The WaterRower is perhaps the most popular water resistance rowing machine and for good reason. For starters, the design and craftsmanship are impeccable. It looks like a high-end piece of furniture you would pick up at West Elm – except that it’s for exercise.
Secondly, it’s very easy to jump on it and bang out a 500-meter row without fidgeting with digital settings.
And finally, it isn’t noisy.
You get the gentle sound of whooshing water that won’t irritate your neighbors. However, there are some factors that come down to personal preference and a few things I don’t love which is why I’m writing this WaterRower review.
But in short, if you know you want a high-quality water resistance rower, the WaterRower is the top of the line choice. In fact, its our number one pick for the best rowing machines in the water rower category.
That being said, if you’re still undecided then keep reading…
There are multiple WaterRower models to choose from. Here’s a quick breakdown of each one and what they’re all about:
There are three monitors available, the S4, A1, and A1 PRO.
Measures time, distance, speed, stroke rate, and it’s compatible with some heart rate monitors.
Measures multiple intensity and distance specs and has programmable time/distance workouts.
Designed for use in the classroom environment, it displays time, distance, calories, stroke rate, speed, and has a race/pace coach option.
While they track all of the key metrics, the monitors are a little old school.
They don’t show you things like your force curve which shows you changes in the force of your rowing, you can’t program in workouts, and it doesn’t provide you with instant feedback on your intensity.
There are ten rower models that differ by the material they’re made from, the monitor on the rower, and whether or not its single or dual rail.
The differences between them are relatively small so you can choose the cheapest one or pick a more expensive one if you prefer the specific look but the price is significantly higher for some of the models and the features don’t justify the increase in my opinion.
The WaterRower comes in different woods (solid ash wood, black walnut, cherry wood), aluminum, stainless steel, or a wood and aluminum combo. In my opinion, the wood looks the best.
It almost looks like a nice piece of furniture rather than a rowing machine.
Measurements & Weight
Most of the WaterRower models are 20” in height by 82” length and 22” in width. The exception being the Hi-Rise which is 28.5” high by 88” long, and 22” wide.
As far as the weight of the units goes, when filled with water they all weigh somewhere between 100 and 116 lbs. and have wheels in the front so they’re not hard to move around.
Mono & Dual Rails
Most of the WaterRowers are dual rail design. This simply means they have two parallel rails for your seat to move on.
The only models that have the single rail are the A1 Studio and the A1 Home which are a combination of wood and aluminum and tend to be more pricey.
The systems all hang around a 700 lb. weight limit with the exception being the A1 (325 lbs.) and the dual rail with hi-rise which is 600 lbs.
Needless to say, you’ll be fine on the weight limits and don’t have to worry about breaking the unit.
- The overall appearance is unmatched
- Mimics the feel of actually rowing a boat on the water
- The resistance is created by the water and increases as you row harder
- Quieter than wind resistance rowers
- The handlebar is oval-shaped which makes it much easier to grip and fits your hand more naturally
- Very durable frame with high weight limits
- The footplates are close together so your feet are kind of right by each other. They’re also higher up than on something like the Concept2 which makes it less ergonomic for those with long legs.
- The monitor is not easy to adjust mid-workout
- The monitor is lacking in some features like programmable workouts and instant feedback
Things To Consider Before Buying
The WaterRower is a mid-range rower in price. It’s not cheap but you probably knew that already just by looking at the pictures.
It’s made from high-quality wood and/or metal, has a decent monitor and you can tell it’s built to last. It’s a quality piece of equipment that’s designed for daily use and built to last so expect to pay more than you would from your average budget rowing machine.
According to the WaterRower website, the warranty is 1 year on repair or replacement of defective equipment and is upgradeable to 3 years excluding the electronics, and the frame has a 5-year warranty. You can read the full warranty on their website here.
The WaterRower company offers great phone support so if you do have any issues or need help with something, it’s easy to call and speak with someone.
There’s no arguing that the WaterRower is a premium rower. But there are some things that come down to personal preference.
For example, do you prefer a rower that is very close to the feeling of actually rowing a boat? If so, the water resistance can’t be beaten.
It also makes a relaxing “whooshing” sound rather than the sound