An unwavering, steadfast belief that I was made for motorcycles backed all I'd done in my career, motorsport, everything. And Sea-Doo took that from me. 

The company made me question, if only for a moment, whether I was made to mount PWCs, as my day out on the RXP-X (performance) and RXT-X (touring) filled me with the delight that comes from your chest. The one that takes over your whole body at some point, as it did to me out on the water, and makes you stop and look up to the sky with pure joy. 

I’m not even ashamed to say I was teary-eyed, but that could've been because I’d just been doing 70 mph with no headgear for a couple of hours. But my experience on Sea-Doo’s highest performers makes it extremely difficult to tell anyone not to buy one, but I must. 

And when I tell you not to buy one, it’s because I’m telling you to buy the other.

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

Superbike Performance

I’ve done 0-60 mph in less than four seconds, I dare say many times—on a closed course, of course. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a motorcycle. So I was hyper-intrigued to see if it would feel different on water. 

Spoiler alert: It does. 

Launching to 60 mph for the first time on the RXP-X in 3.4 seconds rewires how you process speed on water. One second you’re sitting, watching the sun bounce and shimmer off the ripples of a calm lake, and four seconds later, your eyelids are peeling open, acting as ram-air ducts for your brain. The wind noise, although not as bad as I thought it would be, is all-consuming, apart from the whine of a supercharger (the sound of which cuts through everything like a violin in an orchestra). I was in heaven.

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

The snarling heart of the RXP-X is Sea-Doo’s Rotax 1630 - 325 engine. That’s 325 hp out of a 1.6-liter supercharged engine. This engine makes these the most powerful and fastest-accelerating production PWCs… in the world.

The RXT-X uses the same 1.6-liter Rotax engine and pushes you to 60 with equally as much violence as its more performance-orientated sibling. In fact, its straight-line performance makes it seem like a joke to call this the “touring” model. If it is any slower to 60 than the RXP-X, comparison will only be the thief of joy because you won’t actually notice it.

How’d It Do That?!

I have to credit Sea-Doo’s press team for warning me of what I was in for when I finally decided to turn the RXP-X. The gist of it was that this model was going to complete the turn no matter what. And whether you’re still aboard at the end will depend on how well you prepare and hold on. Because of how similar the two models felt setting off and their indistinguishably rapid acceleration, this advice probably kept me aboard the RXP-X when I made my first high-G turn.

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

Whether you want to initiate a wide sweeper on the RXP-X at top speed or blip the throttle, dip the nose, and whip it around, the method is the same: give it the beans with violent intent. As I imagine a MotoGP bike or F1 car, the RXP-X isn’t great unless you push it, as it won’t just do a mind-bending turn. You have to make it. But once it gets a whiff that you’re willing and able, RXP-X begs for it.

The question is: Just how long can you keep up with the RXP-X’s performance?

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If I had ended my day on the RXT-X, I’d have been astounded by how well it handled. Honestly, I still am. However, riding the RXP-X right after the RXT-X, put into perspective how much more extreme a PWC that’s essentially made for racing is when compared to one that’s touring-orientated. This doesn’t make one better or worse. It’s just an observation.

The RXT-X probably gave me 80% of the enjoyment the RXP-X gave me when thrashing it around a buoy course. It was easier to work with, and by that, I mean I didn’t have to prepare for each turn like I was about to pretend I was John Glenn in a salad spinner. 

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

The tourer was easier to turn when off boil, and when on it, would come to a notable stop at lean, helping me feel the limit. Whereas on the RXP-X, it felt like it would manipulate physics to keep turning at a steeper and steeper angle if your body could take it. And it’s all down to the differences between the hulls.

Hullo, Sea-Doo

The RXP-X uses the T3-R hull, which features a deep-v shape that helps it cut through chop, and makes it a comfortable off-shore race unit. But what really sets it apart from the RXT-X are its softer, rounded chines (bottom sides), which allow it to lean into turns more aggressively and react to rider inputs with incredible sensitivity. A secondary running surface also reduces the planing surface, allowing the hull to lean over more in turns. 

And for good reason, this is the only model Sea-Doo fitted with a hydraulic steering dampener. 


The ST-3 hull on the RXT-X also has a deep-v shape, but the main difference is its harder chines, which give you the dead-stop feeling when leaned over in turns. This hull makes the RXT-X arguably more stable at high speeds, although I’d note that with the steering dampener fully engaged, the RXP-X was also extremely stable at speed. 

Both PWCs perform like racing machines. One just does the job better, but also requires you to ride it as such basically at all times.


Let’s Get Wild

It took me a while to see why anyone would choose the RXT-X over the RXP-X, but that’s because these Sea-Doos hit my factory reset button. Once I found my journalist’s cap and put it back on, it was clear that both PWCs have distinct homes.

The RXT-X comes with a 3-person seat, meaning you can legally use it tow a wakeboarder or someone on a tube. Even if you’re not towing someone, you can bring at least two more people out on the lake in comfort, or you could take your partner to a sandbar 30 miles away. If I were a family man, this is what I’d picture when hearing the phrase “fun for the whole family”. 

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

If you end up filling all three seats, the 26.1-gallon storage capacity should prove more than enough, and the fact that you can access everything by simply lifting the steering column will just make life easier time and time again. 

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

Although the RXP-X has even more front bin storage capacity at 37.78 gallons, it’s slightly harder to reach, as you need to open the bin in front of the steering column. And while you can seat two people, the Ergolock-R literally locks your body into position when riding solo. I don’t know if I’d have stayed on the RXP-X without it. 

In the most basic terms, the difference in seats tells you all you need to know about who and what each model is intended for. Just look at them. 

One of These is Not Like the Other

The RXP-X starts at $19,199 and the RXT-X starts at $19,999, so the price isn’t going to be what sets one of these PWCs apart from the other. Nor should it be what you’re thinking about when making a purchasing decision because, as I hope I’ve shown, one of these models is simply right for you. And if one isn’t, the other is.

For me, however, I ride a motorcycle that might as well not have a pillion seat. If I buy a car, it’ll be a Miata. And for the same reasons, if I bought one of these models, it’d be the RXP-X.

Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X
Sea-Doo RXP-X, RXT-X

I like to go away, either by myself or with buddies, and rip. Nothing makes me happier than mentally and physically exhausting myself on a machine that’s more capable than I am, and then rejoining society as though a weight has been lifted.

But knowing the RXT-X exists makes me happy, verging on relieved. Because I know that, down the line, whether I have a family or just a partner who enjoys high-octane watersports, there’s a machine that’ll allow me to share my thirst for adrenaline with the people I love.

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