Jet ski now encompasses all makes of personal watercraft but it is actually the brand name of the personal watercraft manufactured by Kawasaki. There are two basic types of jet skis, the stand up version and the sit down version. The stand up version is used by freestyle competitors. The sit down version is better suited for cruising and recreational use. The main differences being that the stand up version has a pivoting handlebars and no seat which allows greater freedom and movement to the rider. Freestyle riders use this type of jet ski for jumps, rolls, and backflips just to mention a few stunts. The sit down jet ski has a larger hull and can either be made for one rider or up to three riders. This type is more comfortable for longer distances and are suited to cruise and pleasure rides.
There are global competitions for both types of jet skis. Which include freestyle championships awarding prizes for the best stunts, races, and endurance competitions where the jet ski would be rode for a longer distance.
Kawasaki was the first manufacturer to start producing jet skis and made the first stand up JSs as early as 1973. The JS came to the public around 1976 and the sport as we know it was born. Jet skiing has gradually gained popularity throughout the decades and the early 90s saw the sport evolve to competition level. As jet skis became more capable and powerful competition level riding became more than just a hobby and riders started to attract sponsorship. This sponsorship allows riders to commit themselves to training full time and develop the sport to the skill level we see today. Competitions run all year at venues across the globe and the sport boasts a massive worldwide following of fans, enthusiasts, and competitors.
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