Use Sea-Doo’s “Help Me Choose” Tool To Select Right PWC… 

choosing sea doo

How do experienced riders or beginners go about choosing Sea Doo watercraft? Which one is right for you with so many models and prices to choose from? In my blog “Sea-Doo Watercraft Buying Tips”, I discussed many of the basic how to buy questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing a PWC, including how to find out what your trade in is worth. This blog deals what model personal watercraft to select and how, and you can also check out many riding tips for going on Sea Doo tour on a PWC or jet ski in Ontario and throughout Canada. I was going to write about the factors I’d consider, but discovered that Sea-Doo already has that well covered on their website. On their home page, there’s a “Help Me Choose” box that helps you select your riding preferences. Based on your choices, the Sea-Doo Selection Preference Tool recommends the best model for your intended uses. So rather than re-invent the wheel, I’m going to add my two cents to the how to buy information already provided…

Choosing Sea Doo Riding Style…

choosing sea doo

This preference offers three options. Here are some descriptive words I’d use to flesh them out a bit (understanding that there will always be some overlap and grey areas among the options): “Playful” – For this lively rider, fun is putting the craft thru its paces, doing tricks, donuts and change-ups, while getting wet (and cooling off) in the process. “Aggressive” – This thrill-seeking rider prefers to conquer the waves at brisk pace with plenty of power, performance, and technology on board. “Relaxed” – For this cruising rider, the main priority is comfort and luxury while touring the waterways to see new sights and go different places.

Choosing Sea Doo Seating…

choosing sea doo

Choose from one to three seats, depending on how many people will typically ride together on one watercraft. But depending on your age and size, don’t overlook the consideration that a two-seater may always be more comfortable for a solo rider, while a three-seater is roomier for a couple that always ride together 2-up. The choice of seats also impacts manoeuvring and handling: one-seaters are typically lighter and more nimble than three-seaters. Also, be aware that if you intend to legally use your craft, however infrequently for any tow sports, you need three seats: operator, spotter and space for the person being towed. Generally, the more seats you have, the more versatile your new watercraft will be to adapt your changing needs over time

Choosing Sea Doo Riding Time…

choosing sea doo

For clarification, Riding Time in this context means how long you ride on each occasion you use your watercraft, not your total riding hours each year (which should be longer overall for those living in warmer climates). To me, the Riding Time choice also speaks directly to Riding Style, above. As a “Relaxed” Rider (albeit with a touch of aggression thrown in for good measure) who cruises for lots of hours, I choose the most comfortable, luxurious and effortless model available. I think most baby boomers should go this way, simply because it’s easier on the bod, regardless of how long you go for. On the other hand, if your primary Riding Style is “Playful”, you’re likely doing a couple of hours here and there on weekends, so your Riding Time may be “Short” or “Medium”, not “Long”. If this is your first PWC, it may be hard to estimate your Riding Time, but if you base your best guess on how many hours you actually have available to spend on the water, you should be fairly accurate.

Choosing Sea Doo Water Type…

choosing sea doo

This preference is asking for two considerations. One, do you primarily intend to ride freshwater (inland waterway) or salt water (ocean)? Generally, ocean riding tends to involve more waves and challenging conditions, but larger freshwater lakes can be just as demanding. Two, do you intend to ride only in mostly flat conditions but can handle some mild chop if it happens, or are you willing (and able) to ride even if it’s rough? These two considerations will help determine: the size of watercraft you may need (In my experience, larger ones are more stable and handle rough water better.); and whether or not to get suspension (For cruising and day-trip riding, I wouldn’t ride without it.) Also, remember that if you only go when the water’s flat, your Riding Time may be lower than you originally anticipated.

Choosing Sea Doo Speed…

choosing sea doo

This preference will help determine what size engine you need. Generally, the bigger the engine and the faster you go, the more gas you’ll use. A “Playful” rider likely doesn’t need as much oomph as an “Aggressive” rider, and a “Relaxed” rider probably falls somewhere in between. I’ve found that for cruising, it’s always good to have a little power to spare.

Choosing Sea Doo Comfort…

choosing sea doo

Again this preference also speaks to other categories. Comfort is a big factor in Riding Style and Water Type and may also affect your Riding Time. Bluntly, I think it also speaks to age – comfort features and benefits may be a greater consideration for baby boomers than for Gen Yer’s. One thing I know for sure – the longer each ride is, and the more frequently I ride, the more important comfort, especially suspension is to me.

Choosing Sea Doo Manoeuvring and Handling…

choosing sea doo

The more “Playful” you want your watercraft to be, the more you will value agility, nimbleness and lightweight. On the other hand, a “Relaxed” rider may place more emphasis on a solid, stable, planted feel on the water. The larger the watercraft and the more people on it, the less manoeuvrable it may be, but with iControl, every Sea-Doo provides exceptional handling in tight spaces and while docking.

Choosing Sea Doo Tow Sports…

choosing sea doo

While most Sea-Doo watercraft will pull inflatables no problem, you generally need more power and definitely three seats for serious water-skiing and wakeboarding. If tow sports are your primary focus, BRP is the only manufacturer that offers models specially built for that purpose (They’re great for cruising too!)

So What Sea Doo Am I Riding?

choosing sea dooI decided to check the accuracy of Sea-Doo’s Selection Preference Tool by entering my own choices. I selected the following preferences: Riding Style – “Relaxed”; Seating – “3”; Riding Time – “Long”; Water Type – “Rough”; Speed – “Somewhat”; Comfort – “Very”. For me, the selection tool recommended a GTX S 155. This selection is right on the money, because a GTX S 155 is exactly what I had already ordered. Equally accurate, by changing my need for Speed preference from “Somewhat“ to “Very” (as in fast), Sea-Doo’s tool recommended a GTX Limited iS 260 instead (what I have been riding previously). Actually, my ideal engine size would be a 215cc, but there’s no Sea-Doo model available with that power output with suspension, so once again my wife and I are each riding a GTX S 155 – no passengers for us! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a new Sea-Doo or wonder if the one you have is right, check out Sea-Doo’s Selection Preference Tool for yourself!

If you enjoyed this post, check out my other riding tips! 

The tips and advice in this article are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.

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