The Sea-Doo Spark is one of the most enduring and popular PWCs available on the market. Since 2014, the Spark has been Sea-Doo’s most reliable and arguably most popular model.
Sea-Doo holds the largest market share for all PWC brands, making it the most popular PWC manufacturer in the world, which is largely thanks to the popularity of the Spark.
So what makes the Sea-Doo Spark so great? Why has it been such an incredibly successful product? Is it still worth buying in 2022? We put together this review of the Sea-Doo Spark in 2022 to help new and seasoned PWC buyers alike decide if the Sea-Doo Spark is the right PWC model for them.
What Makes the Sea-Doo Spark So Popular?
Much of the Sea-Doo Spark’s popularity comes from the fact that it is Sea-Doo’s entry-level model, and one of the cheapest PWCs on the market.
A brand new 2023 Sea-Doo Spark base model is listed at an MRRP of $7699. That is $1100 cheaper than Sea-Doo’s next-level-up model, the Spark Trixx, and just $100 more than Yamaha’s entry-level model, the EX.
Sea-Doo is known for selling reasonably-priced PWCs that are great for beginners. Of course, Sea-Doo also deals in luxury models, performance models, touring models, and fishing skis, but their bread and butter is the Spark.
The Spark’s hull is made of a material called Polytec, which is not like the typical fiberglass hulls you find on other jet skis. Polytec makes the Sea-Doo incredibly light, and also gives it an excellent power-to-weight ratio, which makes it easy to handle and great for beginners.
The Sea-Doo Spark is not the fastest jet ski on the market by any means, but it’s no slouch either.
Sparks are available in two engine sizes: 60HP and 90HP, with top speeds of 42MPH and 50MPH. The engines are 4-stroke, 3-cylinder Rotax engines with closed-loop cooling systems, which are unique in the PWC market.
The closed loop cooling system makes the engines extremely efficient, meaning that the Spark burns less fuel than its competitors: the 60HP engine burns around 2 gallons per hour, while the 90HP burns around 2.4 gallons per hour.
Recommended reading: Sea-Doo Spark Performance Tune
What Are the New Features for 2022?
You may have heard that the Spark is scheduled for a redesign before its ten-year anniversary in 2024. You may also have heard the rumor that there is a 130HP or 170HP Spark available in the 2023 lineup. Unfortunately, although this change was scheduled to happen, Sea-Doo has pushed the release date back by at least 12 months.
Sea-Doo manufactures a 1630-ACE engine for their Switch model, and this engine was tested as an option for the Spark to give it more power. This upgrade would make the Spark significantly faster and more powerful.
The 2023 model, however, still has the 900-ACE engine, at 60HP and 90HP. It’s possible that the 1630-ACE engine will be included in the 2024 model, the Spark X, which will celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Spark.
Other than that, the 2023 Spark model is not much different from the 2021 model. It still features Sea-Doo’s patented iBR® – Intelligent Brake & Reverse braking system, the LinQ® Attachment System, a Wetgrip Footboard, Handlegrip with Palm Rests, Tow Hook, and a slim-designed seat with a Seat Strap.
That’s not to say that any of these features are undesirable. The Spark certainly packs a punch when it comes to performance, and its iBR braking system, Virtual Trim System, and LinQ Attachment System are known to be high-quality and make the experience of riding more enjoyable.
What Do Other Riders Say?
The majority of reviews for the Sea-Doo Spark online are overwhelmingly positive. People rave about the lightness of the ski and its ability to jump and do tricks. Good acceleration and response are two other things that frequently appear in reviews from customers.
Another thing people love about the Sparks is their fuel efficiency. They are one of the cheapest PWCs to run because they use so little fuel. Sparks also hold their resale value, and there is always a market for used and secondhand Sparks, which makes trading it in easy.
Finally, the closed-loop cooling system means that the Spark never takes in water from a lake or an ocean to cool the engine. This means less corrosion on the engine and longer engine life, which means repair and maintenance costs stay low.
One thing people say the Sea-Doo lacks is a comfortable seat. The Spark seat can become uncomfortable after long hours of riding, especially compared to other Sea-Doo models like the touring and fishing skis. Sea-Doo sells the “slim seat” as a benefit, but many customers complain that it is too thin and becomes uncomfortable quickly.
Sea-Doo Spark Comparisons
So how does the Spark hold up against similar models from the competition? Yamaha makes a Waverunner called the EX that is comparable to the Spark, and the Kawasaki STX is another model that many people also consider when they are shopping around for an entry-level PWC. And what about Sea-Doo’s next ski up, the Spark Trixx? Let’s take a look at how they stack up.
Sea-Doo Spark vs. Sea-Doo Spark Trixx
The Sea-Doo Spark and the Sea-Doo Spark Trixx are very similar in almost every respect. They have the same hull and the same engine, and they are priced comparably, with the Trixx being just $1000 more than the Spark.
The main difference between the Spark and the Spark Trixx is that the Trixx comes with an add-on package that makes it better for performing tricks. This package includes Sea-Doos Variable Trim System (VTS) to improve handling, along with adjustable handlebars and step-up wedges.
Sea-Doo Spark vs. Yamaha EX
The main difference between the Spark and the Yamaha EX is the fuel capacity and the weight. Again, these are both entry-level PWCs, at a similar price point, aimed at beginner skiers and with decent but not outstanding performance.
The Yamaha EX is heavier than the Spark and can hold more fuel. It’s also easier to mount a fishing pole or pull a towable on the EX (although towing is limited to low speeds.) This makes the EX a slightly better option for touring riders or fishermen.
Yamaha is also well known for being some of the most durable PWCs on the market. It’s possible that the EX might hold up better than the Spark over time, given its superior hull material and the reliability we know to expect from Yamaha.
Sea-Doo Spark vs. Kawasaki STX
The STX is Kawasaki’s cheapest jet ski model, but it will set you back almost twice what a Sea-Doo Spark will cost, at an MRRP of around $11,199. The STX is bigger than the Spark and has a much larger engine, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 60-62MPH.
To be honest, the STX and the Spark are not really on the same level, and it’s safe to say that Kawasaki doesn’t really make a jet ski comparable to the Spark. Kawasaki’s market is tailored toward performance and luxury, while Sea-Doo caters to recreational riders, budget riders, and beginners.
The Sea-Doo Spark is a great PWC for first-time riders or those who want an affordable ski that’s still fun to ride and packs a punch. People like the Spark because it is a durable, reliable PWC that offers a great power-to-weight ratio, minimal fuel consumption, and because it is easy to maintain.
When you buy a Spark, you won’t get the kind of speed and performance that you would from a Kawasaki, but you’ll get a lightweight, fast ski that’s capable of doing tricks and won’t break the bank.