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View Full Version : Thinking about buying an older stand up ski


Roman
03-23-2017, 10:54 AM
Im heading to arizona in a couple weeks for a development trip and I am thinking about pikcing up a ski while I am down that way. I have noticed the prices are much better compared to Michigan.

I have never ridden one, but I am thinking of getting a js550 or a kawasaki x2. Just something I can rip around on when i come home from work (Its hard to get people to go and wakeboard especially during the week, and id rather rip around on a 2t to get my exercise then the gym).

Can anyone tell me what to look for, what to avoid, ect?

I dont want to spend more than 1500, ideally around 1g

mzimme
03-23-2017, 11:16 AM
A Kawi X2 is more of a hybrid between a sit down (couch) and a stand up. The js550 is a good old ski, Kawi 650sx is pretty popular also.

Main thing I would suggest looking at is making sure it runs. They're mostly just 2 stroke motors, so lots of people will dump the oil pump for just using mix gas instead to eliminate an oil pump failure. Lots have mods on them, but you likely won't get a modded out one under 1k. Even if they're not pretty, they still run well.

I had a 650sx way back in the day (my first water toy I bought in college). It was fun, but I prefer going out on a boat... even if I am alone.

epnault
03-23-2017, 11:32 AM
I was sort in your situation the past couple of years and settled on the Sea Doo Trixx. It is mostly for my boys under age 15. We were turned onto these at our boat show and ordered. It looks fun, is light, 4 stroke, quiet, reliability should be good, 3 year warranty, low cost retail, etc.. It has a lot going for it and might be something to take a look at.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN5_h6zzJVI

rydog
03-23-2017, 12:52 PM
I would also recommend a JS550, as mzimme said the X2 is more of a hybrid jet ski and not a true stand up. I think it would be hard to find a 650 near a grand, or at least in my area, lots of 550s are going for 1000.

My dad has an '83 440, I have a modded '87 550, and a couple 550's that I am fixing up to sell. They are so much fun, especially once you get some mods on it.

Dylan
03-23-2017, 01:16 PM
Add Yamaha Waveblaster (1 not 2) to your list, and square nose superjet!

Roman
03-23-2017, 01:26 PM
I heard the x2's are alot of fun, otherwise im sticking to a stand up ski.

Superjet is nice but they command a premium.

650's i can find in my price range, especially in arizona.

Anything to avoid?

rbuss4
03-23-2017, 01:36 PM
650sx are nice hulls, easy to work on, pretty bullet proof motors. You can really wake them up with 44mm carb upgrade. I did it to mine a couple years ago, and it runs like a champ. You will also want to make sure someone added a primer(got rid of the choke) and added a kill switch. I had to do it a couple years ago when the "slow down and circle back" did not work when my son fell off. The ski turned and came right into shore about 15 mph

jafo9
03-23-2017, 01:40 PM
i've never ridden a 550 so i can't comment there, but i have an 89 kawi 650sx. i bought it bone stock about 5 years ago. basically i wanted something kids could learn on so i wouldn't have to let them ride my modded superjet or SXR800. what i found is that they really aren't suited to full size adults. i'm 6'2" and 225lbs. it would putt me around but at any real speed it starts to porpoise badly. also, since it really doesn't have much power, learning to get up was tough as it doesn't have the grunt to pull you up quickly. i could do it as i've ridden for years. grown men newbies really struggled to get up when learning. the stock pump also comes unhooked with seemingly tiny waves. i've since added a SBN 44 carb and a westcoast pipe which really helped with the power. i also added an aftermarket intake grate and ride plate. they didn't help much with keeping the pump hooked up and the porpoising. my hull is currently gutted as my thru hull drive shaft bearing was leaking a good bit. i don't think i've gotten a full season out of this thing in several years as being so old, something is always needing to be fixed. it really isn't hard, just difficult to find the time. at the end of the day, no matter how much effort i put into the ski, its still a 650sx hull with all its inherent limitations. if you can stretch the budget a bit, i'd look for a square nose superjet hull with a 701 motor. the round nose models are newer, but its the same bottom deck from the beginning up to around 08 when the changed the bottom deck. parts for a square nose are plentiful and they are easy to mod and a blast to ride.

