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Personal Watercraft

  • Activities: Watersports
  • Length Range: 8 - 13 ft.
  • Average price: $14,000
  • Propulsion: Jet Propulsion

If you want to feel the rush of accelerating from a dead stop to 60 MPH in under four seconds – without risking your neck over rock-hard asphalt – you have two choices: buy a ticket on Space X, or climb aboard a high-octane PWC (personal watercraft). These waterbikes are built for thrills and often come with engines packing as much power as a sports car. You think slamming down the throttle on a 12-foot boat armed with 300 HP might be exhilarating? Well, then you’d be right.

Those who are in the game purely for an adrenaline rush will also want to know that there are some new model PWCs, like the Kawasaki Jet Ski SXR, which are reviving the PWCs origin as a stand-up watercraft. Yeah, hitting 60 MPH standing atop a platform not much larger than the average surfboard does get the blood pumping a bit faster, too.

PWCs have, however, come a long way from the days when they were little more than thrill-machines. Many of today’s models have perks like integrated stereos, cruise control, digital throttle and shift, and even braking systems. They’re also built for more extended use and many have the fuel capacity to make long cruises, in some cases even beyond 100 miles. While the original PWC models were designed to carry a single rider, most today can carry at least two and plenty of them can handle three people. They can also be rigged to pull tow-toys like tubes and wakeboards.

In fact, today there are so many options that choosing the right PWC can be quite difficult. But here’s some good news: while shopping around you’ll discover that these are some of the least-expensive boats around. You can buy a new “beginner” PWC like the Sea Doo Spark in the $5,000 to $6,000 range. And even top-of-the-line models don’t get much north of $15,000. But hey – who cares about the cost, anyway? When you get right down to brass tacks, you can’t put a price tag on sheer unadulterated fun.

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