You’d think if we took this list more seriously that we’d have it to you months before Christmas, but alas here we are and here’s The Watercraft Journal’s annual Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Jet Skiers. And yes, you can be the very person that you’re shopping for if you so wish. Our Christmas Gift Guide also serves as a big of an acknowledgement for superior accessories, equipment and add-ons that were announced and/or released to the public this year, so please take that in mind as you read.
This year you’ll notice that a great deal of our suggested items lean more on the technical side of things. Often we toss in the occasional bit of apparel or whiz-bang gadgetry – and those are certainly here as well – but as today’s personal watercraft ever become more and more advanced, eking the very most performance from your machine requires greater technical acumen. So with that in mind, we’ve got several easy-to-operate hand-held tuners and mechanical upgrades to really ramp up your enjoyment.
RIVA Racing MapTuner NANO – $254.96
Being the industry’s dominant resource for all things performance personal watercraft takes innovation and a lot of risk, and RIVA Racing wowed the aftermarket earlier this year with the introduction of its MapTuner NANO. Paired with RIVA’s entirely-free-to-download “My Maptuner” smartphone app for all Android or Apple devices, all of the functionality of the MaptunerX is now available through your phone (besides RIVA’s Dealer Service App) – saving customers literally hundreds of dollars.
For Sea-Doo applications, the NANO plugs in directly to your existing diagnostic port and immediately works as a SCOM. For Yamaha or Kawasaki applications, you’ll need a designated HDMI harness. Once paired to the My Maptuner app (downloaded to your Android or iOS phone) via Bluetooth, you can reflash, tune, monitor and clear fault codes through your phone on the fly. By purchasing a license for the vehicle that you want to program, the NANO gains access to RIVA’s massive Tuning Library.
Unlocking the potential within your personal watercraft has never been easier, more affordable or clearly navigated than with RIVA Racing. The possibilities of unlocking the most potential from your modern PWC just made a quantum leap forward and you get to benefit from years (and millions of dollars’ worth) of development and effort. Check out RIVA Racing’s new Maptuner page today to learn more about this amazing breakthrough.
The Watercraft Journal’s Long Sleeve Riding Jersey – $40-45
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 $40-$45 USD each (depending upon size), the WCJ jersey is far more affordable than other riding shirts and with a demonstrably shorter turnaround. So equip yourself with the best riding jersey on the market by visiting The Watercraft Journal store HERE.
The Watercraft Journal’s Long Hauler Auxiliary Fuel System Kit – $795
Inflation really sucks, and frankly we hated to do it but our prices had to climb again this year as the cost of producing this package increased by 30% from 2022. That meant that not only has the price of The Watercraft Journal’s Long Hauler Auxiliary Fuel System Kit increased but it’s also our final run of this stellar product. We’ve got FIVE kits left, so if you want to increase your PWC’s fuel range by upwards of 85-percent (depending on model), now is your chance.
Engineered so that the least mechanically-savvy could install it, installation requires zero permanent modifications and is 100% reversible. Designed for all 2004-up 4-stroke Kawasaki and Yamaha runabouts, as well as all 2003-2011 Sea-Doos; the kit consists of a special-designed stainless steel, powder coated rack with an adjustable base; a stainless steel turnbuckle; a USCG-certified 12-gallon auxiliary fuel tank featuring a ventilated locking gas cap, internal pickup and fuel level gauge; two ratchet straps; and a 10-feet of 50psi-rated fuel line fitted with a brass 5/16-inch hose barb.
FuelTech Billet Oil Pan for All 1.8L and 1.9L Yamahas – $1,699
What we might consider the single-most significant modification one could make to ensure the longevity of their 1.8L and 1.9L Yamaha 4-cylinder four-stroke engine, FuelTech’s Billet Oil Pan resolves possibly the most damaging component – poor oiling. FuelTech’s Anderson Dick discovered serious fluctuations in the SVHO’s oil pressure, a result of severe oil cavitation. Without a consistent oil supply, the engine starves sensitive areas – including the supercharger, shaft, clutches and valvetrain.
The factory oil pan and internal pickup tube is exceptionally restrictive, both in capacity (5qts.) and functionality. Rather, FuelTech’s billet oil pan doubles oil capacity to 10 quarts allowing increased oil life; added (4) directional flaps that permit oil to trap oil within the cage at all times. The suction tube was redesigned by increasing the tube’s volume and added a 90-degree pickup that pulls oil from deeper in the pan. It also includes a proper drain plug to fully drain the pan.
Kspeed Tune Box Handheld Tuner – $919 AUS
Not to be left out in the cold, Kspeed came out swinging in 2023 with its new hand-held Tune Box for all 2022-and-up Ultra Kawasakis. Ideally paired with Kspeed’s the Stage 1 kit the Tune Box can be used by itself to serves as both a speed control override (SCOM) or a true ECU reflashing tool as it comes equipped with both Kspeed’s Stage 1 tune as well as its all-new Endurance+ Tune. Waitaminute, you ask. What’s an Endurance + tune? We’ll tell you.
