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WaterRower GX Studio Rower Review

Quick Take (Discontinued)

The WaterRower GX Studio rowing machine is a now discontinued but much loved rowing machine from the leading brand in water rowers. The closest counterpart to this model is the WaterRower Natural, which features very similar specifications. The only key difference is that the Natural features a full wood frame and dual-rail design, rather than the single metal rail construction of the GX Studio. The main downfalls of the GX are listed below—its monitor, as well as its footrests—and thankfully the brand seems to have learned from industry criticisms when updates to the model range took place. You’re in the same price bracket here as offerings from Concept2 and First Degree Fitness, both of which make equally well engineered rowers for more or less the same dollar figure. Much in the same way that Concept2 is the benchmark in air rowers, WaterRower has long been the brand against which most other water rowers are measured.


Water Resistance


No Heart-Rate Monitor
No Programs

Our Review

The WaterRower GX Studio Rower is the more robust of two GX rowing machines; it is under warranty for commercial use whereas the GX Home Rower is for home use only. The GX Studio is especially popular for group rowing classes such as Indo-Row and ShockWave®. In these courses users practice their form, do warm-ups and drills, enjoy simulated wave rides and race competitively.


WaterRowers stand out with the brand’s patented WaterFlywheel. This resistance system helps produce the feel of a boat gliding across water, plus it makes the soothing sound of splashing. The flywheel’s resistance naturally increases with the rider’s own speed and intensity, so there are no buttons or knobs to adjust for the right challenge. Combined with other high quality components and smart biomechanics, the WaterFlywheel helps these rowing machines earn very high marks for durability and comfort too.


How is the GX Studio Rower different from other WaterRowers? A main difference is the GX Monitor. Most WaterRowers are sold with an S4 Monitor. The GX Monitor has fewer built-in features, partly because it’s presumed that exercise guidance will be provided by a coach in class or on video. You can upgrade to the S4 Monitor for $150. Another difference is that the GX Studio rowing machine has slightly more space between the footrests. Riders tend to prefer this extra width.

Is this the best rowing machine for your home or commercial workout studio? Here are pros and cons to consider.



Overall the GX Studio Rower is good-looking, durable and comfortable for trainees of any height. Here are some of its selling points.

  • Price: This WaterRower is more affordable than many other WaterRower models.
  • Durability: WaterRowers are among the best rowing machines on the market. The GX Studio Rower could potentially last a lifetime if reserved for home use. Its parts are under warranty for three years in a commercial setting.
  • Water Resistance: Water resistance is favored by lots of indoor rowers because it most closely approximates the physiological experience of outdoor practice. The WaterRower GX Studio Rowing Machine has a patented WaterFlywheel, which consists of two paddles in a polycarbonate water tank. The resistance level is determined by the rider’s own effort, increasing or decreasing naturally and without depending on control buttons or knobs. The resistance can also be altered by adjusting the amount of water in the tank.
  • GX Monitor: The GX Monitor is best for people who prefer “Quick Start” and aren’t interested in having lots of built-in workouts. It lets users set up workout sessions for time and distance, and it displays the following: elapsed time, distance, stroke rate, speed/intensity and total calories burned. Other monitors are available too.
  • Low Impact Yet Powerful: Rowing machines are gentle on ankles, knees and hips. Nonetheless they are are extremely efficient at sculpting the body and burning calories. WaterRowers engage all major muscle groups and have been shown to work 84% of muscle mass.
  • Fits Almost Everyone: The GX Studio Rower is suitable for riders with up to 39” inseams.
  • Easy Storage: WaterRowers can be flipped vertically to save floor space. When the GX Studio Rower is flipped, it takes up the floor space of a typical upright cycle. When in use its dimensions are 85.5” long x 22.25” wide x 20” high.
  • Hardwood: The WaterRower GX Studio is handcrafted from verified sustainable ash hardwood harvested in Appalachia. The wood is stained honey oak for consistent color and is hand finished with Danish Oil for warmth.
  • High Capacity: The WaterRower GX Studio has a maximum user weight capacity of 375 pounds.
  • Good Warranty: The GX Studio rower carries a three-year parts warranty and a five-year frame warranty.


The main drawback of this fine machine is its data monitor. The monitor works well but isn’t feature-rich compared with another WaterRower monitor called the S4. The S4 can be purchased for $150. Here are details about the monitors.

  • No Heart Monitor: The GX Monitor doesn’t have a heart rate receiver. In contrast, the S4 Monitor provides advanced heart rate information and has a “Zone Feature” alert system to guide users.
  • No Preset Programs: The GX has a button for quickly starting a workout based on your time or distance goal. However, unlike the S4, it doesn’t have preset workouts or let users save custom-made programs.
  • DVD Workouts Sold Separately: The GX Home Rower is sold with DVDs for the ShockWave® and Indo-Row training courses. These are not included with the GX Studio Rower but can be purchased separately.

Our Conclusion

The WaterRower GX Studio Rowing Machine is a high quality trainer that’s built to last. It’s ideal for coach-led workouts in commercial settings. For home use we recommend enhancing this purchase with an upgraded monitor or workout videos. Four sets of workout videos can be seen on the WaterRower website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How large is the WaterRower GX Studio Rowing Machine?
A: The WaterRower GX Studio rower is 83.5" L x 22.25" W x 20" H.
Q: Does the WaterRower GX Studio Rowing Machine fold?
A: The WaterRower GX Studio rower does not fold but it can be stored upright.

Rating: 95%

Resistance Type


Dimensions (inches)

83.5" L x 22.25" W x 20" H

Maximum User Weight Capacity

375 lbs

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