Water Rowing Exercise Machine

Category: Gadgets & Tools
Price: $1160
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Product Description

Develop the chiseled body you've always dreamed of by training with the water rowing exercise machine. The solid ash and honey oak construction along with the water flywheel provide a grueling workout while replicating a real rowing feel. [Read more]

Top Reviews

Nearly Perfect
by E. Martin (4 out of 5 stars)
April 5, 2016

I purchased the WaterRower Natural (ash) about four months ago, and so far I am very, very happy with the decision. I would give 4.5 stars if I could, but just one minor issue keeps me from giving 5 stars.

First of all, if you're considering rowing, just do it. It is by far the most enjoyable and beneficial exercise I have ever tried. I've made huge strides with both cardio and muscle fitness with the WaterRower, and it's so enjoyable I look forward to exercising each day. Yes, it is more expensive than most other rowing machines, but when you compare it to a lot of other types of exercise equipment, it's actually pretty reasonable. When you also compare the exercise benefit you get, it's a bargain.

If you're looking at a WaterRower, you're probably also considering the Concept2. They're both great machines, but which you choose depends on your needs. I think the WaterRower is ideal for most people, but not everyone. The WaterRower has a number of advantages vs the Concept 2 - it is quieter, the mechanism up front is lower profile, it has a comfortable seat, it is much better looking, it's easier to stand up when you're not rowing and it's just ... zen-like. There is something about the smoothness of the WaterRower that makes it a joy to use, and because it's quiet you can easily stream your favorite binge-series without cranking the volume too high.

To be fair, the Concept2 has advantages of its own. It is calibrated for higher accuracy and has a more advanced monitor so that you can upload your times and compare with other athletes online. It's arguably even heavier duty than the WaterRower (which is saying something).

Bottom line, if you are a competitive athlete, you'll probably want to strongly consider a Concept2, but even then you owe it to yourself to try a WaterRower. For everyone else, you should strongly consider the WaterRower.

The Water Rower comes partly preassembled in two large boxes. The assembly instructions are reasonably good, and as long as you take your time and follow them carefully (read all the text) it takes about 45 minutes from opening the first box to trying it out. I bought bottles of distilled water to fill it, which made it easy to fill using the included funnel & hose.

As I mentioned, the rowing experience with the WaterRower is amazing. I bought the rower for myself, but my wife was curious and decided to try it out. She loves it, and now rows almost daily. We have a treadmill that neither of us has used since we started rowing - the WaterRower is a much better workout and much more enjoyable at the same time. It's easy to adjust the intensity, pace and duration of your exercise. There is nothing to change on the rower (* see note below), you just row harder or faster, adjust how far you lean forward and back during your stroke. The WaterRower will keep up with you as your fitness increases, all you need to do is keep throwing more and more at it.

There is some minor maintenance. Because it's made out of wood, which can expand and contract, the bolts need tightening every few months or so. It's easy and takes only a couple of minutes. That, and putting in a fresh water purification tablet every six to twelve months, are about it for regular maintenance. The only problem I've had with the rower (the reason for 4 stars instead of 5) was a squeak that developed after about 6 weeks. It took me some time to determine the source of the squeak, which was a metal bracket connecting the footrest board to the horizontal boards above the drum. I had to partially disassemble the top section and tighten four bolts, but that fixed the problem and it's been quiet ever since.

Aesthetically, the WaterRower is gorgeous. You don't need to hide it away in the basement or garage, it will fit right in to many people's houses. It's also super simple to tip up to a vertical position when you're not rowing and then back down to row.

All in all, this is one of the best purchases I have ever made and I am very happy with it. I believe that it is the ideal exercise equipment for anyone who is not a hardcore competitive athlete ... and it's probably ideal even for some of them.
* While there is nothing to adjust from row to row on the WaterRower, it is possible to increase or decrease the level of resistance by changing how much water you put in the drum. The monitor is pre-calibrated to match 17 liters of water, but you can change that if you want. More than 17 liters = more resistance, up to the max fill line. This is not something you'll want to change frequently, it's more of a set-it-and-forget-it thing.
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FINALLY a piece of exercise equipment that won't gather dust!!!
by KJH (5 out of 5 stars)
August 15, 2018

I have only had the rower for a short period of time, but I know I have found the holy grail of fitness!

