The personal water craft industry is on fire, again. After the lull of the 2000s into the early 2010s personal watercrafts are making a comeback. In the 90s, at the peak of the personal watercraft boom, you could find weekly races on ESPN. There were stand up jet ski’s on every lake and yes even video games that were dedicated to the sport (see N64 Wave Race 64 1996). By 2000 the hay day was long gone. People were going away from PWCs and moving into other extreme sports.
After about fifteen years of declining business, enter the Sea-Doo Spark. Things quickly and drastically changed in the market. Over the past 10 year manufacturers such as Sea-Doo, Kawasaki and Yamaha had focused on getting bigger and faster. What was the cost of getting bigger and fast? Well, besides cash, you were losing that bounce around fun that so many people were attracted to. The bigger skis just didn’t cater to all of the market. The Spark is made of a highly durable plastic instead of the bulky and heavy fiberglass that makes up most PWCs of today. Because of this, Sea-Doo was able to lower the price to a 1990s like out the door bargain. For $4,999 you could be the proud owner of a brand new PWC. Just over $10k you could get a “his and hers” with a trailer. Considering that was the cost of ONE ski at current day prices, this was absolutely a game changer.
The Sea-Doo Spark came in a few different options. You can choose between a 2 up and 3 up seat configuration. The engines were available in 60HP and 90HP models. Decked out a Sea-Doo Spark would cost around $7,999 with all the bells and whistles. What people quickly learned is that with an aftermarket ECU re-flash the 60HP spark quickly became a 90HP Spark. With a little bit more tinkering that same [Spark could be tuned to an impressive 110hp. PWC MUSCLE.
Fast forward to 2016 and now it is Yamaha’s turn. The market is prime to welcome a new race ski at a Spark like price. In comes the Yamaha GP1800. The GP1800 is a true race PWC that comes for a discounted introductory price of $13,999. The ski is similar to competitor models that are about 80 pounds heavier and $4,000 more expensive. It truly is a revolutionary ski in that with a simple tune of the ECU can get the ski near 80mph. When it comes to modifications, the sky is the limit. With a Stage 2+ RIVA kit you are able to hit speeds of 90mph.
It’s now 2017 and the PWC industry is thriving thanks in part to the evolution of the industry that has taken place over the last three years. Personal watercrafts are fun and affordable again. Now it’s time to keep it that way, and keep the enthusiasts on the water!
Article By: SeadooForum.com