Difference Between the terms Jet Ski & PWC

by | Mar 13, 2022 | PWC

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You’ve probably heard of Jet Skis (PWCs) probably referred to as one or the other interchangeable. And you’ve probably wondered why the difference in the first place?

The different namings actually have a reason, and it may surprise you!


PWC – Personal Watercraft

PWC is an acronym for Personal Watercraft. This is the official naming for all small watercraft vehicles, including the popular jet ski. 

This is still the industry term that is used by manufacturers when discussing jet skis, and was the standard term used to describe them in the early years of the industry.


Jet Ski – Trademarked Name

Jet Ski is the more popular term to describe PWCs, and it makes sense why, it’s a cool name. 

It also references the method that Jet Skis propel themselves, using water jets to push the machine forward and back

Many people are surprised to find out that the term jet ski is actually trademarked! Kawasaki, a Jet Ski manufacturer has the trademark for this name, and any other brand can’t use the term in any marketing material. 


Which one do you use?

The term JETSKI is trademarked, but the term Jet Ski is a little different. Regardless due to the popularity of the term other manufactures use it loosely. It’s so popular that no matter the brand, any jet ski looking PWC is called that Jet Ski, no matter the manufacturer or brand.


Feel free to call it whatever you like, Jet Ski is more popular, and PWC is the technical term; yet at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun and getting wet!

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