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How Many People Can Ride a Jet Ski [Seating Capacity]

If you plan on buying or renting jet skis, there are a few things you’ll want to know. Things like what’s the top speed? Do you need to wear anything special? And a question that is often not considered enough, what’s the number of people that you can ride?

Let’s go over this last question in more detail, as it’s more involved than you might think.

A Jet Ski Can Hold 1 to 4 People

Depending on the model, jet skis can fit from 1 to 4 people easily.

But that is not the only part that matters, as the total of weight of riders and gear comes into effect, too.

The more weight, the fewer people you can carry.

As for the number of seats, these are your options:

  • 1-seater
  • 2-seater
  • 3-seater
  • 4-seater

The 1-seater and 4-seater are far less common, with the 3-seater being the most common. But just because a jet ski is rated for 3 people DOESN’T mean it can fit 3 grown adults!!!

Not only that, you need to adhere to the weight limit even when pulling tubes! There is a lot to cover, so let’s discuss the number of riders you can fit!

The Difference Between a 2-Seater And a 3-Seater

A common thing I would get from customrs when they looked at a 3-seater is that they thought it was a 2-seater.

It was even worse on smaller jet skis like the Sea-Doo Spark, as you can see, the difference was not huge.

The honest truth is that a 3-seater is not 3 fully grown adults, but 2 adults and maybe a small child.

The seats are more spacious on larger models like the GTI, VX and larger models, but it’s still not for 3 grown burly men.

Jet skis can only support so much weight. The seats are not huge and not made for a lot of people.

It’s because of this that a 3-seater is more common, as it fits 2 normal-sized people nicely.

Check For the seating Capacity Sticker On Some Models

Dependng on the model, one to four people can ride on a jet ski legally and safely. The seating capacity can vary, as covered on the sticker on newer models, shown below.

If your jet skis are rated for 3 riders, you must not go over that.

The same goes for 2-seaters.

A good bit of manufacturers put a sticker on the ski to let you know the maximum rider capacity, and going over this not only gets you in trouble with the water cops, but could put people’s lives at risk.

Jet skis are rated for a certain weight. They consider the average person’s weight along with gear to base these numbers on.

Going over the maximum weight makes it more likely to flip and harder to control in the water.

Tow Sports And How Seating Capacity Affects It

The seating capacity does affect your jet ski when it comes to tow sports. If your jet skis are rated for 3 people riders, that means…

  • One person driving.
  • One acting as the spotter.
  • One on the tube or wakeboard.

Some states allow 2 to be towed only if you have mirrors.

If you go over the max, you will get fined by the local water police. We have these rules for the “just in case” someone gets hurt, they have enough room on the jet ski to get back on and to a safe area.

A 4-Seater Watercraft was A thing Years Ago

For a short time, you could get 4-seater jet skis from several manufacturrs around the early 2000s. (The Sea-Doo LRV and the Yamaha SUV were the 4 seaters of their time.)

At the start, these larger machines were a huge hit as you could take the whole family. They offer a ton of storage and had just enough power.

The reason why 4-seaters never became popular is that they are almost akin to boats in size, and people generally prefer actual boats. Additonally, 3-seaters are slightly cheaper and considered “good enough“, making them more appealing. Consequently, 3-seaters prevailed in the market as the preferred choice for consumers.

It is possible for 4-seaters to come back due to the prices of boats going up, but I won’t hold my breath anytime soon. These jet skis needed a special trailer, and since a good bit of people like buying two jet skis, two 3-seaters is better than 1 4-seater.

There are things called a Shuttlecraft that allow you to put jet skis in the rear of the boat.

You don’t see these much because they’re cumbersome to use, slow, and overall just a pain.

I would rather go with the Sea-Doo Switch. I’ve learned in life that things that try to be multiple things often are the worst of the two things.

FAQ

Can two people ride a ski? – Yes, the most common seating size is 3 which allows for 2 people. The second most common seating for a jet ski is a 2-seater. A stand-up or 1-seater doesn’t allow 2 people.

What is the max seating capacity? – Your ride can will tell you how many people it supports, either by a stick in the footwell or owner’s manual.

My jet ski fits 3, can I tow many people? – When it comes to towing, a jet ski can only support the legal limit. So if your machine is a 3-seater, you can only tow 1 to 2 people, depending on if you have mirrors or a spotter and your local laws.

Author

Steven

I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created StevenInSales.com in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

2 thoughts on “How Many People Can Ride a Jet Ski [Seating Capacity]”

  1. Hi Steven,

    I am looking to by a 2019 Seadoo GTI 90 that is for sale in my area. I know it’s listed as a 3 seater but will only ever have my wife and my self on the ski. We have a 2020 Yamaha EX Sport now and it’s not reliably stable with two people on it. Would this GTI 90 be more stable with 2 people riding?
    Thanks for your time.

    Reply
    • The GTI 90 will be more stable than an EX that is for sure, but the only downside is that the GTI 90 will be a little slower. You’ll also get a lot more storage on the GTI 90 and the seat will feel more comfortable too.

      Reply

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