Whether you have a jet ski that needs to be towed or are thinking about how a new jet ski might handle on the water, knowing your jet ski weight is of importance to all jet ski owners.
Along with the weight of your jet ski, it is essential to understand both how much weight its accessories add and how much a jet ski trailer weighs.
A jet ski can weigh anywhere between 300 (at its absolute lightest) to over 1,000 pounds, depending on its brand, size, gear additions, and engine.
While some jet skis are built to be light and maneuverable (see Krash Industries), others have been designed for maximum comfort when hitting the water with two or more people on board.
To learn more about the weight of a jet ski, how much a trailer weighs, and the difference between a jet ski’s curb weight and dry weight, check out the sections below.
The Average Curb Weight of a Jet Ski
Most jet skis available for purchase by consumers weigh between 400 and 1,000 pounds.
The exceptions are typically stand-ups or made by niche companies.
The lightest jet skis are built for single riders and doing water tricks and aerial rotations, with the lightest sit-down, multi-person machine being manufactured by Sea-Doo.
Heavier jet skis include three-seater options that can exceed 1,000 pounds when loaded up with accessories, customizations, and safety gear.
Not to mention its passengers!
The Different Curb Weights of Jet Skis
Different jet skis designed with different utilities in mind will naturally have different weights.
The size, materials, and engine of the jet ski will all play a part in determining its weight.
Some jet ski brands of 2021 and their varying curb weights include:
- Krash stand-up models (built for freestyle, trick riding), 303-351 pounds
- Yamaha Superjet stand-up, 405 pounds
- Kawasaki SX-R stand-up, 551 pounds
- Sea-doo Spark (sit-down), 473 pounds
- Sea-doo GTI series (sit-down), 835+ pounds
- Yamaha FX series (sit-down), 947+ pounds
- Kawasaki Ultra 310 series (sit-down), 1175+ pounds
What Affects a Jet Ski’s Weight?
Along with its dry starting (or curb) weight, many other contributions can affect the heaviness of a jet ski.
These added items tend to make jet skis heavier rather than lighter and include:
- Accessories and Additions: Life jacket storage, a dry box for your phone, an anchor, and solar battery chargers are only some of the practical accessories which can add weight to jet skis.
- Engine Stroke: The type of engine stroke a jet ski is equipped with will affect its weight. 4-stroke engines versus 2-stroke engines will automatically make a jet ski heavier. (4-stroke engines are more eco-friendly, though. Some states even ban 2-stroke engines.)
- Fuel Capacity: The amount of fuel a jet ski can carry will add weight to it when full. If you opt for increased fuel capacity or fuel reserves, your jet ski will become heavier.
- Hull Material: Fiber-reinforced plastic, or FRP, is a rigid stiffening liner that adds weight to the bottom of most jet skis. It also makes it sturdier.
- Safety Gear: Adding required safety gear, such as flare guns, emergency waterproof first aid kits, and life jackets will add a little weight to any jet ski.
Your Jet Ski’s Curb Weight vs. Dry Weight vs. Water Weight
The curb weight of a jet ski refers to the jet ski’s total weight, including all oils and fuels necessary for operation, as you would find it sitting next to a curb on dry land.
Curb weight does not include any additions to the jet ski, such as safety equipment and accessories.
Curb weight is important because it represents the jet ski’s towing weight in most instances. (If you add accessories to the jet ski, you’ll need to factor those in as well.)
It also gives you an idea of how easy (or difficult) your jet ski is going to be to maneuver on land and get into the water.
The dry weight of a jet ski is the weight of the jet ski without any fluids or fuel.
Basically, the jet ski empty and non-operational.
This can be a useful number when towing the jet ski empty and stripped bare of accessories.
Though jet skis are weighed in “curb” and “dry” weights, that number tells you little about the machine’s functionality on the water.
Like anything else, jet skis feel lighter in the water. The buoyancy pushes them up.
This is why a rider can flip a 350-pound machine into the air or turn over a jet ski when it gets capsized.
