Jet Ski® or Wave Runner™ – What’s The Watercraft Difference?
Difference between watercrafts
The difference between watercraft or a Jet Ski® and a WaveRunner™ is in the name. Each is a type of personal watercraft (PWC), and both offer hours of water enjoyment for the whole family.
Types of watercrafts
The Kawasaki Jet Ski® was the first successful PWC to hit the personal watercraft market. Initially, the trademarked Jet Ski® was built for one; it was driven while standing, and maneuverability was all in the steering mechanism and body movement of the driver.
Though Kawasaki still sells the single rider Jet Ski®, it quickly learned that it needed to build a PWC to accommodate multiple passengers. Today, Kawasaki also sells a three passenger Jet Ski® to accommodate the more leisure rider and to compete in the market.
In fact, it is Yamaha that changed the way we ride PWCs today. Yamaha came out with the multiple-passenger wave runner that provided a more comfortable ride with one or two-seat styles. The newer three and four seat family-sized crafts make up nearly 99% of watercraft sales, according to the Personal Watercraft Industry Association.
Some people think the difference in the JetSki® and WaveRunner™ is the driving position – Jet Ski® users drive standing and WaveRunner™ riders sit when they drive; this may have been true at the start of the personal watercraft becoming more mainstream. But today, all PWC manufacturers, including Yamaha and Kawasaki, design both a stand-up PWC and a sit-down PWC.
Whether you are someone looking for a water adventure in the fast lane or a more leisurely adventure like a cruise on a lake or coastal beach, you will find a PWC ( jet Ski or WaveRunner) to fit your needs. It’s all a matter of preference. All PWCs are similar in their range of speeds, averaging 45-60 mph. High-end PWCs built for speed boat racing achieve a higher speed. Weight maximum depends on the watercraft model.