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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum as I have just embarked into the world of PWC's recently with a friend who has a couple older skis. After boating most of my life (currenly a 2003 Bayliner 195 Capri and 2006 Basstracker), I am looking at getting a good standup jetski(s), but am at a conflict of interests.

My friend with the skis works at a dealership. He seems to have a good deal of knowledge on the subject, but is a bit overbearing on the idea that the SXR is a "Piece of junk", and the hull design is awful. On top of that, he said the newer design rides worse than the old 440 and it handles like crap. To the contrary though, all the reviews and videos I've seen seem to make it out to be a really awesome craft. Who is wrong on this?
He tends to be a bit overbiased on the Yamahas in my opinion. I don't really have a preference yet, but so far, the Kawis seem to be a better ski. I've had the liberty to ride two different skis (One is an 80's model Kawi 440 with slight mods, and a 78 Yami Super Jet 650). I'm a larger guy (6'4", 230lb +), and the 650 hauls me out of the water with ease obviously, but it lists to the right really bad and porposies terribly (anything over half throttle is impossible). On the other hand, the 440 has a heck of a time dragging me out of the water at first, but it handles sooooo much better with virtually no porpoising unless I stand too far back on it.

So...that brings us full circle back to my question: Do the newer hull designs still porpoise and list as bad as the old ones (mainly on the Yamahas, but both are being considered)? Which of the two is a better choice for speed and rough water handling (I'll be using them in heavy wake and surf.)? How bad are they on fuel consumption? Is one better off mechanically than the other (wear and tear as well as repairs)? Is there anywhere else I can look to get more info on the two types or are there reviews out that might be more helpful?***

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I'm sure we've all been there before! Thanks for the help if you care to comment!:D

***I'm mostly looking at 2004 models or newer***
 

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As far as I've heard the yami superjet is far better than any others. People pointed to race events or freestyle competition where most ppl are using superjets. I believe a lot of the pluses for the superjet come from its low weight compared to the others.

I just bought an yamaha fx-1. They were only made from 94 - 95. Many people rate them as the best stand ups for freestyle because they are lighter than the superjets and really pop out of the water because of it.

I've heard that the superjets are more stable so that might be a good choice for you. When I did some research, I found that most if not all people said the superjet (or fx-1) are the way to go for standups.

The superjet had a small redesign in 2008. It was the same for all years before that. I think from 1990 to 2007.

I also think the standups get better gas mileage because of the smaller hulls and lower weight and also lower hp/engine size.

I think the kawi standups are quite heavy, but maybe they would be better for rough water because of it. Let us know what you find out from your research.

On another note, do you know where I can go to see and try on a variety of life jackets?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the insight. I agree for the most part about the SJ's being more popular due to it's characteristics, but the problem I have is that if all the SJ's are the same (from '90-'07), then I had a heck of a time dealing with the '90 and I don't think the SJ is a good idea for me.
I am going to see about riding both, but if they're all the same, then all I really have to try is the SXR and see which I like better. I normally like Yamahas to begin with (Kawasaki does wierd mechanical stuff that is not appealing to me), but I can only speak from riding the 1986 Kawi 440 and 1990 SJ 650.

I liked the Kawi way more than the SJ because it handled a lot better and didn't porpoise nearly as bad. The power between the two was negligeable because I could actually go faster on the Kawi due to it NOT porpoising and having the bad listing over tendancy. While the weight and power do make a big difference, niether are really doing any good if it's not under control of some sorts.

Rough water handling is my big concern as I run in the lower Colorado and the ocean in San Diego, CA. so the Kawi still sounds more appealing to me, but the run-time sucks really bad (1hr~=/-). It seems to be a never-ending argument as to which is better, but I suppose that's because people see it from their own angle and think that way is the best (and of course it's not for everyone!). Guess the 'ol trial and error will be the best guide, but at least I have other's opinions and what to take notice of when I do get the opportunity to try them both out. :)

As to trying out vests, your best bet would be R.E.I. or other outdoor fitting store, as well as specialty stores that do water skiing, wakeboarding, Kayaking and Kiteboarding. I don't know any off hand, but you could Google any of those words and it should show names of vest manufacturers, the stores that sell them, and pricing. Hope that helps :D
 

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I would think that any handling issues could be dealt with by getting some intruction on how to ride the ski. My buddy told me a few points about riding his 440 and I was carving in about 10 minutes. Others I've talked to said it took up to 4 days to learn to carve with the stand up.

I imagine that resale would be better for the more popular ski as well. Of course that doesn't matter, if you can't ride the ski to begin with:)

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, but why would I want to have to "learn" how to ride an SJ when the Kawi only took minutes to figure out? Even with the lower power, it hauled me out of the water better, could handle higher speeds without tossing me off or having to reduce speed, and carved when and where I told it to. Not the 'hang on for dear life' bit I had to do with the SJ. The power is nice, but it sure is waste seeing it's only good for hole-shot.

Another thing I don't like about the SJ's is the long steering stem. When either kneeling or standing, the handlebars are so far back that I have to practically lay down over the stem to go anywhere--especially at higher speeds. Combine that with the fact that it always wants to fall over to the right, it really got aggravating to ride after a while (hence the reason I asked about how the newer models handle and if they still list like crazy).
I'm not trying to say it's a poor machine, or the design sucks, it just doesn't seem to work very well for me is all.

One last thing is that looks and brand-recognition play a pretty big role in people's opinions. The nod definately goes to Yamaha in both departments as they look a little bit nicer and the mechanics are simple enough (Just about any PWC mechanics are a breeze in my opinion, reardless of make). But at the same time...While Kawi will probably never win any beauty contests, you sure as heck can't beat them for the most part in all-out performance.

I'm partial to none of these features unless they meet the functionality requirements first. That's mostly what I am guaging from this, and anyone's opinions or comments are welcome--but will be used as a means to an end. I think the personal experience will tell all, I just wasn't sure how much of a difference there was between the two. If those differences could be explained, I would know what to look for when I got the chance to compare the two myself by riding them. I also would like to share my opinion on the matter afterwards as to confirm any correct assumptions or deny any false claims.
 

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Actually I like the smooth dolphin like lines of the recent kawi standups.

If the kawi's are much more stable, maybe I'll need to buy one of those too. It would be fun to have a freestyle ski and a carver.
 

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I agree with Curt. You need to spend many hours on your boat to get to know it. I have been riding these things since I was 7 years old and am still getting better at throwing my weight around. As to your question about the 440, (my first) it simply does not have enough power to be difficult to ride. I have had a 650 for more than 10 years and it is more responsive/tricky than the 440. And I have ridden superjets that made me feel pre-teen-no licence again. Bottom line is the more power, the better you need to be. Get a 650 and get good before you buy a super jet or you can wind up getting hurt.
 

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I've got 2010 sxr, and there is no way any 440 can out turn that ski. I had a 90 550, and it would break loose all the time. The 800 turns like its on rails, I have to try hard to get it to slide. As for the SJ, if your going for freestyle, then yes, but for carving and racing I would go Kawi. Just my .02
 
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