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WaterRower Oxbridge Rower Review

Quick Take

The WaterRower Oxbridge Rower is yet another well executed solid wood rower from the leading name in water rowing machines. Its hardwood frame is equal parts visually appealing and structurally sound. These units are fitted with the brand’s S4 performance monitor, that provides quite a bit of user feedback and can be set up to connect to a wireless heart rate monitor (at an extra cost). A combination of construction, warranty, noise level, and features all make offerings from WaterRower quite compelling, though they still face competition in the space from the pro-focused and air resistance driven rowers from Concept2. Where these water rowers tend to win out at the end of the day is in aesthetics more than anything, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s no lesser a machine than non-wood variants, and at the end of the day being satisfied with the rowing machine of your choosing is a personal matter. That in mind, have a read below for our two cents on the WaterRower Oxbridge Rower’s strengths and weaknesses.


Variable Water Resistance
Easy To Store



Our Review

The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine is named for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, two schools known for their long rowing traditions and spirited rivalry. Crafted from gorgeous cherry hardwood, it is part of WaterRower’s Designer Series and is hardy enough for commercial use. It features the WaterRower brand’s patented WaterFlywheel. Rowing the Oxbridge, you’ll really feel as if you’re rowing a boat!

A wealth of workout feedback is provided on the S4 Monitor. Several of these features are described below in our “Positives” section about why to choose this rower. Besides that, the S4 Monitor can be connected to a PC for integration with third party software.

Here are positives and potential negatives of choosing this fitness machine.


  • Resistance: The WaterRower Oxbridge is outfitted with a “water flywheel,” which is a set of paddles in an enclosed tank. The paddles provide smooth, quiet resistance, just like boat paddles in an actual body of water.
  • Good Looking: The WaterRower Oxbridge is handcrafted from solid cherry. The wood varies in color from reddish brown to deep red. It darkens over time and especially when it’s exposed to lots of light. Extra lustre and warmth for the wood comes from three coats of Danish Oil.
  • Cherry Hardwood: The cherry chosen for this model is not only sturdy and beautiful, but also absorbs vibrations for smooth and quiet rides.
  • Low Impact: WaterRowers work a measured 84 percent of muscle mass, which makes them much more effective than most other aerobic machines. The exercise is low impact, as the rider’s rowing position removes pressure from over the ankles, knees and hips.
  • Workout Programs: The WaterRower’s S4 Monitor is easy to use, yet it’s packed with useful features and can be connected to a PC for integration with other software. S4 monitors are capable of storing on-board workout programs but do not come with any preset on delivery.
  • Data: The S4 Monitor displays intensity in m/s (meters per second), mph (miles per hour), /500m (time per 500 meters), /2km (time per 2 kilometers), watts and Kcalories per hour. Heart rate can be shown too with the addition of optional equipment.
  • Advanced Heart Rate Analysis: The Oxbridge indoor rower has a “Zone Feature” alert system to help you stay within your desired heart rate zone. It can work with a wireless system (not included) to show the following readouts: maximum heart rate achieved, time spent above desired heart rate zone, time spent in desired zone, and time spent below desired zone.
  • Eco-Minded: Built from sustainable wood, this fitness machine has a relatively light carbon footprint. More than two trees are planted for each tree harvested. The forests chosen are in the Appalachian section of the US, and the rowers are built in the USA.
  • Long-Lasting: This machine is built from solid materials and engineered to last a long time. Its cherrywood is a premium hardwood with exceptional longevity and dimensional stability, and its water resistance system doesn’t suffer the wear and tear issues that come with other rowing machine designs. This unit does not require frequent maintenance.
  • Easy to Store: The Oxbridge rowing machine flips upright for easy storage. Its stored dimensions are 20” x 22.25” x 82.25”.
  • Very High Capacity: The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine has a user weight capacity of 700 pounds.
  • Good Warranty: The WaterRower Oxbridge is initially backed by a 3-year frame warranty and a one-year parts warranty. With registration the warranty is extended to five years for the frame and three for the components.


  • Size: The WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine has a footprint of 82.25″ x 22.25″. It isn’t a compact rowing machine.
  • Price: WaterRowers cost more than most other indoor rowers do. They are also available for rent.

Our Conclusion

The cherrywood WaterRower Oxbridge Rowing Machine feels good to use, provides workout guidance and is built to last. It’s an attractive eco-minded choice for households and commercial fitness centers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How large is the WaterRower Oxbridge Rower?
A: The WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine is 82.25” L x 22.25” W x 20” H.
Q: How much does the WaterRower Oxbridge Rower weigh?
A: The WaterRower Oxbridge rowing machine weighs 66.5 lbs (dry) or 103.5 lbs (with 17 l of water).
Q: What is the WaterRower Oxbridge Rower's frame made from?
A: The WaterRower Oxbridge rower's frame is made from American Cherry wood.

Rating: 85%

Resistance Type


Dimensions (inches)

82.25" L x 22.25" W x 20" H



Maximum User Weight Capacity

700 lbs

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