Sea-Doo Spark vs Yamaha Ex: Which one is better?

The 2020 model Yamaha Ex and Sea-Doo Spark are perfectly suited to those entering the world of personal watercraft. Let’s see which one is better.

In earlier days the fun and excitement of jet skis was far out of reach. Today that has really changed with the introduction of the rec-lite category.

Through this guide, I’ll unpack the 2020 Sea-Doo Spark and compare it to the Yamaha Ex by the numbers including price and power capacity.

Sea-Doo Spark vs Yamaha Ex

With this new breed of cheaper personal watercraft, it makes the thrill much more accessible. While performance is largely tame, let’s have a look at what each model delivers.

If you’re new to the world of personal watercraft, then Jet Ski enthusiasts are very much polarised. You’ve got the Yamaha fanboys and the Sea-Doo fanboys. No matter what – each will say theirs is best. We really need to get down to the numbers.

Yamaha Ex vs Sea-Doo Spark

By the numbers, we can see that each machine is relatively close in their specifications. I’ll compare this for both those in Australia and those in the United States.

2020 Sea-Doo Spark 2-UP2020 Sea-Doo Spark 3-UP2020 Yamaha Ex
Pricing in USD$5,500$6,300$6,899
Pricing in AUD$8,500$9,490$9,990
Stock Horsepower60 or 90901049cc / 100hp
(Approximates)
Upgrade CapacityNoneNoneLimited
Maximum Passengers233
Towing TubesNoNoYes, but limited
Dry Weight410lbs / 186kg425lbs / 193kg577lbs / 261kgs
Wet Weight520lbs / 235kgs543lbs / 246kg601lbs / 272kgs
Weight Capacity352lbs / 160kg450lbs / 205kg529lbs / 240kgs
Measurements (L x W x H)110″ / 279cm
46.4″ / 118cm
41″ / 105cm
120″ / 305cm
46.4″ / 118cm
41″ / 105cm
120″ / 305cm
45″ / 111cm
43″ / 112cm
Fuel Capacity7.9 US gal / 30L7.9 gal / 30L13.2lbs / 50L
Front Storage Space7 US gal / 27L7 US gal / 27L8 US gal / 30L
Colors AvailableBlack + Orange
White + Blue
Lime + Blue
Black + Orange
White + Blue
Lime + Blue
Yellow + White
(US model)
Red + Black
(Australian model)
AssemblyImportedImportedUSA / Australia

So we can instantly see some clear distinctions, but also similarities too.

Australians get access to the red + black EX which in my opinion looks a lot better and more like a performance jet ski. It doesn’t do much justice to Yamaha with their dull yellow + white color scheme on the EX.

Sea-Doo Spark vs Yamaha Ex
The SeaDoo Spark is very basic but a great machine for total beginners.

The EX advantage

While the Yamaha Ex does cost extra to purchase, it comes with a host of advantages:

  1. More power to have fun (Beyond the rec-lite category)
  2. Greater fuel capacity so you can get further away from the boat ramp.
  3. A heavier weight which equals a more enjoyable riding experience.
  4. The ability to tow tubes, though this is really limited to low speeds.
  5. It’s much easier to mount a jet ski and fishing rod holders.

I would say the EX certainly stretches beyond the recreational-lite segment average offerings.

Their higher spec models such as the Ex Sport, Ex Deluxe and EXR are certainly more powerful.

Now, let’s drill down a little further.

Power on tap

The 2020 Sea-Doo Spark has 600 ACE engine producing 60hp, or for the additional outlay, you can choose the 900 HO ACE option which provides 90hp.

You’ll have a lot more fun with the 90hp output and will struggle to bring passengers with just 60hp on tap.

Can-Am isn’t really famous for their reliable engines.

The Spark models, however, often have fewer issues.

It’s a lot more fun on the EX!

The 2020 version of Yamaha’s Ex has a more reliable engine producing 1049cc or approximately 100hp.