I HATE to exercise, or at least I did, until I purchased the WaterRower. I have had two surgeries on my right knee, and have had difficulty finding a way to get a solid cardio workout. Treadmills were boring, and put stress on my knees. And for some reason, exercise bikes make my feet cramp up. WaterRower to the rescue! Cardio AND resistance rolled into one!

First of all, this thing is a beauty. Believe it or not, we have it in our living room. It just looks like a piece of unique art. And it is SO EASY to roll out and use! It is so quiet I can catch up on TV shows while rowing, or just enjoy the gentle splashing sounds made by the water. We have a small house, and my husband works from home, but it is so quiet I can exercise during the work day if I want.

Second of all, this equipment is one smooth operator! The motion is not jerky at all. The seat glides effortlessly along the rails. And when you pull on the handles, you will instantly notice the smoothness of each stroke.

Thirdly, you get a great workout! As a beginner, you work up a sweat in no time, yet you feel SO GOOD when you are through.

Fourth, assembly was pretty straightforward. I debated whether to pay for assembly, but decided, based on other reviews, to give it a shot. I DID IT! Now to be fair, it took me a little longer to figure it out, and I did have some difficulty lining up the footboard, but I persisted, and voila, I had it done!

And finally, customer service rocks! The arm on my monitor was broken and it was truly a hassle free experience getting a replacement. Thank you, Becky from customer service, for quickly sending a replacement and responding promptly to my questions. You rock!

I have never spent this much money on a piece of equipment, but I am confident that I will actually use this equipment for years to come.
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Best home rower for me.
by Jamie Tierney (5 out of 5 stars)
February 2, 2019

I am a lifelong runner and as I have gotten older I cannot put down the same mileage as I could in the past.

I started using the Concept 2 at my gym at work. I really started to enjoy rowing and began rowing 3x a week and only running 2 times a week.

I decided to get a rower for home use. I considered the Concept2 vs the Waterrower.

For ME the water rower is a clear winner. It is smoother, super quiet I can get my 5 K workout in at 0500 and it doesn't wake up my wife OR blow air around my living room like a Concept 2 would. AND since I don't have a dedicated workout room it has to live in my living room. The Waterrower is much more compact and looks like a nice piece of furniture when not in use up against the wall.

There is nothing wrong with a Concept 2. If you are a hard core rowing or CrossFit competitor and have a dedicated workout space where noise and hurricane force winds aren't an issue then the Concept2 is your rower.

However if you like rowing and want a good workout without the noise and having ever scrap of paper blown out of you apartment get The Waterrower.

You will get the same quality workout. I still use the Concept2 at work from time to time. My favorite workout is 5K for time. I always try to go just a little faster.

The 5 K workout feels equally hard. But the Waterrower feels smoother and I enjoy using it more.

I keep the Concept2 at the maximum level of resistance and I have the Waterrower filled to the maximum amount of water.

The Concept2 takes me about one minute longer to finish the 5 K.

There is nothing wrong with a Concept2. Depending on your needs it may be the ticket for you.

I love The Waterrower it is perfect for me. I hope this review helps.
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Wow it's a piece of Art
by FDL (5 out of 5 stars)
February 10, 2018

I'm still amazed of how great the Rower looks. The wood gives a great feeling corroborated even by its very light wood smell. It's a piece of art!

It came in 2 boxes. A big almost cubic like one, containing all pieces besides the extension rail on which the seat slides (delivered a day) and the extension rail box.

PRO
-I've assembled it without any need of external tools, not even a screwdriver.
-Another thing I liked it was that even if alone could do all easily.
-The seat and cords work smooth, no need of grease or other lubricants. So no risk of getting dirty.
-Very, very stable.
- amazing soundtrack while rowing, it's all a light swishing and washing so if you use it in front of a big screen like me watching a nautical video on YouTube gives a totally different feeling.
- space usage, great, when in vertical position it occupies about a nightstand since place.
- the vendor and its customer service. I had some doubts regarding the color tone delivered and other ideas blazing around my mind, writing in the evening and getting few moments later an answer explaining all and clearing every doubt.
- the S4 computer I don't know how to let all the informations it gives work for me but who knows more about it told me that it's the top.

CONS

the price, its a pricey piece of equipment, that's what I thought when I bought it, but now think it is worth every cent.

