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  1. #1

    Ocean handling and Power: Ultra LX vs. Yamaha FX HO

    Hi, hoping for some feedback on handling from current users. Heads up, I ride 80% Southern CA ocean. Not new to ocean riding, I'm actually one of those idiots who enjoys backflipping there stand-up skies off ocean waves and doing barrel rolls off the surf. Reading and riding the ocean conditions isn't new for me. Good ol' 2-strokes!

    Anyway, I'm currently looking for a new runabout for tow surfing to replace a 2004(?) Yamaha FX. Key factors: Reliability, OCEAN handling, fuel efficiency, and "snappy" acceleration.

    I've done hours of reading/searching across Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Sea-Doos products here that led to some narrowed down questions. From past experiences (not bad, more so familiar with) I do not want a S/C motor. I prefer less things to go wrong (Not that they will). Fuel efficiency is key, for some spots are far from the shore plus towing/retrieving surfers. WOT speed also not important to me otherwise the 300x sounds very appealing. Average speed we travel is no more than 40mph to destination. We try to limit operator and surfer fatigue pre-surf, respectively.

    Questions:

    - Is the 2012+ Kawasaki Ultra LX (non 300,250,260) the same great handling hull as 300x? Will the 300x hull components (intake grate, ride plate, steering column) bolt up?

    - What are your impressions of the LX power with ~1500cc. Obviously not a s/c 300hp. But enough to pull an extractor sled (80lbs, LOTS of flat drag) with surfer in a hurry (short distance)? Similar I guess, does it have enough power to say pull a wakeboarder up standing?

    - I know the FX HO has 1812cc, though again top speed is not of concern, but appeals to me for its potential to pull somebody out quicker. Would you say the FX HO hull is near par ocean handling capabilities to the Ultra LX? Or, what mods. required would make them par handling hulls?

    Thanks for your feedback! I know the best way would be to try them, but I can't really gauge the pulling power of the motors/hulls capabilities.

    Is there something else I should consider, I'm open to suggestions?


  2. #2
    Pain is fear leaving your body.... rlovebk's Avatar
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    The Ultra LX is a great ski for what you are needing to do here. The best recommendation I could give would be that K-38 Rescue uses Ultra LX ski's exclusively and these folks abuse and expose these ski's to some pretty severe conditions at times.
    The top speed is not fast at about 57 mph. Good fuel economy and capacity/range. Excellent storage capacity. The 300 components bolt up. Will pull up wakeboarder no issue.

    I believe it is the BEST all around ski/value and will be my next ski purchase in a year or 2. I have ridden them to Catalina and back a few times, even all the way to Avalon from Dana Point and cruising (35-40) had 1/4 tank of fuel left.

    Be aware the low fuel buzzer on this ski will go off when you have about 1/3 - 1/4 tank left. This is good because then you know you have about 35 miles range or 25 if going WOT. Much preferable to getting the warning with very little range left.

    A Yamaha guy will tell you get a Yamaha. They are both good ski's but the Ultra is definately a better ocean hull and is more durable. No reliability issues either with this ski.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and as stated K-38 rescue uses the Ultra LX for surf rescue. They can not take a chance by using anything but the best for those conditions.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty_ View Post
    Hi, hoping for some feedback on handling from current users. Heads up, I ride 80% Southern CA ocean. Not new to ocean riding, I'm actually one of those idiots who enjoys backflipping there stand-up skies off ocean waves and doing barrel rolls off the surf. Reading and riding the ocean conditions isn't new for me. Good ol' 2-strokes!

    Anyway, I'm currently looking for a new runabout for tow surfing to replace a 2004(?) Yamaha FX. Key factors: Reliability, OCEAN handling, fuel efficiency, and "snappy" acceleration.

    I've done hours of reading/searching across Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Sea-Doos products here that led to some narrowed down questions. From past experiences (not bad, more so familiar with) I do not want a S/C motor. I prefer less things to go wrong (Not that they will). Fuel efficiency is key, for some spots are far from the shore plus towing/retrieving surfers. WOT speed also not important to me otherwise the 300x sounds very appealing. Average speed we travel is no more than 40mph to destination. We try to limit operator and surfer fatigue pre-surf, respectively.