A proprietary engine map that precisely balances the smooth, progressive throttle of Kawasaki’s Mpo (Middle Power Output) setting and it’s Stage 1 tune when held wide open. The idea behind it was to appeal to the rough water rider who doesn’t want the jerkiness of the Stage 1’s razor-sharp throttle response while jostling through waves, but needs all of that top end speed when the waves lay down. It’s the perfect blend of mild and wild.
The Tune Box allows customers from across the globe to enjoy immediate tuneablity and none of the down time that comes with removing and shipping out your ECU to be reflashed. Rather, the Tune Box immediately “VIN locks” to your ski, ensuring that nobody can use your tuner on their own ski. Sold together with the supplied cables, the tuner will store your factory tune allowing you to revert back to your factory settings at any time – but c’mon, who’s really gonna want to go back to stock after riding a 310-horsepower Kawasaki, right?
Active Jet Sport’s Sea-Doo RXP-X/GTI Action Camera/Accessory Mount – $129.99
For those who love to document their adventures on the water, Active Jet Sport’s new action camera and/or accessory mount for all 2021+ Sea-Doo RXP-X and GTI models is going to be your next favorite purchase. Each mount is precision machined from aluminum and hard anodized in semi-gloss black to protect it from harsh sun and exposure. The mount provides super secure mounting of up to three accessories at once, all of which must use the standard ¼-20 UNC threads.
Easily rotate the camera to any position while at speed – without having to let go of the throttle! One minute you’re recording your friends on your left and instantly rotate to record on the right. Lastly, the Action Jet Sport RXP-X mount is designed to open up your versatility: if you don’t need an extra camera, consider using the mount for added gauges, GPS screens or any other accessory which uses the standard ¼-20 UNC screw thread mount mentioned earlier.
Unlimited PWC Rush Neo Life Jackets – $152
Whether you ride for fun or a professional racer, Unlimited PWC has life jackets for all your needs. The top of the line is the Rush Eclat Neo Vest part of the Unlimited Rush series of products designed by professional watercraft riders. The vest is USCG certified and made of water repellent neoprene to help keep you comfortable. It also has a lumbar pad to support your lower back. The jacket comes with a whistle and has a D-ring for attaching a kill switch.
The Neo Life Jacket and Rush Neo Life Jacket’s rate up there with the Rush Eclat Vest when it comes to high-end products. The Rush Neo Life Jacket is another design in collaboration with professional riders. It also certified by the USCG and comes with an inside pocket for stowing your license or other small item. They are made for movement, so you don’t feel confined and can move freely. The vest comes in black, white, and yellow.
Kawi Performance Kawasaki Ultra Premium Pump Wedge – $84.99 – $86.99
A pump wedge will add 2-degrees of lift to the bow, getting your vessel up on plane faster. This helps create less drag, improve acceleration and free up some top speed. Kawi Performance has created these billet pump wedges, not just for the newest Ultra platform, but all Ultras, all the way back to the Ultra 250.
Whether your Kawasaki is bone stock, or heavily modified, this easy bolt-on addition is a must-have. The Premium Pump Wedge from Kawi Performance is hard coated black for optimal corrosion resistance and strength. The kit includes 316 stainless steel hardware for salt water and ocean riding. This is a simple bolt-on modification that requires no silicone or cutting.
Impros Pump, Driveshaft & Impeller Tools – various
Impros has everything you need to rebuild your pump, replace worn components, and the tools to do the job. They offer rubber seals for impellers for Yamaha, Sea-Doo, Kawasaki, and Hondas; as well as a 440 Driveshaft Tool for proper removal of 300/400 Skat-Trak impellers. If you have a Kawasaki 300 or 440 JetSki, Impros carries the Impeller Spanner Wrench that is necessary for tightening or loosening the impeller from the driveshaft.
The Kawasaki JS 550 Shaft Wrench fits into the small pump shaft on a JS 550 and can be used for multiple applications when working on your impeller. Impros carries a line of Solas Impeller Tools to remove and install select models of Solas Impellers. There are tons of other impeller tools and parts like impeller boots, spacers, nose cones, and spline tools. Check out the Impros website for all the details and all things impeller. They don’t call themselves The Impeller Professionals for nothing!
JetX Remote Tuning for Yamaha WaveRunners – various
JetX Tuning provides a tune for your WaveRunner that is supplied by RIVA and backed by JetX Powersports. The customer will notice a dramatic increase in performance without any additional modifications, parts or mechanical knowledge. You can ship your ECU to their facility, drop by in person or they are even willing to meet you at a local boat ramp or other location and tune your watercraft ECU on site!
All tunes increase acceleration and throttle response, raise the RPM limit (to a safe level) and require 91+ octane. Gains seen by JetX customers include: The supercharged WaveRunner (FXSVHO and GP1800 SVHO) should increase your speed to 75 – 77MPH. The SuperJet will see an increase to around 60 MPH. The VX models should see an increase to around 65 – 66MPH and up to 68MPH with a performance impeller. Anyone in North America can get their tune done by JetX, but if you live in Ontario, it’s just a no-brainer!