I just noticed that even during lazy moments it's ok going for a slow relaxing rower experience.

I love it. Thanks to the waterrower team!
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Tank cracking and leaking, tank design flaws --> wait to purchase until company releases updated tan
by Amazon Customer (1 out of 5 stars)
June 6, 2017

I'm an engineer by trade and bought a second hand used model WaterRower III serial number in the 10,000 range with the SIII V2 monitor, however this review applies to all the newer WaterRower models as the mechanical parts are mostly unchanged for the new S4 model. I'm a recreational athlete and have completed a few marathons and Ironman triathlons.

All the comments on other reviews are pertinent, it is a quiet machine, nice aesthetics, good feel, smooth, I like the belt action instead of the Concept 2 chain. The foot boards could use improvement for my size ~13 shoes, but it is usable.

However, it has a serious design flaw that is evident after the rower ages or has high use: the water tank leaks and cracks. The hemispherical water tank seal will debond from the top and bottom tank halves, and also the top half of the tank is prone to fatigue cracking at the water fill hole and the center spindle hole. Photos attached. It will leak at the tank split when you row or prop the rower up. There's a reason they sell a tank reseal kit and a replacement tank folks!

I've written to the manufacturer more than a month ago and sent them detailed photos of the cracking. I was curious to see if their S4 model has an updated tank design that has solved these issues, and they have not responded. From what I can tell there has been NO upgrade to the S4 model, so my suggestion is that if you purchase ANY WaterRower brand model please treat the tank assembly like a wear item that you will need to replace regularly. I'm not sure what 'regularly' means, it may be 10 yrs, it may be 5, it may be 1yr, likely it depends on how hard you row it and how many times you prop it on its end (bad).

FYI the tank assembly currently lists for $175 on their site - add to that shipping, 1-4 hours of figuring out how to drain, disassemble, reassemble, and refill. And then, against the marketing hype, never prop your rower on end because most of the structural loads and the water weight are supported by the top tank half around the spindle seal and filler holes - if you do you will accelerate the cracking and hemispherical debonding.

So... this is a classic example of a manufacturer not consumer use testing their product for sufficient cycles or enough time. I've seen another cracked example on my local Craigslist, so mine is not an isolated fault.

Rating would be a 4 or above if it wasn't for that poor tank structural and sealing design. As such my rating is a 1 star. I can't recommend this product as a long term exercise investment until the tank design is improved.
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Beauty and Function! Worth every penny!
by Sarah (5 out of 5 stars)
September 6, 2018

I love my WaterRower! We found it back in 2015 and made the plunge to get healthy with an aesthetically pleasing piece of equipment! I have no background in rowing but did lift weights in college so I was familiar with "rowing" as an exercise.

Three years later, our machine is still going strong and has had no issues or squeaks or leaks! I utilized it to lose my 30 pounds of pregnancy weight last year and it was an awesome experience! I really looked forward to rowing each day and trying to meet or beat my personal times. The swishing sounds of the water is very quiet, soothing and actually satisfying!

We don't currently have a dedicated exercise space so the rower stands in our dining room; it was easy and simple to move it each day to use it. It was out of the way yet in sight enough to remind me that I'd like to use it!

WaterRower also has an online community of users and workout plans for those looking for more structured exercise!
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The only workout machine you need!
by RWK (5 out of 5 stars)
August 31, 2018

This is an early on review, (2 days after receiving), but I already feel confident enough in the Water Rower's design, build, and quality to go ahead with a review. The boxes arrived in fair enough condition. The box that held the tank and other parts either took some jostling along the way, or the pieces weren't secured very well, because upon opening the box some of the parts were not in their respective packaging. That said, there was no damage to anything. Assembly was quick and easy. There are only a few pieces that you actually have to put together (very nice).

The machine itself feels extremely stable and the fact that it's made from solid hardwood helps with that. After filling the tank to the proper level and making sure the belt is aligned properly, you're pretty much read to go. I'd say they total setup time was 30-45 min.

After an initial slow rowing session to get the proper feel for the motion of rowing, (using Water Rower's instructional video on YouTube as a guide), I did a 2 mile rowing workout and they aren't lying when they say it's a full body workout. I was easily able to get my heart rate up to my target range and maintain that for the duration of the workout. Legs, arms, and core were all feeling worked by the end of the session.

