Watersports, like jet skiing, have been incredibly popular in recent times. It’s exhilarating and fun to go and conquer the water world. One thing that allows you to achieve excellence during riding is a sponson.
Sponsons are extensions or projections on watercraft like jet skis that provide it with stability and protection and enhance the safety of the rider. They also increase the level of control the rider has in the water.
What is a Sponson on a Jet Ski?
A sponson is a projection on a jet ski that improves its stability. It is a set of externally mounted wings or blades bolted to the underside hull of the craft. These blades are mainly made of high-end plastic or metal. Sponsons are also available in a variety of lengths and sizes. They measure anywhere between one feet and three feet long.
In some instances, sponsons are even longer than three feet. These amazing units can be bought in the aftermarket and can be fitted quite easily. You will only need things like silicon, some hardware, and the instruction booklet. However, the good news is that nowadays, most jets come with factory-fitted sponsons.
However, customizing your sponsons has several different benefits. You can adjust the units and place them to suit your riding style. Moreover, you can make changes to the sponsons according to the water and weather conditions in your area.
How Do Jet Ski Sponsons Work?
Like most water-related sports, jet skiing is also a tricky yet extremely fun activity. Sponsons transform this activity and make it much safer and enjoyable. Engineers have been experimenting with jet ski designs ever since the late ’80s. Most innovators wanted to introduce a product that would improve the handling of the ski whilst also increasing its lift at the forward or the rear end. Due to their consistency and hard work, a sponson was finally introduced.
Sponsons provide your jet ski with stability, protection, and safety. They are also used for mounting equipment such as lifeboats or armaments. Additionally, they extend a hull dimension either at or below the waterline. This not only increases floatation and improves grip but also adds a significant amount of lift to your ride.
Sponsons also play a vital role in the handling and cornering of your jet ski. They ensure that you achieve stability even at higher speeds. Moreover, they assist riders in competitive racing and other water-related sports.
When riders go at higher speeds, they are at risk of losing stability and are more likely to get into accidents. A sponson then becomes a vital safety feature that keeps the rider and the ride safe from any damage.
How Do Sponson Designs Influence Performance?
Sponsons have been available in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes for as long as twenty years. Kawasaki was one of the first companies that started experimenting with their designs. Since then, many companies have ventured into the business and have added their unique changes to the design.
Sponsons usually come in two basic shapes: parabolic and symmetrical. Both help improve stability and speed by providing significantly higher lift to the jet ski. Moreover, both help reduce the surface area in touch with the water and thus give riders better control of the overall movement of the jet ski. However, these two are known for different features.
The parabolic design is a hooked wing that can channel the water in a backward direction. This not only enhances your grip but also helps create relatively more lift for the jet ski. The parabolic design is hence able to create a unique skeg effect for the rider.
On the other hand, symmetrical sponsons improve a rider’s straight-line stability and handling of the jet ski. Moreover, they are easily adjusted to assist riders in controlling their speed and movement.
Rear sponsons are quite common and have been around since some of the first models came out. Over the years, technology has evolved, and rear sponsons are now available in a variety of sizes.
Earlier, rear sponsors consisted of blocky and big fins that were attached to the bottom or side of the deck, creating stability for the riders. Today, companies have added quite a lot of modifications to the design. The latest units are easy to use and are added to the rear of the bond rail of the watercraft.
Forward sponsons are new in the market, but they have managed to create an excellent reputation for themselves. When fitted, they stay above the water and only come into action when the vessel of the jet ski rolls. Since water offers a lot of drag, forward sponsons help reduce this drag and hence provide better speed to the rider.
Do Sponsons Make a Difference?
Moving in water is no easy job, especially due to the immense amount of resistance that riders have to face when they are riding. A sponson makes the rider’s job easier and lets them enjoy the experience to the fullest. Simply put, sponsons improve traction during turns and help ensure that you have a relatively smoother ride.
Moreover, they prevent the jet ski from sliding sideways. This allows the machine to take sharper and faster turns, ensuring that you remain safe during the entire ride.
Different Sponson Brands
When it comes to most watercraft accessories, brand repute plays a great role. A good brand like the ones mentioned below will pay special attention to sponson designs and will hence offer better construction and warranties. If you are looking for the best brands to invest in, take a look at the list below.
One of the most reliable water sports companies, Sea-Doo has been around for quite some time. It first introduced its watercraft in 1968, and since then, it has ventured into new horizons. It created sponsons and other similar accessories to help riders achieve greater stability and safety on the water.
In 1988, the brand re-introduced itself and managed to turn around the declining fortunes it faced in the early 1980s. Currently, Sea-Doo has annual sales of over 100,000 units and earns a revenue of around $200 million every year.
When it comes to sponsons, Sea-Doo is backed by excellent construction and an even better reputation. They are both durable and extremely easy to fit. Additionally, the company wanted to add something extra for the same price. This is why most of their sponsons are backed by an excellent warranty. All this ensures that riders enjoy their rides to the maximum.
Yamaha began its production in 1953 and, since then, it has been a household name all over the globe. After successfully launching hundreds of motor products, it soon began its production of watercraft. Introducing sponsons in a market with tough competition was a bold move for them. However, they managed to win over the audience with ease.
When it comes to their products, the pro-series sponsons are the most revered among the public. These offer significantly improved performance and hence allow riders to enjoy an immense amount of stability. Furthermore, the cutting-edge design of these sponsons provides riders with better control. This comes in handy when riders try to win competitive water-related sports.
Yamaha sponsons also come with a fully adjustable and three-position fin that controls the amount of influence riders have on the water. There are also easy bolt-on installation designs associated with these products. All this makes the pro-series one of the best ones in the market.
The FX insert edition sponsons are also top-notch and offer unmatched adjustability and innovation. Moreover, they feature eight different settings that help you tailor your watercraft according to your own needs and styles. Additionally, with this sponson, you can get a much better response during the cornering of your jet ski. So, if you are looking to better handle and control your ride, this sponson would do exceedingly well.
Kawasaki is yet another brand that deserves recognition and praise. It has been making top-notch sponsons and other watercraft for a long time.
The best thing about these sponsons is that they provide amazing speed and stability. Not just that, but they are also super easy to fit and convenient to use. Moreover, they provide excellent durability and come with a good warranty.
Moreover, the sponsons’ blade and backing plate are strong and offer complete resistance against corrosion. Furthermore, the backing plate is precision-machined and made from the best-quality aluminum. This provides the unit with exceptional strength and allows you to adjust it to suit your riding needs.
Some models by this brand also include a bulletproof mounting system and three anchor points. This allows riders to achieve better stability during the cornering of the jet ski. Moreover, these sponsons can let the jet ski ride higher; thus, giving it a competitive edge against others.
In addition to all that, sponsons by Kawasaki rarely require any drilling during their installation. So, if you are looking to enhance the level of control you have during riding, then we suggest you invest in this excellent brand.
Jet skiing is one of the most exhilarating experiences, and riders all over the world enjoy this activity to the fullest. However, riders who want to excel at the sport or take part in competitive racing need to go the extra mile.
Sponsons, when fitted, provide steerability to the jet ski. They also enhance the speed and help riders achieve greater stability. On top of all of that, they help riders take chances and experiment with different techniques. All in all, if you are looking to completely revolutionize the way you ride, then a sponson would do the trick.