Also known as wave runners and personal watercraft, many modern Jet Skis look and feel like miniature water motorcycles. The best Jet Skis fit at least two riders. Thumb throttle levers, seat straps, boarding handles and under-seat storage are all important but should come second to handling. Handling is a hard thing to judge on a showroom floor, however, so whenever possible, try to first rent the model you're interested in for an hour or two.
A striking number of people shell out the money for a Jet Ski, then find that they rarely use it. It's a big investment, so try to calculate as accurately as possible just how many hours a month you'll be spending on it. Compare that to its suggested lifetime to find out if you're getting a good value for your money.
Where To Buy
Marinas, boat dealers and manufacturer outlets are the best places to purchase a Jet Ski.
A new Jet Ski is a big investment--nearly as much as a car--running from $6,000 to $15,000 in a hurry. You may be able to save money purchasing in the winter offseason, looking for models without fancy options or purchasing a used model. As with any big purchase, however, do your research before buying used--most used sales do not come with a warranty. They do, however, often come with all the extras, such as life vests and trailers.
The manufacturers of top-rated Jet Skis include Kawasaki, Yamaha, Sea-Doo and Honda. All offer a wide variety of models, and the biggest engine doesn't always mean a better ski. Top-rated models include the Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 250X, Yamaha FX HO and Honda AquaTrax F-12X.
Accessories purchased for a Jet Ski should include a pair of goggles and life vests for all potential users. Insurance is also highly recommended for any Jet Ski or recreational water vehicle.