10 Best Water Rowing Machines Reviews

In A Rush? Get the Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

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  • Handcrafted rowing machine with "water flywheel" 
  • Flywheel sits in enclosed water tank
  • Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout intensity
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    Solid ash construction absorbs sound and vibration

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is a classically designed water rowing machine that‘s made to look great and help get you in great shape at the same time.

A smooth rowing experience combines with a powerful fitness monitor and the ability to easily store this rower on end to form a rower that’s just as home at your living as it is on a workout floor.

Rowing is a great workout.

But, most rowing machines share one big problem:

They’re not much like actual rowing.

While the movements are very similar, there’s not a whole lot of water involved with most rowing machines.

Unless you’re working with a water rowing machine.

Water rowing machines use water for resistance rather than air, magnets, or a hydraulic piston. Instead of the choppy movements often associated with other types of rowers, water rowers move smoothly as the rowing handle comes back and forth.

If you’re in the market for a water rowing machine, keep reading for an in-depth look at some of the best choices on the market.


How to Choose the Best Water Rowing Machine

If you really want to get the most out of your workout time, a rowing machine is a great way to do it. Hitting just about every major muscle group and giving you a solid dose of low impact cardio, rowers provide a lot of value.

Water rowing machines provide the same great workout as other rowing machines, but with a smooth, natural motion.

  • Your Fitness Needs
  • What’s the Best Type of Resistance?
  • How Water Rowing Machines Work
  • Measure Your Space
  • Consider Costs

Before choosing a water rower, it’s important to take a look at your fitness needs.

Whether your goal is to get in better shape, lose a few pounds, or just get some extra cardio in a rowing machine is a powerful tool.


The Top Rated Water Rowing Machine Reviews

1. WaterRower Club Rowing Machine

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For a truly authentic rowing experience, nothing beats the original. Handcrafted in the USA, WaterRower is one of the oldest and most well known names in water rowing machines.

The WaterRower Club Rowing Machine uses a water resistance method that is at once quiet and smooth, giving users a truly unique workout. A tank at the front of the machine holds the water, while a set of paddles spin in the tank when rowing. Though there’s no adjustability, resistance naturally increases with the speed of the rower.

The frame of Club rowing machine is made almost entirely of wood, which reduces vibration and increases the smooth operation of the machine. A built-in fitness monitor tracks strokes, heart rate, and more.

Specs:

  • Solid wood construction
  • Water resistance mechanism
  • Ergonomic, padded seat and handle
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    Can be stored upright

Pros:

  • Natural water resistance
  • Quiet, smooth operation
  • LCD fitness monitor included

Cons:

  • Big rowing machine that may be difficult for some to move and store
  • Resistance not adjustable

2. Stamina 1445 Wave Water Rowing Machine

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The Stamina 1445 Wave Water Rowing Machine gives users an authentic rowing experience with real water resistance. As you row, a series of paddles turn inside a water tank, providing a limitless stream of resistance that grows with difficulty the faster you row.

The steel frame of the Wave is fitted with wheels at one end for easy transport and can quickly be folded for storage in smaller areas. A padded seat and rowing handle provide comfort and a better grip while rowing.

The Stamina 1445 Wave Water also includes a built-in fitness monitor that allows users to track important stats like distance, time, stroke count, and others.

Specs:

  • Water rowing resistance provides limitless degrees of resistance
  • Foldable design for easy storage
  • Wheels built into frame
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    Padded seat and handle

Pros:

  • Built-in wheels and foldable frame for easy storage
  • Water resistance is smooth and quiet

Cons:

  • Long term reliability may not be ideal

3. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

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The Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine is one of the most affordable water rowers out there.

A metal frame provides good support and long term durability, while rubber padding keeps the machine in place on hard surfaces and ensures that it won’t damage floors. Wheels are fixed to one end so this rower can be easily moved when needed and stored in a vertical, upright position.

A built in LCD fitness monitor tracks distance, time, strokes, and other key statistics while you row.

Resistance comes from a water tank fitted with three paddles.

Specs:

  • Three paddle resistance design
  • Ergonomic, padded seat rest
  • Pivoting foot rests

Pros:

  • Stores upright, on end
  • Durable, steel frame
  • Inexpensive for a water rower

Cons:

  • Does not come with chest strap for built in heart rate monitor

4. First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower

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The First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower is another metal frame rower that’s built with durability and long term use in mind.

This rower provides smooth, quiet power with a belt drive that produces little extra sound beyond the swirling of the water tank. The built-in fitness monitor tracks stats like distance and time.

One advantage of the Newport is the ergonomically designed handle. The angled grips help reduce wrist strain, allowing users to row longer with less fatigue.

Resistance can actually be increased on this rower with a simple turn of a dial located on the top of the water tank. Baffles with the tank help ensure that water pressure is consistent and constant.

Specs:

  • Belt drive system for quieter operation
  • Stores upright
  • All aluminum frame
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    Baffled water tank for constant resistance
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    Adjustable water resistance

Pros:

  • Durable, aluminum frame
  • Adjustable resistance
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    Large LCD fitness monitor

Cons:

  • Bright red color may be too much for some

5. WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine

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A true “classic” from WaterRower, the Classic has a real, handcrafted wood frame and a low to the ground profile that keeps this rowing machine lighter and more compact.

