2022 Yamaha JetBlaster

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Jon Blaicher

To fully understand the 2022 Yamaha JetBlaster, we must go all the way back to 1987. The original WaveRunner 500 (Marine Jet 500T) was introduced in 1986 with the intention of providing “safe, accessible fun on the water for all.” Can you believe Yamaha has been building WaveRunners for 35 years?! It is worth noting that the Sea-Doo was the first mass-production PWC in 1968. While extremely innovative, the original Sea-Doo concept wasn’t fully ironed out and was discontinued by 1970. The WaveRunner on the other hand was the first PWC to provide the kind of comfort, agility, and reliability to attract a more mainstream audience.

Yamaha jetblaster wavejammer

Yamaha knew they were onto something and followed up a year later in 1987 with the WaveJammer 500. With a more compact hull and tall/wide handlebars, the WaveJammer was the world’s first sit-down solo riding PWC designed for more playful “freestyle” riding. Sound familiar?

Yamaha jetblaster superjet

Fast forward to model year 2022, one year after the reintroduction of the infamous SuperJet, and Yamaha has another playful sit-down “freestyle” WaveRunner - the JetBlaster.

Yamaha jetblaster waverunner

Unlike the SuperJets or WaveBlasters from the 90’s, the JetBlaster has a more traditional V-hull, which provides more stability than the concave hulls found on the pure freestyle models. It also has a few new and unique features not found on any other Yamaha watercraft… yet.

First, new lightweight raised handlebars are wider than the standard WaveRunner bars, allowing the rider to apply more leverage when executing sharp turns. New performance grips are designed to reduce slippage, especially when wet. The push-button electric trim has a custom tune with more throw for playful nose-up action. And big footwell chocks help move rider mass aft, again helping to get the nose in the air.

Yamaha jetblaster handlebars running

None of this would mean much if the new JetBlaster was a big heavy tank. But at 549 pounds dry, it is 35 pounds lighter than the EX Sport and a whopping 143 pounds lighter than a VX Deluxe. Why the VX comparison? For 2022 that’s the only other place you will find the lightweight 110 HP TR-1 High Output engine.

To keep the weight down without compromising strength, the hull and deck are both made from NanoXcel 2 - the same strong, lightweight material found on the potent GP1800Rs. From there Yamaha had to compromise a little to keep the weight down, and I’m sure there was plenty of debate on the Planning Team about where to draw the line. Thankfully, the JetBlaster is not a stripped down super-lightweight no-frills PWC. The seat is one-piece, but long and comfortable. The switches are small, yet functional. The LCD screen that shows speed, RPM, and fuel level, along with a handy trim indicator.

Yamaha jetblaster screen

Storage isn’t huge at 29 litres (7.7 gallons), but they have luxury Cruiser models if you need more. I do like how big the easy-access glove box is. There is plenty of room for a wallet, phone, and an action camera or two. Dual mirrors are nice to have, but I can’t say they replace a turn of the head. The boarding platform is large and covered in EVA foam for comfort. It even has a small yet handy reboarding step that automatically tucks out of the way. Good thing, too, because this boat is all about getting wet.

Yamaha jetblaster reboard step

Thankfully the JetBlaster has Yamaha’s awesome finger-operated throttle and RIDE system for easy and precise control on the water and around the dock. I still wish a finger throttle was available on a snowmobile!

Yamaha jetblaster running

On the water the JetBlaster feels light and agile. If you’re wondering if it’s anything like the old WaveBlaster, it is not - which for me is a good thing. The old WaveBlaster was tippy and a bit slow. The JetBlaster is not tippy and definitely not slow. How fast you ask? How about 55 miles per hour! Not bad for a “freestyle” boat with the little triple under the seat. The more traditional V-hull is quite stable with the trim down and, unlike the Blasters of the past, is rated for three people so you can legally tow with it. That being said, solo riding is where the fun is. Stand up with the trim up and it responds to weight transfers between your feet, even at 35 miles per hour. Throttle response is instantaneous, as though it were permanently set to full-on race mode. It might not be supercharged but it sure is raring to go. Drop a couple of buoys in the water and you can have a ton of fun charging around them.

Yamaha jetblaster main

The wide bars are super comfortable. Turning them hard is easy to do, and leaning to the inside will induce a spin, especially when trimmed up. If you keep the trim down and your weight centred or even slightly to the outside the JetBlaster will turn hard! Hard enough that you will want a firm grip on the bars. The narrow seat is surprisingly comfortable, and while I didn’t get the chance to travel too far, I imagine you could tour comfortably, albeit without a ton of luggage.

Yamaha jetblaster circle

Honestly, I had the most fun at about 3 mph, fully trimmed up, and hanging off one side with one foot on a chock. The precision finger throttle allows you to slow the boat right down, point the nose straight up, and keep it there as long as you like. You can balance a wheelie forever between throttle and steering or turn hard and completely bury the nose in an instant. It may sound a bit foolish, but it sure is fun!

Yamaha jetblaster water fun
Length: 10'3" 3.14 m
Dry weight: 549 lbs 249 kg
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 US gal 50 L
Base Engine / Drive: Jet
Fuel Type: Gas
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