    Questions:

    - Is the 2012+ Kawasaki Ultra LX (non 300,250,260) the same great handling hull as 300x? Will the 300x hull components (intake grate, ride plate, steering column) bolt up?

    - What are your impressions of the LX power with ~1500cc. Obviously not a s/c 300hp. But enough to pull an extractor sled (80lbs, LOTS of flat drag) with surfer in a hurry (short distance)? Similar I guess, does it have enough power to say pull a wakeboarder up standing?

    - I know the FX HO has 1812cc, though again top speed is not of concern, but appeals to me for its potential to pull somebody out quicker. Would you say the FX HO hull is near par ocean handling capabilities to the Ultra LX? Or, what mods. required would make them par handling hulls?

    Thanks for your feedback! I know the best way would be to try them, but I can't really gauge the pulling power of the motors/hulls capabilities.

    Is there something else I should consider, I'm open to suggestions?
    I would think that one more "Key Factor" would be Buoyancy. With tow in surfing there are times you have to make some very sharp turns at very low speeds . . . and maybe with two Riders on the Ski (you and the Surfer). I have quite a bit of ocean experience with the Ultras, SC and Non SC, and the Yamaha FX Hulls (both new style FX Hull and the older style Hull).

    As far as the engines go, both are more than adequate for what you want to do. The YAM has a little more power but that is not a concern here.

    As far as the Hulls go, the faster I am going the more I like the Ultra hull. But speed is not a concern here. The new Yamaha FX series hulls are bigger than the Ultra Hulls and therefore offer more Buoyancy at low to idling speeds. Since lower speed handling characteristics are a concern here I would give the nod to the Yamaha. Another nice feature which can be utilized for something like you are doing is that the Reverse Lever can actually be locked into a Neutral setting. The Yamaha also has a "trunk" in the stern area which can be used for accessing items very quickly if need be . . . this is a nice feature also.

    Net Net, both Skis are up to the task here. But the Yamaha would be the better choice of the two I do believe. My only strong suggestion would be to stay away from a Supercharged engine . . . you don't need it. Good luck. JB

  5. #5
    Formerly Ultra250 TN Aquaholic6801's Avatar
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    Only problem with the LX is the low speed, right turn stability, it can be over come with experience but to a new rider will show it self.....

  6. #6
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
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    Rusty, as you see the Yamaha guys will come into the Kawasaki section and say the Yamaha.

    If you would like send a message to K-38 rescue and ask Shawn A. her professional opinioin and why they use them. Talk to the professionals not the internet forum people that will come up with every reason they can to get you on what is their opinion is how you should spend their money. They are both good skis but factor in price and their proven rough water stability and why the professionals around the world use it for the very reason you are wanting it for and you will see that the Ultra LX is the one that will better suit your needs.

    JB as a USCG licensed captain such as I am I will gladly debate you on stability. The lighter larger hull of the FX has less stability due to a lower displacement. I can do another complete write up on stability and the different hull designs but there is no need on here. I deal with it every single day. With the new FX there is a higher center of gravity. If you would like to actually test the stability learn the draft, displacement, and center of gravity of the ski. That is the basic sxtarting formula of stability. I will gladly accept your arguement of greater stability of the FX over the Ultra if you can prove these factors to me.
    I will gladly accept someone debating a point BUT I would rather if there were factual information rather than just your opinion on the issue.

    I know this is the internet and every forum is littered with non factual information and BS but this is something that I have 20+ years of experience in with the license to prove it.

    Aqua, the non SC lx does not have that issue. It is very stable and balanced.


  7. #7
    devils ride 250's Avatar
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    I ride my ultra hull 250 in hurricanes coming up the east coast and have no stability issues. The lx is a great ski!!! Yamaha also makes a quality product. Can u by chance ride both and test em out.

  8. #8
    r33pwrd's Avatar
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    Why argue about this? We all know the yamaha blaster is by far the superior machine for stability and ocean riding!

  9. #9
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r33pwrd View Post
    Why argue about this? We all know the yamaha blaster is by far the superior machine for stability and ocean riding!
    one of the funnest runabouts without a doubt.

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  11. #10
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    If there is any debate wether its stable at low speed here. And this is a real picture not photo shopped. How do I know I was there this is a k38 training with the uscg Stan team. I'm the big sucker in the middle of the ski. On the back
    Click image for larger version. 

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