For nearly half a century, Sea-Doo has provided a means of watersport entertainment, recreation and friendly competition in the powersporting industry. What has now become a lifestyle for Sea-Doo enthusiasts, the Sea-Doo offers a lively way to kick back, ride, and compete with some of the best powersport factions out there. Many who ride the Sea-Doo know of its unique capabilities and the thrills it can confer, but are they familiar with the history behind it? The Sea-Doo has redefined technology in ways that have created somewhat of a counterculture for watersport enjoyment.
Although the history of the Sea-Doo is more complex than just “it was invented”, the initial innovator behind the famed water scooter was Joseph-Armand Bombardier. Before the Sea-Doo was invented however, there was the Ski-Doo: In 1942, Bombardier created the idea for the first snow automobile in Valcourt, Quebec. Upon receiving a patent for his first business venture, his company exploded by launching the newest snowmobile, the Ski-Doo, to his line of utility snow vehicles. The creation and mass production of the Ski-Doo offered a new sport for the world to experience. Bombardier’s innovations weren’t complete, however. In its place, Bombardier created yet another unique powersport when he introduced the newest edition to his line, the Sea-Doo.
The Sea-Doo was first established in 1969 as a multi-purpose, multi-terrain vehicle, but it wasn’t until 1988 that the watercraft took off as an eye-catching consumer product and full-fledged industry. In the meantime, the Ski-Doo was making gains around the world, evolving as a highly demanded device from manufacturer BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.) In 1984, Bombardier became the official sponsor of the Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games, supplying Ski-Doo snowmobiles to its athletes. The induction of Bombardier’s tracked vehicles into the winter games created traction for an additional industry of Sea-Doo watersports.
In 1991, advancements were made to the Sea-Doo technology — breaching awards and continuous recognition as the best Sea-Doo product on the market. As the latest and greatest technologies developed for the Sea-Doo watercraft in the latter ‘90s, newer models of the Sea-Doo became more systematic and ideal. The introduction of a sound reduction system made Bombardier’s Sea-Doo’s one of the quietest on the water. By the turn of the millennium, the Sea-Doo XP personalized watercraft was dubbed as the “Watercraft of the Century.” After countless awards and bearing international name recognition, the Sea-Doo was chosen as “Watercraft of the Year” by Watercraft world Magazine in 2000. It carried its reign and received the title in 2002 and again in 2006. In July of 2002, the Sea-Doo XP watercraft was seen racing across the Atlantic Ocean by Alvaro de Marichalar of Spain. After journeying more than 10,000 miles by sea, Marichalar set a monumental world record attributed largely to the BRP Sea-Doo. This carried momentous publicity to the Sea-Doo sport, infrastructure, and company.
Following the steady rise of awards and records set by BRP fans, BRP established a direct commercial operation throughout Europe. With the constant expanse of BRP Sea-Doos in countries such as China, Spain, and Germany, the Sea-Doo became a holistic product spreading throughout the world. The Sea-Doo watercraft, recognized for its thrill and active enterprise, became just as iconic for its safety. Due to new improvements to the 2009 Sea-Doo’s iBR infrastructure (intelligent Brake and Reverse), BRP was recognized by the US Coast Guard office and Boating Safety for the Boating Safety Award.
Beyond its inherent entertainment value, the Sea-Doo watercraft has paved its way into the extreme watersports world over the past few years. It has become a lifestyle of sorts for watersport junkies, and in fact several powersport participants have been considered professional watercraft riders through the art of racing and displaying skilled riding methods.
In 2011, professional BRP racer, James Bushell won two prestigious titles, the Pro Open and Pro GP classes at the IJSBA World Finals — but what was a great victory for Bushell was an even greater honor for BRP. The prevalence of Personal Watercraft Racing over the last couple of years has created a sense of community for powersport athletes, established a communal interest for sea-bound lovers, and redefined the way we look at the Sea-Doo for recreational use into competitive performance. New models of the Sea-Doo continue to innovate and advance in structure, features, and style, but the brand remains devoted to customer satisfaction and safety above all else — just like the first Sea-Doo Bombardier ever invented.
Written by Carey Wooldrige, owner of Yacht Club Powersports. Based out of the Lake of the Ozarks, Yacht Club Powersports is one of the leading SeaDoo dealers Jefferson City MO has to offer, as well as throughout the state of Missouri.