • Cruiser Seat.
  • Pull up Cleats.
  • Automatic Bilge.
  • Lots of storage.
  • Electric Trim – Its like VTS where you can raise and lower the nose of the watercraft.

Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO Cons

  • Lacks all the extra accessories that the GTX Limited 230 gets like a cover, depth finder, dry bag, safety kit, and so on.
  • Needs Premium Unleaded.
  • Front storage is harder to get to from a seated position at the driver’s seat.
  • Cost more than the GTX Limited 230 which is a big deal since the GTX Limited comes with more accessories.

GTX Limited 300 vs. FX Limited SVHO vs. Ultra 310 LX

We have gotten to the “best of the best” that each manufacturer has to offer. This is also the most expensive jet skis for 2019.

If you don’t like compromises and only want the best watercraft on the market, this is the section for you.

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 $17,099

Yamaha FX Limited SVHO $17,399

Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX $17,999

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 Pros

  • 300 HP – the Same engine that is in the Performance watercraft like the RXP-X 300.
  • iBR – Electronic forward, neutral, reverse and brakes. Sea-Doo came out with this first and leads them and is already on the 3rd generation.
  • Driving Modes – ECO, Sport, Touring.
  • Learning Key.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • High-Performance VTS(trim).
  • Direct Access Front Storage.
  • Integrated Cleats.
  • Ergolock Seat, Stepped.
  • Water-tight Shock-proof phone storage inside the glove box.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • LinQ Attachments (can increase storage and gas capacity with this).
  • Palm Grips.
  • RF DESS Key.
  • Largest Swim Platform in the Industry.
  • 100-Watt Bluetooth Speakers.
  • Matching Cover.
  • Dry bag.
  • Safety Kit.
  • Cruise control with Slow mode.
  • USB Charger – Honestly, this should be standard on every jet ski in 2019! But only Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300/230 Has it!
  • Soft Knee Pad.
  • Depth finder.
  • Altitude indicator.
  • Water temperature gauge.
  • Storage Bin Organizer.
  • Carpet with “Wood” Pattern.
  • Supercharged.
  • Cheapest of the 3.
  • Closed Loop Cooling.
  • Lowest height – Less weight high up the more stable you’ll be.
  • Dual Mirrors.
  • Lounge Seating – You can move the seats around and have a picknick or relax on the back.
  • DESS Key – Digital key that you use to start the watercraft and works as a safety lanyard too.

Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300 Cons

  • The least overall storage amount of the 3. The focus is the one big bucket which is easy to get to. Since it’s one big bucket, you can fit bigger items like fenders and covers better.
  • Doesn’t come with a tube like the Yamaha.
  • Doesn’t come with the bumpers like the Yamaha.
  • The smallest gas tank of the bunch.

Here is a video overview of the 2018 GTX Limited 300, since nothing changed from 2018 to 2019 this video is still very useful.

Yamaha FX Limited SVHO Pros

  • Industry first Colored Touchscreen.
  • One Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.
  • GPS Fish Finder with transducer and beverage mount.
  • RIDE.
  • Single rider towable tube.
  • Tube inflator.
  • Soft-sided Cooler – This is nice that Yamaha gives you this!
  • Matching Cover.
  • 12-volt outlet to power the inflator.
  • 2 Fenders also called bumpers to keep the craft from getting scratched while docked.
  • Footwell drains – Prevents water from building up when riding.
  • Weighs the least among the 3.
  • Supercharged.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Cruise Assist and no wake mode.
  • Cruiser Seat.
  • Electric Trim.
  • Pull Up Cleats.
  • Security Fob and Low-RPM Mode.
  • Dual Mirrors.
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • Automatic Bilge.

Yamaha FX Limited SVHO Cons

  • The Bluetooth speaker is not that impressive. It’s small and doesn’t put out as much sound as the Sea-Doo or Kawasaki options.
  • No Ergo style seating but it is a cruiser style seat, so it’s going to be comfortable on those bumpy rides.
  • No lounge seating like what the Sea-Doo has.

Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX Pros

  • The largest gas tank of the 3.
  • Most stock horsepower of the 3.
  • Largest total storage of the 3.
  • Speaker System (60-Watt).
  • Reboarding Ladder.
  • Slo-Mode – Limits power for new riders.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Cruise Control.
  • 5mph Mode – It’s like no wake mode or slow speed mode.
  • Fuel Economy Assistance Mode.
  • Cruiser Seat.
  • GPS Holder.
  • Trim.
  • Dual Mirrors.

Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX Cons

  • Manual Reverse – Kawasaki is still the only manufacturer to not have an iBR or RIDE like system. This means it doesn’t have any braking just manual forward, neutral, and reverse.
  • Heaviest watercraft of the bunch.
  • Doesn’t have any “extras” like Yamaha has or even the basic stuff that the Sea-Doo has like a cover, organizer, safety kit and so on.
  • The most expensive watercraft in 2019.

Performance

This is the part of the guide where we get into the machines that are not for everyone. It’s fun to joke around and think these things are not fast because they cap around 65mph to 70mph but there is a good reason for that.

When it comes to jet skis, it’s not about who is the fastest but who gets to the top speed the fastest. The only way I can describe the feeling is being strapped to a rocket. I can vividly remember my first time on a Performance watercraft, and no one warned me of the power.

I don’t mean to scare you, just to take it slow till you get used to it. Me hopping on a race-ready watercraft doesn’t feel as scary as it used to. Don’t be afraid to take it slow or even use the learning key and other engine limiters that the manufacturers offer to get the feel of the machine before you go too crazy.

Performance Overall Details

  • The fastest watercraft are in this category.
  • Not all of them are the fastest, the GTR and VXR are your entry level performance machines. They’re still fast but not the fastest.
  • This is the category racers pick to race jet skis with.
  • Things like ride comfort or storage may be sacrificed in this category in the name of power.
  • These jet skis don’t like to “cruise” especially the RXP-X and GP1800R. They want to go, and 35MPH is not their style.
  • There is some cross between the Performance model with Luxury in this category. For the most part, the watercraft in this category are muscle first and Luxury second.

The Performance Lineup

Sea-Doo – GTR 230, GTR-X 230, RXT 230, RXT-X 300, RXP-X 300

Yamaha – VXR, FX SVHO, GP1800R

Kawasaki – Ultra 310X, Ultra 310X SE

Sea-Doo GTR vs. Yamaha VXR

The VXR and GTR are the start of the performance watercraft. What makes these machines so great is that both Yamaha and Sea-Doo said: “let’s take a big engine and put into a small body.”

I love this thought and who wouldn’t! If you want power and a playful body you got it with these two watercraft.

There is one thing that I consider a big difference between the two. The VXR is just as fast as the GTR, but it doesn’t have a supercharger. This is a big deal, less moving parts is always a great thing. There are a few things the GTR does better so let’s talk about the pros and cons of each.

Sea-Doo GTR 230 Pros

  • More storage than the VXR.
  • Dual Mirrors
  • Supercharged.
  • Palm Grips.
  • Driving Modes – Touring, Sport, and ECO.
  • Closed Loop Cooling.
  • Learning Key – You can limit the Power of the machine for new riders. You even have presets from 32mph up to 50mph.
  • iBR.
  • Can use Regular Unleaded with this engine.
  • VTS – Trim the watercraft up and down depending on the water conditions. You can have preset for the angles you like. One could be for quick takeoffs or for rough water racing.
  • Fuel Consumption meter for Instant and Average.
  • Clock on the display.
  • Based on the GTI hull so it’s very forgiving and nimble.
  • Little jet ski with a big engine.
  • Standard seat with Seat Strap.
  • Slightly longer than the VXR, every little bit helps in choppy water.

Sea-Doo GTR 230 Cons

  • Heavier than the VXR.
  • A supercharger is cool, but the VXR does a similar speed without one. Less moving parts are better.
  • Less fuel capacity than the VXR.

Yamaha VXR Pros

  • No supercharger. Does about the same speed as the GTR 230 but does it with less moving parts.
  • Bigger gas tank.
  • RIDE.
  • More color options.
  • Race inspired intake grate and ride plate.
  • Lighter Hull than the GTR 230.
  • Race inspired seat.
  • Reboarding Step.
  • Trim.
  • Security Fob with Low-RPM mode – It’s like the learning key where it limits the power of the Waverunner.
  • Can run on regular unleaded.

Yamaha VXR Cons

  • Less storage capacity than the GTR 230.
  • Less Horse Power – Yamaha doesn’t post HP, but many have reported 180HP for the VXR which is less than the GTR 230HP.
  • Cost more than the GTR 230.
  • Open loop cooling – But this could be positive for racing because of less moving parts the better. Also, many racers prefer the open loop system because it’s less weight to deal with. I list open loop cooling as a con because for the average person the lake or ocean water is very corrosive and debris can live in that water and could clog the cooling system.

