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What is the difference between jet ski, water scooter and personal watercraft?

Jet skiing is a popular activity for tourists looking for thrills during their holidays on the coast. In fact, jet skiing is a very popular leisure activity, especially for its easy driving, its speed but above all for its accessibility to all. When you rent a boat, there is nothing better than fine sandy beaches and crystal clear water to enjoy the sensations of this watercraft. Moreover, there are many names to describe it between jet ski, waterscooter and personal watercraft. Therfore, it can be difficult to understand the difference. In this article, we will give you the answer and explain all the differences.

Some definitions 

It is true that in common opinion, jet skis, water scooters and personal watercraft are different watercrafts. Actually, there is no difference but the name. Here are some definitions to better understanding: 

  • Jet ski: the main confusion comes from the fact that most of the people think that "jet ski" is a generic term. However, "jet ski" is actually a registered trademark of Kawasaki brand. Due to its great popularity, the term "jet ski" has become common to refer to water scooters. 
  • Water scooter: the "water scooter" is a watercraft powered by a water jet. Its real name is VNM, which stands for Motor Watercraft and is the official term for this type of vehicle. It does not involve any particular brand. 
  • Personal watercraft: "personal watercraft" is a generic term, just like the water scooter. 

To keep it short, there is no difference between jet ski/sea scooter and personal watercraft except for the name. The famous device that is so popular on the beaches during the summer is nothing but the VNM, the Motor Watercraft powered by a water jet that allows you to "travel" on the water. 

jet ski transparent water

Different uses 

Confusion also comes from the fact that many people think that the difference between all these names is related to the use: sitting or standing. However, whether we are talking about jet skis, sea scooters or personal watercraft, we cand find this vehicle in a sitting or standing version. 

  • The standing water scooter: this version, also called "stand up" is smaller and has no seat. The pilot then stands upright on the handlebars of the vehicle on a platform called "bucket". In this model, there are 3 different sports practices including freeride (jumping in the waves while performing tricks), freestyle (the pilot creates his own waves on flat water and performs jumps and tricks) and speed running (speed running on a circuit delimited with buoys). 
  • The sitting scooter also known as a "saddle scooter": this version, also known as a "run", is larger and can be equipped with one to four seats. This model is designed so that the pilot can carry passengers on board. It is a version adapted to families or groups. This version is still used for sports practices such as: speed racing (like the standing water scooter, it is a speed race on a circuit delimited with buoys) and rally-raid (it is a long-distance competition that can last up to six days with checkpoints). 
friends on jet ski

The best spots  

During the summer period, water sports are popular, especially for those who do not like very muck laying on the beach and sunbathing. The water scooter is ideal for anyone looking for a thrill. In fact, you will experience sensations but above all a pleasant moment of sharing special moments with your friends or family. Clear and crystalline water, fine sandy or pebble beaches are the ideal spot for this activity. Spain and its islands are among the best places to ride a water scooter. In fact, here there are small, wild and preserved coves that you can explore on board your scooter when you rent a boat in the Balearic Islands. Corsica is also an ideal spot for this activity: surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs, you will be amazed. 

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