Sea-Doo Spark Review – Everything Covered

No one can deny the Sea-Doo Spark changed the watercraft world in 2014. It caused Yamaha to scramble to make their own version called the EX, and even today they can’t compete.

The Sea-Doo Spark had a few changes in 2024, marking the 10-year anniversary, but a lot still holds true. You still have the 60HP and 90HP engines. A 2 and 3 seater, but what’s new is there is no more model without brakes or reverse, kind of big deal if you ask me.

This post was written for the 2016 Spark models, besides a few body changes, the majority did not change. The only real notable changes is that the engine compartment is easier to get to and all models have brakes (iBR) no matter the engine size. You can also add LinQ accessories easily now with new attachments in the rear.

The Common Questions

I wanted to start this review off with the questions that I get all the time about the Sea-Doo Spark.

The Models

Not many people know this, but the 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.

red spark front chili pepper

It really breaks down like this…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. The last step is to pick a color. There are fewer color options these days, but the Spark still has a few options.

Spark Top Speed

The 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.

blue berry spark

The reason why jet skis seem faster is that you don’t have a roll cage or helmet on when you ride. So, the things you pass seems to be flying at you. Combine with the great power to weight ratio of the Spark, the feels like a rocket from my experience.

I own a 2014 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 Sparks and don’t get past 30 MPH because to them, it’s too fast.

green spark key lime

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.

Spark Durability

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.

bottom of spark

The Spark is made of Polytec, which is a type of plastic.

The analogy I like to use is to think of the 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 great thing about using Polytec is that it cuts down on weight and costs, which is the Spark is mostly known for.

The 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.

Getting 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.

under spark 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 all the things you need to for regular maintenance.

spark access panel

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 most things. 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.


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.

spark hole in front

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.

Spark Front storage

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.

storage apartment

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 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.

Blue Front storage

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 Spark, there are only a few ways you’ll get wet.

  1. By trying to get wet due to spinning the PWC out.
  2. If it’s really choppy or rough.
  3. 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.

3 UP Vs 2 UP Differences

You have two options for seats on a 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.

red spark 3up extension platform

A 2 up will not have this, as shown by the image I took below.

2up green spark

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 Change The Spark

New Colors

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.

floor of spark

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.

Seadoo Spark Colors

The Gauge

The gauge for the Sparks is simple and tells you what you need.

The display on the Spark shows the following:

  • Speed
  • RPM
  • Hour meter
  • Gas tank level
  • Driving modes
  • VTS (Trim, if your model has it)
Spark Gauge

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.

spark glove box

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.

The regular Spark only has a standard safety lanyard and is not digitally encrypted. This is not the end of the world, as I would still have a lock to protect it from being carried off.

iBR – Brakes Reverse Neutral

Not all 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.

ibr spark

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 Spark is 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.

seadoo decal

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 2024 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.

If you want to learn more about the cooling system I wrote more about it here.

The 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.



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 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.

29 thoughts on “Sea-Doo Spark Review – Everything Covered”

  1. Can a 2021 Spark 3up iBRnbe stored out of the water and directly on a fine sand beach without any issues? We have a beach with a very gentle slope in our backyard and would rather not have the expense of a floating dock or putting it on a trailer. We’d like to have the convenience of just leaving it on the beach, flushing it, rinsing, and covering.

    Appreciate a knowledgeable response and insights.

    Thanks much!

    • Beaching can scratch the bottom, so most people don’t like doing it. A floating drive-up dock would be the most ideal solution, but you can beach a Spark as shown in this video:

      I would still tie it off to something, so it doesn’t float away and to make it harder to steal. I would also shake the jet ski side to side to get any sand out of the pump before starting it.

  2. hey steven thanks for all the info.. just purchased 2022 trixx and a 90hp ibr+conv.: i’ve seen a few photos of various colors of the colored parts of the sparks.. where can i order these in diff colors?? Do you happen to have a link.. Thank u sir enjoy your summer

  3. Hey I was just wondering if the comfort seat is actually worth it? Does it make a big difference? much wider/bigger is it?

  4. Hi Steven! I did pre-ordered a Spark 2021 2up. Never had a wave runner before. My friend who has a Yamaha, told me that the Spark 2up is unstable and if I want to ride it smoothly, slowly with my 13 year old daughter that I will find it not stable. He didn’t recommend for long riding like few miles on the lake. Is it true? Also I did choose the IBR brakes in option, is it worth the price difference?



