Jet Ski Horsepower – Specs, Speed & Features

Jet skis have become a popular recreational activity, especially during the summer months.

These watercraft offer an exciting way to enjoy the water, and their performance is greatly influenced by the amount of horsepower they have.

The horsepower of a jet ski affects many things, from towing, top speed, carrying capacity and more. In this post, I want to go over a jet ski horsepower and all the other little details that come with it.

Jet Ski Horsepower Chart

Sea-DooSpark 2UP 60HP4060
Sea-DooSpark 3UP 90HP4990
Sea-DooSpark 2UP 90HP iBR4990
Sea-DooSpark Trixx 2UP4990
Sea-DooSpark 3UP 90HP iBR4990
Sea-DooSpark Trixx 3UP4990
YamahaEX SPORT50100
YamahaEX DELUXE50100
YamahaEX LIMITED50100
Sea-DooGTI 13052130
Sea-DooGTI SE 13052130
Sea-DooExplorer Pro 17052170
YamahaVX DELUXE53125
YamahaVX CRUISER53125
YamahaVX LIMITED53125
Sea-DooWAKE 17055170
Sea-DooGTI SE 17056170
KawasakiSTX 16057160
KawasakiSTX 160X57160
KawasakiSTX 160LX57160
Sea-DooGTX 17058170
YamahaFX HO58180
YamahaFX CRUISER HO58180
YamahaVX CRUISER HO62180
YamahaVX LIMITED HO62180
Sea-DooGTR 23063230
YamahaGP1800R HO65180
Sea-DooWAKE PRO 23065230
Sea-DooGTX 23066230
YamahaFX SVHO68250
YamahaGP1800R SVHO70250
Sea-DooRXP-X 30070300
Sea-DooGTX 30070300
KawasakiULTRA 310X70310
Sea-DooRXT-X 30070300
Sea-DooGTX Limited 30070300
KawasakiULTRA 310LX-S70310
KawasakiULTRA 310LX70310
Sea-DooRXP-X Apex 30070300

What Is Horsepower?

Horsepower (HP) is a unit of power used to measure the rate at which work is done. It was originally developed by James Watt, an engineer who needed a way to measure the output of his steam engines.

One horsepower is defined as the amount of power required to lift 550 pounds (250 kilograms) of weight one foot (0.3048 meters) in one second.

In practical terms, horsepower is used to describe the power output of engines, such as those found in cars, boats, and jet skis. The more horsepower an engine has, the more power it can deliver to move the vehicle or equipment it’s attached to. In the case of jet skis, horsepower plays a crucial role in determining the speed and acceleration of the watercraft.

How Much HP Do Jet Skis Have?

Modern jet ski horsepower (HP) ratings vary from 90 to 310 HP.

The majority of jet skis are under 200 HP, which is about the same HP of most cars. You have many jet skis that are pushing more power than most cars while being drastically lighter and the jet ski engines being smaller. It’s impressive the power that jet skis make when in comparison to cars.

Over 200 HP Jet Skis

Most jet skis over 200 HP have a supercharger to get to this level.

With a supercharger, there is more maintenance, and they do consume more gas.

The good news is that most jet skis have different driving modes to give you better MPG and better control over the watercraft.

How Much HP To Pull Tubes With A Jet Ski?

You don’t need much HP to pull a tube with a jet ski, a 90 HP Sea-Doo Spark can do it, but it will struggle more than higher horsepower models.

The golden spot for pulling tubes with a jet ski is between 110 HP to 170 HP.

You don’t need a high horsepower jet ski to pull a tube, in fact, it’s best you don’t as they have too much power.

How Horsepower Affects Jet Ski Performance

The amount of horsepower your jet ski has can affect its performance.

Jumping waves, pulling tubes, carrying a passenger, tricks and more are dependent on horsepower.

Other factors like weight, driver’s skills, and conditions also affect the jet ski.

One golden rule is that the more horsepower your jet ski has, the more fuel it will consume. You will also need to run premium gasoline in higher horsepower jet skis. So, going with the most power may not be the best jet ski for everyone.

What Jet Skis Have The Least Amount Of Horsepower?

The Sea-Doo Spark has the least horsepower at 60 HP and has a top speed of 40 MPH.

At 60 HP, it’s not ideal for pull sports like tubing and may be illegal in some states.

What Jet Ski Has The Most HP?

The Kawasaki ULTRA 310’s have the most horsepower, with the Sea-Doo’s that have 300 HP behind it.

Both the ULTRA’s and Sea-Doo 300’s will do about 70 MPH, but it’s more about how quickly they get to that speed. Jet skis sold in the US have speed limiters that keep speeds lower, but that doesn’t stop manufacturers from making them quicker at take-off.

What Limits Jet Ski Horsepower?

If you just got a high-horsepower jet ski, you may have noticed that it’s limited during its break-in period.

Jet ski engines are high-performance and need to be broken-in, so the computer on board will limit your power until after a certain time.

There are other things that can limit your jet ski power, like different modes and keys. Sucking something up or damaging the jet ski will also cause it to limit its power.

Have Jet Skis Always Been Fast?

Jet skis have not always had 300 HP engines, but started off with 18 HP back in the 1960s and came back in style with 55 HP in the 80s.

Over time, jet skis have been adding more horsepower to their engines. It started when jet skis moved to 4-stroke engines and then, a few years later, started adding superchargers and intercoolers.

It’s always been a “race” between Sea-Doo and Kawasaki for horsepower. Kawasaki hit the big 310 in 2014 before Sea-Doo, but in 2016 came out with the new ACE engine that had 300 HP.

As jet skis got more horsepower, they soon started to reach speeds that scared many. That is why an agreement with the US coast guard was reached to limit jet skis. This limit doesn’t exist in other countries, and yes, you can remove it if you know how.


Jet ski engines come in many different numbers that the manufacturer likes to show off.

One is horsepower or HP, and another is cubic capacity or CC.

CC is the measurement of engine displacement, the larger the number, the bigger the engine. Just because you got a bigger CC engine doesn’t mean it produces more power.

HP is a better measure, as smaller CC engines can have more HP than a larger CC engine. A larger CC engine does have more room for improvements, but since weight is a big factor, jet skis tend to have smaller CC engines with high HP.

Will Jet Skis Get More Horsepower?

I don’t want to say jet skis won’t get more horsepower, but it does feel a bit pointless when there is a 70 MPH cap.

It’s now about who can get to 70 MPH the fastest, and not who has the greater top speed.

There are people who modify jet skis to reach new top speed records, but for the average person, there is no need to be going over 70 MPH.

Yamaha Horsepower

You may notice that I’ve been mostly talking about Sea-Doo and Kawasaki when it comes to horsepower.

Yamaha doesn’t like bragging about their horsepower, for several reasons, but they max out at 250 HP.

To be fair, their 250 HP engine does keep up with the Sea-Doo and Kawasaki, but it’s not the same.


How Fast Does A 90 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 90 HP jet ski will go about 49 MPH.

How Fast Does A 100 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 100 HP jet ski will go about 50 MPH.

How Fast Does A 130 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 130 HP jet ski will go about 51 MPH.

How Fast Does A 160 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 160 HP jet ski will go about 57 MPH.

How Fast Does A 230 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 230 HP jet ski will go about 65 MPH.

How Fast Does A 300 HP Jet Ski Go?

A 300 HP jet ski will go about 70 MPH.

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