Just Like the Old Days

aaaGet together some people who have been riding personal watercraft for a lot of years (yeah, Patrick Butler, I’m talking about guys like you), and it’s almost inevitable that the subject of the coolest, or the most influential PWC ever will arise. Coming up with a definitive answer is next to impossible, akin to asking a parent to name their favorite child. Different craft appeal to different people for different reasons. It goes without saying that if you’re into touring you’re likely not going to pick a performance two-seater and vice versa.

Still, I’m not afraid to weigh in on the subject. After all, I’ve been riding PWC since 1977. My first craft was a 1976 Kawasaki Jet Ski JS400, a woefully underpowered machine but to a teenager obsessed with all things water, one of the coolest toys I could ever imagine. And though I still personally veer more towards a sharp-handling performance model, I can also appreciate the benefits of a cushy cruiser or a bargain-priced introductory model. I’ve also had the good fortune to ride nearly every single model ever made. Heck, come to think of it, maybe I have rode every single model every made.

So which is the coolest, a craft that even today continues to influence the industry? For me the answer is easy — the 1993 – 1996 Yamaha WaveBlaster.