Yamaha EX Review

Yamaha EX Review

In 2017, the all new Yamaha EX series was announced. The EX series consists of 3 models: EX, EX Deluxe, and EX Sport. These 3 models are Yamaha’s first set of recreation-lite waverunners. A starting price of $6,599 makes these their most affordable waverunners available. This review of the Yamaha EX series is going to explain the new category and what exactly the EX models have to offer.

What is a Rec-Lite Waverunner?

To start things off, it’s good to review what a rec-lite (or recreation lite) waverunner is.

The recreation-lite category is a step below the recreation category. Rec-lite watercraft are nimble, lightweight, and only have the essential features. Typically they’re most popular amongst first time buyers because they’re easy to learn on and have an affordable price. Although rec-lite jet skis and waverunners primarily cater to beginner riders, many experienced enthusiasts become repeat customers. The playful ride that rec-lite watercraft provide really is a lot of fun, so it’s no surprise that veteran riders enjoy them as much as beginners.

Until now, the SeaDoo Spark was the only rec-lite watercraft available. For years the Spark dominated the entry level jet ski market, but the new EX series may very well change that.

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For a full review of the SeaDoo Spark, read this previous post.

Overview of the EX Series

Currently the Yamaha EX Waverunner series only has three models: EX, EX Deluxe, and EX Sport. Each of these models are slightly different from the rest and offer their own perks. Overall they have the same sporty feel, and provide a very responsive ride.


Yamaha EX Green and White

The basic EX is the most affordable out of the 3 models. It’s a bare minimum waverunner for someone who just wants to get out on the water and ride. The EX comes in green and white.

EX Sport

Yamaha EX Sport All Black

The EX Sport is the next step up in the series. It comes with a few upgrades that are very useful on the water. The EX Sport comes in blue and white or all black.

EX Deluxe

Yamaha EX Deluxe Red and White


As the name suggests, the EX Deluxe has the most luxuries out of the EX line up. This model is fully loaded with some of Yamaha’s best add-ons. The EX Deluxe comes in red and white or all blue.



Since the EX series is in the rec-lite category, all of its models are light and agile. They’re all equipped with a performance-style hull that can handle a wide variety of water conditions. Seating is suitable for 1-3 people, and there’s an average amount of storage space available.

Hull & Deck

Yamaha EX Hull and Deck Review

The entire hull and deck is made from a durable and scratch resistant resin. Like most recreation PWC, the EX models have a hull designed to be nimble and playful. The deck isn’t incredibly spacious, but it’s definitely not cramped either. There’s just enough room for someone to get set up on a tow tube or wake board. To learn more, you can read my article on the best jet ski for towing a tube.


Yamaha EX Seating

Most Yamaha EX waverunners are advertised as fitting 1-3 people. What it comes down to is each persons size/height. Fitting 3 adults for shorter rides is definitely doable, but 3 adults could be cramped for a long ride.

A support handle is on the rear of the seat, and a tow hook for watersports is right below it.


Yamaha EX Storage Review

The EX comes with a combined 7.7 gallons of storage that is spread out through several compartments. There isn’t too much room but there’s enough for most peoples needs.

People who use waverunners to go fishing or camping may require more room for storage, but it really varies depending on the person.


If you think you’ll need more storage, check out our list of essential jet ski accessories for ideas on saving space!


Yamaha EX Engine ReviewYamaha loaded their EX waverunners with their all new 1,049CC TR-1 marine engine. After years of only 4-cylinder engines, Yamaha created a surprisingly high output 3-cylinder, 4 stroke engine. The 100hp TR-1 provides plenty of power but is still relatively fuel efficient. EX waverunners can reach up to 55mph depending on riding conditions.

The engine can be easily accessed which makes standard maintenance much easier. Other personal watercraft sometimes need to be halfway disassembled just to change the oil, but that isn’t a problem on any of the EX models. 


All 3 of the EX models have the same design, but don’t share the same features. As these features are reviewed, the models that come with them will be mentioned.

Deck Mats

Yamaha EX Hydro Turf MatsThe EX and EX Sport come with standard deck mats, but the EX Deluxe is equipped with Yamaha’s two tone hydro turf mats. The difference between the two mats is hydro turf mats are designed to stay cool to the touch even after prolonged exposure to the sun.

Reboarding Step

Yamaha EX Reboarding Step

Only the EX Sport and EX Deluxe come with a reboarding step. This isn’t a huge drawback for anyone considering the standard EX because reboarding isn’t too difficult without a step. A reboarding step isn’t really necessary but it definitely is convenient.

