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How Fast Does a Jet Ski Go & Why?

People on a Jet Ski

Riding on a jet ski can literally toss your hair back, but just how fast does a jetski go? Fast enough to outrace a shark! Therefore, if you’ve always wanted to try jet skiing but have been too afraid of the ocean’s many fantastic creatures to do so, it’s time to put your fears to rest. 

How Fast Can a Jet Ski Go?

Jet skis can typically go between 40 mph and 70 mph. There are a lot of variables to consider, however. For instance, how much passenger weight the jet ski is carrying, along with the amount of wind resistance and the calmness of the water. That’s why it’s entirely possible to reach 70 mph one day but only 40 mph the next day. Of course, even 40 mph is going to feel extremely fast when you’re on the water! 

Another factor that determines the top speed of a jet ski is its make and model. Some jet skis will top out at 50 mph to 55 mph. In the majority of cases, a jet ski isn’t listed as being able to get over 65 mph, although hitting 70 mph isn’t rare. Again, it just depends on a variety of different factors. 

man jet skiing in New York

Fastest Production Jet Skis

If you really want to get going on the open water, there are certain jet skis that offer truly amazing speed. In 2023, there are three models that go faster than the typical jet ski. 

  • Yamaha GP 1800R SVHO
  • Sea-Doo RXP-X
  • Kawasaki 310 R

Each of the three jet skis listed above has a ‘top’ speed of 67 mph, but they can really hit 71 mph. 

Yamaha GP 1800R SVHO

The Yamaha GP 1800R SVHO takes advantage of its unique NanoXcel2 materials, which provide an 18% reduction in its overall weight. Another really nice feature of the NanoXcel2 materials is that they offer excellent handling and sharper cornering. 

The fuel capacity is 18 gallons. That’s a good thing, as you’ll probably burn through about 18 gallons in an hour if you run it at top speed. If you take it at a more leisurely pace, your time on the water without needing a refill will be extended. 

Sea-Doo RXP-X

The Sea-Doo RXP-X has the company’s fastest engine. Known as Rotax, this engine has the ability to go from zero to 50 mph in less than three seconds. This makes it the fastest jet ski on the market! 

If you spend your ride going full throttle, you’ll get about one hour out of a full tank. To extend your fun, be sure to strap on at least one extra fuel tank. 

Kawasaki 310 R

Kawasaki has been building jet skis since 1973, so they’ve definitely got the experience to blow you away. That’s exactly what they decided to do with the Kawasaki 310 R

According to Kawasaki, this particular model is very well-equipped to handle open water. It’s been called the best at both agility and performance. Again, if you top the 310 R out, you’ll burn around a full tank per hour. However, if you opt for the jet ski’s Eco feature, you’ll stay under 60 mph, which will reduce carbon emissions. 

Jet Ski Speed Limit in NYC

Once you’re out in the open water around NYC, you can freely go 55 mph (or even faster) without any issues. However, the State of New York has put certain restrictions on jet skis that you should still know about.

In most cases, you’ll have to keep your joy ride to a mere 5 mph if you’re within 100 feet of the shore, an anchored boat, a pier or dock, or a float or raft. Certain bodies of water also impose a 45-mph speed limit during the day and a 25-mph speed limit at night. 

Basically, the lesson that NYC and New York State want you to take away from this is that there’s no good reason to purchase one of the world’s fastest jet skis if you’re planning to ride them within New York State’s limits

Even during the annual Jet Ski Invasion, when 600-800 jet skis descend upon NYC, people take it relatively easy. The rules of the Jet Ski Invasion expressly state that no one is to pass a Front Line Leader, who will only be going 10-25 mph. Therefore, if you really want to go fast, you’ll have to go beyond NYC’s limits. 

Coast Guard Requirements for Personal Watercrafts

Between the Coast Guard and New York State’s requirements, you’ll need to follow quite a few rules. The good news is that if you rent your jet ski, the majority of requirements will be taken care of for you. 

  • The minimum age of operation is 14 (18 if you’ll be renting a jet ski).
  • You must have a safety certificate on board. 
  • Personal watercraft aren’t to be driven before dawn and after dusk.
  • Your life jacket must be your size, free of rips, tears, and fading, and be for personal watercraft usage. 
  • You must have the following safety equipment on board: an engine cutoff switch with a safety lanyard, a daytime distress signal, and a sound signaling device. 

Breaking any of these rules is a quick way to get yourself in trouble and end your day of jet skiing. 

Rent a Jet Ski & Have a Blast!

People on jet skis near the Brooklyn bridge

Owning a jet ski takes a lot of money with some of the fastest models starting around $15,000. Between startup costs, the cost of gasoline, following all State and Coast Guard restrictions, etc., it can simply be too much for most people.

Therefore, Sea the City has decided to make things easy on you! We offer 2021 Yamaha Ex Waverunners for rentable periods of one hour. These jet skis go 55 mph and do NOT have their speed throttled! Rather than take on the full expense of purchasing a jet ski, you can rent one and have tons of fun starting at only $169 per hour. Book your jet ski adventure today!

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Sea the City Jet Ski tours offer a unique way for tourists and New Yorkers alike to get up close to the sights and attractions on their very own Jet Ski. Book online today!

What you’ll see: Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, Freedom Tower, Janes Carousel, One Brooklyn Park, South Street Seaport, Empire State Building, and more!