This also means a lighter Rec-Lite jet ski can get a bit bouncy in heavy waves, while a heavier jet ski is a smoother ride.
Something to keep in mind when comparing weights. It’s not just about hauling them on land; it’s about how they perform on the water.
How Much a Jet Ski Trailer Weighs
A jet ski trailer built to haul a single jet ski can weigh from under 200 pounds to 400 pounds.
Though that might sound light when compared to heavier models of jet ski, jet ski trailers are typically built to support around 2,000 pounds.
They’re lightweight, but they’re workhorses.
Unlike a boat, jet skis cannot remain floating on the water and tethered to a dock for an extended period of time.
Large waves, strong winds, tricky cross currents, and even stormy weather all can capsize a jet ski, or do significant damage to the internal components.
Due to this, personal watercraft (jet skis) must be transported to and from the water with each use, which is something you’ll want to consider before buying a jet ski.
Purchasing a Jet Ski Trailer
A quality trailer for a single jet ski will cost around $1000, with a high end trailer coming in around $1,500.
If you have more than one jet ski, and need a double trailer, be ready for pay for it.
You will, at the least, double your trailer cost at around $2,000, with prices topping out at nearly $4,000 on the high end.
Don’t forget to factor trailer costs into the price of a new jet ski.
More importantly, don’t forget to factor the trailer weight into the tow weight of your jet ski.
Jet Ski Trailers and Their Weights
Just like each make and model of PWC differs, jet ski trailers have different jet ski towing weights and carrying capacities.
Some popular jet ski trailer manufacturers include:
All three manufacturers make lightweight trailers for Rec-Lite to Recreational models of PWC up to double-trailers that can carry two of the heaviest jet skis (usually luxury, performance models) on the market.
The lightest trailers come in at 160 or 170 pounds, while the heaviest trailers come in around 550 pounds for a two-PWC carrier.
Generally speaking, a heavier trailer will haul more weight.
Jet Ski Accessories and Weight Additions
Jet Ski accessories and additions have the potential to drastically alter a jet ski’s curb weight and how much it weighs in the water.
A fully equipped jet ski might bust the weight requirements on a trailer it could safely be transported on without any extra gear.
Some of the most commonly used accessories that add weight to jet skis and their trailers include:
- Extra Hull Material and Tools: Some avid jet skiers like to carry extra hull material and repair tools when hauling their jet skis. This allows for immediate fixing in case of a minor crash or damage to the bottom of the jet ski when doing tricks. Hull material can be weighty, though.
- Storage: Lots of accessories are made to make time spent on your jet ski more convenient and fun. These include coolers, storage racks, fishing equipment and more. All of these things add weight, especially if you are filling your coolers full of cold drinks and food.
- Safety Equipment: Unlike other accessories for your PWC, safety equipment cannot be foregone. It’s a requirement of the U.S. Coast Guard that PWC operators carry certain equipment (PFDs, fire extinguisher, etc.) and you can be fined for not having these items on board.
When hauling PWC, there are also required additions to the trailer itself, such as light adaptors that make your signals (and the trailer) visible if your trailer blocks your brake lights and any security devices you add to your trailer to keep your jet ski secure.
This will all add to your tow weight.
You can reduce the weight of your jet ski on the trailer by removing any accessories and putting them in your vehicle, but, keep in mind, your vehicle has a total tow limit and a maximum weight capacity.
You’ll have to consider both when hauling.
Choosing the Right Jet Ski
Unfortunately, choosing a jet ski (PWC) isn’t just about what features you want.
In a lot of instances, what you can safely haul and maneuver factors in.
Before you go shopping for a personal watercraft, think about how you plan to transport that watercraft to and from the water.
To tow a jet ski safely, you need to know your car’s tow limit, have a proper hitch installed, and acquire a proper trailer.
You might even need a new vehicle!
The more prepared you are to haul and maneuver the weight of your jet ski, the less frustration you’ll have and the more you’ll be able to enjoy your day out on the water with friends and family.