What’s the Difference Between Waverunner and Jet Ski?

Difference Between Waverunner and Jet Ski
Photo by Karola Koopuu

With so many different types of watercraft out there on the market today, it can be difficult to choose which one you should buy.  


If you ask ten people, you’ll get ten different answers. Fortunately, the correct answer is quite simple. So we can go straight to the topic at hand!

If you want to ride on water, you can use two main machines: jet skis and waverunners. But what are the differences between these two watercraft?

Fortunately, suppose you are looking for an answer to the difference between Waverunner and jet ski. In that case, we have some information that may help guide your decision-making process.

We’ll help you find out in this article about the difference between Waverunner and jet ski.

What is a Jet Ski?

A jet ski is a small, lightweight watercraft propelled by a jet of water from the back of the craft. Jet skis are designed for one or two people and can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. 

They are often used for recreational purposes such as surfing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, tubing, and other water sports. The use of jet skis may be limited in some areas due to safety concerns related to shallow waters.

What Are Waverunners?

Waverunners are a type of personal watercraft (PWC) that have been around since the late 1980s. They are designed for recreational use and are popular for their maneuverability and speed. The newer models can reach speeds up to 55 mph.

These are the differences between waverunners and jet skis, both of which offer many great benefits. 

Difference Between Waverunner and Jet Ski

The difference between waverunner and jet ski includes:

  1. A jet ski is smaller, lighter, and faster than a Waverunner. 
  2. A jet ski doesn’t need to be registered in most states, but some require registration for safety, while wave runners do. 
  3. A jet ski also has two handles for steering, one on each side of the craft. This means there’s no need to shift your weight around while on it to steer it like you would with a Waverunner. The downside is that if you have more than one person riding a jet ski, only one person can steer at a time. 
  4. Another difference between Waverunner and jet ski is that when riding on a jet ski, the rider may have to pay attention to how much gas they’re using up, or else they’ll run out too soon! 
  5. Also, the seats on a jet ski don’t usually recline as far back as those on a Waverunner.  
  6. A jet ski is also a PWC, but it is made for high-speed performance, so it does not have the same agility as Waverunners.  
  7. Jet skis typically cost more than Waverunners and require more maintenance because they use an internal combustion engine instead of an electric motor like Waverunners do.
  8.  Waverunners are more stable because they use large pontoons instead of small foils like jet skis. 
  9. Waverunners have wider hulls that make them great for fishing or skiing while being small and lighter. This makes jet skiing a good sport. 
  10. Waverunners can also be driven at higher speeds than jet skis, which makes them better for racing or cruising with friends.


When purchasing a new watercraft, take the difference between Waverunner and jet ski into consideration before making your final decision.! Ultimately, the decision between Waverunner and jet skis comes down to personal preference. 

If you value speed and agility, go with a Waverunner. If you prioritize stability and comfort, opt for a jet ski. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a blast out on the water!

1 comment
  1. This is so wrong, I don’t even know where to start. 95% of what is written here is just plain not true. Both are PWC’s. Jet Ski is a Kawasaki brand name and Waverunner is a Yamaha brand name for competitive products. Neither have electric models, reclining seats, etc. etc. etc. Terrible journalism.

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