In one of my last postings, I told you about upgrading to new 2011 models – a GTX iS 215 and a RTX iS 260. Until now, we’ve been riding with no suspension except our own legs. So our question was whether Sea-Doo’s exclusive iS really works and is worth the extra money. For me, the answer depends on the kind of riding you do and what kind of a rider you are.

There’s no doubt that iS can make a measurable difference and up your fun factor. Without it, I can best describe solid contact with waves as a series of hard slaps. Imagine clapping your hands together sharply and continuously.  With iS, those hard slaps becomes a series of subdued whoompfs, with iS absorbing some of the shocks to take the edge off each hit. iS is like clapping your hands wearing winter mitts instead of barehanded.

So is iS worth it? If you’re a casual rider that tries to avoid riding waves and mostly plays around in front of your cottage maybe not. But if you are ever far out there and have no choice about riding in conditions from choppy to wavy, or often ride with passengers, then iS will shine for you.

And if you are or want to be a touring rider or destination cruiser like me, then iS can make or break your ride. Anyone over 40 will notice a remarkable reduction in body wear and tear with iS. It will do the same for those under 40; they’re just less likely to admit to any discomfort in the first place!

When touring, I’m often on the water for 6 to 8 hours in a variety of conditions. Suddenly and unexpectedly, we can encounter various water moguls – chop, waves, boat wakes and what I call cross turbulence (random mingling of chop, wave and wake all at once). As my body tires, my muscles and reaction time both suffer, especially towards the end of a long day. That means I’m more susceptible to each bump and hit, and likely to pay for it later. But iS puts a buffer in place that helps me preserve strength, last longer and feel it less that night. I can even overeat at lunch and get away with it thanks to iS!

Best of all with iS, I enjoy each moment of the ride more and don’t feel intimidated when the waves kick up. I just crank up my iS to the max and away I go. Talk to you next time!

Craig Nicholson, The Intrepid Cottager