A weapon when you want it

The latest Waverunners from Yamaha are further proof that personal watercraft are in a constantly evolving market, and Waterline took to the harbour this month to bring you the stunning new concepts that are changing the face of ski riding.

The latest innovations, along with performance, literally take your breath away.
Makzgear, the Yamaha ski and bike shop on Dive Crescent, lined up one of the latest Waverunners for a test drive this month and here at Waterline, we couldn’t wait to get a leg over.

The VX Deluxe fits nicely into the all-rounder niche, a great family sized play ski but also adept as a serious workhorse, for fishos and freedivers.

It features a high output, one litre naturally-aspirated 1050cc, three-cylinder engine, cranking out 125hp.

As an “occasional” jetski rider, I know just enough to be dangerous, but instinct and a few years around boats tells me this Waverunner with its latest clever innovations could be the safest and easiest to use ever.

The “Ride” system, pitched as “intelligent reverse with traction control” basically means the backing up function is measured and exact, without throwing the rider over the bars. Revs are regulated, the reversing is sure footed and reassuringly safe, all at the throw of a second throttle. In the process it disengages the main throttle (on the opposite handlebar) so there’s no chance of unintentional aerobatics and embarrassing consequences on youtube or facebook.

Reverse also features a new designed bucket linked to intuitive de-celeration electronics, with the bucket directing more water sideways and not downwards, so shallow water debris is less likely to be sucked through the pump.

The “no wake” function will please the harbourmaster; at the push of a button the Waverunner goes into a five knot, genteel pace with no wake, so you can amble out the fairways, beaches and mooring areas under a sort of mobility scooter-paced cruise control and all you have to is steer… no more throttle anxiety in the slow zones.

There’s good news for learners and the timid. “L Mode” is an easy, push button selection that takes the sting out of the tail. A sort of learner level, this nanny mode limits revs and automatically turns a potent machine into a more docile cruiser for safe doddling.  Great for kids and novices who don’t need all the horses unleashed at the squeeze of the trigger. Because believe me, when you unleash, it’s hi-ho silver and away.

All this is housed in the latest nano-cell technology hull which is lighter and stronger than ever, resulting in stunning power-to-weight ratio which gives all the new

Waverunners outstanding performance, when you want it – but moderation when you need it.

Clever electronics, four stroke efficiencies and the lighter weight also means exceptional fuel economy.  Gone are the days of noisy, oil and gas-guzzling smokers – the new generation skis are smooth, quiet and economical , with outstanding range.

Maintenance is easy, with a simple and effective flushing system, there’s a heap of storage and the electronic dash is simple and clear.

As a three seater, this craft suits either playtime with biscuits and boards, or a workhorse for fishing and reaching the outer reefs and islands for diving.  There’s a drop down boarding ladder on the stern to help you back aboard, whether its with a feed from the bountiful ocean or a water toy.  A nifty remote controls allow the owner to disable the Waverunner on the beach, no matter where the kill cord is left.

It’s all packaged up with a three year warranty in a stable yet “flickable” performance ski that is an ideal family all rounder. Plus with the clever control features, you know there’s never been a safer and more controllable personal watercraft.

We picked a perfect winter’s day for a blast on Tauranga harbour, flying across the glassy waters for a play mid harbour and a quick photo session.  The Waverunner was the most perfectly behaved PWC I’ve experienced, very stable and predictable, no porpoising or surging at any speed and incredibly controllable.  Ben, the jet expert in the family and the owner of an earlier model, really showed how it should be done and couldn’t fault the easy handling.  The transition from standing start to flat out was smooth and impressive.

We simply loved the Ride reversing system, it was flawless and measured, intuitive to use and one of those features that, once you’ve tried it, wonder how you managed without it!

The spring loaded boarding ladder on the stern made boarding easy and safe, the bar folding back into position neatly.

Ben mastered the dashboard controls in no time, scrolling through all the display options which were clear and bold. We headed back to the ramp while he took us through the full range of pilot features, from Cruise Assist, L Mode and the handy No Wake function as we reached the Waikareao five knot zone.

The Waverunner VX Deluxe is $16,999 plus a new trailer for $2000.

The rest of the range is well worth checking out, including the slightly longer and gruntier 1.8L FX which is on the showroom floor with a fishing rig on the stern, screaming “take me to Penguin Shoals”.  It is the perfect long range fishing weapon.

There’s a craft for every style and they all are packed with the latest features to make riding easier, safer, more economical, controlled and fun.

Get along to Makzgear, check them out and get your leg over!


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