GTR-X 230 vs nothing

The GTR-X 230 is a unique watercraft that sits by itself. Its the next level to the GTR 230 but it’s not fair to compare it to the VXR.

The GTR-X takes the GTR and makes it more serious about racing. You get the same top deck that the RXP-X 300 has while keeping the same bottom hull of the GTI.

The GTR-X shares a lot of the same features the GTR has but let me point out the biggest differences.

  • Racing handlebars with an adjustable riser.
  • RXP-X 2-Up Seat – Narrow racing style seat with deep pockets that lets a rider sit more naturally and use their legs to hold on for more control around the turns.
  • New color option.
  • Shorter length.
  • Speed statistics in the gauge.
  • Launch Control.

The GTR-X 230 is for someone more serious than what the GTR or VXR offers but doesn’t want to go too crazy and get the RXP-X 300. Think of the GTR-X 230 as the little brother to the RXP-X 300.


RXT 230 vs. Nothing

I was a huge fan of the RXT for years, but lately, Sea-Doo has been letting me down with this machine. It’s gotten to the point of why even have this model?

The RXT 230 is pretty much the same machine as the GTX 230 except for the color, racing seat, and the lack of a reboarding ladder and cruise control.

It’s even the same price and weight as the GTX 230. So unless you really like the color of the RXT or its seat, I would go with the GTX 230.

To make this machine better, Sea-Doo really needs to bump up the HP. We know they can do a 260HP just fine, do that Sea-Doo, and you’ll have yourself a great watercraft.


FX SVHO vs. RXT-X 300 vs. Ultra 310X SE

This is where we have the serious engine performance but in bigger bodies.

There are perks over these models compared to the RXP-X 300 and the GP1800R. The biggest perk is the longer bodies will take the chop better and are more likely to win in a drag race.

Where these models fall short is the in the closed course races as they’re not the most agile. But if you’re wanting something fast and powerful but still could use as an everyday machine, these are great options.

Yamaha FX SVHO $15,499

Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 $15,799

Kawasaki Ultra 310X SE $15,799

Yamaha FX SVHO Pros

  • Weighs the lightest.
  • Colored touchscreen.
  • Cheaper.
  • Large fuel tank.
  • Reboarding ladder.
  • Footwell drains.
  • Multi-mount system.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Cruise assist and no wake mode.
  • Electric Trim.
  • RIDE.
  • Storage in the rear for tow ropes.
  • Many similar features of the FX’s I talked about above.

Yamaha FX SVHO Cons

  • Lowest Horsepower – Yamaha doesn’t post their HP ratings, but you’re looking around 260HP compared to the 300 on the Sea-Doo and 310 on the Kawasaki.
  • Less overall storage than the Kawasaki.
  • Front storage is a little harder to get to compared to the RXT-X 300.

Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 Pros

  • More horsepower than the Yamaha but less than the Kawasaki.
  • The coolest color scheme for all 2019 watercraft. (Personal Opinion)
  • LinQ attachment options – You can add more accessories like a cooler to the rear very easily.
  • Large swim platform.
  • Easy access to the front storage from the driver’s seat.
  • Ergolock seat with a racing feel.
  • VTS – Electric Trim with presets.
  • X-Package – Racing sponsons (the fins on the side of the craft, they help with better cornering), Adjustable steering, and specially angled footwells.
  • iBR.
  • Launch Control
  • Driving modes – Touring, ECO, and Sport.
  • Slow Mode.
  • Learning Key – restricts the power for new riders.
  • Speed statistics on the gauge.
  • Trim Tabs.
  • Tilt Steering.
  • Watertight phone storage in the glovebox. Its an actual small compartment made just for your phone to go in. You can buy the USB charger upgrade so you could charge your phone or get the GTX Limited 300 model as that comes standard.

Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 Cons

  • No reboarding ladder but you can add one at the dealership.
  • No color touchscreen like the Yamaha.
  • The smallest gas tank of the bunch.

Kawasaki Ultra 310X SE Pros

  • Most horsepower of all 3.
  • The most overall storage of the 3.
  • Slo-mode – restricts the power of the machine for new riders.
  • Adjustable handlebars.
  • Cruise Control.
  • 5mph Mode.
  • ECO mode.
  • Reboarding Ladder.

Kawasaki Ultra 310X SE Cons

  • Heaviest of all 3 watercraft.
  • Manual reverse – Yamaha and Sea-Doo both have electronic forward, neutral, reverse and a braking system.
  • The design has not changed in years. Sea-Doo released a new body in 2018 and Yamaha released a new body in 2019.

