You better believe it! Seadoo has a watercraft that has suspension. If a boat with suspension doesn’t blow your mind then I don’t know what will.
Also lets not forget that Sea Doo has a suspension model that also can automatically adjust to the water conditions to soften the ride. Automatically!
Suspension – The Lesser Known Feature
It seems like the suspension feature is the lesser known feature of the Seadoo feature set. You got brakes, Sparks, and the new 300HP – but no one really talks about the suspension.
What is this suspension you talk of? Check out this quick video on how it works…
If you have ever rode a watercraft on a choppy day then you know it can be painful and just no pleasant. To take the chop out Seadoo came out with “iS” in 2009 which was there intelligent suspension.
This was also the time when Seadoo made some major changes to the body style and also introduced the iBR. Lets be clear, Seadoo turned the Jet Ski world on it’s head with brakes and suspension.
I don’t think anyone expected Seadoo or any boat manufacture to come out with brakes and suspension, but it made sense to have it. We look at it now as common, but this was ground breaking 7 years ago. I have many customers who come in and think watercraft always had brakes. I remember growing up on Jet Ski’s with no reverse, no brakes, just forward.
I remember hearing back from the owner who was at the release party for the new Seadoo with suspension. She was trying to tell us what it was since they could not take any pictures.
This is the funny part. Every year I would joke about how one year they will fly. So when my boss is saying over the phone that it’s hovering all I can think of is flying Seadoos.
Basically, the top deck floats above the bottom deck on a hinge with a spring to soften the blow. This is what she was trying to say but all I heard was hovering.
A few days later Seadoo goes public with it and we had watercraft that have brakes and suspension.
The problem was that it was during the rescission so many of these features were not that groundbreaking to the public as money was becoming very tight.
It was easy to sell brakes, being able to stop 100 ft shorter than anyone else on the water was a big deal.
Is It A Gimmick?
For some odd reason, people thought the suspension was a joke. Many people still think its a novelty or gimmick. As someone who has driven many different watercraft over the years I can honestly say the Suspension really does work.
I’m not saying that because I sell them, they really do work. If we got to deliver units to a customers house on the weekend and they have a suspension model we will fight over to get that model.
Another thing people worried about was that they thought it was not reliable. Too many things to go wrong and that’s why they won’t buy a suspension model. The crazy part is that the suspension has been the most reliable feature Seadoo has ever come out with. In the 7 years, I have dealt with suspension models I have had one time it didn’t work. The reason why it didn’t work was that I was an idiot and didn’t release it right when taking it out of the crate.
Here is a great video of the suspension just working. Watch this video and tell me its a gimmick…
Its The Future
Seadoo pushes tech for watercraft forward. Who would have known you would have brakes and suspension a watercraft? Since Seadoo is the first other manufactures try to catch up.
2018 Update: Sadly, Sea-Doo has stopped making suspension models. You can read more about this and other 2018 Sea-Doo features.
Yamaha is taking a stab at the brake feature by calling it dual throttle. Since Seadoo has so many patents on the brakes Yamaha has to come up with workarounds and feels like a lame copy of what Seadoo has been doing for years. Yamaha didn’t see the brakes coming and have been trying to catch up since 2009 when Seadoo released them. If you ever need a reason to buy a Seadoo then Seadoo is the only manufacturer with “Brakes”.
What is interesting to me is that Yamaha has not yet come out with a suspension version yet. Seadoo has had suspension models for so long that they have stopped making two (RXT-iS and GTX-iS 215) and have introduced two more (GTX-S 155 and RXT-X aS). Seadoo has had time to cycle models in and out before any other manufacturer can release one suspension model.
In 2016 Seadoo even took comfort a level further with the new palm grips and the new ergonomic seats. Other manufacturers keep falling behind.
Right now Seadoo offers 3-types of suspension.
The GTX-S has what I call the manual suspension. This suspension is the simple frame with a hinge with a big spring in the center. You can manually adjust the suspension with a tool for the weight of the rider. I really like this suspension and it’s setup for someone who needs suspension but doesn’t want to break the bank.
RXT-X aS has the same suspension as the GTX-S but its even more adjustable with the FOX Podium Nitrogen Shock. This model is really for people who race on the coast.
GTX iS 260 is the last type of suspension. It’s like the GTX-S but it has fully adjustable suspension. You press a button and it can automatically adjust to the water conditions by inflating and deflating it. This is the best of the best, you can not get a better ride on the water.
Here is a video of me giving a review of the GTX iS 260 and showing the suspension…
Pretty cool huh!
Who Is The Suspension For?
There is not just one person who buys the suspension model. I do see people who have back problems, knee problems, or other body pains that want to get back into the sport but can’t. Then I tell them about the Suspension model and something glows inside of them because they know they can ride again.