TSchimizzi
03-23-2017, 02:18 PM
Any of the older skis under $1500 are going to be slow, leak a ton of water and have zero potential for any freestyle riding. I've had a few older Kawis and the 650SX is the only one I would recommend looking at. I had a nice '93 X2 as well and it got boring quick, it was pretty much a couch. A square nose SuperJet may be tough to find for $1500 but they are out there if you search and are willing to drive.

Whichever older ski you buy, make sure you stay close to shore or another boat. I guarantee it will leave you stranded in the middle of the lake and you'll be swimming back to shore. After being stranded 4-5 times, I ponied up and bought a new Superjet.

jafo9
03-23-2017, 02:43 PM
Whichever older ski you buy, make sure you stay close to shore or another boat. I guarantee it will leave you stranded in the middle of the lake and you'll be swimming back to shore.

ha ha. no doubt, ride in a group or close to your dock/launch/base. even a "reliable" ski has a fair chance of leaving you stranded.

Mastercraftdave
03-23-2017, 02:51 PM
You just can't beat the Yamaha Stand ups. The engines haven't really changed much over the years. They are super fun and a hell of a work out.

Sodar
03-23-2017, 02:59 PM
Can you still buy new SuperJets back east?

Cali outlawed 2 strokes a long time ago. They are becoming very scarce in Arizona.

Kawasaki put out a production stand-up 4 stroke, but it looks like a Sea-Doo hull with a stand-up attached to it.

It's incredible what stand-ups are selling for out here. My old 1990 550 would sell for about $2000 now. I sold in 2002 for $900. I sold my 1997 SuperJet in 2004 for $2,500. I bet I could get about $4,000 out of it now.

damaged442
03-23-2017, 03:06 PM
I enjoyed riding the X2s. Always rode them as a stand up, as opposed to sitting on that seat, if you could really call it that.

Mastercraftdave
03-23-2017, 03:16 PM
Can you still buy new SuperJets back east?

Cali outlawed 2 strokes a long time ago. They are becoming very scarce in Arizona.

Kawasaki put out a production stand-up 4 stroke, but it looks like a Sea-Doo hull with a stand-up attached to it.

It's incredible what stand-ups are selling for out here. My old 1990 550 would sell for about $2000 now. I sold in 2002 for $900. I sold my 1997 SuperJet in 2004 for $2,500. I bet I could get about $4,000 out of it now.

new superjets are running about 7-8K. I was thinking about buying one I just have too many hobbies as it is and the wife wasn't all that excited about it lol. Ill just keep my RXPX and run around on that.

SWELL Wakesurf
03-23-2017, 03:57 PM
I have a 650sx i picked up about 4 years ago for $900. I love it, I'm a bigger guy, 210lbs, Thing is bulletproof. Hood came off last year and i flooded it, emptied the water and ran like new, its all stock, doesnt run the greatest until the water warms up. But its a blast, and an awesome workout!

allzway
03-23-2017, 05:19 PM
Get a JS550 or 650.. the X2 will not be as much fun.

CruisinGA
03-23-2017, 05:51 PM
I have had 5 different stand ups and have several friends with other models. I would stick to reed valve engines. The old piston port engines (Kawasaki before '92) are not as reliable or powerful. I enjoy my 550sx (reed valve js550) as much as my Superjet. I did not care for my 650sx, kind of a pig hull but good engine.

jlane330
03-24-2017, 10:21 AM
I have both an SXR and a SuperJet. They are quite different hulls, each fun in their own ways. Both have been very reliable, but the Yamaha 701 engine is very robust and simple to work on. The SJ is also a lot lighter, which makes it fun for jumping and playing on. The SXR hull is a blast for running bouy's and carving. I tend to ride the SXR better.
My advice, get something with power. The small ski's that often go cheap might cruise around (the smallest won't get my 200# frame on plane), but there's a good chance you'll get bored with it quickly. Newer ski's in good shape are holding their value well now that the 2 stroke SXR is done.
I have my SuperJet for sale right now as I find I prefer the riding style of the SXR (and having so many ski's at once is silly as they don't get used enough). It's above your budget, but in excellent shape with LOTS of mods to it. Solid ski. I'm about 6.5 hrs from Phoenix on your way back to Michigan.

