The Similarities Between Jet Skis and Snowmobiles -- Recreational Vehicles for All Seasons

By: Corbin Schroeder

Summer is the season for people to load up their jet skis and head to their favorite lake, for a day of breaking the waves on their jet ski. Winter is the season for snowmobile riders to blaze a trail through the white snow of the mountains and plains. Snowmobiles offer the same speed and freedom as jet skis; the only difference is that they ride on snow and ice rather than water and waves.

Despite differences in terrain, jet skis and snowmobiles are very similar vehicles. Both are designed for one or two riders, at most. Both vehicles are powered by two-stroke or in some cases four-stroke engines. Both are even used for free styling and racing, by those people who need a little more adrenalin in their day.

If one is lucky, they may even live in an area where both types of recreational vehicles can be used year around, depending on the season. Those who live in the South generally only purchase a jet ski, since there is seldom enough snow to call a "snow day". But, those who are fortunate enough to live in winter recreational areas may also have a lake nearby for their summertime entertainment as well.

Buying Recreational Vehicles

If you are going to buy a jet ski, consider the following:

* Are you looking for a personal watercraft to ride standing, or would you prefer a sit-down model?

* Will you be looking for a jet ski that allows you to tow someone in an inner tube or on water skis?

* How large of a jet ski are you looking for? You will want to consider both the size of the hull of the Jet Ski and the size of the engine.

* How much time have you spent on jet skis in the past? The more experience you have had, the more likely it is that you will be able to handle a shorter, more maneuverable model; if you have had less experience, you may want to stick to the longer, wider, more stable design.

On the other hand, if you are looking at snowmobiles, you will want to spend time thinking about:

* Where you will be riding and what kind of riding you will be doing. If you plan to cruise and explore an area, you want a different snowmobile model than what is typically purchased for riding in deep snow or racing.

* How much speed and power can you comfortably handle? While larger engines give the rider more potential for speed, the larger engines are only available in larger snowmobiles that can actually be harder to navigate and control.

* How do your friends ride? If you are buying a snowmobile to ride with friends and they all go for speed, you will have trouble keeping up with them if you buy a cruiser.

In both cases, ask about modifications that can be made to the unit you are buying, and weigh the pros and cons of buying a new or used vehicle.

Modifications and Maintenance

Some manufacturers have designed their Jet Skis and snowmobiles to be customized to a certain degree. As a result, many aftermarket manufacturers offer performance Jet Ski parts and high-performance snowmobile parts for a variety of models.

Many aftermarket manufacturers offer performance engine parts for Jet Skis and snowmobiles. Other manufacturers offer aftermarket parts that are designed to increase the safety factor with the vehicles, in the guise of stronger frame parts.

Of course, all Jet Ski parts are important to the safe operation of the vehicle, but the most important Jet Ski part to maintain is the engine. Be sure to check the oil and flush water from the engine after riding. Additionally, a Jet Ski owner should take the time to reduce salt build up by wiping down their machine after using it; this is especially important if the Jet Ski is ridden in the salt water of the ocean or ocean inlets. Also, the Jet Ski owner needs to make sure that there are not any clogs in the impeller, and they need to make sure that the engine cooling system is working properly.

In terms of snowmobile parts, you will want to make sure the track and suspension are in good working order, as well as the skis and runners. Take the time to look at the drive belt to make sure it isn't frayed or worn; check the fan belt, the engine, and the cooling system.

If you notice a problem or come up against something you do not know how to do, talk with the company that supplies your Jet Ski or snowmobile parts; they can help you troubleshoot your problem and ensure you get the right parts to fix the problem.

Jet Ski and Snowmobile Safety

By taking care to find the right Jet Ski or snowmobile and making sure the vehicle is always well maintained, you are ensuring that you will stay safe while having fun.

As always, it is important that you expend the effort to stay safe so that you can enjoy your Jet Ski and snowmobile for years to come. Be sure to follow the local regulations and wear all of your safety equipment when riding. If you are riding with others on board, be sure to look out for their safety as well.

Jet Skis and snowmobiles are one of the greatest inventions known to mankind. If you don't agree with that statement, I can only conclude that you have never ridden on one yourself. But fun should always be tempered with a respect for the power of the equipment. Have fun, but be safe in doing so.

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Corbin Schroeder rides Kawasaki dirt bikes in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. If you need jet ski parts, atv parts, or motorcycle parts, Corbin recommends you to visit Xtreme Parts Net to see for yourself what they have to offer. is a proud sponsor of the ESPN2 Metric Revolution Motorcycle Build Off.

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