The Sea-Doo Sparks has been a huge hit across the world. Combine with the low cost to buy and own the Sparks are a great winner! This little review on the Sparks will go over what has changed and I’ll address the most common questions I get from buyers.
I work at a dealership (as a Salesman) that sell quite a bit of Seadoo Spark. So I have accumulated quite a bit of common questions I get from buyers that I want to address here.
The Common Questions
I wanted to start this Review off with the questions that I get all the time about the Seadoo Sparks. Later on I’ll address what changed in 2016 compared to the previous years.
How Many Models?
One of the hardest things to wrap your head around was the models of Sea-Doo Sparks. People would come into the store and say they wanted a Spark. With all the color options, engine options, and seating options its not so cut and dry.
In 2016 Seadoo has cut down on the amount of different models. But even with all the build a Seadoo options and such it can still be very confusing.
It really breaks down like this…
- Do you want a 2up or a 3up. This is the person capacity, so a 2up is a 2 person and a 3up is a 3 person.
- Next, you need to determine what engine you want. The most common engine is the bigger engine or the 90HP (900 HO ACE). The smaller engine or the 60HP (900 ACE) is less common since its only for the 2up version. The 90HP does about 50mph and the 60HP does about 40MPH.
- 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. In 2016 if you get the iBR you’ll also get the Convenience Package with it too which is front storage and re-boarding step.
- The last step is to pick a color. 2016 has different colors compared to last years colors, but you can talk to your dealer about how much it would cost to get different color panels and decals.
Is It Slow?
Is it Slow? No. It’s actually quite fast. Is it the fastest watercraft? No, but it’s not trying to be. 50MPH on the water feels quite different than 50MPH in your car. 50MPH on the water feels like 80.
The reason why Jet Skis seem faster is because 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 Seadoo Spark, the take off power is crazy fast.
If you never rode a Sea Doo Spark before or even rented watercraft before then the Spark will feel very fast to you. I’ve had customers who bought Seadoo Sparks and don’t get past 30MPH because to them it’s too fast.
Usually, the people who claim the Spark is slow are dealerships that don’t carry Seadoo 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 Seadoo 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. Seadoo told us when they released the Sparks they took one up in the air to drop it and all it did was bounce.
The Seadoo Spark is made of Ploy-Tec which is a type of Plastic. The analogy I like to use is to think of the Seadoo Spark as a Plastic Dinner Ware 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.
I actually feel like the Ploy-Tech will be the future of watercraft, since it cuts down on weight and cost. Don’t be surprised when you see more watercraft go to this material in the future.
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 up the seat on the Seadoo 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. The average Joe will not and don’t care to do any major engine work themselves.
Coming from a guy who has worked on many watercrafts 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 its 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 Seadoo Spark, it always gets people attention. Or everyone likes to say something is missing, it very mind boggling to see a watercraft with no front.
That hole is suppose to be there and can be filled with front storage bucket if you want. 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 actually 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?!
On the topic of 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 can go. Since the Engine is in the rear and also the nose of the Seadoo Spark is elongated you really don’t get wet. At low speeds, Seadoo 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 by spinning the machine 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 works shirts to deliver Sparks on a nice day and I’ve never gotten wet. But in my free time, I take mine out and really play with it so that I can get wet on those hot days.
How Can You Tell Whats A 3up and a 2up?
You have two options for seats on a Seadoo Spark. A 2up and a 3up. A 2up is a 2 seater and a 3up is a 3 seater.
The easiest way to tell what is a 2up and what’s a 3up is that the 3up will have the extension platform in the rear like the picture below.
A 2up will not have this as shown below.
The seat difference between the 2up and 3up, shown below:
What Do I Need?
After many people have gotten their new Seadoo 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 Seadoo Spark
We still have the pineapple(yellow) and vanilla(white) colors, but for 2016 we now have 3 new ones. We now have Blueberry(blue), Key Lime(green), and Chili Pepper(red). The new colors look great and the pictures I have don’t do them justice, it looks better in person.
I was quite excited when Seadoo released the Blue Seadoo Spark. I said ever since they came out that they’ll have a blue one. I got that from one of the videos Seadoo made to introduce the Sparks and they had a blue one on the wall.
