It’s a little nice to get back into the swing of familiar articles after a pretty hectic past year. The Watercraft Journal’s Top 10 Christmas Gift Guide has been a staple of our annual tradition articles, like our April Fool’s Jokes and Watercraft of The Year Award, which is scheduled to be published in two week’s time. Our Christmas Gift Guide also serves a little as our greatest acknowledgement for superior accessories, equipment and add-ons that will help make your experience out on the water a far more enjoyable one.
For this year, we wanted to take a bit of a breath and revisit some of our all-time favorites and see if they held up. That’s right, we went back to our very first Christmas Gift Guide and worked our way up, cherry-picking some absolutely outstanding items that surpassed the test of time. More so than ever before, the items listed here are some of the single-best we’ve had the pleasure of testing, and we’re sharing them again with The Watercraft Journal’s big ol’ stamp of approval. So if you’re shopping for a loved one or yourself this Christmas season, definitely take these suggestions to heart.
Hydro-Turf’s Hydration Roller Bag – $79.95
As far as gear bags go, this is the GOAT. Seriously, we use the Hydro-Turf’s Hydration Roller Bag all the time – and we have been since 2014. It’s huge. It’s super strong. And most importantly, surprisingly affordable. Made from heavy-duty nylon, it’s tough as nails, and comes in at an impressive 29” x 17” x 14”. That might be more bag that you think you might need, but trust us, you’ll find a use for all that real estate.
Featuring large wheels with sealed bearings that glide smoothly, the Hydration Bag can be pulled along by its molded handle grip. Three thick nylon skids on the bottom provide added rigidity and durability not found in competitor’s bags. Lastly, heavy duty zippers seal the main area and full-width front pouch as well. And if you want to cut 10-percent off of your Roller Bag purchase, enter in the coupon code WCJ2020 at check out. It’s an older code, sir, but it checks out.
The Watercraft Journal’s Long Sleeve Riding Jersey – $45
The Watercraft Journal teamed up with Windrider to custom-design what we believe is the single-best riding jersey possible. Every WCJ Long Sleeve Riding Jersey is made using Helios material proven to provide UPF 50+ protection, stellar stain resistance and most importantly, superior water wicking and breathability. Each shirt features durable mesh lining the inside length of the torso all the way down the sleeve to the elbow for maximum ventilation even while wearing a life vest!
The WCJ Long Sleeve Riding Jersey is cut slightly larger than typical shirts including a longer cut torso. This means your jersey won’t ride up your lower back while you’re riding at speed for no unsightly sunburns! Priced at $45.00 USD each, the WCJ jersey is more affordable than other riding shirts and with a shorter turnaround. So equip yourself with the best riding jersey on the market by visiting The Watercraft Journal store HERE.
Aquacarts’ AQ-19 Cart & Service Stand – $349.95
The Aquacart AQ-19 Cart & Service Stand has easily become one of the single-most important tools in our shop. In fact, if you ever intend to do any work on your personal watercraft, be it an oil change or pulling the engine, you’re going to need one of these for your shop or home garage. Built to handle anything between a featherweight Yamaha SuperJet or a Sea-Doo GTX Limited 300, its 1,400-pound weight capacity can take it all.
Built from heavy-duty 2-inch 14-gauge steel square tubing, and powder coated bright white, the AQ-19 rolls on four-axis, locking 5-inch diameter swivel casters that roll smoothly across polished or coated concrete or cracked and porous asphalt with no problem. We’ve come to love our Aquacart and there’s no way that we’re giving it back. After you’ve gotten yours, you’ll feel the exact same way.
SureCan Gas Cans – $54.97
The ingenuity put into such a simple thing like a portable fuel can, makes the SureCan one of our favorite items on our list. Gas cans are something we all carry with us or store in our garage and are often something we don’t give a second thought to, but now the SureCan has given us a reason. Available in 2.5 and 5-gallon configurations, there’s also cans for diesel and kerosene.
From the articulated filler neck to the drip-free trigger system, the SureCan is light years ahead of your old jerry cans. The neck’s screw-top cap is pressure sensitive, the accordion-like filler tube is flexible for tight spots, the thumb trigger is thick plastic and spring loaded, the can itself is durable and thick, the fill cap has a plastic push lock, the list goes on and on. There’s a million little details in this can, and we know you’ll love it as much as we do.
4. RIVA Sea-Doo 2018+ ST3 & RXP-X Pro-Series Sponsons – $467.46
Putting in the extra work early has paid off for RIVA Racing, and its Pro Series Sponsons for the 2018+ ST3 are also directly applicable for the redesigned RXP-X 300 as well. The ST3-hull features a very unusual mix of flat surfaces running from sharply-angled chines that blend into large, flat-bottomed shelves flanking the craft. While it gives the new runabout its exemplary stability, it accounts for its tendency to turn flat, and lose predictable tracking and handling in rough seas.
To counter this, RIVA’s Pro Series Sponsons adjust the watercraft’s pivot point further forward, all while keeping enough of a blade in back to keep the tail from breaking loose in the corners (we suggest the #4 position). The RIVA Pro-Series Sponsons literally transform the overall handling and dramatically increases our total enjoyment of this machine. Seriously, if you’ve got a 2018-or-newer Wake Pro 230; GTX 170, 230 or 300; or RXT-X or RXP-X 300, you’re going to want to jump on these.