Roman
03-24-2017, 11:00 AM
SO I found this superjet, but it has the 650 engine. Everyone is all about the 701. 15 extra hp.

https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/6041476437.html

What do you think of that?

jlane330
--> Whats you asking price? send me a pm with some info of your ski. I will be driving all over arizona. We are flying in and shipping our trucks out so I wont be driving back. However depending where you are located I might be close by on a day or two. We will be in flagstaff, kingman, las vegas, and sedona i think.

rydog
03-24-2017, 01:05 PM
If you want to do some work then get a JS550 and drop a 750 engine in it.

Thats what I did along with a list of mods, the ski is insane.

Tsumi
03-24-2017, 02:51 PM
I have two Kawasaki 750 standups that I am thinking about selling, a 93 and a 95 I believe. Are they really going for more than 1500 each nowadays? When we bought them 1500 was very good condition, more and it would have to be practically immaculate.

ewilcox11
03-24-2017, 03:26 PM
Man, you guys have me wanting to buy a stand up again now.

jlane330
03-25-2017, 03:48 PM
SO I found this superjet, but it has the 650 engine. Everyone is all about the 701. 15 extra hp.

https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/6041476437.html

What do you think of that?

jlane330
--> Whats you asking price? send me a pm with some info of your ski. I will be driving all over arizona. We are flying in and shipping our trucks out so I wont be driving back. However depending where you are located I might be close by on a day or two. We will be in flagstaff, kingman, las vegas, and sedona i think.

I sent you an email and replied to your PM. Let me know if you don't receive what I sent. I have a friend with a SNSJ and 650 engine. It's not a bad engine, very reliable. His has a Coffman pipe on it IIRC, and runs well. Thing is, his is WAY slower than my 701 with a wet pipe, and he is a lot smaller than I am. I think the power difference is significant. I would take a SNSJ with the 650 before I bought an old JS with a tiny little engine.

If you want to do some work then get a JS550 and drop a 750 engine in it.

Thats what I did along with a list of mods, the ski is insane.

Better yet, put a triple in an SXR :D That's on my list in the future. Would also like a Trinity carbon hull.

Man, you guys have me wanting to buy a stand up again now.

Just do it! They are a ton of fun, especially when the water gets rough!

jafo9
03-25-2017, 06:09 PM
what is your experience with buying a used ski? also, how comfortable are you tearing into motors. any older ski, even with good compression, is likely not too far from a top end job. also, after purchase, i'd rebuild the carb(s) with quality parts regardless of when they PO says they were redone. at the very least, i'd carry a compression gauge, and ideally you would be able to take a test ride. even if you can't stand up and turn yet, you can still get a feel for the motor riding on your knees. almost any ski will run like a champ on the hose, but it tells you nothing other than that it runs. light corrosion is common, but anything more means that you'll have a really hard time taking it apart.

rydog
03-25-2017, 06:14 PM
Better yet, put a triple in an SXR :D That's on my list in the future. Would also like a Trinity carbon hull.

My next project will probably be putting a 750 pump into the conversion ski I have. They now make a bolt on kit to bolt on a 750 pump to a JS hull. I cannot imagine the difference.

ewilcox11
03-25-2017, 09:10 PM
what is your experience with buying a used ski? also, how comfortable are you tearing into motors. any older ski, even with good compression, is likely not too far from a top end job. also, after purchase, i'd rebuild the carb(s) with quality parts regardless of when they PO says they were redone. at the very least, i'd carry a compression gauge, and ideally you would be able to take a test ride. even if you can't stand up and turn yet, you can still get a feel for the motor riding on your knees. almost any ski will run like a champ on the hose, but it tells you nothing other than that it runs. light corrosion is common, but anything more means that you'll have a really hard time taking it apart.

Anybody should be able to work on these. I had no experience working on engines and rebuilt 2 Ultra 150's several years ago. I just followed the service manual. I couldn't believe how easy it was.

stevenbratt
03-26-2017, 12:48 PM
Add Yamaha Waveblaster (1 not 2) to your list, and square nose superjet!

Bought a waveblaster last summer. So much fun. My favorite is watching people try and ride it for the first time after riding a regular seadoo. Priceless laughs all summer

Mike185
03-28-2017, 01:23 PM
Bought a waveblaster last summer. So much fun. My favorite is watching people try and ride it for the first time after riding a regular seadoo. Priceless laughs all summer

I second the waveblaster idea. I had one, have been looking for another. Lots of fun, great jumping skis.

My policy for friends was always if you can get on it in deep water and sit on it you could ride it...not many people could do that.