Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Jet Ski and Sea-Doo

Nothing gives more adrenaline-rush like a Jet Ski. If you are a water lover and are looking for a way to develop balance, tone your abs, burn calories, strengthen your muscles and enjoy the water while relieving stress at it, then you have it in a Jet Ski.  But did you know that not all Personal Watercraft are Jet Skis? You probably refer to all PWCS as Jet Ski. Granted, there are different types of watercrafts and the Jet Ski is just one of the brands. How about we analyze the Jet Ski and the Sea-Doo, two of the most common PWCS in the market today, and see the differences?

What is Jet Ski?

Jet Ski is a type of personal watercraft made by a Japanese company called Kawasaki. The name Jet Ski is often used to refer to any type of PWC used mainly for recreation. The name can also be used as a verb referring to the use of any type of PWC.

There are two types of Jet Ski: stand up and runabout type that has a capacity of 1-3 people seated as in a bicycle or motorcycle.

The first type of PWC to be introduced in America was the stand-up Kawasaki Jet Ski in 1972 by Clayton Jacobson 11. The sit-down type of Jet Ski was introduced later in 1986.

Several models have been produced since then, beginning with JS400 leading up to the current JS1500.

How does the Jet Ski work?

The Jet Skis are powered by a jet propulsion engine with rotating fans that suck water in and then expel it. This motion is what propels the Jet Ski forward.

Characteristics of Jet Ski

  • It’s fast

The Jet Ski tends to achieve a top speed of about 62mph on the water

  • They are comfortable, powerful, and high quality

Kawasaki is known for its powerful engines, high quality, and luxurious Jet Skis

  • Excellent performance

The Jet Ski is a high-performance PWC thanks to its design, which allows it to manouver the waves and turn effortlessly.

  • Affordability

Normally PWCS are not cheap but are affordable. The Kawasaki Jet Ski, which is higher in quality and performance, is relatively higher in price compared to other PWCS and ranges from $9,000-$18000.

What is Sea-Doo?

The Sea-Doo is a Canadian brand of personal watercraft and boats. It was manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP). It’s also driven by an impeller-driven water jet.  

Sea-Doo was introduced by Bombardier in 1968 as Bombardier Sea-Doo. It was invented by Clayton Jacobson II who later developed the Kawasaki Jet Ski. Sea Doo as a brand has however been through times of turmoil in its history as after 2 years in the market, it was discontinued.

Sea-Doo was re-introduced 20 years later in 1988 as its brand by Bombardier.

Five categories of the Sea-Doo exist namely: Recreation, Tow sports, Touring, Sport Fishing, and Performance. The Sea-Doo sport boat was discontinued in 2012 citing a decline in global sales.

In 2014 Sea-Doo Spark was released that was coded CAFÉ which means Clean, Affordable, Fun, and Easy to use. It’s the best-selling Sea-Doo so far.

Characteristics of Sea-Doo

  • Affordability

They are cheaper compared to other PWC types and range from $5000-$18000

  • Easy to use

They are the better choice for beginners who are not keen on adrenaline rush speed.

  • Variety of models

It provides a wide range of models for every taste and need. It includes the Rec-lite and recreational models.

Similarities of Jet Ski and Sea-Doo

  • Both are types of personal watercrafts
  • Both were invented by Clayton Jacobson II

Differences between Jet Ski and Sea-Doo

Country of origin

The Jet Ski is from Japan while the Sea-Doo is from Canada

Production Company

The Jet Ski is a product of Kawasaki while Sea-Doo is a product of Bombardier companies

Year of invention

Jet Ski was invented in 1972 while Sea-Doo was invented in 1968

Speed and Performance

The Jet Ski is a high-speed PWC and offers excellent performance while the Sea-Doo is not as high on speed and performance.


The Jet Ski is recommended for experienced users while the Sea-Doo is good for experienced users as well as beginners.

Model Type

The Jet Ski can be a stand-up or a seated type while the Sea-Doo has only the seated type models.


The Jet Ski is more expensive than other brands while the Sea-Doo PWC comes at a fairly cheaper price.


The Jet Ski is comfortable and high quality while the Sea-Doo isn’t as comfortable as the higher-priced Jet Ski PWC.

Range of models

The Jet Ski has a limited range of models. It doesn’t offer rec-lite or recreational PWC while the Sea-Doo has a wide variety of models to choose from depending on the purpose.  

Jet Ski vs Sea-Doo: Comparison Table

Jet Ski vs. Sea Doo: Conclusion

Wondering whether to pick a Jet Ski or a Sea Doo? Truth is it totally depends on you and the experience you are looking for.  The Jet Ski is an excellent choice if you want speed, performance and luxury. The Sea Doo, on the other hand, is good if you are a beginner, seeking fun and don’t want to invest. All in all, both are great PWCS. Now that you know the difference between the two you are better placed to make a choice. Whichever you chose, enjoy your ride!


Is a Sea-Doo a jet ski?

Yes. A Sea-Doo is a jet ski. 

Are Wave runners and jet skis the same thing?

No, a Jet Ski is a product of the Japanese company Kawasaki while the wave runner is a product of the Japanese company, Yamaha. And while most Jet Skis are stand-up, the wave runners are sit-down models.

Are Sea-Doo jet skis good?

Yes. Sea-Doo jet skis are good. 

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References :

[0]Sally A. Seckers. Personal Watercraft (PWC) Identification: A Law Enforcement Guide to Hull, Engine and Serial Number Placement in the Personal Watercraft. U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2000. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wr-aAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Jet+Ski+and+Sea-Doo&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Jet%20Ski%20and%20Sea-Doo&f=false

[1]Jill Sherman. Racing Personal Watercraft (Sea-Doos). Enslow Publishing, LLC, 2017. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=-A5iDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Jet+Ski+and+Sea-Doo&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Jet%20Ski%20and%20Sea-Doo&f=false

[2]Floyd Orr. Ker-SPLASH!: Recreational Power Boaters Guide. iUniverse, 2002. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wrNPI8XPZT0C&pg=PA193&dq=Difference+between+Jet+Ski+and+Sea-Doo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiaieKkhebzAhX-QfEDHaF6D5UQ6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Jet%20Ski%20and%20Sea-Doo&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sea_Doo_LRV.JPG

[4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/5610/15558881081_d8d2c01ddb_b.jpg

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