SHRED-SSENTIALS: Kawasaki 440/550 handling set up

The Kawasaki 440/550 stand ups have withstood the test of time with their long-standing popularity and resurgence into the modern racing scene. These small, but powerful machines have the potential to be your favorite ski of all time — but they could use a little help.

In raw form the vintage 440/550 stand ups can be unstable, awkward, and hard to ride. With some Pro Watercraft upgrades, your ski will be stable, easy to shred, and even a little bit faster.

To help guide you to better shredding, we’ve compiled some options for casual riders and people looking to get the most performance out of their Kawasaki 440 and 550 stand up watercraft.

CASUAL RIDERS

For casual riders who are out cruising their favorite spots, we have a set up that focuses on stability and rear grip. This will allow you to ride at all speeds without the ski fighting you or bucking you around, as well as let you turn without fear of sliding out. These items are a great place to start your upgrade journey, and then as you get more comfortable, we recommend adding on some performance extras from the Racers/Shredders recommendation list.

 

HFC 36” FRONT SPONSONS

These sponsons are designed with stability in mind. The integrated upper lip is intended to give the ski more stability in choppy water, as well as help right the ski if you lean past the *point of no return*. Overall they will help you engage turns smoother, and with less effort. Find more info on the HFC 36” front sponsons here.

 

HFC 440/550 RIDE PLATE

The Pro Watercraft ride plate for the 440/550 stand up will make a big difference in rear grip on your jet ski. Most 440 / 550 skis are running a flat plate. A flat plate will be fast, but it does not provide much for rear grip — usually causing you to spin out. Our ride plate for the 440/550 has a unique curved design, allowing more surface area for the water to travel across — effectively keeping the back end of your ski pushed down in the turns for grip. Check out our ride plate for the 440 / 550 here.

OBF REAR SPONSONS

Adding rear sponsons is a great way to add additional stability and grip to your stand up. Our OBF (over bond flange) rear sponsons are easy to install, and the most cost effective option for rear sponsons. These rear sponsons will increase the width of your ski for more stability in straight lines, and give you more rear grip. Find more info on the OBF rear sponsons by clicking here. If you consider yourself to be a pretty fast rider, we recommend checking out the XL rear sponsons.

 

PUMP STUFFER

The Pro Watercraft pump tunnel stuffer is one of the most popular, cost-effective upgrade options for your watercraft. Adding a pump stuffer will give you gains of anywhere from 1-2mph on the top end, while also maximizing your pump efficiency for better hook up and drive. Check out our pump tunnel stuffer by clicking here.

RACERS/SHREDDERS

For riders who are actively racing, thinking about racing, or are just generally fast — we have a performance driven set up that will allow you to push your ski to the limit. Offering stability in all conditions, while giving you the best options for cornering and rear group. These are the Pro Watercraft products we recommend:

 

PERFORMANCE FRONT SPONSONS

The Pro Watercraft performance front sponsons will drastically change the rideability of your 440/550. After bolting these on, you can look forward to smoother, easier turning, and added stability. You should no longer have to wrestle the ski over to engage a turn, or throw yourself down into the water and hope for the best. The performance front sponson has a wider lean angle than the 36” front sponson, that will allow for more aggressive, faster turning. You can check them out here.

 

HFC 440/550 RIDE PLATE

The Pro Watercraft ride plate for the 440/550 stand up will make a big difference in rear grip on your jet ski. Most 440 / 550 skis are running a flat plate. A flat plate will be fast, but it does not provide much for rear grip — usually causing you to spin out. Our ride plate for the 440/550 has a unique curved design, allowing more surface area for the water to travel across — effectively keeping the back end of your ski pushed down in the turns for grip. Check out our ride plate for the 440 / 550 here.

 

HFC 200XL REAR SPONSONS

Adding rear sponsons is a great way to add additional stability and grip to your stand up. Our 200XL rear sponsons offer the most rear grip and straight line stability for fast riders. Eliminate unwanted chine walking or instability at high speeds, and maximize rear grip in corners. These rear sponsons are easy to install, and partner great with our ride plate and hull extensions. Check out the 200XL rear sponsons by clicking here.

NICE REAR END: Pro Watercraft hull extensions, ride plate and nozzle installed.

 

HULL EXTENSIONS

Our hull extensions are an upgrade that serves multiple purposes. Stock hull end caps that are on most 440/550 skis can often times fill with water over time — giving your ski unusual handling quirks. Our hull extensions are a direct replacement that will not fill up with water! Outside of eliminating headaches from OEM hull caps, our hull extensions also give your ski a boost in rear grip, and help alleviate unwanted nose bounce. Partnering our hull extensions with our ride plate gives you the most in rear grip. Check out our 440/550 hull extensions here.

 

NOZZLE

Our HFC extended jet pump nozzle is one of our most popular upgrades! Increase your turning radius as well as your speed with one of these. The unique inner design is much more efficient than the bell-shaped stock nozzle design, and gives you big improvements in turning and performance over stock nozzles. Check out our 440/550 nozzle here.

 

PUMP STUFFER

The Pro Watercraft pump tunnel stuffer is one of the most popular, cost-effective upgrade options for your watercraft. Adding a pump stuffer will give you gains of anywhere from 1-2mph on the top end, while also maximizing your pump efficiency for better hook up and drive. Check out our pump tunnel stuffer by clicking here.

 

PRO LITE HANDLE POLE

Our Pro Lite Handle Pole is a direct replacement for the heavy stock handle pole on your 440/550. This lightweight pole will shave off some weight, while also moving your body position further forward for better control over your ski. Shop the Pro Lite pole here.

 

OTHER GOODIES

SHRED METER — keep track of ride time for maintenance and proving to your buddies who shreds the most.

JETTRIM MATS — keep your feet in the tray and make your ski look better with a set of custom Jettrim tray mats.

440/550 FORCE HOOD — get rid of your heavy stock hood, increase air flow and look way cooler with our lightweight, carbon hood.

CHECK OUT OUR RECOMMENDED PARTS IN THIS VIDEO!