Maximum speed of a jet ski

Nautical Channel
29 Feb 2024
NEWS | Jet ski, Powerboat

Jet skis, also known as jet skis, are synonymous with water fun and thrills at full speed. The question that often arises is: what is the maximum speed these powerful machines can reach?

Determining factors:

The top speed of a jet ski is influenced by several key factors:

  • Engine: The heart of any jet ski is its engine. More powerful models tend to reach higher speeds.
  • Weight: The power-to-weight ratio is critical. Lighter jet skis with powerful engines tend to be faster.
  • Hull design: The shape of the hull and the design of the propulsion system directly impact the speed and stability of the jet ski.
  • Environment: Maximum speed may vary depending on water conditions, such as calm seas or the presence of waves.

How fast do jet skis typically go on average?

Recreational jet skis typically reach speeds between 40 and 70 mph (64 to 113 km/h). These models are ideal for those looking for fun and adrenaline without reaching professional racing levels.

In the racing arena, jet skis designed specifically for racing can exceed 80 mph (129 km/h). Professional events, such as the jet ski racing championship, witness astounding speeds and breathtaking maneuvers.

Record category

Over the years, several speed records have been set on modified jet skis. Continuing technology and design innovations constantly contribute to surpassing previous limits.

Spirit of Australia

The 'Spirit of Australia' is a wooden high-speed craft built by Australian Ken Warby, which has held the speed record on the water since October 8, 1978. The current mark stands at 511.11 kph, achieved when Warby piloted the 'Spirit of Australia' on the Tumut River, powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine. The iconic craft is currently on display at a marine museum in Sydney, Australia.

Honda Motocross

Luca Colombo, the experienced rider, has managed to set a new world record on water riding his Honda CRF450L, a motocross motorcycle adapted to float on water.

Colombo has reached an exceptional speed on water with a wheeled motorcycle, far surpassing the previous mark of 93.3 km/h by achieving an impressive 104 km/h. This extraordinary milestone was achieved over a 1.9 kilometer course, completed in a remarkable time of 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

GP 1800 Yamaha Turbo

José Luis Hernández, an outstanding Jet Ski pilot from the Dominican Republic, has set a new speed record in the waters during the Hydrodrags event held in Tavárez, Miami, Florida. His extraordinary performance was recorded by reaching an astonishing top speed of 135 miles per hour (approximately 217 km/h).

This achievement highlights Hernandez's exceptional skill and prowess in Jet Ski competitions, consolidating him as a leading figure in this exciting water sport.


Lucas del Paso, one of the developers of Jet Ski Tours, has carried out a jet ski crossing that has been officially recognized as a Guinness World Record in 2021, specifically in the category of "Longest distance traveled by jet ski in the open sea - without support in the water".

During this fifteen-day expedition, he covered a staggering 3,602 kilometers along the coast of five countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco and Italy.

It is crucial to remember that extreme speed on jet skis carries risks. Practicing water safety, wearing protective gear and respecting local regulations are imperative to fully enjoy the experience without compromising safety.

Whether for recreational fun or elite competition, these thrilling machines offer a unique and adrenaline-filled aquatic experience. However, it is essential to balance excitement with responsibility and respect for safety regulations to ensure safe enjoyment on every water adventure.

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