    • The Sea-Doo Spark and Yamaha EX models are not as stable as the bigger models like the GTI or VX. For a 2up Spark, I would not expect two adults to ride comfortably, but an adult and a child will be fine depending on weight. I would not expect the Spark or EX to be a dry ride so plan to get wet when you ride. The stability is not the issue when it comes to long rides but the seat itself, I find it gets uncomfortable if I ride for more than an hour. Not much padding on the seat, but Sea-Doo does sell a touring seat which helps. As for iBR, it’s a must-have especially for new riders as it gives you better control.

  5. I feeling like the Spark is what fits my Family. Would it have enough power to pull a Skier? I Dont really want to go up a Model

    • I’ve had my Sea-Doo Spark Since 2014 when they first came out and had no issues. Beyond replacing the battery for the first time in 6 years and routinely changing the oil it’s been trouble-free.

  6. Hi Steven! Greetings from Denmark ? I also enjoy reading about your knowledge and experience with the spark. Im about to buy a Seadoo spark 2up 2015 model. I already read that there are no changes in design for the new ones. But what about engine and electronics?


    • Nothing changed from the first release of the 2014 Sea-Doo Spark to the 2015 models. Even today there is little change beyond color and some fine-tuning of the material and such.

  7. I am interested in buying a spark trixx 3up. However, will the 3up be able to do the same amount of trixx or does the extended rear end prevent a lot of the trixx and stuff one can do. I always see the 2up in the videos, so I can’t really tell.

    • Oil changes are not hard but getting to the spark plugs can be hard. What sucks the most about the Spark is that to do any real engine stuff you need to take the top deck off, but once the top deck is off it’s the easiest thing to work on. A lot of techs are so used to taking the top deck off that they’ll do it even for basic stuff because it’s easier overall.

  8. I have a 2014 2 up spark purchased new. Love it and is kept on a lift at our lake in wisconsin. It has a cover and stored indoors in winter. Well taken care of but disagree on the sticker issue. Cant find a sticker to stay on this machine. Even the dnr sticker will not stay on. Tried everything but nothing works. This is my only complaint and love the ski even though it has no stickers.

  9. I enjoyed reading your review. It is November in Wisconsin and I decided to buy the new 2019 spark 2up. I got a good deal because it is winter and the 2020 models are coming out. I also got the cover 50% off and the trailer for $900. In total it was $8,500. I spent the extra $500 for custom graphics which should help fading if that is ever a problem and prevent damage if I spill gas. I mostly got it for the look. I got the 90 hp with IBR. It has the re-boarding step and front storage bin which I wanted. I also got the comfort seat because of your review. When looking for a jetski I had two things on my mind. Price and enjoyment. I grew up on a 2009 seadoo GTX. Now being 20 I decided to go for the spark. My main enjoyment with a jetski is to tour but mostly tear up the water and just have fun. Tow sports was not on my list however I did order mirrors so I can on a 2up watercraft. The dealer recommended the spark trixx but I didn’t feel like spending the extra money to do water wheelies and have VTS. It was very helpful to read your review before my purchase. Thank you!

  10. I just bought two of the 2019 model 2 ups, and I noticed they look the same as the 2015 model. Have they changed anything within these years besides color options?

    • The Sea-Doo Sparks have not changed design since they first came out in 2014 besides color. The Trixx looks a little different but still the same design.

    • You can not swap out the 2up seat for a 3up. The 3up has a different upper body that holds the seat along with a longer lower hull to support the extra weight. There is no easy to make a 2up a 3up, its best to buy the 3up instead.

  11. I see you haven’t had a problem with fading on your spark but asn I look at some used ones they are all very faded and have weird drip spots on the black. There are also blemishes almost like flat scrapes all over the black area. Also, the seadoo sticker is peeled off on almost all the used 2015-16 models I see. Can you offer your thoughts?

    • The weird drips come from when people put gas in them and spill it. It usually goes away for me when I leave it in the sun. The sticker issue I’m not sure on as mine are not falling off, it could be that many people don’t take care of the machine like I do? I’ve been keeping my Spark out in the sun at the dock (no cover) for a few months now with no fading at all and it’s doing fine. You would be amazed by some of the jet skis I would see come back in for a service – I had one guy buy a 2007 RXP and somehow in 2 years it turned PINK (this should not be possible). You never know what people do to there machines and the biggest reason why I wrote my ebook on what to look out for when buying used


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