Snowmobile vs Jet Ski – Differences and Similarities

snowmobile vs jet ski

How to choose between a snowmobile and a jet ski

Are you tired of your boring and passive life and you want something more from it? If the answer to that question is yes, then you may want to consider an extreme sport. Depending on where you live and how the weather is there, you should think about a new vehicle, because they provide an amazing time.

But which one of them should it be? In this article, I want to talk about snowmobiles and jet skis. I will compare those two, then you can draw the line and see which one of those fits you best.

What are they?

Although this might be considered a silly question, some people don’t even know what these vehicles are. It is pretty obvious that they can’t be used on the same terrain.

Snowmobiles are vehicles that are used usually on snow. However, you can ride them on thick ice as well. This means you shouldn’t worry too much if the terrain has a little bit of ice.

It can handle those portion as well. It isn’t too heavy, but it will break thin ice. That’s why I won’t recommend it on a frozen lake, it can get too dangerous.

In some regions of the world, snowmobiles are as useful as cars. This is because not even 4×4 cars can’t handle too much snow. However, snowmobiles have 2 skis in the front and a track in the back. This makes snowmobiles very practical vehicles that can be ridden on both open terrain and trails.

The term “jet ski” is nowadays used for any personal watercraft. Compared to the snowmobiles, these vehicles can be used on water, in any time of the year. As long as the water is not frozen, of course.

However, they shouldn’t be used when the weather outside isn’t too friendly. One fall into the cold water is very dangerous for your body. They can be very fun to ride, as long as you don’t do anything that’s going to end up bad.

Do you need a license to ride them?

This is a question that you should be thinking about if you want to try any of those vehicles. You definitely don’t want to get in any trouble just because you wanted to find a new hobby. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a yes or no answer straight away. Why is that? Because it will vary from state to state.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t trust anyone on the internet. As you know, the laws can change at any moment. A simple wrong answer can get you punished by the police.

Depending on the area that you live in, you might even go to prison. So that’s something you shouldn’t do. The best and easiest thing to do is to just ask someone that owns one of those vehicles. If you see someone on either a snowmobile or a jet ski, ask them nicely to talk to you for a moment. They will tell you exactly what the laws are and what license you need.

If you are lucky, the state where you live in may require you just to have a certain age. Riding the snowmobile or the jet ski is not easy. My recommendation is to ask a professional to come with you or attend some courses.

Usually, in order to ride a snowmobile, you are going to need to take a test. As for jet skis, you will most likely need a boat license.

Fun and adrenaline

I think this is the most important topic that people are interested in. Which one is more fun and enjoyable to ride? This is a question that only a single person can answer: you. The opinions here are subjective, as we all have different viewpoints. If you the chance to drive both of them, go for it.

This is the only way to find out which one fits you better. Take your time and don’t rush it, as you are going to spend some money on one of those. We are going to talk about prices in a little bit. Don’t immediately buy a snowmobile if you like it. Make sure you ride the jet ski as well.

You might be wondering: how am I going to ride them if I don’t have a license? Well, first off, you can ask a friend to take you with him if the vehicle has 2 seats. If you think that is not enough, try going somewhere quiet, where there aren’t people around. You don’t want anything bad to happen. Then, try riding it. They will both provide a lot of fun, but again, the decision is yours.


This is a topic that makes a lot of people not follow their dream hobbies. I will tell you right away that these vehicles aren’t too cheap. They are, however, long-time investments that will give you a tremendous amount of fun and adrenaline. As long as you take care of them and store them the right way, they will live for a long time. There is a way to buy a snowmobile or a jet ski without breaking the bank. That is: buying a second-hand vehicle. Everybody does that, especially beginners.

Let’s cover the snowmobile first. The average price for one of those is 10.000 dollars. The price varies because of the brand and the performance of the vehicle. A very powerful one is about 25.000 dollars. Even if you have a lot of money, you don’t have to buy the top model. Because you are just starting to get familiar with this sport. You don’t want to lose that much money in case of an accident.

Jet skis prices aren’t too different. Compared to snowmobiles, you can get a new one for 5.000 dollars. It isn’t going to be any good, as it is one of the cheapest out there. A high-end jet ski will cost you approximately 20.000 dollars. Again, the price depends on its performance, the build quality and the extra options it has.

You don’t have to pay that much though. You can get a decent car with this money. Instead, be smart and try finding a good second-hand snowmobile or jet ski. Exactly like the car market, there are a lot of fake deals. If it seems way too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you bring with you a mechanic or a passionate friend. This way, they will check it before you buy it just to make sure you will not get scammed.


I think you can figure out by yourself that these sports are quite dangerous. That shouldn’t stop you from choosing one of those. In order to avoid any horrible situations, you need to buy some gear. I don’t think you can avoid accidents all the time. They are inevitable, but wearing the right gear will make the injuries much less grave. Snowmobiles and jet skis are used in 2 different terrains: snow and water. That’s why the gear is the same for both of them.

For snowmobiles, you will need a helmet, goggles, a jacket, long pants, gloves, and boots. Depending on the temperatures outside, try picking the right gear. You don’t want to be cold or sweaty. In order to enjoy every single minute of this fun sport, you need to be very comfortable.

As for jet skis, you will need a wetsuit, a helmet, goggles, and a life jacket. The same principles are available for these vehicles as well. If it is too hot outside, a long sleeve wetsuit is not going to be good.

The brand is also important for this topic. You can’t buy something very cheap, because it will have bad quality. Again, we are talking about your life here. You don’t want to spend money on hospitalization just because you found a cheaper deal.

Before buying the vehicles, make sure you establish a budget of about 500 dollars for gear as well.

Can a kid drive one of those?

Just like the licensing topic, it depends on the state that you live in. If your kid really wants to experience one of those vehicles, you can buy one with 2 seats. It will be pretty much the same thing. Don’t allow your children to drive if they are too little. You might regret it, they have a too creative mind for these vehicles.


In conclusion, no matter which one of them you choose, you will definitely have a great time. Make sure you take all the safety measures before you hop on one of them. Although they may seem easy to ride, you need to get used to them at first. Go to some courses as well before you buy one of those vehicles. The law is usually strict, so in order to respect it, you need those. Now tell me, which one did you choose and why? We’re you happy with your choice?

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