The Sea-Doo Spark has been a huge hit across the world. Combine with the low cost to buy and own, the Spark’s are a great winner!
This review of the Spark will go over what has changed, and I’ll address the most common questions I get from buyers.
The Common Questions
I wanted to start this review off with the questions that I get all the time about the Sea-Doo Spark.
How Many Models?
Not many people know this, but the Sea-Doo Spark has many options to choose from.
Sea-Doo has calmed down on the number of options over the years, but there are still a few models and colors to pick from.
It really breaks down like this…
- Do you want a 2 up or a 3 up? This is the seating capacity, so a 2 up is a 2 person and a 3 up is a 3 person capacity.
- Next, you need to determine what engine you want. The most common engine is the bigger engine or the 90 HP (900 HO ACE). The smaller engine or the 60 HP (900 ACE) is less common since it’s only for the 2 up base model. The 90 HP does about 50 mph and the 60 HP does about 40 MPH.
- Next, you’ll need to decide if you want iBR (which is reverse, neutral and brakes) or do you want a base model with only forward?
- The last step is to pick a color. There are fewer color options these days, but the Spark still has a few options.
Sea-Doo Top Speed
The Sea-Doo Spark quite fast, especially for new riders.
Is it the fastest watercraft? No, but it’s not trying to be. 50 MPH on the water feels quite different from 50 MPH in your car; 50 MPH on the water feels like 80 MPH in your car.
The reason why jet skis seem faster is that you don’t have a roll cage or helmet on when you ride. So, everything you pass seems to be flying at you. Combine with the great power to weight ratio of the Sea-Doo Spark, the feels like a rocket from my experience.
I own a 2014 Sea-Doo Spark and there is nothing else like it, and I’ve been on the jet skis that do 80+ and yet still come back to my 90 HP Spark.
If you have never ridden a jet ski before or rented watercraft before, then the Spark will feel very fast to you. I’ve had customers who bought Sea-Doo Sparks and don’t get past 30 MPH because to them, it’s too fast.
Usually, the people who claim the Spark is slow are dealerships that don’t carry Sea-Doo’s and are trying to get you to buy its nearest competitor. Or guys who race jet skis and have the jet skis with all the mods on it.
The power of the 90HP is quite enough that Sea-Doo even opted in to have it default to Touring Mode when you first turn it on. Touring Mode is a nice and easy takeoff, but hold down the red button and you’ll enter Sport Mode. Sport Mode is the mode that holds nothing back.
How Durable Is The Sea-Doo Spark?
This is one of my favorite questions. Sea-Doo told us when they released the Sparks that they took one up in the air to drop it and all it did was bounce.
The Sea-Doo Spark is made of Polytec, which is a type of plastic.
The analogy I like to use is to think of the Sea-Doo Spark as a plastic dinnerware and the other models made of fiberGLASS as glassware. If you drop the plastic dinnerware, all it will do is bounce, but the glassware will more than likely break. This may not be the best analogy, but helps to demonstrate what I’m saying. Fiberglass is durable, but Plastic has more give before it breaks.
Now that Polytec has been out more, Sea-Doo has moved a lot of its line-up to it and Yamaha is trying to figure out a work-around on the patents. It’s a great material, but Sea-Doo has it on lockdown, so who knows if other manufacturers will get to use it.
The Sea-Doo Spark can handle a good bit, but it’s not made for going through river rocks, just like how fiberglass is not made to do that either. Always be mindful when riding and don’t run into things, and the Sparks will hold up just fine.
How Do You Get To The Engine?
Everyone likes to look under the hood; just like when you buy a car, you like to look at what the heart of the machine. It’s common knowledge that jet ski’s have engines under the Seat.
When people go to lift the seat on the Sea-Doo Spark, they get a little surprise. Actually, many people try to lift the seat straight off, on a Spark you lift first then slide backward. Once the seat is off there is no engine, just a place for the fire extinguisher and gas fill.
Many people panic when you tell them you have to take off the whole top deck if you need to do engine work. It’s not the end of the world. You have access panels that allow you to get to everything you need to for regular maintenance.
Coming from a guy who has worked on many watercraft over the years, I have come to love the ability to remove the top deck of my Spark.
Once the top deck is off, you can get to everything. It’s the easiest watercraft to work on once the deck is off and plus it’s all smooth plastic in the hull, so no more fiberglass splinters.
Why Is There A Hole There?
I love this question and I get it on the daily.
Everyone likes to ask why is there a hole in the front of the Sea-Doo Spark, it always gets people’s attention.
That hole is supposed to be there and can be filled with a front storage bucket. It was mostly for looks and since everyone is used to cars having engines in the front, people expect watercraft to have engines in the front too.