It is a slightly heavier personal watercraft, so which there appears to be greater performance than the Sea-Doo Spark offerings, this is negligible.

Both provide a mild amount of power for the first-time person entering the PWC market.

Extra features

The fuel tank capacity is greater with the EX, but also so is the storage capacity.

I like Yamaha’s choice of touring and sport mode.

Now, this performance is very tame in my opinion when comparing this today against their legendary performance machines.

The Spark comes with a well known closed loop cooling system.

I believe this is more superior in their technological offering.

At the same time, you’ll have more maintenance needed to keep it in top shape.

Tow sports

The Sea-Doo Spark models are terrible choices for tow sports.

The likelihood of towing a tube or waterskier is very limited as the power on tap is so minimal. That isn’t to say that you can’t tow someone – it’s just going to be more challenging.

On the flip side, you can tow tubes and skiers with the Yamaha EX. Given the power limitations, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you have the budget, I would purchase a slightly more powerful jet ski than either of these two if tow-sports are your main activity.

Affordability

It’s clear that the Yamaha EX is more expensive than the Sea-Doo Spark.

If you’re looking for the cheapest jet ski on the marketplace, then you simply can’t go past the Sea-Doo Spark rec-lite range.

It’s clear that Can-Am has addressed the affordability issues with jet skis.

But with a cheap jet ski comes the real downside of limited fun.

I mean – you’re out there to have a smile on your face without the restrictions!

After just a few months you’re likely to get bored and wish you had a more powerful jet ski.

I would actually recommend that you hire a jet ski first. See- most rental shops use the Yamaha EX or the Sea-Doo GTI 90/130.

This is because, while the Spark is cheaper, it has its slight limitations in performance.

Similarities

It’s great that I can compare both jet skis quite fairly. This is because they are alike in so many ways.

Let’s have a look at some key points:

  1. Each jet ski is addressing the customer who values affordability.
  2. Both provide warranties to their customers who purchased new.
  3. You can load both the Spark and EX on to a dual/tandem trailer.
  4. Yamaha and Sea-Doo both offer jet ski + trailer packages at dealers.
  5. Fuel consumption. Both are some of the most fuel-efficient PWCs.

While the EX does cost more, here in Australia you’ll see Yamaha Motor Finance often providing rates at just 1% to its customers to incentivize them to make a purchase.

You might also see the same type of deals in the United States.

Summary of comparison

If you can afford it, I would get a Yamaha EX. That said, the Spark does pack a great value offering.

My opinion is that Yamaha EX is better than the Sea-Doo Spark models because often people just have much more fun with the EX. This is despite me being more of a preference towards Sea-Doo as a brand (though you wouldn’t consider me a fanboy by any means…)

With the EX you’ll have more power and enhanced personal watercraft stability, though the Spark is only marginally behind by 3%. Like really….that close!

For a 1st-time jet ski user, each both delivers a fantastically affordable way to enter the fun on the waterways. Either way you go, you’ll actually just have fun either way!

Catch you out there!

Sea Doo Trixx vs Sea-Doo Spark: Which one is better?

Sea-Doo continues to reinvest the wheel with the launch of new jet ski models, and their current offering such as the Trixxx is no exception to that rule.

In this guide, I’ll show you the main differences between the 2020 Sea-Doo Spark vs the 2020 Sea-Doo Spark Trixx with a direct comparison.

Let’s have a good look at how they’re different.

Trixx vs Spark

I’ll launch this comparison report with the specifications of both models at a glance. The Spark actually comes in two variations, and to make this fair, I’ll use the 3UP model which is more powerful at 90hp instead of the relatively tame 60hp.

