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Racing the National Tour on a PJS Laser Jet

Racing the National Tour on a PJS Laser Jet

By Tony Tabor

Getting Started in 1990

In around 1985, I was 10 years old and we had a houseboat in Houston, Texas. My parents bought me a red 1985 550 which I rode until around 1988, then got an X2. In 1989 we moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas and boy, what a culture shock!

We lived on Lake Hamilton, so that was a plus because I could ride every day and in the late summer of 1990 some of the local IJSBA races came through our town where I entered Novice X2 stock and won! So, I instantly had the bug.

In 1991 I raced regionally, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma and ended up winning the Texas State Championship in Novice X2 Limited and Modified. From there I went on to the World Finals and finished 10th in Novice X2 Limited.

PJS Laser Jet

The PJS Laser Jet

In 1992 I raced 3-4 stops on the National Tour in Expert X2 where I did ok and had some podiums. At the end of the season, we knew the Waveblaster was coming online in 1993, so I made the decision to switch to standups. I didn't know how or on what, but it was going to happen.

This is where the PJS Laser Jet comes in. I believe it was early 1993, like maybe January and I was driving home from school where I saw a Laser Jet box van in town (in Hot Springs, Arkansas!). I knew the Hot Springs Boat Show was that weekend so I went to the show by myself (17-years-old) and went straight up to the Laser Jet booth and asked them if they would be interested in sponsoring a rider. They said yes! I wish I remembered who the guys were. Somehow, they had heard of me, just through racing, I wasn't setting the world on fire. But I was excited to ride standups.

PJS Laser Jet

Deal of a life time

Next thing I know, they are shipping two FREE PJS Laser Jets (an F14 and F15) to Dallas. It was a weird deal that they had to do everything through a dealer, so we got hooked up with Plano Honda in Dallas. My dad drove me to Dallas, picked them up and took them over to Dale's Jet Sports to have some work done on them. Mostly the F14 for the 550 Limited class. We put on a new exhaust, upgraded CDI, and flame arrestors, just basic stuff because the skis were so fast out of the box. They had a great hull, with a deep-V in the front that just sliced through the chop and handled awesome.

So for 1993 I made 6 of the 10 stops on the National Tour in Expert 550 Limited. The Laser Jet company guys that were on tour were Jeff Ortberg and Doug Silverstein, so that was cool to get to know them and pal around together. Doug also held for me on numerous times. I missed the two California stops because of distance, missed the New Jersey stop, again because of distance and the Virginia Beach stop was cancelled due to bad weather and huge swells. In the 6 races on the National Tour, I finished 2nd six times in a row in Expert 550 Limited and finished the year 3rd Overall. I raced the F15 a few times in Expert Mod but was never really competitive.

Part of the deal was that we had to give them back. So we took off any parts we put on and drove them back to Plano Honda in Dallas. I think they had them on display there for a bit but I have no idea what happened them after that.

Thunder Jet

Moving on to the Yamaha SuperJet

For 1994 and beyond, I got a SuperJet and raced it through the rest of the 90's in Expert Ski and eventually went Pro Ski around 1995 at the tour stop in Iowa.

The 90's were a great time for standup racing and just jet ski racing in general. It was awesome to get to travel the country and experience it. I was out of the sport from around 2003 to 2021, as far as owning one. In late 2021, I picked up a 1990 SuperJet with some light mods done to it. Love it, glad to be back on the water.

By Tony Tabor

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