WindRider Polarized Floating Sunglasses – $45.95
There are certainly quite a few sunglasses manufacturers offering floating options. And while yes, they do float, these are often uncomfortable, bulky and far less than attractive. That’s why we like what WindRider has done with its Polarized Floating Sunglasses. These smooth, angular frames wrap around your eyeline without being bulky or gangly. The foam is smartly integrated into the frame’s hydroformed, injection-molded sides – leaving only a good looking pair of sunglasses.
Equally, the WindRiders also are smartly shaped to not only fit your face comfortably, but in a way to keep them from flying off while at speed. WindRider designed their glasses with wind relief cutouts, allowing air to diffuse, eliminating lift and reducing the threat of being whipped off. It’s been a really long time since we’ve found a pair of sunglasses that do everything right, and the WindRiders are exactly that. Get these either on WindRider’s website, or on eBay and Amazon.
The Watercraft Journal’s Long Hauler Auxiliary Fuel System Kit – $650
As personal watercraft have evolved into super-comfortable, feature-laden machines, more and more enthusiasts are using their PWC to explore new places and ride further distances. To help them go further, The Watercraft Journal’s Long Hauler Auxiliary Fuel System Kit increases your PWC’s fuel range by upwards of 85-percent (depending on model). Engineered so that the least mechanically-savvy could install it using common hand tools, installation requires zero permanent modifications, and is 100% reversible.
This system works on all 2004-and-up 4-stroke Kawasaki and Yamaha runabouts, as well as all 2003-through-2011 Sea-Doos. (Changes made to the fuel pickup by Sea-Doo in 2012 makes use of our system impossible without major changes to the factory fuel system, which we didn’t want to require.)
The kit consists of 9 pieces: a special-designed stainless steel, powder coated rack from Kool PWC Stuff, featuring a patent-pending Z-bar adjustable base lined with Hydro-Turf padding; a stainless steel double-hooked turnbuckle; a USCG-certified 12-gallon auxiliary fuel tank featuring a ventilated locking gas cap, internal pickup and fuel level gauge; two ratchet straps; 11-feet of non-EFI 50psi-rated fuel line fitted with a brass 5/16-inch hose barb; and two zip-ties to secure the fuel line. The Long Hauler Kit is sold exclusively through The Watercraft Journal’s online store for $650.
Sea-Doo 1.6-Gallon Lid Organizer Storage Bag – $65.99
We’re feeling a little guilty that we’re enjoying our 2021 Sea-Doo RXP-X 300 as much as we are, particularly as we’re doing so in a manner far outside of its intended purpose. The RXP-X is bred for single-rider closed course action, and thus far, we’ve employed it as a family cruiser and long distance endurance machine. And in this latter pursuit, what could be easily, one of the best innovations for this and all GTI-based Sea-Doos is the 1.6-gallon, foam-molded Lid Organizer storage bag.
Priced at $65.99, this single item should almost be mandatory equipment for anyone with a RXP-X or GTI-based runabout. It installs in seconds and has been one of the most useful items we’ve had the pleasure of testing. Sea-Doo provides the necessary screws, which gratefully do not require any drilling to mount: the holes are already drilled into your Sea-Doo’s hood base. And its rubberized hoops make opening and closing the center storage bag or the mesh front pocket just as easy.
The Watercraft Journal’s Premium Hoodie – $39.99
It’s chilly out there, kiddos. When we wanted a new lineup of apparel for The Watercraft Journal we specifically mentioned wanting a top quality, super-comfy hoodie in the lineup – and here it is! Made from a thick poly-cotton blend, the WCJ Premium Hoodie is a unisex design and comes in four wintertime colors (black, charcoal, navy and blue).
We kept things simple and printed the thin-white logo from The Watercraft Journal. We know you’ll enjoy this hoodie, and so will your girlfriend or wife who’ll likely steal it when you’re not looking. The big kangaroo pocket is large enough to stuff your hands into even while wearing gloves, and keeps you toasty even while wearing it out on the lake beneath your life vest.
Kspeed’s Ultra 300/310 Race Spec Ride Plate – $495 AUD
Admittedly, this is only item on this list that The Watercraft Journal has yet to personally test – but expect one shortly. Nonetheless, priced at $495 AUD ($388 USD), Kspeed’s Race Spec Ride Plate is the long awaited solution for speed-hungry Kawasaki owners looking for the most in control and speed for all seastate applications. New control lines make the Ultra track straight through the wash with reduced chine walking.
Equally, the two-step design reduces purposing, allowing the supercharged Kawasaki to hook up instantly and pull hard out of the hole. Best of all, this new plate is designed to replace the need of the pump wedge, while complimenting Kspeed’s intake grate and sponsons for those seeking peak performance. And the Kspeed Race Spec Ride Plate uses all of the OE mounting locations, and retains the factory reverse functionality and speedo wheel (we’re talking pre-2022 models).