2024 PWC Updates

Find out what’s the latest with the new personal watercraft lines from Yamaha, Sea-Doo and Kawasaki.

As we shake off the dregs of winter, summer is around the corner, and that means water season is upon us! With that in mind, we’ve spoken to some of the industry’s personal watercraft (PWC) manufacturer representatives to understand what some of the upgrades are to the 2024 models and what customers should know.

Related: Advances in PWC Technology

Yamaha WaveRunner

A New Engine

For 2024, Yamaha’s focus is on speed and acceleration. The company recently debuted its new engine, which essentially packs the power of a boat into a PWC.

“We’ve upgraded our high-output models – the VX, GP and FX – by equipping them with an industry-leading 1.9-liter motor,” explains Mike Van Wagenen, national sales manager for Yamaha Watercraft. “This new engine, the largest displacement engine in a PWC today, boasts a displacement of 1,898cc, enhancing top speed and acceleration while significantly reducing noise and vibration, setting a new standard for performance compared to last year’s models.”

Yamaha 7600 rpm four-cylinder engine
Yamaha’s new 1.9-liter engine

The new 1.9-liter engine puts out 200 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and replaces Yamaha’s 180-horsepower, 1.8-liter mill in the older VX, GP and FX models, blurring the performance line between the company’s naturally aspirated and supercharged engines. For comparison, a supercharged 1.8-liter makes 255 horsepower, but considering that PWC manufacturers have agreed to a top speed of 65 mph (give or take a couple mph), there’s not a huge practical difference between the boosted 1.8-liter and the naturally aspirated 1.9-liter powering the high-outputs. It’s just a matter of how quickly the WaveRunners get to those top speeds – and that’s where the new engine pulls ahead.


Speaking of high-output, the FX Cruiser HO, part of Yamaha’s luxury line, is actually the company’s best-seller. Starting at $16,999 MSRP, the 2024 model not only comes with the new engine, but it is also installed with a complete, high-quality audio system typically found on more expensive models. In addition, it features cruiser capabilities and such amenities as an extra-large, watertight glovebox; handlebars with integrated rope hooks; a 7-inch infotainment screen; and Yamaha’s RIDE technology, which allows drivers to switch from forward to neutral to reverse with one pull of the throttle.

2024 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
2024 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO

Technology Outlook

Yamaha’s future plans are to expand on this sort of user-friendly technology that enhances the riding experience. Currently, the company is exploring advancements to simplify the launching and docking process. As for what is available now, Van Wagenen points out the Yamaha Connext system “represents a leap forward in integrating connected technologies that interface seamlessly with riders’ smartphones or apps. This advanced system enhances the user experience by offering a comprehensive suite of features, such as navigation, music control and real-time data on water conditions and performance metrics.”


For 2024, Sea-Doo is covering all its bases, focusing on speed, ease of use and its pontoon lineup.

Performance Line Updates

According to Tyler Krebs, Sea-Doo global product strategy analyst, “The [2024] RXP-X and RXT-X received a significant horsepower bump with a Rotax 1630 ACE engine now producing 325 horsepower and accelerating from 0-60 in under 3.4 seconds.” With so much power under the hull, it’s no surprise these models belong to Sea-Doo’s performance line, and they are priced starting at $19,199 and $19,999 MSRP, respectively.

2024 Sea-Doo RXPX
2024 Sea-Doo RXPX

Updating a Best-Seller

In addition, Krebs notes, the 2024 Spark line underwent an evolution in terms of looks, comfort and convenience features, as well as easier maintenance – all while retaining its entry-level price. The 2024 Spark line features smoother lines all around to ease side and rear reboarding. In addition, Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR) system is now standard across all Spark models, providing improved control and maneuverability.

It’s probably no surprise, but the Spark line is Sea-Doo’s best-selling PWC. Starting at $6,999 MSRP, this entry-level line allows new riders a chance to experience the world of PWC before committing to a more specialized model in the recreation, touring, performance, tow sports, fishing and adventure categories, which feature higher price tags.

“They are easily accessible to new owners with their relative low cost, wealth of accessories, simple maintenance, easy towing and storage. It’s the perfect combination for anyone looking to own a PWC,” Krebs states.

Rise of the Pontoon

Sea-Doo is also focusing on a relative newcomer to its offerings: the Switch pontoon family. BRP, Sea-Doo’s parent company, is looking to make more of a splash in the marine market, as evidenced by its recent restructuring of the powersports and marine categories now together.

2024 Sea-Doo Switch Cruise Limited
2024 Sea-Doo Switch Cruise Limited

“Since the launch of the Sea-Doo Switch family of pontoons in 2022, this has been an important growth area for Sea-Doo, and for [model year 2024], Sea-Doo launched the most comprehensive Switch ever with the Cruise Limited,” Krebs notes.

