A Brief History of Jet Skis

August 31, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Jet skiing is undoubtedly one of the swiftest and most adrenaline-filled water sports in the world. Whether you enjoy swimming or not, jet skis provide a fun way of enjoying the water without ever getting into it.

Although it was initially designed as a personal watercraft, a jet ski has become a favorite for many athletes and recreational enthusiasts. But where do jet skis come from? Let’s look at the history of jet skis.

Jet Skis Background

The term jet ski is synonymous with personal watercraft. However, it’s a brand name for unique water crafts manufactured by Kawasaki in Japan. Clayton Jacobson II originally designed the first personal watercraft in 1965. As a dirt bike racer, Clayton realized that a crash on the ground was cruel. Therefore, he created a water motorcycle since water provides a softer landing in case of an accident.

Clayton Jacobson created the second prototype in 1966 from fiberglass. He received an invitation from Bombardier corporation to design watercraft for them. The company released See-Doo, the first personal watercraft resembling a flying saucer under Clayton’s licensing agreement.

An air-cooled 320cc engine powered the original yellow See-Doo. Users complained of overheating and inefficiency, leading to its replacement with a water-cooled 367 cc engine. However, users complained that it was uncomfortable due to its flat seat and inadequately padded steel handlebars. Thus, Bombardier discontinued the model in 1971.

Clayton Jacobson II pitched his idea to Kawasaki motors in 1972, and they released the first commercial stand-up personal watercraft in America — the Kawasaki JS400 jet ski. It was popular among riders and racers until 1977 when the introduction of JS440 offered more power and performance. Besides, it was the longest-selling Kawasaki model.

JS550 model with a new design replaced JS440. It was designed with an underwater exhaust for quiet operation. Kawasaki and other personal watercraft manufacturers and enthusiasts founded the United States Jet Ski boating association (USJSBA), which later changed into the international jet sports boating association (IJSBA) in 1982.

Kawasaki models dominated for 16 years until the See-Doo sit-up model was re-introduced in 1988. Bombardier’s See-Doo designs took 50% of the market share, selling over 100000 units in the 1995 fiscal year alone and $212 million in 1997.

Other Jet Skis Manufacturers

Other companies started manufacturing personal water crafts, including Yamaha, which introduced the first Waverunner in 1986, around the time of the See-Doo comeback. Likewise, Polaris introduced its first watercraft between 1994 and 2004.

Honda introduced Aquatrix F-12 and Aquatrix F-12 X in 2oo2, the world’s first personal watercraft with a four-stroke turbocharged engine. These models are reliable, fast, with high performance.

One-Stop-Shop for Jet Skis Rentals

Since the 1990s, jet skis have been famous for professional skiing and recreation. Today, they are available for rental on beaches worldwide. At Cool Breeze Boats and jet ski rentals Florida, we specialize in boats, jet ski, and kayak rentals to provide entertainment to the residents in the Gulf of Mexico. Contact us to arrange for affordable jet skis and excursions for your next vacation.







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