Personal watercraft have come a long way from the pint-sized play toys that defined the early years in the 1990s. Then, a healthy top speed was in the low 40s. Now, the three-passenger flagship models routinely hit 68 mph, with much better hulls for long-distance cruising. The latest craft also have digital displays and Bluetooth sound systems; features like electronic reverse and deceleration provide low-speed maneuvering and exceptional stopping power at speed. This once-cumbersome, one-dimensional craft has become an increasingly fast, precise and versatile machine on the water.
Here are the most thrilling models from Kawasaki, Sea-Doo and Yamaha, as well as a Jet Ski standup for tradition’s sake. And three luxury speed demons that provide a glimpse into the not-so-distant future.