In the long list of model names that have graced personal watercraft over the past 50 years, Sea-Doo’s SPARK just might prove to be the most literal.
Upon its introduction, the innovative craft literally provided a much-needed “spark” to a stagnant personal watercraft market, lowering the cost of entry by thousands of dollars and reducing a monthly payment to little more than an owner’s coffee tab. For many potential enthusiasts, the newfound affordability moved personal watercraft ownership from a distant goal to an affordable, immediately attainable reality.
The craft’s long-standing appeal, however, is credit to far more than a barrier-breaking price tag. With a palette of fun colors, innovative styling and a playful ride, the SPARK ignites the passions of a surprisingly wide range of enthusiasts. Cost-conscious newcomers enjoy it as a simple, affordable craft that proves perfect for getting out on the water and spending quality time with family and friends. Old-school enthusiasts, meanwhile, find the SPARK harkens back to the early days of the personal watercraft craze when smaller, lightweight craft not only carved a thrilling turn, but also slid, spun and leapt above the water.
That both the two-passenger and three-passenger SPARKs prove so practical only further fans the flames. A choice of 60 hp or 90 hp Rotax engine options take full advantage of the craft’s light weight to deliver spirited performance with exceptional fuel economy. The most powerful 90 hp engine burns less than 2.5 gallons per hour under average daily use. The base 60 hp engine lowers that total to under 2 gallons per hour. That’s not only a lot of smiles per gallon, but also a lot of money saved over the course of a season.
Compact, lightweight SPARK models also continue to be towed by almost any vehicle, foregoing the need for a sizable truck or SUV, and can be stored in the smallest condo or apartment garage. Even routine maintenance is simplified. Convenient access ports allow for occasional charging of the battery and monitoring of oil levels. Sea-Doo’s proven closed-loop cooling system maintains engine temperature while keeping outside contaminants—such as salt—from ever being introduced to the engine. And then there’s the SPARK’s tough and durable PolyTec composite hull and deck material. It provides a vibrant pop of color while resisting common damage and reducing upkeep to a bare minimum.
And Sea-Doo continues to find ways to keep the SPARK’s fire burning hot. The one-of-a-kind SPARK TRIXX offers all the familiar SPARK amenities, but adds a trio of freestyle-oriented extras that allow the craft to perform maneuvers impossible on any other watercraft. The key component is an extended-range variable-trim system. By allowing the pump’s directional nozzle to pivot upward as much as 10 degrees higher than the normal limit, riders can easily pull off a waterborne wheelie, sending the craft’s bow pointing toward the sky with just a nudge of the throttle. Coupled with footwell wedges to offer a secure footing when the craft gets vertical and an adjustable handlebar riser to increase the rider’s leverage over the craft, SPARK fans can perform crowd-pleasing tail stands and spins, leap the craft upward like a mechanical dolphin, or by trimming that nozzle in the opposite direction, bury the nose under the water like an old-school submarine. And good news, existing owners: Should you want to join the fun with an older SPARK, the parts can be retrofitted to previous models.
For 2019, your personal hit list can even be added to the fun. The optional BRP Audio Portable brings 50 watts of high-quality Bluetooth sound to the party in the form of an easily attached boombox-style sound system that mounts directly in front of the handlebars. Use it to pump the tunes while you play, then easily detach the player and bring the party to the beach. The waterproof unit can even be put directly in the water where it will simultaneously float, and provide an eye-pleasing splash with every thump of the bass.
It’s good old summertime fun—just like the SPARK itself.