Glove Box

Yamaha EX Glovebox

All 3 models come with a glove box. This is part of the 7.7 gallons of storage space they all have. There’s enough room in the glovebox to fit some water bottles, sunscreen, and maybe a cellphone. 

Dual Mirrors

Yamaha EX Dual Mirrors

The standard EX is the only one that doesn’t have dual mirrors, but that isn’t too big of a setback.

Mirrors on a PWC aren’t really essential like they are on a car. It’s really easy to just turn around because there’s nothing to block your line of sight. Waterways are much more open than roads so it’s easier to look around without the use of mirrors. The main use for mirrors on a watercraft is when it’s being docked. Then again, they are a nice luxury to have, so you should take that into consideration before buying.

RiDE Technology

Yamaha’s RiDE technology is basically an advanced braking and reverse system. It’s designed to brake smoothly when going at a high rate of speed so riders don’t get thrown over the handlebars. Until recently most personal watercraft didn’t have any form of breaking system, so if you’re new to the world of jet ski’s and waverunners then you came in at a perfect time.

Currently the EX Deluxe is the only one out of the line up that comes with RiDE technology. The EX Sport has a manual reverse, but it’s not nearly as good as Yamaha’s RiDE technology.

Additional Specs

EX            EX Sport          EX Deluxe

1-3 persons                                             1-3 persons                                                                   1-3 persons

Length: 10′ 3″                                       Length: 10′ 3″                                                                Length: 10′ 3″

Width: 3′ 7″                                            Width: 3′ 7″                                                                  Width: 3′ 7″

Height: 3′ 9″                                           Height: 3′ 9″                                                                 Height: 3′ 9″

Dry Weight: 577 lbs                           Dry Weight: 584 lbs                                                  Dry Weight: 599 lbs

Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal                     Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal                                             Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gal

Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal                 Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal                                        Storage Capacity: 7.7 gal

Fuel: Regular Unleaded               Fuel: Regular Unleaded                                        Fuel: Regular Unleaded

An Honest Opinion

The Yamaha EX waverunner series is a great line up of starter watercraft. They have a modest price tag, and provide great functionality. There aren’t very many luxury features but each of these models has everything a beginner rider needs. Yamaha makes some of the most reliable waverunners so it’s great to finally see a more budget friendly option.

  1. I like something a little bigger than the EX but I definitely see the appeal. Yamaha has been doing some really cool things lately.

  2. I’d love to see the EX and the Spark in a side by side comparison. It’s hard to tell which one is better without them being tested the same way. Someone should do a speed test, cornering test, etc. with both of them so people can reliably see how good they really are.

  3. Finally Yamaha made an entry level line up. All of the EX’s look better than the Spark imo but I haven’t gotten the chance to try one out yet.

  4. Ahh, seems like Sea Doo finally has some competition..

  5. I’m liking the new Yamahas

  6. Crazy to see how far waverunners have come. Shoulda seen them in the early 90’s, lol

  7. I just bought the ex sport. After riding the fxho this thing feels like the ski’s from the 90’s. Is to flick around and plenty of power for such a small craft. Storage is nonexistent but who cares on a rec lite anyway. I absolutely love the ski and would recommend it to anyone tired of the big couch feeling from the larger models.

  8. I just bought the ex sport. After riding the fxho this thing feels like the ski’s from the 90’s. Easy to flick around and plenty of power for such a small craft. Storage is nonexistent but who cares on a rec lite anyway. I absolutely love the ski and would recommend it to anyone tired of the big couch feeling from the larger models.

  9. Can two grown adults ride the EX ? Can they pull a tube with a adult on it?

    • Hey Bill,

      It really depends on their size, but two average sized adults should be able to ride an EX comfortably. Fitting a third adult on the jet ski may make things a bit cramped. Even if the third adult was on a tube, they would have to ride on the seat until the jet ski was out in open water. The towing capabilities on the EX can handle the weight, but the ride out there might be uncomfortable.

      The best advice I can give is to go to your local dealership and sit on one to get the feel. Even if you don’t buy from them, it’s a good way to get an understanding of the space available.

      Hopefully that helps.


  10. Purchased a 2017 EX Yamaha Sport with Duel Mirrors—Mirrors are totally a waste—they are in a FIXED Position and cannot be adjusted—This is a MAJOR Safety factor for someone riding the ski and cannot adjust mirrors according to their Height.

  11. whats wrong with it

  12. What will it cost me to buy a ex sport new in nz?

  13. Just bought the Yamaha EX and me and my lady friend took it out and both took turns in driver seat and both loved it. Not sure why some say uncontrollable and dangerous unless they are just too big or not experienced riders.
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