2020 Sea Doo Spark Trixx2020 Sea Doo Spark (3UP/90HP)
Pricing in USA$7,399$6,300
Pricing in Australia$9,990$9,490
Engine Power90hp90hp
Fuel Burn2 US Gal per hour
7.4 litres per hour
2.5 Gal per hour
9.1 litres per hour
Seating Capacity2 or 32 or 3
Colors availableGreen + Lime
Green + Red
Black + Orange
White + Blue
Lime + Blue
Dry weight422lbs / 192kgs425lbs / 193kg
Wet weight537lbs / 243kbs543lbs / 246kg
Top speed44 miles per hour
67 kilometres per hour
43 miles per hour
65 kilometres per hour
Tow sportsLimitedNo
Dimensions (L x W x H)119″ / 203cm
46.1″ / 116cm
41″ / 105cm
120″ / 305cm
46.4″ / 118cm
41″ / 105cm

So from that table, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference apart from the higher pricing. Many journalists know that these models share the same specs in many ways.

Let’s actually take a step back for a moment.

How the Trixx differs

The base model is the Sea-Doo Spark. Consider the Trixx to be a reasonably good upgrade from the original.

SeaDoo Spark Trixx beached

The main differences (or rather, upgrades) are:

  1. Adjustable handlebars just like a motocross bike.
  2. Step wedges so you can do tricks like the promotional videos.
  3. Inclusion of a variable trim system so you can change the ride style.
Sea-Doo Spark Trixx Trailer
The lightweight nature of this jet ski lets you launch without a proper boat ramp!

Let’s go a little deeper with each of these such features.

Adjustable handlebars

By far the most popular feature is the handlebars. For people who are quite tall, these bars are quite helpful obviously. The main reason why this feature is here is to help people do “wheelies” and other tricks on the water.

With the adjustable handlebars you can do tricks with the ‘Trixx’ – hence the name.

The Sea-Doo Trixx handlebars provide almost 6 inches of additional height. That height gives you the ability to move around more freely so you can learn and play with your watercraft. Certainly for straight out riding and crusing around you’ll want to keep it in the lowered position.

If you watch the promotional videoes about the Trixx, you’ll see that everyone has their handlebars up heigh. That leverage allows them to sit back further on their jet ski.

Wedges for your feet

Ever noticed how those cool riders in the hero photos are standing right back? On an ordinary jet ski they would simply fall straight off, but with the wedges, it gives the riders a chance to stand right up.

The wedges can actually be bought right off Amazon and installed on your ordinary Spark. So if you have a case of missing out, don’t despair!

Some people have reported these as being unreliable, but in my opinion, they work just fine as they are factory-spec. They are also color-coded to the original Sea-Doo paintwork.

Variable trim

With the Variable Trim System (also known as VTS) it’s a fancy way of saying that the front nose of your jet ski can change in its height. Essentially you can make it point higher or lower in the water, which in turn changes the way in which your jet ski handles.

SeaDoo Spark
The ordinary Spark pictured above has no variable trim

Why is this important? It really impacts the ability for the rider to do tricks. Remember – this is a fun machine. Some riding conditions aren’t too helpful (such as windy days with additional swell) so this feature is a MUST.

The more expensive Sea-Doo models also have this feature but it’s to ensure a more comfortable ride when cruising along at 60 miles per hour. In additional they do have cruise control and a range of other luxury features.

Upgrading your jet ski

Is it worth the additional outlay? Most people would say yes! Certainly, I would.

The original Sea-Doo Spark has a name for itself as the poor man’s water toy, but the Trixx brings back the excitement without costing a fortune.

SeaDoo Spark Trixx Fallen Off

The thing about these upgrades is that you can actually buy them separately. Say you were limited on what you can spend right now.

Well, you can purchase all 3 options aftermarket on Amazon or even directly from your dealer.

Also, in the past the Trixx was limited to 2 passengers only. In 2020 you can buy this machine where you can take 3 passengers, but technically, there wouldn’t be enough space apart from 1 adult and 2 children.

Summary of the Trixx

The Trixx is a better jet ski than the Sea-Doo Spark for several reasons. Sea-Doo is always offering promotional pricing to help people go for the upgraded model.

If you can’t quite afford it yet, then the Spark is a good segway into the world of personal watercraft.