If you live on the lake and like to ride on the weekends you’ll love the suspension. The suspension takes out all the chop of the ride. It makes riding fun and enjoyable.
If you like to take long rides then you got to have the suspension model. They even have a bigger gas tank because Seadoo knows this is the touring model.
Once you go suspension for a jet ski then there is no going back. You will hate to ride anything but a suspension model.
2018 – No More Suspension
Never thought the day would come when I would have to say that suspension on Sea-Doo watercraft is no more. 2017 was the last year you could get any type of suspension on a jet ski.
Sea-Doo claims you don’t need it anymore due to their new ST3 hull. While it maybe true, it doesn’t help that the cool factor and having something from the future is now gone. There was no cooler feeling than getting on an iS model and pressing the AUTO button. The machine would whirl to life lifting you up. I guess we’ll have to find other ways to show off at the docks.
If you like this article please be sure to check out my must have jet ski accessories post too!
11 thoughts on “Suspension… On A Jet SKi???”
I see for 2016 there was a GTX Limited iS 260 and for 2017 it was just the s 260 did they ditch the intelligent part for the regular in 17?
Yes, they got rid of the iS and went S only.
I own a 255 GTX IS and love it. I have had it since 2010 with no problems. The fact that the new models do not have this feature, makes me hang onto mine. The ride is so much better. The maintenance has not been a problem.
Hi Steve, (thanks for all the knowledge, it’s been super enjoyable to spend hours of reading all your advice in these posts. Thank you!
We are looking at buying two machines for the family and would like to ask some advice.
2 kiddos 16&17 and speed demon Mom.
1) would you follow your recommendation of purchasing 2 units (2006 to 2016 GTX 155 hp)?
2) Would you look at a machine with iBR for the breaking features
(If 2 is your recommendation, would you recomend with iS or without?
I would aim to get two Sea-Doos with iBR especially if you’re going to have new riders on them. iBR is easier to learn and gives you better control of the jet ski. “iS” is nice but I personally would not get it anymore. Sea-Doo has stopped making them so parts will start to get hard to find in 10 years or even less. It was a great idea and if you have a lot of back problems the iS is a must-have. If I did go with a suspension model I would stick to the “S” one, it didn’t move up or down with a push of a button but instead, you set it and forget it kind of suspension. There was a GTX-S 155 that had that suspension and it was a nice machine. The reason why I would not get one these days is that the suspension models raised your center of gravity so these machines were very top-heavy and did not do well with multiple riders. If you rode by yourself they’re the best thing in the world but get too much weight on them and they get unstable. I even have a video of me riding the GTX-S 155 in 2016 (https://youtu.be/FE2FfLuCrm0) I could ride that thing for days it was so comfortable but it was fun too because it was so top-heavy I could spin it out more easily.
So the clarify would you go with option a or b
a)two used 2009 to 2011 RXT 215 or 255 with iBR (used budget of approx $17K)
b)two used 2006 to 2009 GTX or Wake machines with no iBR but your supported 155 4-tech engine (used budget of approx $13K)
Buying a GTX or wake 2009-2011 with iBR in our area is hard to find
In this current situation, I rather have option B. I rather save a little bit and have the 155HP engine.
So is it true the new 2018 ST3 Hull does ride like ones that had suspension? And you don’t need it now???
The suspension models did a great job of the really hard hits. The ST3 hull along with the padding of the seat does a fine job of the normal everyday stuff. One drawback of the suspension models that don’t get talked about much was how top heavy they were. You could more easily tip one over compared to the non-suspension models. The new ST3 hull is a lot more stable and takes the chop very well.
I was told that you can’t clean between the suspension and hull therefore leading to corrosion if left on a lift in Florida. Any issues with this. Where do I find your answer?
I have never heard of someone saying to not clean between the seat and the hull on a suspension model, that’s kind of crazy. If you keep the watercraft on the lift where it’s sitting flat or even tilted a little back any water that gets in there drains out the back. This is what happens when it rains and you don’t have the cover on the watercraft, but it’s important to have the craft flat or tilted a little towards the rear. As for corrosion, I don’t know what could corrode besides the aluminum supports on each side. Everything on the craft is made to hold up to corrosion – it’s a watercraft so it’s expected to come in contact with salt water. The only issue you need to worry about with a suspension model is how you have the watercraft sitting. If the watercraft is not sitting flat in the water or tilted a little towards the back then you can get sitting water. This sitting water is only an issue when on a trailer with no tongue jack or anything that props the trailer up. The part below the seat is all sealed up and made to get water around it and then drain out the rear so feel free to clean under there so long as the watercraft is properly tilted or flat.