Snowmobile Vs Jet Ski

Snowmobile Vs Jet Ski | What’s The Difference

Do you like riding interesting vehicles? Depending on the surrounding environment, you can think about getting an exciting vehicle. Whether, it is snow vs water or snowmobile vs jet ski, you will find all the information here. 

What Are They

Snowmobile is a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and operated on snow-ice only. It does not require a road or trail and most are driven on open trails. Snowmobile is also known as a motor sledge, motor sled, skimobile, snowscooter, ski-doo etc.

Jet Ski is basically a water-bike, a kind of watercraft which look like a bike and ridden on the surface of water. But nowadays, the term, “Jet Ski” is often used generally to refer to any kind of personal watercraft. 

Accommodation System

Snowmobiles used to accommodate 2 persons before. But now within last 25 years it has been designed for only 1 person. Snowmobiles which accommodate 2 persons is called, “2-ups.” It is basically for those touring areas which people rent to ride. But generally it is for 1 person only.

On the other hand, a standard jet ski seating capacity is for 3 persons. But there is 1, 2 and even 4 seated jet skis. But naturally it is for 3 persons. 

Suitable Atmosphere and Weather

It is obviously common-sense that snowmobile is for winter season and ridden in snowonly.

And on the other hand, jet ski can only be ridden on water surface.

However, the environment and atmosphere matters a lot when it comes to riding these vehicles.

For example, one should not ride these in a stormy-cloudy weather. Whether, it’s a snowmobile or a jet ski.

During a heavy snowfall, it’s better not to ride a snowmobile and to wait for a clear weather unless it’s emergency. People ride these for fun purposes. So, it’s kind of obvious there won’t be any emergencies.

Moreover, one shouldn’t ride this on a frozen lake or frozen water surface. Additionally, it can’t be run on roads without snow. They can run, but only for a short distance. 

Jet ski can be ridden on water anytime of the year, except the frozen water obviously. But one should not use it when weather outside is not good and specially stormy. 


Knowing about the price is very important as buying these, depends quite a lot on the price. Honestly, these vehicles are not very cheap. One have to spend a large amount of money to buy one of these vehicles.

However, it will be a long-term investment which will come along with a lot of fun experiences at your life. Actually, the price varies on models, brands and performances of the vehicles. The better the performance, higher the price.

The average price of a good branded snowmobile can be 10,000 dollars. Around 8,000 dollars can be the lowest and 25,000 dollars can be the highest.

Snowmobile is a tad more expensive than jet ski. A good branded jet ski will cost around 8,000 dollars. The cheapest one is around 5,000 dollars and a high-end will cost 20,000 dollars.

However, you can always buy used or second hand snowmobile or jet ski, as buying one of these is a big deal with a lot of money involved.Since,  it is better for a beginner to start with a cheaper one. Also, note that before buying you should double check not to face any fraud. 

Do you need a license to ride or own one of these vehicles?

This is the most important question when it comes to buying one of these vehicles. Because you cannot afford to get into any trouble after spending so much money on it. Well, I cannot give a definite answer as it varies from country to country, state to state. Hence, you should research if your area requires a license to ride these vehicles. If not you can ride them easily, but if they do require a license then it may cause you trouble because of the law.

To ride a snowmobile you need to run through a test but for jet skis you will probably need a boat license. 

Safety and Caution and Gear

Another important fact one need before owning or riding these vehicles is safety. Safety always comes first. Riding these are quite dangerous. One must learn riding these from someone professional. Additionally, before buying these a test drive is very necessary in front of a professional.

Basically, buy one so that you can ride it safely and without causing any trouble. Therefore, before buying these vehicles just know how to drive these and how the machine works. Never forget when you are riding with someone else lookout for their safety too. 

About Gear

As I said before, safety always comes first, and riding these vehicles are quite dangerous. To ride these without facing any unfortunate event, you need proper gears. Accidents are unavoidable but with proper gears that can be less severe.

Try picking the right gear for the right vehicle and weather. Also, try keeping a first aid kit around if you can within these vehicles.

For a snowmobile, you need gears like snow suits, boots, snowmobile facemasks-balaclavas, gloves, goggles, snowmobile pants, protective gear-heated gear, etc. But personally I think that you don’thave to own all of these gears.

Probably gloves, boots, goggles, helmet or facemasks-balaclava and a snow suit is enough. Snow pants and jackets can replace snow suit. If the weather is too cold then probably you will need the heated gear.

For a jet ski, you need a wetsuit and a life jacket. These are must have. You will also need protective guards, gloves, a dry box, water shoes, sunglasses or goggles, sunscreen, etc. Let me explain what is a dry box. A dry box is where you want to put your important belongings like cellphone, moneybag, credit cards, etc.

Obviously, you don’t want them to get wet and this waterproof box  will keep your belongings dry. 

What about a kid driving these vehicles

Well, this actually depends on the state or the country you live in just like the license matter. Nevertheless, I am giving an idea here.

Children younger than 6 should never ride a snowmobile let alone drive it. A child under the age of 12 should never drive a snowmobile, and a guardian should be cautious about this fact. Operating a snowmobile is a big deal and a child under 12 should never even try it.

In the case of jet ski, a kid can ride jet ski as a passenger but obviously with a professional. A person should be at least 13 years old to operate a jet ski. 

Final Words

I won’t be giving any conclusion about which one’s better or which you should buy. It actually varies from person to person. Who prefers what. Someone who is  fond of snow, they will surely go for snowmobile.

For some people, ocean is life, and they will choose jet ski. No matter what you will choose make sure you will have fun with that and follow all the safety and caution rules.

Lastly, do not forget to research about the law of your state or country before owning one of these. Have fun while riding these vehicles, but remember safety is paramount.


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