If you like the old colors, like the bubblegum(pink) you can still get those colors in a panel kit from your dealer.
New Seat Colors
It’s nice now how Seadoo is doing color matching seats. The white seats were okay, but people often ask if the seats come in different colors. The Sparks now have seats that match the color of the body panels.
The White spark will have a black seat instead of the White. Check the other seat colors below.
New Handle Bar Grips
While we’re looking at the picture above of the yellow Sea Doo Spark you’ll notice something different with the Handle Bar Grips. A new Palm rest is now standard on all Seadoo watercraft models. This palm rest is a great new feature that really places ergonomics first.
This rest gives you a whole lot more comfort when riding on longer rides and more confidence when you pull in the throttle. I like this new grip so much I’m thinking about putting them on my 2014 Sea Doo Spark I have.
The Gauge for the Seadoo Sparks didn’t change. It still shows you speed, RPM, and hours on your Spark. The red button below allows you to scroll through all the different functions.
Holding the red button down for a few seconds and press it again will put you into Sport Mode. To get out of Sport mode just hold down the red button and you’ll default to Touring Mode. Sport mode is full power nothing holds you back, and Touring will be more easier take off.
In the picture below you can see the glove box storage located under the gauge.
Getting More With The Convenience Package
Seadoo now has the Convenience Package Plus which is the same as the old Convenience Package but now has 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 just 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 like this one to protect it from being carried off.
iBR – Brakes Reverse Neutral
Not all Seadoo Sparks will get the iBR. The base models will only have forward as soon as you turn the engine on. If you don’t get an iBR Spark you can add a manual reverse option, but to be honest, it’s not really needed.
The RPM’s on a Seadoo Spark are so low that I just rotate my Seadoo Spark in a circle to kill my momentum and point it to where I want to go and then shut it off as it drifts in.
If you do get a Spark with iBR then it will make docking a little easier for you. The iBR is also brakes for your watercraft and Seadoo is the only manufacturer with brakes. The brakes work great in an emergency situation if you need to stop right away.
The Sea-Doo Sparks are powered by a 900 ACE which is simply a very fuel efficient and power engine. Made by Rotax who also make engines from ATV’s to Planes and also motorcycles. Rotax really knows there stuff when it comes to making engines.
In the picture above you can see the screw that pops off to let you check the oil.
The Seadoo Spark has two engine options, a 60HP and a 90HP. The 60HP does about 40 MPH and the 90HP does about 50MPH. The 90HP is the only engine that has Sport Mode and Touring Mode and is the only engine you can get in the 3up. The 2up has either a 60HP or a 90HP option. iBR models only have the 90HP engine.
Closed Loop Cooling
Just like all the other Seadoo watercraft the Sea-Doo Sparks uses a Closed Loop Cooling System. This system is the same that your car uses right now.
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. And Ocean water contains salt which can corrode the engine away.
If you want to learn more about the cooling system I wrote more about it here.
25 thoughts on “Sea-Doo Spark Review – Everything You Need To Know”
Hey I was just wondering if the comfort seat is actually worth it? Does it make a big difference?..how much wider/bigger is it?
It’s better than the stock but it’s still a small seat.
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.
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
Yes, the Sea-Doo Spark 90HP 3up will be more than enough power to pull a skier. Here is a video proving this https://youtu.be/ElXdzKSxsSg?t=51
So a year later how many hours on it and any major part failures yet?
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.
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.
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.
The 2up will for sure be more playful, but the 3up is still playfully too.
I heard these were hard to do maintenance on or get worked on becuase they are so compact? Is this true?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Is there an after market seat that provides more “cushion”?
This might be what you’re looking for https://www.sea-doo.com/shop/accessories/body-accessories/comfort-seat-for-sea-doo-spark-2up0.html
yes its called a comfort seat. it has extra padding for longer ride.
Stephen, if I buy a Spark 2UP can I swap the seat for a 3UP seat? Or does it have to come either way from the factory? Thanks.
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.
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 https://www.steveninsales.com/5-factors-consider-buying-used-jet-ski/