This rowing machine takes advantage of a truly all water rowing experience that places the flywheel in a separate tank of water to keep the entire process smooth and fluid. This also keep the parts clean and lubricated for longer life.

The included Series 4 fitness tracker can also be used to store and track workout information like time, distance, stroke, and more. Even your heart rate can be monitored while you row.

Specs:

  • Handcrafted wood frame and seat
  • Water rowing resistance
  • Low to the ground seat
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    Large fitness monitor
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    Can be stored on end

Pros:

  • Wood frame looks great
  • Stores upright, on end
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    True water rowing feel

Cons:

  • Seat is very low to the ground

6. First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Home Fluid Machine

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The First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR Home Fluid Machine is another wood framed water rower that’s designed with a premium rowing experience in mind. American Ash wood and dark metal accents combine to give this machine a classic look.

Unlike many other water rowing machines, the Viking 2 also sports an adjustable resistance feature. Rather than simply rowing harder, users can turn a dial and increase the tension. A belt drive system helps keep this unit smooth and quiet.

Although they do not articulate while rowing, the foot plates are adjustable for height–making for a more comfortable experience. An ergonomically designed handle also improves comfort by reducing wrist strain.

Specs:

  • Wood and metal frame design
  • Can be stored on end
  • Fitness monitor included
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    Quiet, belt drive operation

Pros:

  • Great looking design
  • Tension is fully adjustable
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    Ergonomic handle

Cons:

  • Foot plates are stationary

7. WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine

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The WaterRower GX is another quality rowing machine from WaterRower. Rather than being made entirely of wood, the GX uses aluminum for the rail. This not only reduces the overall weight and maneuverability of this machine, but also the cost.

In addition to fluid, belt driven water resistance, the GX has a multi-function fitness monitor that’s capable of tracking time, distance, stroke rate, and other important metrics.

The maximum user weight of this rowing machine is a generous 300 pounds and a one year manufacturer’s warranty protects this machine for home use.

Specs:

  • Natural Ash wood and aluminum build
  • Built in LCD fitness monitor
  • Max user weight of 300 pounds

Pros:

  • Can be stored vertically
  • WaterRower brand quality
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    Wood and aluminum build

Cons:

  • No adjustability for resistance

First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II Rowing Machine

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The First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II Rowing Machine is a high quality, commercial grade water rowing machine that’s made for lots of use.

The Apollo Pro II uses a three bladed turbine within the water tank to generate strong, consistent tension. Users can also select from four different levels of resistance, making this machine versatile enough for a variety of users.

A multi-function fitness monitor helps users track progress by monitoring time, distance, stroke count, and more.

Like other First Degree rowers, this machine’s water tank is fitted with a series of baffles to help eliminate dead spots in the rowing stroke.

Specs:

  • Durable, commercial build quality
  • Wood and metal frame
  • Four levels of adjustable resistance
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    In-tank baffles
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    Built-in fitness monitor

Pros:

  • High-quality, durable build
  • Adjustable resistance
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    Adjustable foot rests

Cons:

  • Higher priced rowing machine

9. WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine

The WaterRower M1 HiRise Rowing Machine is a serious water rower for serious use. Designed for commercial use, the tubular, powder coated steel frame is designed to be at home in the gym or at home.

The M1 is taller than many water rowing machines, sitting high off the ground on its long legs. A high seat places users in a position that’s comfortably away from the floor.

The included fitness monitor tracks workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and more. Despite its hefty 200 pound weight, the M1 does have a set of wheels built in for easy movement and can be stored out of the way on its end.

Specs:

  • Highly durable, tubular steel frame
  • Built in digital fitness monitor
  • Can be stored vertically
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    High seat and legs

Pros:

  • Designed to be very durable
  • Tall seating position makes it easier for many users to mount rower
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    Flywheel positioned in enclosed water tank

Cons:

  • More expensive than most rowing machines
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    Heavy overall build

10. Pure Design Fitness Indoor Rowing Machine

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The Pure Design Fitness Indoor Rowing Machine is another home use water rowing machine that’s designed with durability in mind.

This simple, lightweight rower has a minimal wood and steel frame that’s made to be rolled out of the way when necessary with the built in wheels. It can also be stored on end when not in use.

The built in VR2 fitness monitor can quickly track the user’s progress while rowing, making it easy to monitor intensity, distance, time, and other things.

This rower can accommodate users up to 325 pounds and with a 36 inch inseam.

Specs:

  • Wood and steel frame design
  • Can be stored on end
  • Built in VR2 fitness monitor
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    Can hold users up to 325 pounds

Pros:

  • Can be easily stored and moved
  • Built in fitness monitor
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    Generous weight capacity

Cons:

  • Sits low to the ground

Final Verdict: The Best Water Rowing Machine for Your Money

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Picking the right water rowing machine can be a challenge. There’s plenty of options and some truly high quality choices.

 

But, if you’ve got to pick just one, it’s tough to go wrong with the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine.

 

The WaterRower Club has classic lines and a nice, smooth rowing action. WaterRower’s belt design and the wet flywheel feature help set this rower apart from much of the competition.

 

The ability to easily wheel this rowing machine out of the way and store it vertically really rounds out the package.

 

Before you decide on a rowing machine, be sure to check out the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine.