That said, launching myself off the thing was more difficult than I expected. The Orca handled sharp corners very well, and as long as you can keep your grip on the handle it’s possible to stay on. I did manage to fall off one time, but it took quite a lot of sharp turns and sudden movements.
Some jet skis are designed to spin around in a circle after a rider falls off, but the Orca does not have that feature. If you do fall off, the throttle will stop, but you’ll have to swim to catch up with it. There’s no ladder to climb back up, but the flooring sits low in the water so getting back on isn’t too much of a problem.
In addition to the instant power and silence, the electric motor has environmental benefits that Taiga is eager to tout. The Orca doesn’t use fuel or oil, so there’s no risk of that excess gunk leaking into waterways like a fossil-fuel-powered engine would. The Orca motor also doesn’t need to be winterized—a common scourge of gas-powered boat maintenance—because it pulls water through a separate channel to power the device, leaving no risk of the interior parts freezing in the cold.
No More ICE in the Water
All this forward thinking means the Orca is also, of course, pricey. The Orca Performance will set you back $19,490. The lighter, limited edition carbon-fiber model starts at an even heftier $26,500. Taiga motors has a less expensive craft in the works, the 90-hp Orca Sport for $17,490, but it is not yet available.
These prices aren’t exactly out of line with Taiga’s competitors, though. Gas-powered watercraft from Kawasaki, Sea Doo, and Yamaha can range from $5,000 to $20,000. Luxury models can go upwards from there to something as eye-watering as, say, Bouvet Marine’s $900,000 Supermarine watercraft.
With this in mind, the Orca is a great personal watercraft. But then again, it would be staggering if it wasn’t. It’s just really hard to have a bad time on a jet ski, especially one as slick and thrilling as Taiga’s.
Personally, I hope it does well enough that the company can expand and lower the price a smidge. But right now, if cost isn’t an issue, and you have a yen for high-speed water-based hijinks, this seems like the jet ski to get—both for the sake of the person riding it, and everyone else around you.