The Switch Cruise Limited is a 21-foot-long pontoon featuring a 230-horsepower motor. The updated technology in the 2024 models includes an upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen with a premium JL audio sound system, a Garmin 7-inch GPS and a depth finder. On the comfort side, the 2024 Switch Cruise Limited features a premium captain’s chair with adjustable ergonomics, additional seating and a full swim platform. While the basic Switch model comes in at $23,699, the Switch Cruise Limited is Sea-Doo’s highest trim level for this lineup, and it has a $50,999 MSRP price tag to match.

Kawasaki Jet Ski

Best-Sellers and Trends

Kawasaki’s current best-seller model is the Jet Ski Ultra 310 LX. The Ultra 310 series appeals to high-performance enthusiasts, with features such as a deep V-hull for great stability in varying water conditions and a supercharged inline four-cylinder marine engine. Starting at $21,199, this top-of-the-line luxury performance model boasts a 1,498cc engine and features a three-position Ergo-Fit adjustable seat as well as a JETSOUND 4S audio system.    

2024 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX
2024 Kawasaki Ultra 310LX

Of course, for as many people that want luxury, there are also price-conscious customers. Croft Long, senior product manager at Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA notes, “In recent years we are seeing the most interest in both entry-price models and full-feature model segments. Many new to watercraft want to get on the water and spend time with friends and family and are more price sensitive.  At the same time, significant retail comes in models offering more comfort, convenience features, styling and performance for experienced riders.”

Long also notes that Kawasaki has responded to a recent trend that has reached critical demand in recent years: a turnkey sport fishing watercraft.

Angling for Anglers

Kawasaki recently debuted its 2025 Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S Angler, billing it as “a compact powerhouse that effortlessly takes you to your favorite fishing spots.” Given how PWCs are smaller and nimbler than boats, they can gain access to shallow, secluded areas that larger vessels can’t reach.

The Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S Angler boasts several fishing-centric features, such as a 7-inch chart plotter positioned to the right of the main instrument panel; specially designed side floats; a flat fishing bench seat; a rear rack capable of holding a cooler, fishing rods and gear; as well as an additional rod holder at the front. Of course, the vessel also transitions into a general- purpose PWC, powered by a 1,498cc dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine.

Kawasaki Set Ski Ultra 160LX-S360 Angler
2025 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S

In addition, its deep V-hull design allows it to cut through deep water, and Kawasaki Splash Deflectors help deflect water splashing forward from underneath the hull. This model also comes equipped with Kawasaki Smart Reverse and Deceleration, which is activated by pushing a thumb switch on the right handlebar, enabling the thrust to be controlled with one hand. Kawasaki will release pricing and availability details later this year.

“We always keep a close eye on new features and technologies in all powersports segments,” Long says. “We also know our customers expect value, good build quality and durability from Kawasaki. Our reputation for powerful engines and intuitive handling is our core appeal, plus high-end customers appreciate innovative features like accent lighting, adjustable seating, cruise control etc. For the future, Kawasaki will continue to focus on our core appeals and will bring exciting new features.”

Fishing and Adventuring

Speaking of the 2025 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S Angler, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk more about the recent fishing and touring craze in PWC. All the OEM reps we spoke with agree that there has been great demand for this segment and that these models are experiencing significant growth. One of the reasons, Van Wagenen notes, is that more millennials are entering the fishing sport, thus driving these sales.

“People are looking to do more with the PWCs and create unique experiences,” Krebs adds. “[Fishing models are] a more affordable and user-friendly way to own a fishing vessel. The versatility and comfort of both [fishing and adventure] models make them great for everyone, from the casual rider to the hardcore adventure seeker and offshore fishing diehard.”

Kawasaki Set Ski Ultra 160LX-S360 Angler
2025 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S

OEMs have been focusing more and more on the fishing segment in particular recently. Sea-Doo was first to hop on board in 2019 with its FishPro model (starting at $15,099 MSRP for 2024), and of course, Kawasaki’s 2025 Jet Ski Ultra 160LX-S Angler is set for release later this year. Meanwhile, Yamaha offers the Jetfish Package for its VX and FX WaveRunners to customize the PWCs specifically for fishing.


A PWC is prime for accessorizing, especially given how customers are looking to experience more on the water. Therefore, it would behoove a dealer to dress up some models in order to advertise all the possibilities at the time of sale. Boarding steps and rear decks are some of the most popular PWC accessories, since they allow riders an easier way to get back onto the craft if they fall off. Rear decks/platforms can also double as storage space for coolers or even extra seating. Of course, that means showcasing bags on your models as well. And don’t forget to display tie-down kits, which are essential.

Also, if there’s two things people love, it’s their phones and blasting their own music. Racing across the water at top speeds is inherently exciting, and people want to capture those moments on their phones – without risking losing them to the waves. As such, phone and camera mounts, especially those made to keep an eye on towers, are big hits.

And, what better way to keep the fun times rolling than playing your tunes as you ride? If the models your customers are looking at don’t already feature built-in audio systems, consider recommending portable speakers to give these riders the same taste of fun out on the water.

At the end of the day, powersports customers are always looking for two things: speed and customization. With the newest offerings on the market this year, you can be sure that PWC OEMs have options aplenty to suit your customers’ needs.

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