WaterRower ranks amongst the top manufacturers in the rowing machine industry. It makes its residential and commercial rowing machines in the USA. Their customer service is top-notch and their warranties are competitive.
WaterRowers are a beautiful example of what happens when form meets function. In fact, WaterRower rowing machines are so exquisitely designed that one showcased in the London Museum of Design. This brand earned fame with beautiful hardwood frames that support the patented WaterFlywheel. For those who prefer a more industrial look, WaterRower also offers several striking metallic frames, including a luxury model made entirely of stainless steel.
Our Top Three WaterRower Rowing Machines
WaterRower Rowing Machines
WaterRower currently advertises 10 rowing machine models. The stainless steel S1 Rower is a limited edition. The same water resistance system is used on all 10 rowing machines. The differences are found in the frames. Customers can also choose from three computer monitors.
The brand is best known for its wooden rowing machines. The basic four are called the Natural, Club, Oxbridge, and Classic. Only the Natural is intended for home use, but the units are extremely similar. They all have the same dimensions and function. The commercial versions use different wood and have more layers of gloss to add durability in a club setting.
Another wooden rowing machine is the WaterRower Signature, which is built for users with broader shoulders. The Signature Rowing Machine is also distinguished by its connection with rowing coach and Olympic rowing medalist Xeno Muller. Customers get a stroke analysis from Muller and access to his video workouts.
The two remaining wooden rowers are designed especially for use in group rowing classes. These are called the GX Studio and GX Home.
Metal-framed WaterRowers include the stainless steel S1, the steel M1 LoRise, and the raised M1 Hi Rise.
Resistance on WaterRowers occurs naturally. The rider pulls and the machine pushes back. This makes a WaterRower suitable for trainees of all skill levels. There are no buttons or dials for adjusting the amount of tension provided. Everything about these machines is elegantly simple.
In terms of workout routines and data monitoring, this brand offers three options. The premium WaterRower console is called the S4 Monitor. It provides six preset workouts and an above average amount of data feedback, including advanced heart rate tracking. WaterRower also sells video workout DVDs.
- Resistance: WaterRowers use water resistance to mimic the sensation of rowing a boat. Their WaterFlywheel offers the closest possible approximation of on-the-water rowing available in a rowers. It consists of paddles in an enclosed tank of water. The resistance naturally adapts to the rider’s exerted strength. Most other rowing machine brands use resistance systems based around air, magnetism, or cheap hydraulics.
- Workout Programs and Data: The backlit S4 Monitor is one of the best computers we’ve seen on a rowing machine. It’s packed with helpful preset workouts, saves nine sessions, includes a heart rate receiver, and can connect to a PC for integration with other software. The screen displays Kcalories per hour, watts, meters per second, miles per hour, time per 500 meters, and time per two kilometers. A log is kept of the total distance traveled on the machine.
- Advanced Heart Rate Analysis: The S4 has a wireless receiver and a Zone Feature alert system to help trainees stay on track. It provides 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.
- Long-Lasting: WaterRowers are designed to endure. The metal frames are solidly built, and the hardwood frames feature wood that’s selected for its dimensional stability. Besides that, WaterRowers have tough resistance systems and use chains (not fabric cords) in their handlebars.
- Easy to Store: WaterRower frames can be flipped upright for storage.
- Very High Capacity: WaterRowers have weight capacities of over 500lbs (700 in most cases). While this is definitely overkill, it speaks to the sturdy construction of their machines.
- Good Warranties: A typical WaterRower warranty protects the frame for five years and the components for three.
- Larger Size: WaterRowers are at least 7’ long. If your workout space is limited, you might prefer a slightly smaller water rowing machine from HCI Fitness or First Degree Fitness.
- Price: Water rowing machines cost more than other types of rowing machines. Yet, they provide excellent value in the long run. WaterRowers are also available for rent at just $9.98/week.
WaterRower is one of our favorite rowing machine brands. Without exception, its products are well made and feel great. WaterRowers are available with helpful computer systems and are backed by excellent customer service too. There’s absolutely nothing this company does wrong. The prices might run a bit high, but they are worth every penny. Highly recommended!
1. WaterRower Classic Rower
Crafted from sustainably sourced black walnut wood and using natural water resistance, the WaterRower Classic will add a rustic feel to any workout space. It features WaterRower’s unique WaterFlywheel design which provides enough challenge for most trainees, from beginners to advanced rowers. Even though there is the occasional maintenance to do on this machine (as with other water rowers), customers note that this is completely worth it for the WaterRower Classic’s zen-like, smooth rowing experience. At 82.25” long by 22.25” wide, it’s not a small machine. That said, you can easily store it upright to save space.Read the Full WaterRower Classic Rower Review
2. WaterRower Natural Rower
The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine lands right in the middle of the brand’s well reviewed model range. Its water resistance is natural and smooth, though not adjustable. Its ash wood frame is well crafted, and overall the machine is a warm, rustic addition to your workout space. Due to its low profile, it’s a better candidate than most air rowers if your intent is to watch TV or other devices while you’re rowing (your line of sight is mostly clear from seated). It’s also much quieter than an air rower, with its soft sloshing being more soothing than the mechanical whoosh of an air rower fan. You’ll have the occasional maintenance to do on the machine that you won’t experience with a metal frame/air resistance setup, but to many, that minor headache is worth it.Read the Full WaterRower Natural Rower Review
3. WaterRower Signature Rower
At just over $1,200, the WaterRower Signature Rower—designed and built with the guidance of Olympic gold and silver medalist (and elite coach) Xeno Müller—delivers quite a few perks over standard WaterRower models with only a nominal increase in price. From an equipment standpoint only a little has changed, but from a programming side you’re getting a ton more bang for your buck. The machine still lacks variable resistance—a feature that some are in love with and others are happy to do without—but otherwise more than keeps up with any other water rowers in this competitive pool.Read the Full WaterRower Signature Rower Review