One of the biggest selling points for me was the ability to easily store the machine standing up against a wall. It's very easy to move up and out of the way when you are finished using the machine.

I think the only short coming of the Water Rower is the limits of the S4 monitor. It works just fine, showing all the pertinent information about your workout, but it's limited with its connectivity. It doesn't do Bluetooth, so there is no syncing to Apple Health or any other app, and the heart rate monitor receiver has to be purchased separately and only works with "ant+" type heart rate straps, (doesn't work with the Polar H10, I have). You can connect the S4 monitor to a computer and use the We-Row app on a desktop/Apple computer and it's ok, but not great.

To sum it up. If you're going to have a single piece of workout equipment in the house, a rowing machine is the thing to have. If you're gonna get one, I highly recommend this machine. Built well, and despite the lackings of the S4 monitor, it's worth the money.
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well-made and beautiful
by Alison K. Sainsbury (5 out of 5 stars)
April 15, 2014

I've been wanting a WaterRower ever since I saw it advertised a few years ago in the back of _The New Yorker_, and I'm glad that seeing it used on _House of Cards_ pushed me to finally buy it. I LOVE it. It's a perfect accompaniment to my Nordic Track ski machine; it works a lot of the same major muscle groups, but with a different emphasis.

I kayak (ocean and flat water, not river), so I was drawn to the WaterRower over a flywheel type rower (which I have used in gyms) because I wanted to hear the sound of the water, which I miss hearing against the hull of the boat during the winter when I can't get out on the lake. I also like the way the paddles engage in the water; it's a very smooth pull and release, and moving the mass of the water instead of a dialed down tension feels more natural. As someone else also commented, the seat (at least on the wood version) is incredibly smooth and solid; no wobbling at all. I generally listen to music on my Nordic Track ski machine, but with the WaterRower I am content to listen to the sound of the water; working out on this is somehow both energizing and calmingly meditative at the same time. In the event that you want to use it while watching tv (this is one use to which I wanted to put it), it is quiet enough to hear the tv without having to turn it up.

There is much to love about the WaterRower--and I do love it--but I would echo others' comments that although the seat rolls solidly and smoothly on the wood rails, the seat itself is very hard (I use a gel seat pad I bought for my hard fiberglass kayak seat), and the footpads are in need up rethinking and upgrading--the cheap plastic doesn't let you row in socks or barefoot and is not really worthy of a machine that is otherwise a stunning piece of engineering and a beautiful one as well. As one other person noted about his machine, my machine made a clicking noise on the return stroke, so I had to adjust the wheel underneath the top rail that connects to the footpad and pull it away gently from where it was rubbing against another component. Also, be warned: the instruction booklet is in the DVD case. I did not see the little sticker on the case telling me that, thinking I'd wait to watch the DVD until after I'd assembled it. But WaterRower has a copy of the assembly instructions on their website, along with a video (I found the written ones better and easier to follow), so I was able to assemble it with no difficulty.
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Bolt alignment issue
by Ginny Y. (3 out of 5 stars)
June 23, 2017

I am unable to fit one of the nuts into the rear spacer bolt due to alignment problem. Either the holes on the rail are too close to each other or the bolts on the rear spacer are too far apart. Please see attached photo. These are the first parts I am putting together and already having a problem, so I am not sure about the rest of the machine assembly will have a similar issue. Contacted the manufacturer WaterRower for advice and will update this review whether the resolution is satisfactory.

Update (7/1/2017): WaterRower quickly responded to my email and I received a replacement rear spacer in five days. No issue with the rest of the assembly. However, it took a great deal of effort to line up the screw holes on the foot board with the rails due to very tight tolerance. The water pump is cheap and leaking water and air, so it took a while to fill the water.

Like many said the foot board is flimsy, uncomfortable and hard to adjust - almost an afterthought.

Changing stars from one to three for good support from manufacturer.
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Great rower, terrible siphon
by Bill Haywood (5 out of 5 stars)
January 6, 2018

Beautiful and elegantly functional. Installing foot board was hard until I reread directions and loosened the nuts just above and forward of the foot board. When you fill the tank, don't try too hard to make the siphon work. Ours had tiny holes and would not maintain a stream. Pumped three gallons by hand until I figured out to just chop off the top of the accordion pump thing and use it as a funnel.

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