The engine of most watercraft is towards the rear for better ride and displacement. In fact, the whole front of the hull of the Spark is just emptiness, so having that empty area above is no big deal.
Water Will Come Through That Hole?!
Regarding the hole in the front where a front bucket storage can go, people often think water will come through that hole. Some People like the idea, while others don’t.
The real question people have is how wet of a ride is the Sea-Doo Spark? I have driven many watercraft, and the Spark is quite dry compared to the many I have ridden. It’s not the driest ride either, if you want to get wet you either have to try or it’s got to be choppy.
Water will not come in through the front where the storage bucket goes unless you’re jumping waves or in rough water. At low speeds, Sea-Doo has made chimes in the front that funnel the water away from the rider so that you avoid getting splashed too much.
So to summarize the wetness factor of the Sea-Doo Spark, there are only a few ways you’ll get wet.
- By trying to get wet due to spinning the PWC out.
- If it’s really choppy or rough.
- If you purposely fall off or not following the weight limit of the craft.
There’s been times I’ve gone out in my shoes, pants, and work shirts to deliver Sparks on a nice day, and I’ve never gotten wet. But in my spare time, I take mine out and really play with it so that I can get wet on those hot days.
How Can You Tell What’s A 3 up and a 2 up?
You have two options for seats on a Sea-Doo Spark, a 2 up and a 3 up. A 2 up is a 2 seater and a 3 up is a 3 seater.
The easiest way to tell what is a 2 up and what’s a 3 up is that the 3 up will have the extension platform in the rear, like the picture below.
A 2 up will not have this, as shown by the image I took below.
The seat difference between the 2up and 3up, shown below:
I do get asked if you can make a 2 up Spark into a 3 up, and you can not. You could remove the extension platform on the 3 up, but it’s best you don’t.
What Do I Need?
After many people have gotten their new Sea-Doo Spark, the next question is what do you need.
Do I need this, do I need that? Do I need a battery charger? How do I keep my phone dry? Luckily, I created this to help with these questions.
What Change The Sea-Doo Spark
Sea-Doo has done more color options every year, with mixing and matching to spice things up a bit.
The possibilities are endless with all the aftermarket options and color you can pick. I’m even seeing people take the color panels off, there are only a few of them, and paint their Sparks whatever color they like.
Don’t forget all the custom graphics that are easy to apply from SCS.
You can still order panel kits while they still last, the Spark is approaching 10 years old and the original colors won’t be made forever. Not a huge deal as the Spark body panels are so easy to paint, and they have such a huge following that there will be many other options long into the future.
The gauge for the Sea-Doo Sparks is simple and tells you everything you need.
The display on the Sea-Doo Spark shows the following:
- Hour meter
- Gas tank level
- Driving modes
- VTS (Trim, if your model has it)
Holding the red button down for a few seconds and pressing it again will put you into sport mode. To get out of sport mode, hold down the red button again, and you’ll default to touring mode. Sport mode is full power, nothing holds you back, and touring will be an easier take off but still gets to top speed.
In the picture below, you can see the glove box storage located under the display.
Getting More With The Convenience Package
Sea-Doo has the Convenience Package Plus, which is the same as the old Convenience Package but now has a DESS RF key with it. This package will come with all models that have iBR. The DESS RF key is an encrypted key and a safety lanyard. This key is waterproof and floats too.
iBR – Brakes Reverse Neutral
Not all Sea-Doo Sparks will get the iBR (brakes).
The base models will only have forward, but a manual reverse can be added. No jet skis have a transmission, they change direction by moving a bucket in the rear.
Docking a jet ski without reverse or brakes is harder, but not impossible. I go over how to do dock a jet ski of many types in my post here.
Sea-Doo 900 ACE
The Sea-Doo Spark’s are powered by a 900 ACE, which is a very fuel-efficient and powerful engine.
Made by Rotax, who also make engines from ATV’s to planes and also motorcycles.
In the picture above, you can see the screw that pops off to let you check the oil.
The Sea-Doo Spark has two engine options, a 60 HP and a 90 HP. The 60 HP does about 40 MPH and the 90 HP does about 50 MPH.
To see the latest 2023 Sea-Doo Spark info, check out my comparison posts for all jet ski models.
Closed Loop Cooling
Just like all the other Sea-Doo watercraft, the Sea-Doo Spark uses a closed loop cooling system. This system is the same almost every car on the road uses to keep its engine cooled.
Closed Loop means it cycles antifreeze through the engine instead of lake or ocean water. The reason why you want to avoid ocean and lake water is that it contains debris that can clog the engine cooling system. Also, ocean water contains salt, which can corrode the engine parts.
The Sea-Doo Spark still takes in water to cool and muffle the exhaust, so you still need to winterize a Sea-Doo even with closed loop cooling.