GP1800R vs RXP-X 300 vs Ultra 310X

These 3 jet skis are your racing models. Sure, the average joe can buy these and be fine but be warned they’re not your everyday watercraft.

These machines don’t like to sit or cruise, they want to go fast and dart around corners.

I won’t be making a comparison on them because the people who would read it will already know more about each option because they’re knee deep in the racing world. Plus, a lot of the racers don’t keep these things stock and will vastly upgrade them to be even crazier.

If you’re wondering, the features of the RXP-X 300 will be very similar to the RXT-X 300. The “P” is just a smaller more nimble version.

The GP1800R is really in a class all it’s own but shares some similar features to the VX Cruiser HO meets FX SVHO.

The Ultra 310X is very similar in features to the other Ultra 310 lineup.


What’s Next?

After reading over this guide and possibly picking your next jet ski you may have a few more questions. Plus, there are many more things you’ll need and to be aware of.

I’ve listed out articles that will help you along getting your new watercraft.

23+ Must-Have Jet Ski Accessories

What Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

What to Wear on a Jet Ski

Best Beginners Jet Ski

Questions?

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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31 thoughts on “2019 Sea-Doo vs. Yamaha vs. Kawasaki”

  1. Hi. I want to get a pair of new 3 seaters for the Lake. Fastest uptake I can get for the money and big comfortable seats. I want to be around $10k each. I don’t know what to get. Thoughts ?

    Reply
    • For $10k each, you’ll be stuck around the GTI and VX models if you want new. You could also spend more on one and go cheaper on the other – like a GTX 155 and Spark combo. This way you get a fast machine that is very comfortable but the kids get a more playful and affordable machine. If you don’t mind a couple of years old you could get some GTX or FX models for around that price used. If comfort and speed on both is a big deal then going used would be the best way to go. I have a used jet ski buyers guide here if you want to learn more about what to look for in used https://www.steveninsales.com/used-jet-ski-buyers-guide/.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the valuable information! I was initially looking into yamaha vx but after seeing the new sea doo gtx in person with the modular seating, linq, and large platform, it’s clear that sea doo has put much thought into functionality. What is your opinion on the gtx 155 vs the 230? This will be my first pwc. What is the difference on fuel economy?

    Reply
    • I would personally go for the 155 over the 230. They both have ECO options but the 155 doesn’t guzzle as much. Plus, it’s plenty fast as it is. As for a first time watercraft, this is a great option!

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  3. If you were to buy one of the following fx cruiser ho or the Sea-Doo gtx 230 which one would you chose and why?

    Reply
    • I would personally go for the Sea-Doo GTX 230 because the front storage is easier to get to. The Ergo seat is far more comfortable for longer rides and the craft is lighter and cheaper. Also, the accessories you could add later like the stereo system or ski pylon really helps sells the GTX.

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  4. Sea Doo should listen to you on your fish pro ideas. The color does suck, but it is the perfect long distance cruiser. I bought one, not to fish off of, but for long distance trips. We do at least one long distance (500-600 miles), multi-day trip every year. The fish pro has the best combination of storage, comfort, navigation, and fuel tank capacity of any jet ski currently available. The 2 LinQ attachment points are another plus, just need a bigger cargo bag option that what is currently available.

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  5. Hi Steven I have a couple questions….

    1) Did any material features change on Yamaha VX Cruiser Limited between 2018 and 2019?
    2) Is there any material diffference between comparable Yamaha and Sea-Doo engines? Are any of the categories above better for engine noise (for instance are the Yamaha VX engines materially quiet than the FX engines (same for Sea-Doo)?
    3) Do the Yamahas with Low Power Mode enable you to accomplish something similar to the “training mode” that Sea-Doo offers? That’s a big feature for us as our kids will near driving age over the life of the PWC.

    Thanks! This has been super helpful.

    Reply
    • 1) Not that I’m aware of, the focus in 2019 was for the FX models.
      2)The material difference would be about the same, they’re both aluminum engine blocks. Both are now 3 cylinders, at least for Yamaha VX series and all of Sea-Doo models. For engine noise, you’ll want to go with the FX or GTX series of watercraft as they take that more serious. They have better engine mounts so less vibration and the exhaust is slightly quieter. I find the VX engine higher pitch compared to the Sea-Doo but it’s splitting hairs to be honest – both are not that loud. The noise of either at idle is no louder than a car at idle.
      3)Some Yamaha models have a LOW-RPM MODE which is very similar to the Sea-Doo Learning key. Both limit the top speed of the craft to let someone learn the ropes of the PWC.

