Hydro-Turf quick to react to Spark
Aftermarket traction mats, seat covers now available
Hydro-Turf owner Arno Olbricht had not ridden the new Sea-Doo Spark as of mid-January, but he hopes the new PWC from BRP is a hit with thousands of riders.
Despite his lack of hours on the craft, Olbricht is plenty familiar with the new lightweight PWC that brings an entry-level MSRP of $4,999. In fact, he called a local dealer in order to secure a Spark to get the specifications for the California-based company’s traction mat products. But that wasn’t quite as a simple as making a phone call.
“He did have one, but it was pre-sold by the time I reached him, so he contacted the customer and asked if it would be OK if we used the ski to make the pattern and actually put mats and a new seat cover on it for him,” Olbricht said. “So yeah, the customer was stoked that he got new product on there, the first of its kind.”
Olbricht quickly made patterns and did photo shoots, and had the job completed in less than a week. The standard seat cover and HT Premier line of seat covers were both added to the product lineup for Spark.
“We tried a couple of different colors of pads as well. It all came together pretty quickly,” he said. “We made the patterns for the pads, had the tooling made. We put on one set of pads and realized they didn’t work as well as we wanted, so we quickly replaced them and made another set and put those on.”
Spark’s entry into the market could bring additional business to Hydro-Turf.
“I think there’s going to be a fairly large market for it,” he said. “It’s on the smaller side, but it’s definitely a great entry-level boat. I haven’t ridden one personally, but I imagine they’re fairly lightweight and fairly agile. I like the new materials they’re using to make the ski. It’s pretty innovative and there’s a lot of future potential for that type of development.”
The maneuverability of Spark makes it an ideal candidate for traction mats.
“I think only one of the three models has any traction mats on it, so we’re able to provide something that’s not factory,” Olbricht said. “And they don’t have anything where the knees go, so we add a knee pad as well. And the seat covers certainly enhance the look as well.”
Hydro-Turf posted a strong performance once again 2013, with the boating, stand-up paddleboard and PWC divisions all experiencing a rise in sales compared to 2012. Olbricht also noted the success of the HT Moto line for sport and freestyle motorcycle riders.
The Spark, powered by a Rotax 900 ACE engine, costs close to 40 percent less than its nearest competitor and is the most fuel-efficient PWC in the industry, according to BRP. Its all-new Exoskel consists of a lightweight durable Polytec material.