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.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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

A major problem that occurs on recreation and recreation-lite jet skis is the seating. Often times it’s advertised a 1-3, but in reality it can only fit 2 people. What they mean when they say “1-3” is one child/teen, and two adults.

All of the EX waverunners have seating for 1-3, but things can become cramped on long distance rides with 3 people. What it comes down to is each persons size/height. Fitting 3 adults for shorter rides is definitely doable, but 2 adults and a child/teen is ideal.

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. I just bought a Yamaha Sport EX. My wife and I took the ski out for the first time and it was very dangerous and uncontrollable. I am taking it back to the dealer ASAP to find out what the problem is…I’m hoping its fixable but it seems to be weight, the ski is rated at 485 pounds and we are combined 415 pounds. This is not our first ski and I never even thought about the weight because we are under the NAMM rating. Just to make sure I took the ski out alone and it rode fine. I wish there was reviews on weight capacity with two adult riders. I’m bummed because we bought it so we wouldn’t have to take our boat out when its just us. I’m hoping Yamaha is doing something to address this issue and ill find a solution.

    • I bought an EX Deluxe about a month ago. I bought it for my wife and I to have fun on. I agree with you Rob. This thing is way to dangerous to have a passenger on it. My wife and I don’t even come close to the weight limit. I have told the salesman about it and he pretty much shrugged his shoulders with no answers. I have a 6 year loan on it. I have not even made the first payment on it. I told the salesman that this ski is pretty much worthless to me. Here in ohio , you need a spotter to pull a tube. Two people wont work on this ski so you can’t pull a tube anyway.

    • Hey Rob, I’m sorry to hear that.

      I’ve never heard anything like that before. What exactly do you mean by uncontrollable? Maybe it was just a factory defect? Let us know what the dealership says. I’m interested to find out what the problem is. Even at a combined 415 pounds that should still leave you 70 pounds of wiggle room, which is enough for a small child. Again, I’m sorry you had a bad experience.

      Best of luck.

      -JST Team

  11. The ski would turn uncontrollably on wake up . I thought it needed to be on plane, so I throttled up and with the handle bars straight it would make sharp erratic turns almost tipping over. Wife got scared so I took her in to the beach . I’m waiting on the call from service I will keep you posted . I’m not even sure what I can do if they say nothing is wrong with it . I’m hoping they will lake test it with two guys. But they also said they’d make me pay if they can’t find a problem
    Dropped it off with .50 hours .

    • Hey Rob,

      That definitely sounds sketchy. If it’s that unstable I’m sure the dealership will figure out the problem. There’s no reason why that should be happening on its own. How long until they get back to you?

      Regardless of the outcome we wish you the best of luck, hopefully they can work something out with you.

      -JST Team

  12. I traded it in at a loss and picked up a Sea Doo . Yamaha told me that was the way it was supposed to ride and said they would document it but couldn’t help me. My dealer felt bad so they tried to help me out as much as possible . Wish I knew what I know now before I spent 2300 on a .30 min ride . Buyer beware . Do not buy the Yamaha EX if your planning to ride more then one person . I plan to write more reviews about it so others don’t make the same costly mistake. Spend the extra money and get something bigger and more sturdy.

  13. 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.

  14. whats wrong with it

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

  16. I agree with you rob, just bough an ex deluxe and same thing happened to us. Although we had a small child with us as well and we actually tipped over, we were under the weight limit by 40kg. Extremely unstable and unsafe for more than one person.

  17. 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.

Leave a reply