08-25-2014, 12:00 PM #1
Kevin Shaw: The Man Who Killed The JetSki
The condensation beading off the sides of my bottled water fell freely like raindrops, pooling into a wet spot in the table cloth. The shade of the large lakeside pavilion did little to shield from the oppressive humidity. Yamaha’s 2015 Media Introduction was an attractive affair, gathering members of the press from the boating and personal watercraft industries to the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation perched on the edge of Lake Oconee. Nearly every possible factor was planned for, that is except for the sudden onset of mid-afternoon mugginess.
The sweltering atmosphere didn’t break Jerry Gaddis’ focus from the screen of his iPhone. Greenhulk.net’s founder was rarely without it. Nowadays, I am no different, much to the chagrin of my wife. By this time, the cat was out of the bag. Yamaha’s presentation of its 2015 lineup of WaveRunners was less of an unveiling, but a debriefing; a glimpse into the company’s brutal take-no-prisoners plan of attack for the new year. If 2014′s boost in overall sales (15-percent increase) meant anything it was people are excited again, and hungrily buying up new product.
Although presented as being succinctly different, the new RiDE system couldn’t help but ring echoes of Sea-Doo’s iBR in my ears. And that’s OK. I learned a while back that truly successful people don’t envy and despise others for their success; they congratulate them and try to emulate what worked and put their own spin on it. In its five years of existence, Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Brake & Reverse has been hailed an unmitigated success by the media, the boating industry and customers. Blamelessly, Yamaha wanted a slice of that pie.
The announcement of the JL Audio system the following week clearly was targeted towards those whose interest was piqued by the Jetsound system on the Kawasaki 310LX. And if Yamaha didn’t invent it, they were damned sure to improve upon it.
Then I realized that the actions of one, almost directly effect the other.
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08-25-2014, 02:38 PM #2
08-25-2014, 04:22 PM #3
Kevin, you know that song "MTV Killed the radio", well poor another glass & drink up ....Dam we all wanted to see hot chicks & race buzz saw stand ups ! LOL
08-25-2014, 05:32 PM #4
I wonder if Yamaha would have made that 4 stroke stand up if Seadoo would have made something (other than the 3D) to compete. We'll never know.
08-25-2014, 08:13 PM #5
08-26-2014, 07:01 AM #6
Reading the article made me a little uncomfortable. Not because Watkins said something I (we) didn't always know was true. But because of the sudden realization where I agree with S.W, I don't want to see a 4-stroke standup. The EPA and new standards will essentially castrate the essence of what a true "stand-up" really is. Not for the masses. Not mainstream.
All one can hope for is Yamaha will keep the SJ alive in its current format. The hull change in 2008 was monumental and I know S.W played a big role in that. While I've looked up to Watkins over all my riding (pwc) life, what he did in 2008 made him into teflon status!
Now if only we can bring the original "bratt pack" back down and go for one last ride in Hollywood FL on "Ski Beach"....
ps. Kevin, I enjoy your writing style.
08-26-2014, 07:13 AM #7
Thanks, Sanfish. That means a lot. I shared my little interaction with Scott in this article because of the one line, "It wouldn't be a standup anymore." It wasn't mere opinion. It was religious testimony. You could feel it in Scott's tone. You could see it in his eyes. I might as well have called a horse a zebra. There was no confusing the two in his eyes.
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