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  6. Steven, I bought a ’18 Sea Doo GTI SE 130 in December ’18 from one dealer that did NOT charge me Freight or set up Total pre-tax and excluding Doc and admin fees was $7895; wife wants me to buy another sea doo….found a ’18 Sea Doo GTI SE 90 near Atlanta for $7,643 but they are refusing to waive over $1,000 in freight and setup charges thus making the 90 MORE expensive, in essence than the 130….I am balking at buying….am I being too Hardheaded? is the ’18 GTI SE 90 with an out the door price with tax and freight etc. included of $9,624 a “good deal” when I paid $8,795 for the ’18 GTI SE 130? Ugh! Help?!?

    Reply
    • You got an amazing almost too good to be true deal on that first one. But the key difference is that you got it in December when the dealer was desperate to sell because no one rides in the winter. You’re now wanting to buy during the summer and not only that but the promotions have vastly changed since then. The rebates are not as strong as they were in December and that is why the cost is so different, Sea-Doo is not supplying dealers with that great of a rebate because of the summer.

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    • The ’18 GTI SE 90 is the last ’18 the dealer has in stock….just surprised they won’t budge on the “freight/setup/prep” charge of $1,000….just can’t get my head around paying “more” for a “lesser” model…even though I watcher your excellent review of the 90….

      Reply
      • It’s a tough call, every dealership is different. I would have sold my last ’18 just to get rid of it. I have a feeling the current Sea-Doo manufacturer rebates are not that good and they can only go down so much on the price. Also, the margins are not that great on any Sea-Doo with a 90HP engine.

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  7. This is gonna sound like a tool of a question but I’ll be buying my 1st ski and I’m lost as all hell, your article helped me tons but the question I have is stability out of the WaveRunner ( cruisers ) and sea doo limited or fish pro which in your opinion would be the more stable on the water as far as rear boarding and side boarding from water?

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  8. I’m facing a dilemma where the engine in my 2003 Seadoo RX-DI (130hp, 600lb) PWC is on the way out (again – previously rebuilt the top end). It hurts because I really love this ride, it does everything I need with the performance I want. I also need something relatively lightweight because I use an air-pump jetski lift when not riding, and I think the lift could only handle something slightly heavier than the RX-DI. I’m torn between a 2-UP Spark 90, Yamaha EXR, or Yamaha VX Cruiser.

    Any thoughts on which would be a more similar replacement to the old RX? And it looks like Seadoo sells a VTS kit to add trim to the Spark, know anything about it? I use VTS on my RX all the time, and I can’t believe it’s not even an option on these rec-lite/recreation models.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • I’ve ridden an RX before and the closest thing to it would be a 3up Spark. Or better yet a 3up Spark Trixx if you really want extreme control over the VTS. The Sparks that have iBR will also have the option to add VTS, but the Trixx takes the VTS to a new level.

      Reply
  9. I am looking to buy a new machine and can’t decide between the FX- HO or the SVHO the difference is about $2800 including tax. Do I really need a super charged engine?

    Reply
    • From my experiences all jet skis are fast and paying in your case $2800 to go 10mph faster is not worth it. You’ll still get the same amount of fun and can still pull tubes just fine. Plus, the money you’ll save on gas for not having to feed a hungry supercharged engine is worth it if you ask me.

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  10. Great article providing tons of help. I am trying to decide between a 2019 GTX 155 or 230 for $11,400 and $13,100 respectively (230 also has the sound system). I also am looking at a 2016 GTX 300 limited with 45 hours and they are asking $11,000. Which would you recommend? Not sure if the 155 gives the power I may want down the road. Thanks for your advice in advance.

    Reply
    • The 155 will be more than enough power especially if you never had a jet ski before. The 230 and 300 is more ideal for people who want the most power possible or who do a lot of pull sports.

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  11. Hi! I am looking for a watercraft and of course to me the name I love is Kawasaki but I want something durable since I’ll be using it to rent them! What would you recommend me to purchase? Thanks in advance 😊

    Reply
    • Renters love Yamaha’s, mostly the VX models. Avoid Spark or EX. If you love Kawasaki there’s nothing wrong with them, they don’t change much which is a good thing because don’t fix what’s not broken.

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